Home » The Manual Transmission-less 2025 Volkswagen GTI Is Finally Here. Here’s Why I’m Not Mad

The Manual Transmission-less 2025 Volkswagen GTI Is Finally Here. Here’s Why I’m Not Mad

The New Volkswagen Golf Gti
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How many cars can you think of that have played host to practicality, sensible budgets, performance, and passion for nearly five decades? Perhaps one could argue the Ford Mustang, but let’s face it, the people’s champ is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. It’s the face of front-wheel-drive performance, a class-transcending masterpiece that everyone looks good in. It’s enjoyed its own festival, its own song, its own mascot, and so if any changes are made, you better prepare for pitchforks. However, we are several years into the Mk8 model’s lifecycle, which means it’s time for a mid-life refresh, and oh boy, will the torches be out in force for this one. Not only does it cast a hallmark of hot hatch tradition into the rubbish heap of yesteryear, it amps up the technology with ChatGPT.

The European-spec 2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI has made its global debut today, and it’s a symbol of a changing world. While it’s too soon to say whether it’s the definitive link between past and future, it’s a clear and present indicator that something has started to shift. And you know what? Maybe the future’s not going to be so bad.

Vidframe Min Top
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In profile, the new GTI looks almost identical to the old GTI, with the most noticeable difference being wheels that look surprisingly Alfa Romeo. Volkswagen definitely went for a Mk5 throwback blended with the modern trend of diamond-cut faces and dark pockets, but the end result shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Mark my words, these will be some of the hottest wheels in the OEM Plus scene, because they’ll fit a ton of vehicles, be reasonably attainable, and look absolutely stellar.

profile

Less stellar is the giant GTI lettering on each front door. The concept is totally cool, but the plasti-chrome execution feels more Chrysler Sebring Limited than hot hatchback. Give us italic vinyl and a cartoon bunny the size of a manhole cover, you cowards. On the plus side, it’s unlikely the backside of this lettering actually goes through the panel, so there’s a chance that a heat gun and fishing wire ought to sort these emblems. They’ll look mega on your toolbox.

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The New Volkswagen Golf Gti

Otherwise, the body-color incisors coming up the lower grille inspired by the Golf R look wicked, the new headlights are tasteful, and Volkswagen hasn’t fucked with the look of a very good thing. Even with a little more aggression, the GTI is still a hot hatch for certifiably mature people, something that blends in on an autocross course and in an office carpark.

The New Volkswagen Golf Gti

Slide inside, and as expected, this is the first standard production GTI you won’t get the option to row your own gears in, even as an option. The only transmission on the docket is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and while it’s a good transmission, hot hatch devotees likely feel let down. Look, you had the opportunity to buy a 380 Edition, the last GTI with a stick, while you had the chance. When this updated GTI was being developed, Euro 7 emissions legislation loomed heavy, Volkswagen only had so much engineering capacity, and something had to give. As Volkswagen told us earlier, “these are global cars and no-one buys manuals in other markets.” If every company gave each customer exactly what they wanted, they’d either be broke or Porsche. Thank goodness a GTI isn’t Cayman money.

cabin angle

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Still, it’s not all bad news inside the 2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI. The questionable capacitive-touch steering wheel controls are gone, replaced by real buttons. Volkswagen listened to customer feedback about how it reinvented the wheel to run itself over, and then went back to the old, familiar ways. Speaking of user-friendliness, although the dreaded touch sliders are still on the dashboard, they’re now illuminated at night and a revised top-spec infotainment system shows far more information on the top level of the screen than before, including climate and heated seat info. About bloody time. Mind you, the jury’s still out on Volkswagen’s ChatGPT integration. How badly do you need LLM generative AI while you’re driving, anyway?

The New Volkswagen Golf GTI

Other noteworthy stuff? Well, the GTI is now available with carbon fiber interior trim, and oh yeah, for the European model that’s been shown off, horsepower is up from 241 to 262. No word on torque, but an extra 20 peak horsepower ought to make a difference. Should those gains make the boat across the Atlantic, the 2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI should once again be the smart choice in entry-level performance cars.

(Photo credits: Volkswagen)

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ADDvanced
ADDvanced
2 months ago

GTI is now dead to me.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
2 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

I feel the GTI has been dead since the mk3,the mk4 got to fat and then VW has been actively trying to ruin it since.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
2 months ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

Nah, mk4 was one of the GOATs. 1.8T was one of the best engines they created, interior was decent, just so much more modern than the Mk3. I think a nicely modded mk4 still looks super fresh. MK7 is good too, if you like new cars. MK8 lost it. This is even further.

Joe K
Joe K
2 months ago

We have a Mk7 with the DSG since my girlfriend refuses to learn how to drive stick. I hate, hate, hate that transmission. It’s definitely the worst of anything I’ve ever driven. In regular drive it wants to upshift so much it’s maddening. In sport mode it keeps the revs up like somebody who just learned how to drive stick two days ago. There is no happy medium.

Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe K

Maybe they fixed the Mk8, because I find it intuitive and damn near perfect (I always drive in Sport, there is no advantage to “D”, I don’t sit enough for start/stop to pay):

  • If I really poke it coming off a light or something, it will only upshift once and hang a bit. It’s waiting to see what you want to do, “you just nailed the throttle, are you up for more?”
  • Downshifts are clean and never short, it will be ready in a good gear far more readily than a manual, definitely more than an automatic unless you down shift every gear.
  • While the delay to downshift to max low gear is delayed, I can’t say it much slower than the “how fast am I going, what’s max speed for x gear” calculation you make. I have also not tried the hold downshift trick to get it to downshift into the lowest gear for speed.

I don’t know the Mk7 at all, but I suggest checking the settings, or maybe use paddles if you have them. I was tired of a manual after 35 years, so I’m really happy with the DSG.

Joe K
Joe K
2 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

Re: Mk8 being better, perhaps so. Sport is better but it just really hangs the revs up for around town. In the mountains Sport is excellent.

And, yeah, if you’re realistic it downshifts faster than you possibly can in a manual. But the problem is that in a manual you’re actively downshifting, so you’re doing something. In our GTI I’m just sitting there waiting, waiting, waiting for it to downshift…

Oddly, with the shifting lag and then a bit of lag for the engine to get to its powerband, somehow my ancient Tundra FEELS like it downshifts faster. Probably because the gears are so much taller, so it never needs more than one downshift, and it has V8 torque ready to go. I doubt it’s faster by the numbers but perception is a weird thing.

Here’s a question for you: if you’re doing 35 mph on a flat road at neutral throttle (neither accelerating or decelerating, I mean) what gear does it choose? I believe the Mk7 will be in 5th at that point, which means it’s somewhere around 1500 rpm. That’s just way too low to have any responsiveness.

Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe K

So I paid attention and tried some things yesterday, so comments and updates:

  • Downshifting I didn’t pay attention yesterday, but mine downshifts on any deceleration, once the revs drop below 3.5-4k.
  • In Sport, driving “normally” it stays around 2k, yes in “D” it will drop, so while I can’t see the gear unless I’m in paddle mode (that might be a dashboard setting) it stays in a higher gear S vs. D.
  • Minus paddle hold, kicks the lowest gear in much faster, I think, than mashing the pedal.
  • Plus paddle will stop the hang, I hit it hard coming out of a corner and as it was hanging I hit + and it dropped the revs back down.

My overall opinion is just that, of course if you really like a manual, get a manual, but when it comes to “automatics” the DSG ticks all the boxes for me (except one). It behaves like a manual when I want it to, control over gears, no sloppy slushbox feel, or rubber band like CVT feeling, or I can ignore the transmission completely. The only thing I don’t get is engine braking, and that has to do with… Actually I have no idea, first week owning it I was shocked by how little engine braking there is, and as a result realizing just how much I relied on it in the WRX.

Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe K

Update: I drove around doing some errands and paid more attention, @45MPH it’s in 4th gear at 2250RPM, this is just enough throttle to keep speed, @52 or 53 the same RPM, but 5th gear.

Joe K
Joe K
2 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

I’ve been out of town for a while so I only just got a chance to check. At 45 mph is in 6th it’s doing a whopping 1350 rpm or so.

Are your numbers in drive or sport? If those numbers are with it in drive that’s a crazy difference.

Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe K

Sport.. I only drive in sport. Auto start/stop turns back on every ignition cycle but is fully disabled in sport for one reason. All the better shifting benefits for the other.

Vanagons4Eva
Vanagons4Eva
2 months ago

Thomas, either you didn’t write the headline – or you didn’t make a good argument as to why you aren’t mad. You should be mad. Everyone should be mad and scream at clouds all day.

Pappa P
Pappa P
2 months ago

Great idea with the auto. It’s worked so well with the Mazda3 Turbo and the new gen WRX. Those things are pretty much everywhere.
Those geniuses in the corporate boardroom really earned their 7 figure bonuses with this elite decision.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago

I didn’t even know they were doing this. How sad. It’s the same sadness I feel about my wife’s, friends, husbands. They refuse to make their wives orgasm. They don’t know what they’re missing. The world doesn’t know what it’s missing in driving manual transmissions.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
2 months ago

Uh what?

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
2 months ago

The comma usage alone …

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
2 months ago

“these are global cars and no-one buys manuals in other markets.” 

I thought most countries especially Britain for a long time the majority drove manuals…I know it’s less now

Vanagons4Eva
Vanagons4Eva
2 months ago
Reply to  Freelivin1327

I was just in Portugal and Spain and every car including the one they rented to us dumb Americans was a manual. I’m calling bullshit

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
2 months ago
Reply to  Vanagons4Eva

Exactly!

Aardvark775
Aardvark775
2 months ago
Reply to  Vanagons4Eva

Exactly- I go to Spain at least once a year to see family and I’ve never rented or ridden in an automatic car there, including taxis/Ubers. Some of which were VWs.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
2 months ago
Reply to  Freelivin1327

The reference was to performance models in particular. For basic stuff, yes, manuals are still rather popular. But in performance trims of all but the smallest cars, dual-clutch automatics seem to be the preference.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
2 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

Oh ok, yeah that makes more sense…Thank you for clarifying!

Acid Tonic
Acid Tonic
2 months ago

Poof like that, no manual, not even a hint of a sale from me.

Amazing how quick I can move to a different brand with a manual.

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
2 months ago

My wife and I both hoped that the GTI would stick with the stick until the bitter ICE-end, and that would be our last fossil-fueled car. But, come 2034 or whenever our Alltrack gives up the ghost, I see no reason I’d even look at the GTI. If there’s no stick, what, exactly, is a gas engine offering that electric doesn’t? AFAIC driving an auto is the same no matter what spins the wheels.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason Roth

Automatics suck. Plain and simple. I’d rather have a 3 speed auto than a 10 speed auto. The fewer lines of code we have a bunch job hopping salary chasin developers write the better. The reality is, cars used to be engineered by farmers sons and daughters and they were electro-mechanical marvels. Now they are rolling computers developed by Karen’s kids.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
2 months ago

Extreme boomer energy

Lardo
Lardo
2 months ago

I was looking for the s/

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago

Good. I’m glad I’m so out there that people have no idea what generation I am. Hint, I’m not a boomer.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
2 months ago

Boomer energy is a state of mind

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago

So you’re insulting a whole generation to insult someone else who has an opinion you don’t like. Do you want to talk about cars or just be an NPC?

Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago

I’m a boomer and love my GTI DSG..

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
2 months ago

Good news: your imagined hellscape of soulless calibration engineers is entirely false!

I know loads of calibration engineers, and for every one that is meticulously coding everything to be perfect there is another one who is meticulously coding everything to be perfect while thinking about the insane engine swapped or inappropriately boosted car they have at home.

I’m an engineer and I work for OEMs. My dad was also an engineer, not a farmer, so I guess nothing I’ve done is a marvel.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain Muppet

Bad news. You’re an engineer using your single data point to make the same style of blanket statement as I am. Thus proving my point that modern engineers suck balls at their jobs.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
2 months ago

My “single data point” is about 30 guys, working at several different OEMs.

I haven’t made it on to the front cover of Automotive Engineer magazine for over a decade, so clearly what little engineering talent I had has run out.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain Muppet

Can your SAE buddies really be used as a barometer on transmission calibration quality?

For some reason I woke up and chose to rip on engineers. Pardon!

What can I say. My username says it all. 😉

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
2 months ago

It’s just anecdotal evidence, which doesn’t really count as evidence.

I’ve been trying to work out what your username meant, and it was only just now when I read it out loud that I got it.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain Muppet

I’ve been trying to work out what your username meant, and it was only just now when I read it out loud that I got it.

My best friends name is Bud Tugly.

https://www.cartalk.com/content/staff-credits

Noodles Gargamel
Noodles Gargamel
2 months ago

If I bought one I would immediately remove those tacky door badges but ALSO move the rear GTI badge and put it in its rightful place in the lower left.

Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago

One of the things I liked in the Mk8 was they kept the GTI badges historically minimal. On the center placement, yeah, on that I agree.

Brandt S
Brandt S
2 months ago

The placement (and scale) of the GTI badge on the door rather than the fenders looks more like a bad body shop screw-up rather than a factory placement. I’d take those off immediately after delivery.

Holly Birge
Holly Birge
2 months ago

Think I’ll hang on to my manual Mk 7.5.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago

“Less stellar is the giant GTI lettering on each front door.”

I had to look like 3 more times before I finally found the GTI badge. It’s like 1″ tall and is so far from being giant.

Anyways, no manual=bad.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago

Honestly I think MK8 looks great-I might be in the minority but I actually prefer the looks to the Mk7 (EXCEPT those stupid door badges are ugly AF) But even with VW bringing back steering wheel buttons, no manual equals no deal for me. Yes DSG is great is you want a sporty auto, yes it’s faster than I can shift, but it’s less fun for all driving except bumper to bumper traffic and extracting max speed at the track. Frankly at this point bring on the EV version, or at least give us the performance hybrid GTE that’s available in Europe if it’s going to be auto only.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
2 months ago

The door badges look cheap, the previous fender badge was far superior. I think I’ll find used Mk7 6MT

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
2 months ago

That iPad on the dash needs to be ripped out. OMG.

Now, there no reason to buy a GTI at all.

The end of the Golf dynasty is nigh.

Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
2 months ago

No manual, no care. End of discussion.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

I actually haven’t minded the looks of the Mk8 and still don’t (other than that badge placement on the doors), but throughout the run of the Mk8 I’ve been glad I never felt the pull to getting another one. I don’t doubt it performs better and better, but it’s continued to get pricier, even relative to everything else that has gotten so much more expensive over the years. A base 2024 S starts just about where the SE was 5 years ago, and an SE is like $7k more comparably equipped.

If you’re just after a nice, fun daily from VW, the GLI is a bit of a bargain – an Autobahn GLI starts at the same as a GTI S but gives you more of the content of upper GTIs. Hopefully the manual sticks around in the GLI a bit longer but not counting on it. And for the GLI manual you’re at least not forced into a black roof and wheels like the GTI 380.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago

While I have told the tales of the horrors that the EA888 has wreaked on my family and I here many times, I won’t go into them again at this juncture. At the end of the day my first new car that I ever bought was a GTI and I practically sprinted to buy it. I’d wanted one since I was a teenager and have always respected the GTI as an institution and recognized it as a very influential car.

…that being said, count me among the “it peaked with the MK7.5” committee. I owned one and that car was great (reliability and tendency to incinerate consumables aside) because it struck a perfect balance. It was comfortable enough. It was fast enough. There was enough tech but not too much. It felt current while still feeling old school. The front half of the interior was mostly soft touch material even in the base trims…and they were cheap.

It feels crazy now but in 2018-2020 or so you could get into a new base GTI for like $26,000 because dealerships had money on the hoods, and VW did frequent 0% financing promotions. But anyway, the MK8 lost the plot. It took the look from understated but classy to a weird mishmash of modern stuff. They made the interior lower quality too! Goodbye soft touch everything….

It went from having the tech you need and nothing you don’t to having ALL OF THE TECH, BRO! They made the plaid seats way more subtle, and of course there’s the hellish infotainment. This is a minor step forward with the steering wheel buttons rather than piano black haptic thingamajigs, but you still have ridiculous haptic sliders for the volume and climate. Have fun with that!

Ugh. I have no interest whatsoever in a Golf in 2024. Obviously the fact that mine had so many issues has tainted my opinion of them, but it’s been long enough that I could maybe be convinced to reconsider and play VAG Russian Roulette if the package was super appealing.

But it isn’t! I switched to an N for a reason and if I was shopping in this class today I’d still choose one. The things that made the GTI appealing aren’t really there in the same way that they used to be. And now the manual option is gone? Blegh. Mine was DSG and it’s a good transmission but not having the option for a stick is pretty damn lame.

I know that MK8 Gang will be here any minute to fiercely defend their cars, and as I always say…if you’re into it then good for you! Enjoy it. Have fun with it. But I no longer see the appeal, and it’s kind of a bummer because like I said I wanted a GTI since I was a teenager…and meeting my hero was kind of anticlimactic. And the current version is worse than the one I had/that most people say was one of the best iterations? No thanks.

And if you are considering a GTI do yourself a favor and test drive and Elantra N. The new ones are way less weird looking and the driving experience is in another league entirely. Plus…available in stick!

Last edited 2 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago

I too had a Mk7.5 (6-spd wagon 4mo), and the mk8.5 steering wheel buttons appear to be the Mk7 steering wheel buttons with slightly updated molds and graphics, which will no doubt be a massive improvement over capacitive controls because those steering wheel buttons were excellent. That improvement aside that interior is absolutely atrocious still, looks far too cheap, still has asinine touch screen controls for everything, and an even more stressed EA888 which will only cause pain long term. GTI absolutely peaked at Mk7.5, and because of how good my relatively basic golf wagon was, it puts me firmly into the “never a Mk8” camp, especially when Hyundai N cars, Civic Type R and GR Corolla all exist instead

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago

Maybe it’s good I’m reading this-had just about talked myself into thinking I could put up with the reliability gamble of a lower mileage MK7 for my next car as there’s not much else in the price bracket I’m looking at $15K-$20K that matches its blend of performance and drivability. Maybe a WRX but they’re even harder to find clean and unmolested than GTi.

Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago

Trust me it won’t be worth it long term. I bought my ’18 GSW 4mo 6-sp new and traded it in on a new CX-30 in Dec. 2022, with under 60k miles and the water pump was already on its way out, and threw a low coolant warning the DAY before I went to trade it in. I count myself lucky that I got out of it before anything expensive hit. It was a great driving car, and I really did love it, but the long term maintenance costs that were creeping up scared me straight into something more reliable. That and my CX-30 is a turbo and 320 lb-ft of torque stomps my old golfs 190, and while it doesn’t have the same German bank vault build quality, is something I won’t worry about putting 100k miles on.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

Funny you bring that up been shopping the CX30 and CX5 as a replacement car for my wife that will also serve as our trip car and something I can take skiing. Been trying to talk her into the turbo even though she’s the primary driver. We drove a naturally aspirated one and really liked it except the visibility, did you get used to the small windows? We’d both prefer the smaller size over the CX5 but both of us felt a little claustrophobic in it-actually planning on test driving one again this weekend to give it a second shot (and maybe I can get her into a turbo-nearly everybody says they dont’ care about fast car until they drive one imo)

Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago

I don’t have any issues with visibility or it feeling claustrophobic although I have the tan leatherette interior and that makes a WORLD of difference over the far more common black interior, and my mom has the light colored leather on her CX-9 which has a similar effect, albeit on a much larger car. I’d also say give the CX-50 a shot over the CX-5, and while I haven’t driven the CX-50 personally, the upgraded infotainment and switchgear the CX-30 and CX-50 have over the CX-5 (and my moms CX-9/dad’s ND Miata) is far more responsive, ergonomic and imho better looking. I haven’t driven the NA CX-30 but after owning the Turbo for a bit over a year and 10k miles, I couldn’t possibly go for an NA, the 5.5ish 0-60 speed and boat load of torque everywhere in the rev range makes it an exceptional daily.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

Thanks for the info! The problem with the CX-50 is especially with the turbo motor it’s just pushing out of our budget-and it’s bigger than she really wants (we live in the city and have to street park).

755_SoCalRally
755_SoCalRally
2 months ago

I have a 2023 CX-50 (after I sold my well loved 2014 CX-5) and I really like the look and feel of the -50. I also street park, although I don’t live in the heart of the city so having a larger vehicle isn’t as big an issue. The price difference over a -30 is an understandable concern.

I’ve driven the -30 and -50 with and without the turbo…and you probably know what the right answer is there.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago
Reply to  755_SoCalRally

thanks for the input! If the car was primarily for me I would would very much want the cx50 turbo. Maybe I’ll talk her into going for a drive in the cx50 if we’re at the mazda dealer anyway and see what she thinks.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago

The CX30 Turbo is a pretty sweet little ride and if I didn’t have my Kona N there’s a good chance I’d be in one.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago

I wish Hyundai had made the Kona N with AWD and a stick (though not surprised they don’t) I would be seriously thinking about selling my DD + my project car to pick one up.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago

I mean, the FWD/LSD setup is really good and they put a lot of work into the N differential. I’ve driven mine in all sorts of bad weather and on the track and it’s never really left me wanting for AWD.

And the DCT is the best I’ve ever driven FWIW. You can alter how it behaves in the customization menus and in its crazier settings it has a super mechanical feel. It’ll also let you bash it against the rev limiter to your heart’s content and the paddles are big and feel nice.

Is it an adequate manual substitute? Probably not, but as far as autos go it’s as engaging as it gets. I’d recommend you drive an N with the DCT and noodle around with it sometime. It’s really goddamn good for what it is.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago

Good to know! FWD with a LSD is about the only drivetrain combo I haven’t had a chance to experience in the snow+rain (I live in the PNW with frequent trips to MT) and was part of the reason for me to consider a GTi over a Focus ST. I have driven a BMW DCT on an M3 flat out so I have an idea how good a dual clutch can be-and I will admit for all my ragging on VW about it, it is still a way better enthusiast option than a regular auto. It is something to consider-I’d been eyeballing the Elantra N but prefer hatches and I actually kind of prefer the Kona’s funky looks to the Elantra’s. Probably would try both when I get to that point.

Clark B
Clark B
2 months ago

For me, the sweet spot is the MKV platform. I’ve had two cars that ride on it, a 2009 GTI (got t-boned otherwise I’d still be driving it) and my current 2014 Sportwagen TDI, both six-speed manuals in the excellent Tornado Red color. Yes, the MKV platform is not as refined NVH-wise as later models, nor does it have much tech. But for me it’s the perfect balance. I have heated seats, heated mirrors, Bluetooth, cruise, a nice basic MFD…that’s all I really want. Mine is lowered and I love what that did to the handling. My GTI was a blast on the track, and it doesn’t take much to make a regular MKV-platform VW fun to drive. Plus, the aftermarket is excellent, offering a million ways you can make the car your own. Once my Dieselgate warranty is up I plan on doing a mild tune, which will bring it close, performance-wise, to a MKV GTI. That’s good enough for me. I have no interest in owning a VW any newer than the one I’ve got now.

Last edited 2 months ago by Clark B
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago

“I could maybe be convinced to reconsider and play VAG Russian Roulette if the package was super appealing.”

Sounds like you’ve got your weekend all worked out.

Al Camino
Al Camino
2 months ago

In the straight ahead dash photo, the 2 gauges look like eyes, and the steering wheel center pad and bottom spokes look like a nose and a mouth. Cow, horse, donkey, clown?

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
2 months ago
Reply to  Al Camino

Yup. I get smiling cartoon cow. I was thinking Borden Dairy logo, but that’s not quite right. Someone help me out.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
2 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

I get Laughing Cow cheese from that picture:

https://www.thelaughingcow.com/

Al Camino
Al Camino
2 months ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Yup, it’s the Laughing Cow! Nice job!
The Mk8 LC Edition.

Last edited 2 months ago by Al Camino
David Findlay
David Findlay
2 months ago

The wheels do remind me of those on my ’96 145 Cloverleaf from back when I still lived in the UK.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
2 months ago

I’m not mad about it. I understand why they did it. What I don’t understand is why anyone would buy it.

Clark B
Clark B
2 months ago

As has been expressed by others and myself on here, VW has lost their way, at least in America. I could write pages about this, but I won’t because the topic has been beaten to death. It’s just sad that a company that once had unique offerings for regular folks and enthusiasts both has diluted itself to the dated Jetta, three crossovers/SUVs that are identical apart from size, and the Golf R/GTI. I always forget about the ID.4, probably because it’s one of the most boring things I’ve ever seen. Not counting the Bus because it’s not here yet. Used to VW offered something that felt just a bit more premium than the competition, in whatever category you bought. My ex’s mom used to have a 2004 Taurus and my ex had a 2005 Passat wagon–two full size cars built from the late 90s to around 2005, but holy fuck the VW was nicer in every way than the Taurus, and it was like that for many VWs. (Yes, I know, they were overcomplicated and tended to fall apart after 100k, but we are talking new cars here). Now, there’s nothing special about VWs, so why the fuck would you go through all the potential reliability headaches? I’ve always been a VW guy, currently have a 2014 Sportwagen TDI and a 1972 Super Beetle. But I don’t recommend anyone buy a VW any more. Unless they want a cheap stickshift sedan, the Jetta is at least good for that.

VW’s competitors are still offering manuals in many of their performance models, and while I admit it probably made financial sense for them to axe the manual globally…it just feels like VW has given up on the people that were once the brand’s biggest fans. I’m stopping myself here because I could go on…

Holly Birge
Holly Birge
2 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

I’m still bitter that North America never got the VW California van. So I agree that VW has really lost its way in the US/Canadian markets. Hanging onto my Mk 7.5 GTI until they put me in the ground.

Greensoul
Greensoul
2 months ago

No tartan plaid seats=No deal. That tacked on looking screen inside is just awful to behold.

Jj
Jj
2 months ago

That screen looks like it will fall off during cornering.

It’s so poorly integrated that it looks like an Ipad mounted to the dash vents.

I’m disappointed in the transmission, but that just means one less car to shop. GTI’s been in the running for a couple of purchases and never quite makes it to the finals anyway, so this just saves me time.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
2 months ago

Why is the GTI badge on the door?????

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
2 months ago

Fuck you, that’s why. When will you understand that Volkswagen knows better than you! The infotainment isn’t bad, you’re just dumb! The radiator hose directly piped under the oil filter isn’t in the way, you just can’t do it right! The GTI badge is on the door because that’s where it’s best!

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

Yeah, that placement didn’t look natural when Toyota put the trim badge in the same position on older Highlanders, it doesn’t look right floating in the middle of the door on a Chevy like the Malibu, and it doesn’t good here either. It makes me regret grumbling about the sort of fender vent looking thing like the pre-facelift and Mk7 had just ahead of the door. What’s the R going to have there, just a giant R?

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
2 months ago

Hey man. They put the buttons back on the steering wheel. They had to balance things out by doing something stupid somewhere else.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
2 months ago

Unpimp ze auto!

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
2 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Man that is so real. They need to revisit their own advertizing. This thing is a toad.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago

Hasn’t the GTI always had the badge behind the fenders? Why is it on the door now? It’s making me uncomfortable

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
2 months ago

That is a weird spot. Thanks/no thanks for pointing it out.

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