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8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 8.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Volkswagen GTI Review

Reviewers found few flaws with the 2009 Volkswagen GTI. They said that performance is outstanding and that the interior is high-quality. However, rival small cars offer better safety scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Well-rounded performance
  • Good fuel economy
  • Comfortable, spacious interior
  • Low safety score

2009 Volkswagen GTI Overview

There are many reasons to choose the 2009 Volkswagen GTI, such as its impressive 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which reviewers loved for its refined power delivery. Tack on balanced handling and strong brakes, and reviewers said the GTI will appeal to nearly every driving enthusiast. Its fuel economy ratings are also quite impressive for a hatchback that’s this fun to drive.

Two- and four-door models are available, but regardless of which GTI you choose, reviewers said you’ll find comfortable front and rear seats, as well as plenty of cargo space. The GTI’s cabin isn’t super fancy, but test drivers admired its clean design and good build quality. Standard interior features include a 10-speaker stereo, satellite radio and an auxiliary port. Optional features included leather seats, heated front seats, a stereo upgrade, USB port and navigation.

When it was new, reviewers found little to dislike about the 2009 GTI. It offers impressive performance and a well-made, spacious interior. While few cars in the class can match the GTI’s level of refinement, its poor safety scores may lessen its appeal.

See the full 2010 Volkswagen GTI specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If a powerful engine is more important to you than a comfortable back row and ample cargo space, consider the 2009 BMW 1-Series. The 1-Series comes as a coupe or convertible, and few small cars can match the BMW when it comes to performance. In addition to being fast, the 1-Series has a well-equipped, upscale interior that has a few more standard features than the GTI, such as dual-zone climate control.

The 2009 Mini Cooper’s model line offers you a lot more choices than the GTI’s. You can get a hardtop or convertible, and you also have three engines to choose from. The base Cooper isn’t as quick as the GTI, but the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models offer good acceleration and impressive handling. The four-seat Cooper doesn’t have as much interior space as the GTI.

Compare the GTI to the 1-Series and Mini Cooper »

Best 2009 Compact Cars

  • #1

    2009 Scion tC

    $3,964 - $4,163 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #1

    2009 Scion xB

    $4,261 - $4,518 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #10

    2009 Volkswagen GTI

    $4,880 - $5,099 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2009 Compact Cars rankings »
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