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2013 Volkswagen GTI

Overview
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2013 Volkswagen GTI Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

2013 is the final year for this sixth-generation VW Golf; an all-new model should arrive in the U.S in 2014. But, considering its age, the current Golf/GTI/Golf R is holding up pretty well, this despite fierce competition from newer cars such as the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. Available in either 2- or 4-door hatchback form, the Golf provides a versatile cabin composed of quality materials and some of the most comfortable and supportive seats in the business. The turbocharged GTI and R trims provide affordable performance in a practical package. But, it's the diesel-powered TDI models that really impress, with gobs of torque for fast starts and a highway fuel-economy rating of 42 mpg.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for small hatchback that is as fun to drive as it is versatile, Volkswagen's 2013 Golf deserves your attention. In GTI form, the Golf delivers go-kart-like performance without sacrificing comfort or economy, and the TDI offers the best fuel economy in the segment.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Golf can be pricey, especially when compared to comparably equipped models from Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Mazda. Some may find that the big wheel/tire package on the GTI and Golf R renders a rather harsh ride.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the manual transmission is dropped from the base Golf 4-door model, while all cars now have a standard front center armrest and front and rear floor mats. The GTI gets a new golf-ball-style shifter and new wheels.

Driving the GTI

Driving Impressions Because it shares the same platform and major suspension components as the GTI, the 2013 VW Golf enjoys a level of solidity and stability rarely found in an entry-level model....

The Golf's ride is smooth, its steering direct and responsive and its cabin luxury-car quiet. The 5-cylinder gasoline engine won't overwhelm you with either power or personality, but is more than up to the job. The 2.0-liter TDI diesel is our favorite choice, providing acceleration almost as rapid as the GTI's turbocharged engine with fuel economy that can't be beat. Opt for the 200-horsepower GTI and you have a confluence of both more capability and an almost serene driving environment – this isn't the hot hatch for a youngster, it's the responsive hatch for a youthful psychology. If you're lucky enough to secure the all-wheel-drive Golf R, plan for high-speed driving at any appropriate venue in any appropriate season.

TDI DIESEL ENGINE
With all of the discussion surrounding hybrid and electric powertrains, diesel remains the well-proven leader in efficiency and longevity. The 2013 Golf's 2.0-liter TDI is efficient, versatile and responsive. That combination should please both the enthusiast behind the wheel and the accountant keeping track of monthly costs.

INTERIOR MATERIALS
The Golf's interior design may not be as cutting edge as is the Ford Focus or Hyundai Elantra, but its Audi-like materials, fit and finish leave everyone else running to catch up.

2013 Volkswagen GTI Details
Interior

Volkswagen describes the 2013 Golf interior as one that continues to "set the quality benchmark in its class." And we wouldn't disagree; the Golf employs a mixture of design and execution rarely found at window stickers fully twice that of the Golf. Throughout the Golf interior, from seat choices to the dash and center stack, you'll not be disappointed by the Golf's visual and tactile performance. And its functional acumen is underscored by an info-centric dash, form-fitting bucket seats and high-lift tailgate. The GTI and Golf R take the interior one step further, with an ergonomic steering wheel, aggressive sport seats and more comprehensive instrumentation.

Exterior

Visually the 2013 Golf/GTI doesn't veer far from the boxy formula that has been the car's trademark since its introduction nearly 40 years ago. The crisp, shark crease running the length of the Golf adds, we're told, "visual movement" to the car, while its sweptback headlights heighten the Golf's athletic look. On the Golf TDI Clean Diesel with the Tech Package are LED daytime running lights that sit along the sides and base of the headlights. The 2013 Golf is an evolution of a design that worked from the git-go, and continues to work because its design team refuses to dramatically alter its innate goodness.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on the 2013 VW Golf includes a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, power windows with auto up/down, air conditioning, split-folding rear seat with armrest and pass-through, radio with single CD, and dual polished exhaust tips. Adding the Convenience Group ups the ante with heated front seats and Bluetooth technology. Convenience-and-Sunroof goes beyond the addition of the sunroof with Premium VIII touch-screen radio, Sirius satellite radio and an MDI with an iPod cable. The GTI and Golf R receive unique fascias and badging, along with a stance – via more aggressive rubber – that conveys both higher ambition and capabilities.

Optional Equipment

Most notable among choices in the VW showroom is the 2.0-liter TDI diesel. Car companies with operations in the U.S. have been uniformly slow in adapting diesel's benefits – abundant torque and high efficiency – to U.S.-based (or bound) platforms. VW and Mercedes continue to show the way, and the benefits of the diesel in a Golf-sized package are many. Beyond the diesel, we'd cite the Golf's available DSG gearbox (optional on diesel-equipped Golfs), whose efficiency and immediacy are a perfect complement to the diesel's 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.

Under the Hood

Although the Golf's base 5-cylinder powerplant doesn't receive a huge amount of love from VW's enthusiast base, it's proven to be eminently sensible for the cut-and-thrust of daily driving, offering reasonable horsepower, smoothness and efficiency; its most damning descriptive is that it's simply not much fun. That can't be said for the 2.0 TDI, offering abundant torque, awesome efficiency and a driving experience as visceral as VW. Given the diesel's $5K premium, however, you should weigh your driving needs, and costs, carefully. You'll need to drive a significant amount in a diesel to recover its higher initial purchase price. Performance enthusiasts can enjoy the GTI's warmed-up 2.0-liter turbo-4 offering 200 horsepower, or its more boosted variation – with 256 horsepower – available in the Golf R.

2.5-liter inline-5 (Golf)
170 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 mpg (manual), 24/31 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-4 (TDI)
140 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/42 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (GTI)
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg (manual), 24/33 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Golf R)
256 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
243 lb-ft of torque @ 2,400-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg

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2013 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 9 Ratings for the 2013 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.2/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

First VW ive owned and second German car- Love it

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

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: "Comfortable and roomy for a 'compact' car.."

Cons: "None as of 7k miles!"

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

"Ive had countless cars, sports, muscle, a few luxury as well. And this is one of, if not my favorite car ive owned.. I battle with the idea of trading it in for a Benz, but without REAL leather seats im not going to pay 50-60k for a car, the value just isn't there.. The GTI Atbn is smooth, quiet, comfortable to ride in even with the 18 inch wheels and 40 series tires. It is good on gas but has the turbo for a little fun every so often, and is made with quality materials in and out.. There are no rattles or vibrations, which is one the reasons I cant stand most American cars.. Overall I would buy it again with no hesitation!"

15 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Makes Driving Fun!!! :D

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, great fit and finish inside and out."

Cons: "sm media screen, no back up cam, no pwr seats"

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

"An overall, very enjoyable car! Makes you want to take all the backroads to avoid people slowing you down! Very responsive in the engine and steering, and keeps up with some of the best sports cars out there! A lot of bang for your buck!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

great bang for the buck!

By on Friday, May 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,700

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"excellent fit and finish! The Autobahn package came me everything I wanted in the car. Have had the vehicle for over on year and have had zero recall/warranty work done on it. Love the size, gas mileage (when not on spirited drives) and looks. The head lights even swivel when making turns to help illuminate the roadway. Got an Audi but paid VW prices. Highly recommend this car."

4 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Best car I have ever owned

By on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Loads of fun to drive"

Cons: "Cannot think of anything bad about the GTI"

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

"If you are in the market for a fun car that can serve as a daily driver and great utility, then this is the car for you. On the freeway it is fantastic, it has the horsepower to get you into a tight fit and do it in a hurry but that is nothing compared to what it can do in the twisty bits, it can corner on rails and has plenty of torque to accelerate through the apex with very little turbo lag. BTW, the max torque shows up at just 1750 RPMs! The seats are great, holds you in place nicely and are very comfortable on long trips. I have the bi-xenon lights that light up the sky! I got as many options as I could up to but not including the leather seats, the plaid is just, well, GTI what else can be said. I also have the six speed manual gearbox, would not have it any other way, it is butter smooth and allows me much more control of the car. I cannot speak highly enough about the GTI, it is for the money, a phenom! The fit and finish is miles above the competition. I looked at the Mazda Speed 3 and the Ford Focus STI, both have some things that are better, but overall, neither comes close to the GTI. If you are considering a new purchase, don't walk, run and get yourself into one of these, you will not have any regrets!"

19 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Love GTIs!

By on Sunday, September 15, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great handling, comfortable"

Cons: "none"

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

"Bought a new 2013 Wolfsburg Edition GTI. My first car was a new 1983 GTI, so it seemed logical to get one 30 years later! Only have 1200 miles, but it has been great. Fun to drive, very comfortable (I'm 6'2"), good looks. Love the feel of the turbo, handling is super. I almost got a TDI for the mileage, but I splurged and got the GTI, even though the fuel cost may be higher. The fun factor is definitely higher!"

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Really enjoy driving this car

By on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I purchased my GTI in February 2013 and currently have 7500 miles on it. I am really enjoying it. It's less horsepower than my previous car (Saab) but very fun to drive. The turbo helps and it has really nice steering and handling. It hugs the road and feels very stable taking turns at higher speeds. The interior is also very nice - the red stitching and plaid seats give it some personality. Two features that I think should be standard on this car but are not include - radio controls mounted on the steering wheel and automatic climate control. I miss both, particularly the steering wheel mounted radio controls. That being said, I could not be happier with this car."

11 people out of 19 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

Buying this car?