2012 Volkswagen GTI

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2012 Volkswagen GTI
2012 Volkswagen GTI

Key specs

Base trim shown


The good:

  • Handling balance
  • Cabin quality
  • Brakes
  • Cargo versatility
  • Interior amenities

The bad:

  • Choppy highway ride
  • Road and wind noise
  • Slow-reacting automatic transmission
  • Backseat too low to the ground
  • Modest acceleration relative to competitors

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2012 Volkswagen GTI trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Two- or four-door hatchback
  • Standard turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Manual or dual-clutch automatic
  • Related to VW Golf

2012 Volkswagen GTI review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

The Volkswagen GTI is a high-performance sibling of the Golf. It comes as a two- or four-door hatchback, both with an optional Autobahn Package that consists mostly of interior upgrades. The GTI seats five and competitors include the Mazdaspeed3, Subaru Impreza WRX and Mini Cooper S.

New for 2012
LED daytime running lights are newly available for 2012, but little else of significance has changed.

The GTI is based on the VW Golf, and both received new exterior styling a few years ago that made them more angular and menacing. The GTI has some unique features, including a thin, blackened honeycomb grille with two red outlining stripes; different front and rear bumpers; side skirts; and GTI badging. It also rides slightly lower than the Golf. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual tailpipes
  • Optional xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights

The GTI can seat up to five. Bolstered, ribbed sport seats are standard in front, and there’s a 60/40-split bench in the rear. Seating surfaces have a retro plaid design — VW calls it “Interlagos” — on the cloth trim; both front seats employ seat heaters and seat-height adjusters. Leather upholstery is optional. Interior features include:

  • Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift
  • Standard power windows, locks and side mirrors with keyless entry
  • Standard air conditioning and cruise control
  • Standard height-adjustable, heated front seats
  • Standard USB/iPod-compatible stereo
  • Optional steering-wheel audio controls, upgraded touch-screen stereo, navigation system and moonroof
  • Autobahn Package adds all above options and a Dynaudio premium stereo, leather upholstery and a keyless access system with remote start

Under the Hood
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is standard. With either the manual or automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive GTI can hit 60 mph in less than 7 seconds, Volkswagen says. Mechanical features include:

  • 200 horsepower and 207 pounds-feet of torque
  • Six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Electronic limited-slip control system helps control wheelspin during sharp turns

Standard safety features include:

  • Antilock brakes
  • Traction control and electronic stability system
  • Front-seat side-impact and side curtain airbags

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews


The best bang for your buck

The best bang for your buckThis car is not overly flashy it makes you feel young when you want but yet distinguished when you need to


Lots of Fun

Great little car. Bought it for my son as his first car. Easy to teach him manual driving and simple to work on in driveway.


Great car and a lot for what you pay

Great ride great look great performance everything you could ever ask for out of a 4 cylinder hatchback and once they’re tuned it’s like a whole other world when you blow ya an ss Camaro

See all 52 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volkswagen
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
MY 2015-MY 2017 vehicles/75,000 miles; MY 2018- MY 2019 vehicles/72,000 miles; MY 2020 and newer vehicles/75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Vehicles purchased on or after 1/5/21: MY 2017 & older, 2 yrs/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2018-19, 1 yr/12,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2020 & newer, 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty
Dealer certification required
100-plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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