Pros: Outstanding balance between invigorating performance and day-to-day practicality; impressive refinement; cargo versatility of hatchback body style; decent fuel economy
Cons: Top-end models get rather pricey; minor ergonomic issues with controls; automated-manual transmission’s behavior feels odd to some drivers
CG Says: The Volkswagen GTI loses its 2-door hatchback body style for 2014, leaving only 4-door hatchback models. The 2014 model year is slated to be the last for the current-generation GTI; a redesigned version is set to debut in the spring of 2014 as a 2015 model. What the GTI might lack in horsepower compared to others in the class, it more than makes up for in terms of sprightly handling, surprising practicality, and an amazingly high level of refinement. Prices for entry-level models are reasonable, but they quickly escalate as you move up the lineup. Fortunately, the Base is very nicely equipped and is the way we would want our GTI. We would also lean toward the standard manual transmission, as some examples equipped with the available automated manual have shown some odd shifting behavior. Even taking those quirks into consideration, the GTI is one of best vehicles in this segment. You owe it to yourself to check it out.