INTRO: Distinctive styling cues differentiate the 2012 Volkswagen GTI hatchback from the more restrained VW Golf, giving the 5-passenger compact GTI a sporty but edgy appearance.
FEATURES: Underlying the GTI's rally inspired look are true performance features such as a track-tuned fully independent suspension and an XDS differential that detects inside wheel spin when turning under heavy acceleration, directing power to the outside wheel. Also available are a direct shift gearbox with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and launch-control to manage aggressive take-offs.
PERFORMANCE: The GTI is powered by a turbocharged 2-liter inline-4, sending 200 horsepower to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed direct shift gearbox.
FUEL ECONOMY: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
PRICING/WARRANTY: Base MSRP for the 2-door 2012 Volkswagen GTI is $23,695. A 4-door GTI with the direct shift gearbox starts at $25,395. The GTI is backed by a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
CLOSING: Proving that it is in fact a hot hatchback, the 2012 Volkswagen GTI backs up its aggressive looks with genuine performance credentials.