Review & Snaps: Amee Reehal ©
Spend some time with the 2008 VW GTI and you’ll quickly ‘make friends with your fast’ as the marketing tagline reads. In fact, the GTI and I became so close so quickly I’m suffering some serious separation anxiety at the moment. The way she took those corners in her 17” rims (with 4-wheel disk brakes). The way we frolicked on the open highways—her, growling a 2.0-litre, 16-valve turbo engine paired to the 6-speed manual tranny (6-speed automatic Direct-Shift Gearbox with Triptronic and sport mode, optional). While I, grip the multi-function wheel (with electromechanical power steering with variable assistance and active return). Oh, the memories (and fine German engineering). But I’ll save the sap and get straight to it.
Available in two trims, a 5-door (MRSP $28,975) or a 3-door hatchback (MRSP $27,975), the GTI maintains a near perfect balance of performance, styling, comfort, and cargo at these price-points. The exterior styling is energetic and exudes that ‘let’s go!’ vibe. The standard 17” alloy wheels with a progressive 5-spoke design wrapped in 225/45 R17h all-season performance tires pronounce this. 18” wheels are optional. My test vehicle came in the 3-door form with its hatchback, pocket-rocket look. The front-end on the 2008 GTI is aggressive with a couple of halogen fog-lamps and a large black front grill with honeycomb mesh and red surrounding stripe. Colour-matched, anti-intrusion side-door beams lead to sporty dual stainless exhaust pipes in the back.
The cockpit is classic VW—clean and simple, with blue-red illuminated controls and gauges. The instrument panel is straightforward and easy to view in the driver’s position. Though a turbo boost gauge would have been a nice touch (perhaps a little gauge on the driver A-pillar?).
Dual-zone driver-passenger controls, automatic climate control, and heated seats are all standard. Actually, you’ll find plenty of standards in the GTI, including a multi-function trip computer keeping things in check; cruise control; remote central power-locking system; alarm system; and an auxiliary input jack in the glovebox, to mention a few. When the 2.0L turbocharged engine puts down a whopping 200 hp at 207lb-ft of torque and propels you forward snapping your head back, the front sport seats with tight bolsters and 8-way manual adjustability will keep your ass in place with security and solace.
Rear passengers will find comfortable seats, good legroom, centre armrest, and a centre pass-through. Kick them out and the 60/40 split-folding rear seats provide loads of cargo space. Invite them back and impress with the 10-speaker sound system, including AM/FM radio with in-dash 6-disc CD. SIRIUS satellite radio with a 3-month subscription is also available. Both the 5-door and 3-door find driver and front-passenger side and curtain airbags (rear-passenger side airbag in the 5-door only). ABS braking, anti-slip traction regulation, and an electronic stabilization program will keep occupants safe and the GTI planted to the road.
Standard warranty includes 12-year/unlimited-distance limited warranty against corrosion perforation; 5-year/100,000km powertrain; and 4-year/80,000km new vehicle limited. 24-hour, 4-year/unlimited-distance roadside assistance is also standard. If you’re a hermit or have trouble making new friends, then get off the computer and visit your local VW dealership and take the 2008 GTI for a spin. You’ll be pals in no time.
For more info on the 2008 VW GTI, visit http://www.vw.ca/vwca/objects/en/pdf/en_gti_brochure.pdf
You can also read this review at http://www.pasmag.com/index.php?option-com_content&task=blogcategory&id=19&Itemid=105