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2009 Volkswagen GTI Review

Encore Performance

A three-quarter front view of a 2009 Volkswagen GTI

In short: A reliably versatile and sporty hatchback.

Since 1976, when Volkswagen first introduced the Golf GTI,  the German import has been a practical hatchback that’s also fun to drive. Now in its fifth generation, this aerodynamic five-passenger compact sports a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and can reach a fuel economy of 29 mpg on the highway. Along with its reliable performance, the GTI’s interior offers accessories like an in-dash, six-CD changer; ten speakers and SIRIUS satellite radio.

Read reviews of the 2010 Volkswagen GTI
and the 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit

Warranty/Service: Five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; three-year/36,000-mile new vehicle warranty; twelve-year/unlimited-mile corrosion perforation warranty; four-year/50,000-mile 24-hour roadside assistance; three-year/36,000-mile no-charge scheduled maintenance program.

Base Price: $24,690

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 3-door hatchback

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
Horsepower: 200 hp @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1,800-5,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed double-clutch automatic (6-speed manual standard)

Curb weight: 3,352 lbs
Wheelbase: 101.5 in
Length/Width/Height: 165.8/69.3/58.4 in
Turning circle: 35.8 ft

Brakes: power-assisted ventilated disc in front; solid disc in rear; ABS; electronic brake-pressure distribution; hydraulic brake assistant
independent MacPherson struts with stabilizer bar in front; fully independent four-link suspension with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar in rear
anti-slip regulation; electronic differential lock; electronic stabilization program; engine braking assist

0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
Top Speed: 141 mph

EPA City: 21 mpg
EPA Highway: 29 mpg

Safety: crash-optimized front end; front airbags; front side airbags; side curtain head airbags; anti-in
trusion side door beams; daytime running lights; tire pressure monitoring system; steering wheel collapsible upon impact

Likes: extremely sporty; outstanding DSG Tiptronic transmission; good gas mileage providing you don't mimic a NASCAR driver

Dislikes: awful wind buffeting noise from the sunroof; Euro-econobox feel; out-of-date plaid interior; iPod hook-up optional

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Photography: Volkswagen

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