The fact that Volkswagen didn't change the turbocharged 2-liter engine from the 2009 to the 2010 GTI might make you think this model update is all cosmetic, but you would be wrong. With a direct injected four-cylinder engine and the optional Direct Shift Gearbox, a dual-clutch automated manual, there just wasn't much room for improvement in the power train. So Volkswagen took on the handling tech, putting an electronic power steering in the GTI and adding an electronic limited slip.
And sure, the body presents smooth sides, a style very much in vogue now among automotive designers, and a new, wide front grille look. But the GTI also gets greatly improved cabin tech, taking on Volkswagen's new hard drive-based navigation system and a Dynaudio sound system. And even without the navigation option present, the car still gets a touch-screen LCD for the stereo.
Through the cones We spent some time with the 2010 Volkswagen GTI, getting the opportunity to run it through a couple of autocross courses, a track marked out by cones with sharp turns that really test the car's handling. We also put the car through its paces on some public roads, and dug through the cabin electronics.
The GTI's ride is reasonably comfortable, which is actually impressive considering how it performed on the autocross course. As we threw it into hairpin turns and guided it through S curves, all the action was at the front wheels. … Read more