What is never lost in a GTI is its ability to carry folks and gear in total comfort all the while carving up the German countryside and blasting down the Autobahn at breakneck speeds.
Yes, this special-edition GTI has the go to match the show. Rated at 235 PS (232 hp) thanks to the turbocharger's 13 psi of boost, the Edition 35's 2.0 TSI 4-pot is healthy and very much alive. Some will contest that 32 extra hp cannot possibly make a tangible difference, but they do. With three passengers on board along with day bags and lunches, the GTI launched us into illegal (oh wait, there isn't such a thing in Germany...) speeds in a flash.
Throughout go-pedal travel, the 35 accelerates harder and longer. It is noticeable. Rated at 6.6 seconds, the 0-100 km/h sprint feels faster and here's why: the car's extra torque (15 lb-ft for a total of 222) is all accounted for from 2,200 to 5,500 rpm. Regardless what gear you're in, the GTI pulls hard and without debate. Even in 6th gear, the 2.0L will take you to 180 km/h from 120 in little or no time. Very impressive.
Also impressive is the GTI's available, fabulous DSG transmission. Sharp as a tack, it'll upshift or downshift with its eyes closed and one hand tied behind its back. Furthermore, the action of the dual clutches not only makes lightning look slow but the switches are damn-near imperceptible. Let's not forget the ever-present “brruup” after every cog swap. Yummy. The 6MT is everything a 6MT should be: positive throws with light precise clutch-pedal action.
Germany and Autobahns. Germany and Autobahns... Just for them, I would move here. Period. But I can't 'cause my German sucks. But when in Rome, I gotta punch it, and hard. The GTI squats smartly and confidently as of 140 km/h. This I knew... But north of that number, I had never experienced outside a track. Cruising at 180 far from upsets the car. It remains stable and with the adjustable suspension (that we don't get) in Normal (there’s also Comfort and Sport), the ride is smooth and confidence in the car stays high. At 235 km/h, the GTI is very close to its top speed of 247, but drama is not in this Volkswagen's vocabulary.
High rates of speed are common place in Deutschland and what goes fast must come to a stop. The GTI's standard 4-wheel disc brakes are strong, with good pedal feel, and never showed any signs of weakness when clamping down hard on the discs from over $2.
Other Reviews Available For The 2011 Volkswagen GTI
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
2011 Volkswagen GTI Specifications
Similar to 2011 Volkswagen GTI