Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
Taut, agile and quick, this version of Volkswagen's venerable hot hatch is fun to drive and so much more. The GTI is one of the most practical choices among sporty cars. It's quiet, civilized and doesn't wear you out on long drives. The interior is very well finished, with luxurious materials, comfortably supportive seats and a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use infotainment system.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2002. ESC available from 2002, standard from 2006.
Road Test

Taut, agile and quick, this version of Volkswagen's venerable hot hatch is fun to drive and so much more. The GTI is one of the most practical choices among sporty cars. It's quiet, civilized and doesn't wear you out on long drives. The interior is very well finished, with luxurious materials, comfortably supportive seats and a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use infotainment system. Now in its seventh generation, the GTI has matured into a capable, refined and sophisticated piece of machinery with the latest electronic features.

Power comes from a 210-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, matched to either a six-speed manual, or a six-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automated manual transmission. The engine provides plenty of grunt with either transmission, although the DSG lacks the finesse of a conventional automatic around town. We recorded 29 mpg overall with our manual transmission car, which is commendable for this kind of performance.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
2-door hatchback
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (220 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (210 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Volkswagen GTI owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“rear wheels squeak when starting cold and it goes away after several miles of driving”

Dennis L., VA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Rear view mirror housing rattle fixed on warranty, no problem”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“- there's a vibration buzz from the latch on the bin between the front seats - a rattle from the sunroof when it's closed, goes away when it's opened - an undetermined mild thumping going over bumps, sounds like it might be the folding rear seats,”

Rob B., AB (2015 Volkswagen GTI Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Driver seat creaks badly”

Charles F., OH (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Minor creaking in driver's side door panel. Slight occasional creaking from center of dashboard under vent seams”

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Rattle from the bin lid between the front seats - fixed on warranty. Rattle from the back seat armrest - fixed on warranty. Sunroof rattle - fixed on warranty”

Rob B., AB (2015 Volkswagen GTI Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“the door seals squeak when driving on uneven pavement or hitting bumps”

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Rattle from hatchback”

Tony Z., MI (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Exhaust came loose causing a rattle. Repaired”

Eric W., OK (2015 Volkswagen GTI Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“noise emanated from the sun roof and Volkswagen had a fix kit which they applied free of charge. Problem eliminated”

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“sun roof has annoying squeaks every time you hit a bump. Really annoying!”

Anonymous, IL (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The dealer left the 'shipping pucks' in during their PDI of the car. These are used to shorten the suspension travel during shipment when new. They caused an abnormally rough ride and strange clicking noises until the dealer caught their mistake. This is a common problem, according to GTI forums”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The Sunroof as a strange squeakiness when it is cold. If I open it slightly, it is fine, like the rubber is rubbing the roof when it is closed. Chassis has a creak to it but probably just needs another lube”

Anonymous, PA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Drivers side window”

Tony Z., MI (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Worse than when new”

Anonymous, MA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Air or water leaks

“rain water streaming into trunk when trunk lid is raised as a result of a bolt that was not installed at the factory”

William B., WA (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel pump

“Fuel pump broke down 2 weeks after receiving car. Suffered 4 days downtime”

Anonymous, QC (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Received notice of Safety Recall 20Y6 ¿ Suction Pump. Problem did not happen. VW dealer replaced the suction pump for no charge, fulfilling the safety recall”

Jay S., CA (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“VW Recall - faulty evaporative-emission systems. Rubber seals within suction pumps inside the gas tank were ¿assembled with too much tension¿ and can allow gas to collect within the evaporative-emission components instead of being pumped out, according to Volkswagen. This can flood the charcoal filter and lead to a continuous gasoline smell within the car, gas-station nozzles stopping prematurely due to fuel splashing back, or a fuel leak”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Car stalled. Dealer read the computer code and replaced fuel pump on warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“lost power, wouldn't restart, towed to dealer”

G H., VA (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The car did not allow me to fill the gas tank. The gas tank was liking”

Anonymous, PR (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel gauge/sender

“Fixed with recall”

David Q., NJ (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel injection system

“Fuel injector failed and had to be replaced”

Eric W., OK (2015 Volkswagen GTI Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“pressure sensor failed, reported leak in fuel system, caused check engine light”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“No matter what else is playing, plugging in an iPhone 5S or 6 turns on the iPod section and always starts with first song on the list, even if not last played. The system - even - phone - will not operate unless radio is on. BT connects only some of”

David M., NY (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“No one could hear me regardless of who originated the call”

D S., HI (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

“Radio signal for FM, AM, and Sirius goes out occasionally and does not return for several minutes, sometimes up to 10 mins”

D A., OH (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Does not remember radio station from previous drive. Defaults to 87.5 MHz for FM”

Anonymous, WA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Radio very frequently resets to lowest fm frequency, forgets last station played”

Anonymous, MA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

“Voice recognition is a failure. Gets it right 20% of the time. Antiquated response voice, out of the 1990s. Try to call some one and you get, "Speak louder/softer." "Loading contacts" (after 10 minutes). Long delays. Dealer tried to fix. VW says that”

David M., NY (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“For an upgraded infotainment system, the voice recognition is surprisingly poor. Commands must be repeated frequently. Almost defeats the purpose of having it. Wish I had waited 6 months and chosen Android Auto/Carplay which were unavailable when I purchased the car”

Edward B., ON (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

“Dealer failed to remove spacer pucks (not sure what they're really called) from around the shafts of the struts during prep before I took delivery. These are used to prevent damage during shipping. Effect of not removing them was for every tiny bump”

Stephen G., SC (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“Car was brand new, less than 2000 miles, and had a noise when accelerating in a turn. Dealership had to replace part of the front end/steering system. Don't remember any more details”

Anonymous, OH (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering wheel vibration

“Vibration started after picking up car. Three trips to two different dealers resolved issue but a noise is still present and undetectable to what it is”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Alignment

“Rear suspension alignment was a little out of spec resulting in vibration in the steering wheel and driver's seat at a narrow speed range. Corrected under warranty by dealer”

William H., WI (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Bushings

“Brought the car in for creaky suspension and techs discovered that the control arm bushings as well as the strut top mounts were worn out (at 33k miles). Seemed very early”

Haig D., PA (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire wear is uneven

“Uneven rear tire wear resulted from previously mentioned rear alignment problem. Seems to be resolved following dealer re-alignment and swapping rear tires from side to side”

William H., WI (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“I was getting a headlight error warning light. I took it to the dealer and they discovered the connection to one of the side cornering lights had come loose”

David H., UT (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Headlights allow moisture inside during heavy rains. Headlight bulb blew due to excessive moisture inside”

Anonymous, WV (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Cornering lights have only worked a couple times”

Dan A., ME (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

“Doors do not always lock by pushing the button on the door handle”

Dan A., ME (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“door lock actuator malfunctioned”

Dan L., HI (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“A/C flaked out a week after driving the car off the lot”

Michael D., NY (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Automatic climate control

“Four months after delivery (Feb 2015), the climate control did not work. No A/C with outside temps in 80s. Went to dealer--no replacement part. Dealer checked WA, then all states, then all of North America--no replacement part. Dealer called VW in Germany--no replacement part. VW in Germany had to manufacture the replacement part, which was the entire climate control face and unit. (2 weeks from drop off to pick up)”

Anonymous, WA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Refrigerant leaks

“Coolant reservoir leaked and was replaced under warranty”

Haig D., PA (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“Defect in interior sliding sunroof.cover”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Door sill emblems rubbed on bottom of drivers door”

Anonymous, WV (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint damaged by dealer when repairing torn sunroof seal on new car. I will never again do business with Carter Volkswagen of Seattle”

William G., WA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

“After 4 months, the antifreeze level was low, and it appears that the system was either filled incorrectly at the factory, or had a minor leak that corrected itself”

Anonymous, TX (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Water pump

“Replaced leaking water pump on warranty”

Anonymous, SC (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

“Car delivered by dealer with torn sunroof seal. During repair, paint around sunroof was damaged. I will never do business again with Carter Motors of Seattle”

William G., WA (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Sunroof frame cracked in multiple places so rain water leaked into the overhead control panel and switches”

Brett J., NC (2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

“There was a CEL and a hissing noise during aggressive acceleration. It turns out that a hose on the inlet side of the turbo was loose and would pull away during acceleration. The car was at the dealership for 4 days, but part of that was waiting for”

Gerald W., NC (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Turbo died, had to have it replaced”

Anonymous, QC (2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

“Was getting an error in the driver information system saying to service vehicle in park while I was driving. The gear selector had to be replaced”

Todd K., IL (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

“Replaced shifter assembly that was creating a spurious error message in the center information screen. I don't think there was anything wrong with the transmission, but a bug in the shifter assembly”

Anonymous, SC (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“I experienced hesitation when engaging in Drive...a clunk into gear. I was told that this is normal...never had that occur and any other automatic transmission before”

Anonymous, MA (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Master cylinder

“Brand new, delivered from the dealership, the master cylinder was leaking brake fluid. It was found to be overfilled from the factory”

Anonymous, CT (2015 Volkswagen GTI S 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Change Vehicle