Volkswagen's original hot hatch, the GTI, moves into 2018 with more power for the base model, refreshed styling, a few new standard features and no more three-door body style.
To kick things off, the Performance trim level is gone, but its uprated 220-hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine sticks around to become the base mill. As before, it's available with a choice of six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions, the latter of which now comes with auto start/stop technology.
Other new features include LED daytime running lights and taillights, LED fog lights, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
Key competition comes from Honda's all-new Civic Si, Hyundai's Elantra GT (with its optional turbocharged motor) and the Ford Focus ST. The GTI is a neat thing as sporty cars go, combining fun performance with understated styling and a very practical interior, especially now that all that's left is the family-friendly four-door body.
Base GTI spec carried over from last year's model includes 17-inch wheels, eight-way manually adjustable seats, ambient interior lighting, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, heated front seats, flat-bottom steering wheel, reverse camera and a USB audio input.
This year, the uplevel Autobahn trim is augmented with the addition of adaptive LED headlights (replacing Xenon) and leather seating with a 12-way power driver's seat with lumbar. Gone is the blind spot detection system, which has been shuffled out to the optional driver assistance package. Other standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors, navigation, eight-speaker Fender sound system, proximity key with push-button start, panoramic sunroof, LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, and more.
Both base and Autobahn models can be had with the driver assistance package we mentioned above, which ads adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, lane assist and automatic high beams. However, the base with that package car loses park assist and park distance control, which are now limited to the Autobahn trim.
And because leather seating is now standard, last year's Autobahn leather package has been replaced by a Clark cloth option (again, Autobahn-only) that brings back the GTI's iconic plaid upholstery, and deletes the power driver's seat so that both front chairs have eight-way adjustment with lumbar and power recline.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed