2011 Volkswagen GTI

  • 2011 Volkswagen GTI Base Hatchback

    Base Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
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2011 Volkswagen GTI Review

Not a car for a slalom race but still a good, sporty hatchback with class.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2011 Volkswagen GTI is a sporty, sophisticated, and versatile hatchback. It will not win any sprints or pass the competition in a race, but it will impress you with the superior quality of its interior materials. Even with the plaid fabric seats, the quality rivals many luxury cars. This car offers good legroom and a good supple ride.

The Range

Body styles: hatchback
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed automated manual
Models: Volkswagen GTI, Volkswagen GTI PZEV, Volkswagen Autobahn

What's New

Volkswagen has not made any major changes to the GTI; however, it did make some changes to the trim levels. These changes make it simpler for buyers to order and understand options. The four trim levels are intuitively renamed for the main feature additions. The 2011 Volkswagen GTI trim levels include the base GTI, GTI with Sunroof, GTI with Sunroof and Navigation, and GTI Autobahn.


The exterior standard features for the base model of the 2011 Volkswagen GTI include heated outside mirrors, body-color front and rear bumpers, foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler. If you get the automated manual transmission, or DSG, you can get a leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted shift paddles and launch control as options. The PZEV adds a sunroof and xenon headlights. The Autobahn PZEV adds keyless remote ignition/entry and a premium Dynaudio sound system.


The interior standard features for the 2011 Volkswagen GTI base model include air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, split-folding rear seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, metallic interior trim, an eight-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, satellite radio, an eight-speaker stereo system with a CD/MP3 player and auxiliary audio input, iPod integration, and a trip computer. You can also get the optional navigation system.

The 2011 Volkswagen GTI offers comfort and high-quality interior materials, rivaling some of the luxury cars on the market. For a compact hatchback, it provides plenty of legroom in the rear seat. The interior design proves to be well thought out and mature, and the trim uses quality materials. The seats are comfortable and shaped well. Entry and exit from the rear seat in the four-door model is easy. The cargo area offers 12.4 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seats up, but folding the seats down increases the cargo area to 46 cubic feet.

Performance & Handling

The 2011 Volkswagen GTI isn't as quick or nimble as other sport hatchbacks, but it will provide a better overall driving experience. Drivers hardly can detect turbo lag, and torque steer is apparent only when driving with reckless abandon. Either transmission option performs admirably, with rapid and smooth shifts from the DSG. This car contains a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.

In everyday conditions, the GTI feels solid and composed, though some enthusiast drivers likely will complain that the soft suspension tuning excludes truly aggressive driving. This car has a sprint speed of 7.3 seconds from zero to 60 mph, which remains only a hair slower than the competition. The automatic accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds.

The GTI gives a comfortable and quiet ride. At highway speeds, the cabin remains as quiet as some luxury cars, and the compliant suspension dampens bumps in the road.


Standard safety features for the 2011 Volkswagen GTI include anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, stability control, front-side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. In performance testing, braking from 60 to zero mph required 129 feet, which runs a full car length longer than some of the comparable cars in the U.S. market.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the four-door model of this car the best possible rating of ""Good"" for protection in frontal-offset and side-impact collisions. Ratings for the two-door models remain unknown. Ratings for four-door cars cannot carry over to two-door cars because of the structural differences.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen GTI Komfort: 24/33 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen GTI LUX: 24/33 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen GTI TDI: 30/42 mpg city/highway

The PZEV models come equipped with California emissions features and adhere to the California law regarding vehicle emissions.

You'll Like

  • Good fuel economy
  • Excellent interior materials
  • Solid handling and smooth ride
  • Available diesel engine
  • Versatile hatchback body style
  • Stylish looks

You Won't Like

  • Mediocre performance
  • Unsuitable suspension for aggressive driving

Sum Up

Not a car for a slalom race but still a good, sporty hatchback with class.

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See the New 2018 GTI.

Front & Driver Side View

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