2020 VW Golf GTI: Hold on! You are in for a thrill!

6 May 2020 | 328 views | No Comment
  2020 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn Four door, front wheel drive, five passenger compact sports sedan Price as tested: $38,215 Performance: Absolutely top notch. The GTI Autobahn's only serious competition in terms of handling, acceleration and braking in the compact sedan segment are the Honda Civic sports models and of course, Subaru's WRX. The GTI's ace, however, is that you get all that bravado and acceleration without a back breaking ride, harsh performance on uneven, potholed streets and roads, due in part to an adaptive suspension system option which my test model had. Braking is excellent without the grabbing and head bobbing you get on overly sensitive braking.  Not a problem here.  Economy: The GTI Autobahn gets 27 miles per gallon overall, 24 city and 32 highway,  Yu will spend about $1500 annually for gasoline, based on 15,000 miles of driving with $2.70 a gallon gasoline.  The car: I consider Volkswagen Golfs in general and Volkswagen Golf GTI's in particular to be the black tie and tails  members of the compact segment. Though they are priced a bit more than other compacts, you get plenty for the extra bucks you spent. There is absolutely nothing about this car that says "cheap," despite a modest cost.  It has plenty of room in back and front for everyone,  and all the controls are just where you expect them to be.  There is no confusion, and there truly isn't a cheap looking bit of trim or seat material anywhere.  The GTI has one classy, well and tastefully trimmed interior, too.   For 2020, VW gave GTI models eight more horsepower, bringing it to 228 horsepower, and there's a new seven speed automatic that replaces a six speed unit, and you will find a wider variety of driver assistance items available to you as long as some new trim levels. By the way, upgraded brakes and limited-slip differential are standard for the GTI. I also deeply respect Volkswagen's devotion to maintaining a sense of continuity with styling and looks thr0ughout the generations.  There's a definite sense of heritage and class here with the GTI Autobahn. Technology:  
You can get it in four versions, S, Rabbit, SE, and Authobahn. No matter what version you choose,  every GTI has front-wheel-drive and use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. You can get either a  six-speed manual or a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
    The S model's rather lavish standard equipment includes  18-inch alloy wheels (with all-season tires), a limited-slip front differential, LED fog lights, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, ambient interior lighting, and a 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center pass-through. Technology features include a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker sound system. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available as part of the optional Driver Assistance package. Car makers generally don't like any big gaps in their pricing, and Volkswagen is no different.  They have introduced a limited edition model called the Rabbit (an old name once used on all compact VWs). It's designed to augment  the S trim with special exterior color choices, adaptive LED headlights, black 18-inch wheels, a black spoiler and mirror caps, Rabbit badging, keyless entry with push-button ignition, and the contents of the Driver Assistance package. If you decide to go with the even better equipped SE model, your standard equipment will include a sunroof, leather seats, an 8-inch touchscreen display, and VW Car-Net Security and Service connected services. The SE's Experience package adds adaptive suspension dampers (Dynamic Chassis Control) and an upgraded eight-speaker Fender sound system. And that brings us to the fabulous top of the line model that we tested--the Autobahn. The Autobahn comes equipped with additional standard goodies like adaptive suspension and Fender sound system, which by the way, sounds terrific--plus automatic high beams, a power-adjustable driver seat, dual-zone climate control, a navigation system and a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror. You also get more safety features, including adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors with Maneuver Braking (which automatically applies the brakes if a collision with nearby objects seems likely), a self-parking system, and a lane keeping assist system. Safety:
It's all there as standard equipment: Anti lock rakes, anti slip regulation, electronic brake pressure distribution, electronic differential lock, the usual air bags and safety belts, and even more if you are willing to pay for some very nice driver assistance features.    Aesthetics and Styling:  I'm a sucker for maintaining automotive heritage and tradition as you go along and update things, and that's exactly what VW did with the GTI.  It maintains that suave, understated muscular look it's had for years, and added goodies like touches of red stripes inside and out, and some classy looking wheels. And as I said earlier, the interior is definitely top drawer. Warranty: The warranty on the GTI is, as is the case with all VW models, a four year, 50,000 mile warranty.      

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