2013 Volkswagen GTI Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 31, 2013
  • Standard turbocharged engine
  • Free factory-scheduled maintenance for 3 years/36,000 miles
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 33 mpg on the highway
  • 2- and 4-door body styles
  • 5-passenger seating


First introduced to the U.S. market in 2006, the current-generation Volkswagen GTI is fairly dated in automotive terms, so it comes with no surprise to learn that an all-new version is set to roll out in time for the 2015 model year.

For 2013, the GTI has been carried over unchanged.

Exterior Features

Like all 2013 Volkswagen GTI models, the base 2- and 4-door variants feature a sporty exterior accented by lower side skirts, dual exhaust tips, honeycomb grille, fog lights, and a rear spoiler. Designers have also added 18-inch Detroit alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable turn signal mirrors, rear window wiper, and heated windshield washer nozzles.

The GTI Wolfsburg Edition, as well as the GTI with Convenience and Sunroof trim level, is equipped with 18-inch Laguna alloy wheels, while the latter boasts a power tilt/slide moonroof. GTI with Sunroof and Navigation models add adaptive HID headlights and LED daytime running lights into the mix of standard features, as does the available GTI Driver's Edition.

Volkswagen also offers a GTI Autobahn variant, which is based on the GTI with Sunroof and Navigation trim level but is differentiated by 18-inch Serron alloy wheels.

Interior Features

That myriad GTI trim levels is further differentiated by a host of interior features. Starting things off is the base GTI, equipped with standard cruise control, heated front sport seats with 8-way adjustment, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, glovebox cooler, plaid cloth upholstery, aluminum foot pedals, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, and an 8-speaker sound system that includes an auxiliary input jack, USB port, and satellite radio service. The 2013 Volkswagen GTI Wolfsburg Edition contributes a golf ball shift knob and floor mats with red stitching, while the GTI with Convenience and Sunroof offers buyers an upgraded touch-screen audio system with HD Radio, and the GTI with Sunroof and Navigation adds a touch-screen navigation system.

Inside the GTI Autobahn, Volkswagen has upped the ante with leather upholstery, push-button start, and a 300-watt Dynaudio stereo. The GTI Driver's Edition rounds out the lineup, and is separated from the pack by unique leather upholstery, certificate of authenticity, and a special GTI Driver's Edition owner's kit.

Optional Features

All of the 2013 Volkswagen GTI's available features are included as standard equipment on the various trim levels, which means there are no optional equipment packages. However, a number of dealer accessories are offered, such as splash guards and all-weather floor mats.

Under the Hood

Volkswagen equips the 2013 GTI with a direct-injection, 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque, all sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual featuring paddle shifters and a sport mode.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Volkswagen GTI are:

  • GTI with manual transmission: 21/31/25 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • GTI with automatic transmission: 24/33/27 mpg


The 2013 Volkswagen GTI's standard safety features include 6 air bags, front active head restraints, traction control, electronic-locking differential, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with red calipers, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist.

In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Volkswagen GTI received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate overlap frontal-impact crash protection; the GTI also received a "Top Safety Pick" designation from the Institute. As this preview is written, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 Volkswagen GTI.


In addition to a sport-tuned suspension, the 2013 Volkswagen GTI features a cross differential system that serves to improve handling--cornering, especially--by limiting front wheel spin.
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