The 2008 Volkswagen GTI is the best to come along in some time. It is well designed, has good handling and braking, and delivers high performance. The interior is constructed with quality materials and has seating with enough comfort for an extended trip. Both two and four door GTI’s come with a two-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. It is front-wheel drive with a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a sequential-shift automatic manual referred to as DSG. The DSG cab be shifted by paddles on the steering wheel or be placed in full automatic mode.
Body Styles: two-door or four-door hatchback
Engines: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual, sequential-shift automatic manual (DSG)
The 2008 Volkswagen GTI has only a few changes from 2007. Those changes include no longer offering climate control, the satellite radio is now standard equipment as is the stability control system, and it has received a lower ride height, giving it better handling.
The 2008 Volkswagen GTI is available in two-door and four-door and both can be described as sporty and striking. The former square corners are now softened, and it has been given a bolder face. It has a somewhat muscular look to the fender wells to give the impression of performance potential. However, it still has the look of being a fun and aggressive car to drive. Standard exterior equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels with optional 18-inch wheels, HID headlights, and heated side mirrors.
The interior of the GTI is traditional with upscale materials. Standards features include sport seats with great support, a special metallic trim, blue-tinted glass, halogen fog lights, alloy pedals, a carpeted and covered cargo area, cloth upholstery with plaid print, a flat bottom steering wheel, and cruise control. Additional standard features include a split rear seat, 10 speakers, six-CD/MP3 audio system with satellite radio, an auxiliary jack, and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. Of course, the four-door rear seat is very accessible. However, the ability to slide front seats forward also gives easy rear-seat accessibility to the two-door. The rear seats have plenty of room for a couple of kids. It has an optional Autobahn Package that includes a sunroof, upgraded audio system, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. Additional upgrades include iPod adapter and a navigation system.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Volkswagen GTI can go from zero to 60 mph in approximately 6.7 seconds and the 200 horsepower generated by the four-cylinders provide an awesome driving experience. The DSG automatic transmission is great for performance and versatility and is popular with consumers. With the DSG transmission, the driver has the option to operate the car with a normal automatic transmission or a paddle shifting with a race inspired box that is an electronically-controlled twin-clutch device. The car has plenty of pep when weaving in and out of traffic. For that reason, it is a perfect car for someone who commutes through daily traffic.
The 2008 Volkswagen is nicely loaded with safety features. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, tire pressure monitoring, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, stability control, crash sensor that unlock the doors in the event of a crash, and child seat anchors. Optional equipment includes, rear side-impact airbags on the four-door model. The GTI received four out of five stars for its protection of front passengers in frontal impacts. For the side-impact, it received five out of five stars by government testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests gives the car a ""good"" rating in the frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volkswagen GTI: 20/29 mpg city/highway
- Upscale features and materials
- Interior design
- Hatchback utility
- Turbocharged engine
- Optional DSG gearbox
You Won't Like
- Higher price than some competitors
- Beefy curb weight decreases handling ease
Great car for the commuter or anyone who wants an upscale interior in a small car with decent gas mileage.
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