2007 GTI New Car Test Drive
For 2007, The Volkswagen GTI comes with a choice of two doors or four. Also new is Launch Control programming for the GTI's optional DSG automatic transmission. The new software will allow the engine to rev up before the clutch engages, for controlled wheelspin as you leave the line. Other than that, the 2007 Volkswagen GTI is changed very little from the '06, which was launched as an all-new fifth generation of the legendary pocket rocket.
The GTI draws its energy from VW's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine turbocharged to boost output to 200 horsepower and to 207 pound-feet of torque, with peak torque holding steady all the way from 1800 to 5000 rpm. The GTI can rocket from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in just 7.0 seconds, says Volkswagen, while delivering an EPA-rated 23/32 mpg with the manual transmission, 25/31 mpg with the Direct Shift Gearbox. This latter bit of F1 wizardry can be left in a fully automatic mode or can be manually manipulated by racing-style paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
We delighted in the GTI's quick and precise steering. We appreciated the support and design of the Interlagos plaid seating surfaces and the versatility of its hatchback design. Now also available as a five-door, enthusiasts with families no longer have an excuse.
The 2007 Volkswagen GTI comes in one trim level with a choice of two body styles. The two-door hatchback comes with a choice of six-speed manual transmission ($22,100) or six-speed automatic Direct Shift Gearbox ($23,175). The four-door hatchback comes with the same choice of manual ($22,600) or automatic ($23,675).
Standard features include air conditioning; well-bolstered, eight-way-adjustable seats with Interlagos plaid cloth inserts; a 40/60 split folding rear seat; blue-tinted glass; xenon high-intensity gas-discharge headlamps with washers; halogen fog lamps; turn signal lights on the exterior rearview mirrors; variable intermittent windshield wipers; a height-adjustable center armrest; cruise control; trip computer; remote unlocking as well as power windows that can be opened or closed with the key fob; aluminum alloy pedals; a 10-speaker audio system with six-CD changer and MP3 player; a tilt and telescoping steering column with audio controls on the steering wheel; plenty of cup holders; carpeted and covered cargo area; and 17-inch summer performance tires on alloy wheels. All-season tires are available as a no-cost option.
Package 1 ($1,370) combines a power sunroof with satellite radio (XM or Sirius). Package 2 ($3,160) also includes the sunroof and satellite radio, and adds dual-zone climate controls, leather front sport seats with heat, and heated washer nozzles. A DVD-based navigation system ($1,800) can be added; it displaces the CD changer from the dash, but VW offers the choice of either relocating it to the center console, or deleting it in favor of an iPod adaptor. (The Navigation stereo will not play MP3 CDs.) Satellite radio can be ordered as a stand-alone option ($375); as can Hufeisen 18-inch alloy wheels ($750) with summer performance tires. Dealers can install a set of rubber floor mats that includes a trunk liner ($185), and a lower-body aero kit ($1,650).
Safety equipment includes front airbags, front side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, three-point harnesses for all seating positions (wear them), and LATCH child seat anchors. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) also come standard, along with Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESP), and traction control (consisting of anti-slip regulation and electronic differential lock, plus engine-braking assist). The four-door offers optional rear-seat side-impact airbags ($350).