The spunky 2001 Volkswagen GTI is packed with sportier engines, sharper handling ability, and a niftier exterior design. It's built from the same design as the Jetta, employing the same front-drive platform and engines as well. The very first GTI was unveiled one year after the Rabbit initially made its appearance. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show of 1975, that first GTI, also known as Mark I, was powered by a 1588cc four-cylinder engine that generated 110 metric horsepower. At the time, no one would have guessed that this little unassuming German hatchback would become the blueprint for all of the hot hatches on the road today. The GTI immediately built a following from the get-go thanks to its mix of high-revving four-cylinder engines and a well-sorted chassis.
Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder; 2.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual
Models: Volkswagen GTI GLS 1.8T, Volkswagen GTI GLX VR6
The 2001 Volkswagen GTI made an effort to upgrade the elements of the sporty, two-door GTI, which included the base-level GLS and the high-performance GLX trim packages. The interior cloth fabrics were upgraded, the GLS received an upgraded sport-tuned suspension, while audio and climate controls were transformed into steering wheel controls on the GLX. New options for both trims include 17-inch wheels and side-curtain head-protection airbags.
The 2001 Volkswagen GTI comes only as a two-door. Slightly larger and more rounded than its predecessors, it measures 165 inches long, 57 inches tall, and 68 inches wide with a 99-inch wheelbase. The wheelbase is a full five inches shorter than the Ford Focus hatchback and nine inches smaller than the Jetta sedan. Available in six exterior colors, it's basically a Jetta but only shorter and missing a similar trunk.
The 2001 Volkswagen GTI exemplifies a clean and polished look while it's front-loaded with a stylish interior cabin instrument panel lit in a pleasing mixture of deep blue with vibrant red pointers and trimmed in dark wood. The on-board cargo area behind the rear seat holds 18 cubic feet, while the rear seat backs across both trims fold down for additional space. It offers plenty of standard features as well, some of which include sliding sun-visor extenders, a brake-wear indicator, remote keyless entry, and an optional, dealer-installed, in-dash CD player.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Volkswagen GTI offer two engine choices; the base GLS is saddled with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder turbo that’s good for 150 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque, while the GLX trim has the peppier V-6 under its hood that delivers 174 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. As expected, it provide drivers with plenty of zip and gusto, which is always a fun car to pilot.
The 2001 Volkswagen provides standard safety features that include all-wheel anti-lock brakes, front/rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, front/rear headrests, traction control, anti-theft alarm, brake force distribution, and child seat anchors.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volkswagen GTI, 1.8-liter: 22/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen GTI, 2.8-liter: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Extremely fun to drive
- Lots of available features
- Good fuel economy
- Plenty of cargo space
You Won't Like
- Outdated styling
- Stiff handling
A fun car to drive despite all the negatives.
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