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2015 Volkswagen GTI Review

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI finishes near the top of our compact car rankings. It's one of the most athletic cars in the class, and it has a comfortable interior with plenty of space. Few class rivals can match this VW's well-rounded appeal.

Pros & Cons

  • Responsive steering and handling
  • Peppy acceleration
  • Good fuel economy
  • Roomy cargo hold
  • Lackluster standard infotainment system

Rankings & Awards

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Compact Cars category. It was the winner of our 2015 Best Sports Car for the Money award. Currently the Volkswagen GTI has a score of 8.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 26 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Volkswagen GTI Overview

Is the 2015 Volkswagen GTI a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 Volkswagen GTI is a good used car. Its lively engine delivers quick acceleration, which combines with the GTI's agile handling to make this one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. Inside, the GTI is comfortable and has plenty of room for people and cargo. Some rivals have more-modern infotainment systems, but that's the only major knock against this VW.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Volkswagen GTI review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 26 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Volkswagen GTI?

Based on listing for the 2015 Volkswagen GTI on our site, the average list price is roughly $18,800. Prices range from $15,000 to $22,600 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2015 Volkswagen GTI Cost to Own?

The 2015 GTI’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $25,000, or $5,000 per year. That’s above average for a compact car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GTI?

The 2019 GTI sports a base price of $27,595, which is significantly higher than the 2015 GTI's average price of $18,800. However, you may still think the new model is worth the extra cost, as there have been plenty of updates since 2015, including styling upgrades. The 2019 model doesn't offer a two-door variant, and its engine is more powerful than that of the 2015. The 2019 has additional standard features, including a larger touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rearview camera.

Read about the new Volkswagen GTI »

The 2019 GTI costs a lot more than a used one, but there are some new compact cars that cost about the same as the 2015 GTI. These include the Kia Forte, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, and the standard VW Golf. Many of these models have a longer list of standard features and available driver assistance technology as well as interiors that are more modern and comfortable than the 2015 GTI's. Some of them also deliver engaging performance.

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Which Model Year of the Volkswagen GTI Is Best?

For the GTI, 2015 is the first model year of the car’s seventh generation. The redesign introduced styling updates inside and out, and the 2015 GTI's engine puts out a bit more horsepower and gets slightly better gas mileage than that of the 2014 model. The 2015 also comes with a touch-screen infotainment system.

For 2016, VW added a rearview camera to the standard features list. The GTI gained available driver assistance features that same year, in addition to a redesigned available infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2017 model saw no changes, except that the GTI two-door body style was discontinued.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 GTI »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Volkswagen GTI?

J.D. Power gives the 2015 GTI a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about GTI reliability »

2015 Volkswagen GTI Recalls

At the time of writing, there are 10 safety recalls for the 2015 Volkswagen GTI. They address potential issues with the rear coil springs, the suction pump, key removal, the camshaft lobe, the fuel pump, occupant classification, the front stabilizer links, a fuel leak, and after-purchase modifications. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Volkswagen GTI safety recalls »

Which Used Volkswagen GTI Is Right for Me?

This hot hatch comes in three trims: S, SE, and Autobahn. It's available as either a two- or four-door hatchback. For the best value, go with the midlevel SE model, which comes standard with a rearview camera, leather upholstery, and the Fender sound system. You may also find SE models equipped with the Driver Assistance and Performance packages, which include front and rear park assist, forward collision warning, and performance enhancements.

See 2015 Volkswagen GTI trims and specs »

What Does Volkswagen's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Volkswagen offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles seven years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. You receive the balance of the new-car warranty when you purchase a CPO model, and depending on your car’s model year, you get a limited comprehensive warranty that takes effect once the new-car warranty has expired. For 2018 and newer VWs, the limited comprehensive warranty is good for one year or 12,000 miles. The length of the warranty increases to two years or 24,000 miles for 2017-and-older gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Finally, 2016 and older TDI vehicles get a two-year/unlimited miles warranty.

VW CPO vehicles must pass a 100-plus-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, a Carfax vehicle history report, a three-month SiriusXM All-Access satellite radio trial subscription, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Volkswagen’s CPO program is the least robust of all auto manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the GTI?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2015 GTI a Top Safety Pick and gave it the highest rating of Good in five crash tests, as well as the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. Even with optional active safety features equipped, the 2015 GTI only earns the lowest rating of Basic for front crash prevention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not test the GTI.

There are no advanced safety features that come standard in the GTI. Available safety features include front and rear park assist, a rearview camera, and forward collision warning.

See GTI safety scores »

2015 Volkswagen GTI Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen GTI or 2015 Subaru WRX?

When it comes to performance, the 2015 Subaru WRX is one of the GTI's foremost compact car rivals. Both are athletic and agile, but the Volkswagen gets better gas mileage. The GTI also has a richer interior than the WRX, with higher-quality materials and a sleeker design. By comparison, the WRX's interior is dull, and some wind noise creeps in when the car is at highway speeds. Additionally, the WRX has substantially less cargo space than the GTI, as it's a sedan rather than a hatchback. Overall, the Volkswagen is a better car.

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen GTI or 2015 Ford Focus?

The 2015 Ford Focus ST performance hatchback has 42 more horsepower than the GTI, and it touts a sport-tuned suspension that provides athletic handling. Like the GTI, the Focus has quality cabin materials. However, its rear-seat space is lacking, and it has less overall cargo space than the GTI. The Focus also has one of the lowest reliability ratings in the class, making the GTI the better choice in this comparison.

Compare the GTI, WRX, and Focus »

2015 GTI Performance

How Does the 2015 Volkswagen GTI Drive?

The 2015 Golf GTI has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 210 horsepower. An available performance package adds 10 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automated manual transmission is optional.

The engine is responsive and delivers quick acceleration off the line, and either transmission pairs well with the turbo-four. The GTI is fun to drive thanks to its precise steering and nimble handling. It also rides smoothly over most road surfaces.

Does the 2015 Volkswagen GTI Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2015 GTI gets good gas mileage for the class. It earns ratings of about 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Read more about GTI performance »

2015 GTI Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 GTI Seat?

The GTI seats five and comes with cloth sport seats and heated front seats. Available features include leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The front seats have plenty of space and remain supportive on long drives. The rear seats also have a good amount of room, and most adults can ride comfortably.

How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Volkswagen GTI?

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats. Most types of car seats fit into the rear seats easily, and the LATCH anchors pose no notable issues.

2015 Volkswagen GTI Features

The 2015 GTI's standard touch-screen infotainment system features Bluetooth, satellite radio, and an iPod adapter. Available features include a sunroof, proximity keyless entry, a Fender audio system, and navigation.

While there aren't many complaints with the GTI, some critics have mentioned that the infotainment system is a little less sophisticated than those found in rivals.

See 2015 Volkswagen GTI specs »

Read more about GTI interior »

2015 Volkswagen GTI Dimensions

Volkswagen GTI Cargo Space

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI has 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down. Those are great totals for a compact car and a hatchback. The cargo opening has a low liftover height, making it easy to load stuff.

2015 GTI Length and Weight

The 2015 VW GTI is 14 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,972 to 3,086 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Volkswagen GTI Built?

Volkswagen built the 2015 GTI in Mexico.


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