2000 GTI New Car Test Drive
Volkswagen's Golf is quick. It corners well, it rides nice, it's comfortable and it's practical. It has soul. Those who don't like its styling or don't appreciate the hatchback design just don't get it. With either the new 1.8 turbo or the narrow-angle V6, this car is fun to drive. Two can sit comfortably in back. Fold the seats down and you can cram loads of stuff in the cargo area. It's also one of the most refined cars available in the compact segment. It exudes fine German engineering.
Two Golf body styles are available: a three-door hatchback and a five-door hatchback. (The rear hatch counts as a door.) Volkswagen lists GTIs as separate models, but we are lumping them together. All GTIs are three-door models.
Volkswagen offers more engine options for its compact than any other manufacturer. Four engines are available: a 115-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4, a new 150-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4, a 174-horsepower 2.8-liter VR6, and a 90-horsepower 1.9-liter TDI turbocharged diesel inline-4.
Retail prices for the Golf and GTI model lines: GL 2.0L 3-Door ($14,900); GL TDI 3-Door ($16,195); GLS 2.0L 5-Door ($16,350); GLS TDI 5-Door ($17,400); GLS 1.8T 5-Door ($17,900); GTI GLS 1.8T 3-Door ($19,225); GTI GLX 3-Door ($22,620).
GTI GLX comes with Volkswagen's 2.8-liter narrow-angle V6. The new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine is replacing the 2.0-liter as the base engine for the GTI. Volkswagen is phasing out the 2000 GTI GLS 2.0-liter ($17,675).
All models come standard with a five-speed manual gearbox. Optional automatic transmissions typically add $875. A Leather Package is available for the GTI GLS for $850.