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2009 Volkswagen GTI

Overview
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2009 Volkswagen GTI Review

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Costing well under $25,000, the 2009 Volkswagen GTI returns to its roots by infusing razor-sharp handling with spirited acceleration. Thanks to the GTI's clever hatchback design, drivers can enjoy true German-engineered performance without having to sacrifice comfort for four people or a roomy cargo hold. Although now larger and heavier than the original car, the GTI remains a manageable size and features its most powerful engine to date: A turbocharged 2.0-liter unit pumping out 200 horsepower. Drivers can choose between a slick-shifting six-speed manual or Volkswagen's marvelous Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic, which is without question the best auto-manual transmission money can buy.

You'll Like This Car If...

A powerful, flexible engine combined with flat, responsive handling, a lot of grip in the corners and front-wheel-drive predictability make the 2009 Volkswagen GTI a joy to drive enthusiastically wherever appropriate.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2009 Volkswagen GTI out-muscles the Honda Civic Si, MINI Cooper S and Mazda MAZDA3 s, it's also 400 to 600 pounds heavier than those competitors. In fact, this biggest GTI ever weighs as much as Volkswagen's Passat midsize sedan. The extra weight isn't readily apparent, but it's certainly no advantage, either.

What's New for 2009

The Cold Weather package, which features heated washer nozzles and heated seats, is now standard equipment on every 2009 GTI.

Driving the GTI

Driving Impressions The 2009 Volkswagen GTI drives as true to the original as a 3,300-pound, turbocharged car can be expected. It's on the heavy side, but steering is razor-sharp and cornering grip...

is tenacious and flat (a mid-corner bump can startle the GTI, but it recovers quickly). It's turbocharged, but turbo lag is virtually non-existent, boost is silky, there's plenty of torque available almost immediately and torque steer has been all but eliminated. Like the best GTIs before it, the newest is fun around town and confidence-inspiring on even unfamiliar mountain and canyon roads. The six-speed manual works like a charm, but it doesn't take too long to be won over by the six-speed DSG gearbox that shifts quickly and smoothly at the push of a button. The highway ride might be stiff for some, but anyone expecting this level of performance might find it downright comfortable.

Six-Speed Direct Shift Gearbox
In stop-and-go traffic it's a smooth-shifting automatic transmission. On your favorite road or track it's a quick-shifting, no-pedal manual. You won't miss the clutch pedal as much as you may think.

Front Seats
Well-bolstered heated cloth seats and even deeper leather ones provide plenty of support to keep you from having to fight the lateral forces you're having so much fun generating. They're also supremely comfortable.

2009 Volkswagen GTI Details
2009 Volkswagen GTI photo Interior

The interior of the GTI is crafted with a level of materials and build quality that outclasses some very good competition. Highlights include aluminum pedals and trim, leather steering wheel, handbrake and shift knob and a cooled storage compartment under the front armrest. At night, controls are illuminated in Volkswagen's now-familiar blue and red scheme. In back, passengers get their own heating, ventilation and air conditioning vents, while a 60/40 split folding seatback extends the car's hatchback functionality. Did we mention the fantastic heated sport bucket seats? They are arguably the best in this class.

Exterior
2009 Volkswagen GTI photo

In homage to first- and second-generation GTIs, the newest model features a thin red grille surround and original-style GTI logos. Other highlights include a honeycomb mesh grille, low-set fog lights, mirror-integrated turn indicators, discreet rear spoiler and red brake calipers visible through 17-inch wheels. As practicality is still a hallmark of the VW brand, a four-door version is also available. Oddly, VW packages the available sunroof with the 18-inch Hufeisen alloy wheels, meaning if you wish to choose one of the other various available wheels you must either forego the sunroof or pay for an extra set of rims.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on a base GTI includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission, HID xenon headlamps with washers, fog lights, power locks with remote keyless entry, one-touch power windows, heated power mirrors, heated front seats and washer nozzles, air conditioning, cruise control, multifunction trip computer, 10-speaker AM/FM/6CD-MP3 sound system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, cloth sport seats, tilt and telescoping leather steering wheel with audio and telephone controls (plus paddle shifters on DSG-equipped models), leather shift knob and 17-inch wheels. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags, plus electronic stability and traction aids. Summer performance tires can be swapped for all-season performance tires at no cost.

Optional Equipment

Equipment not included on a base GTI includes a six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), rear seat side-impact airbags (four-door models), the Sunroof Package which adds a power glass sunroof and 18-inch wheels, and the Autobahn Package which adds leather sport seats with power-adjustable lumbar. Also available is a premium sound system, a host of 17- and 18-inch wheel options and a 30 gigabyte hard drive navigation system.

Under the Hood

The GTI's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine benefits from FSI direct fuel injection that helps to counteract turbo lag and provide more of the low-end torque that's long been a GTI calling card. The optional six-speed DSG transmission adds just over $1,000 to the price but provides slightly quicker zero to 60-miles-per-hour runs (just 6.8 seconds, according to VW) and marginally better combined fuel economy.

2.0-liter in-line 4
200 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 (manual), 22/29 (automatic)

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2009 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 188 Ratings for the 2006 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Great little car

By on Sunday, July 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling is amazing. Seating position is perfect."

Cons: "Depreciation is a little high."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Not the highest horsepower sports coupe, but also not the priciest. The turbocharged 200-HP engine and perfect gear ratios make it a very quick car. There's virtually no turbo lag. I think it's great value for the money. Still has contemporary looks. I prefer the manual trans' over the DSG. The standard seating is very supportive and grippy. The HID headlamps make for great forward vision. Overall, a great little car. I'd buy another one except that I need a larger vehicle now."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

first and last

By on Saturday, April 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great fuel economy"

Cons: "$$$ to maintain,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This is a pocket personality car $$$ expensive to own and maintain. This is a great summer car but cannot handle the Ohio winters and roads. This was my 1st VW and it will be my last."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Awesome GTI

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great value, great experience, a lot of mods avail"

Cons: "horrible speakers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I absolutely love my GTI. I have been a VW nut my whole life, but only have owned older beetles and eurovans. I absolutely LOVE this car! The engine has power and the handling is great. I let a buddy of mine drive my car (because I had a couple beers) and he absolutely loves it."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great road-holding car!

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great handling and ultimate utility; I regularly car-top my bikes and kayaks to mtns. and rivers. Excellent MPG and hi-performance too. Super reliable. What more could you want?!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great Value, A Lot of Fun to Drive!

By on Thursday, February 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great Value, Blast to Drive, Adequate MPG"

Cons: "Reliability could be better,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I currently own a 2008 model year VW GTI that I bought new in December 2007. In short, it's been a great car. The GTI might not be "class leading" in anyone specific category - but when you look at the entire package, I'm not sure what else offers a better value. The car drives great, interior fit & finish looks like it belongs in a much more expensive category, and still looks pretty good almost 7 years after buying. Don't buy the FSI motor, it tends to have issues with the fuel pump. Mine has gone out twice. TSI is better and I believe available in 2008.5 and up models. Car does burn a considerable amount of oil. 10K oil change interval that requires a full quart or more to be added every 2,500 miles."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Absolutely love my GTI

By on Monday, February 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Blast to drive, handles really well, quick"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had this car for about a year now and it has been a dream come true. I love everything about my little VW. Handles like a dream, gets decent gas milage, and is very easy on the eyes. The interior is well crafted and everything feels like it's exactly where it should be. The back seat (even in my little 2 door) is spacious enough to comfortably fit two full grown men. I would happily stand by this car and recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and sporty little hatchback."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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