The seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback's performance variant — the Golf GTI — will go on sale in June for the 2015 model year starting at $25,215, including an $820 destination charge. That's only around $200 more than the previous generation's starting price for what the German automaker promises will be a bigger, roomier, faster, lighter and more fuel-efficient car with upgraded standard features. We first got a glimpse of both the 2015 Golf and GTI last year at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.
That starting price is for the entry-level S trim two-door with a six-speed manual transmission mated to a turbocharged, direct-injected engine good for 210 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque, up 10 hp and 51 pounds-feet, respectively. New standard features include driving-mode select, VW Car-Net connected services, touch-screen radio, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, ambient and footwell lighting with LED reading lights and LED fog lights.
Volkswagen will offer two additional trim levels, the SE starting at $28,215 for the two-door manual version, and the Autobahn, available only as a four-door and starting at $30,415 with a manual. All prices include destination. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available on all models for an additional $1,100, and later this year the $1,495 Performance Package will add larger brakes, a torque-sensing electronically controlled limited-slip differential and 10 more hp. Moreover, later in the year, Volkswagen says a dynamic chassis control adaptive damping system will be available on SE and Autobahn models with the Performance Package.
Despite its increased size (2.2 inches in length and 0.5 inches in width) and rear-seat passenger space (0.6 inches in legroom and 1.2 inches in shoulder room), the new GTI is also lighter and manages an estimated 34 mpg, a 3 mpg improvement, with the manual. Trunk space also increases by 30 percent, according to the automaker.
Additional standard features on S models include 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a touch-screen radio, cloth sport seats with GTI design and heated front seats. The SE adds a power tilt and slide sunroof, keyless entry, push-button start, a backup camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a Fender Premium Audio System and leather seating surfaces. Additional features at the Autobahn level include a 12-way power driver's seat and automatic air conditioning.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears