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THE FAST AND THE FOUR

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, May 11, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

FLYING WITH FOUR By Roy Nakano

Fans of the Volkswagen GTI in the USA have been clamoring for the four-door version for years. The viertürig GTI has been available just about everywhere else in the world. For some reason, Americans have been denied this alternative - that is, until now. Perhaps it was the success of such four-door pocket rockets cars like the WRX, EVO, and the popularity of tuner versions of Honda's sedans that finally convinced the folks at VWoA that a four-door GTI in America is a good idea. Early sales indications are that Volkswagen made the right move. At a cost of just $500 more than the two-door, the new model represents a good value. More good news: The four-dour weighs but a tad over 60 pounds more than the two-door.

One worthy running change in 2007 is Launch Control for DSG automatic transmission-equipped vehicles. Launch Control allows the DSG to make high rpm launches from a standing start (like a manual transmission). It should be good for shaving a few micro-digits of a second off your 0-60 and quarter-mile acceleration times (the DSG-equipped car is one tenth of a second quicker to 60 mph than the manual). Another running change to the 2007 GTI lowered it back down to European specs. The 2006 USA model had been raised slightly to conform to domestic bumper standards. It's not clear how the 2007 model gets around this issue, but enthusiasts don't mind. They are more than happy to have the GTI's center of gravity lowered for even better cornering.

If you frequently carry more than one passenger in your car, you'll like the four-door. Two-door cars are a royal pain for enthusiasts with families. In some ways, the four-door even looks better than its two-door counterpart. The cut lines on the back doors seem to compliment the hatchback profile. With an entry price of just over $22,000, the four-door GTI remains one of the all-time best buys in its class. The driving experience, fit-and-finish (both inside and out), and performance of this car are in a league that's roughly ten grand more than what you'll pay for this car. Now with this new addition, it should literally open more doors for people to own this great driving machine.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT The class act of its class is an even better buy now. For LA Car's review of the GTI, read Ball! Vroom! Blitz! For more information about Volkswagen products, go to www.vw.com.

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2007 Volkswagen GTI 4-Door Price: $22,600 base; $25,910 as tested Engine type: 2.0 liter direct injected, turbocharged dual overhead cam 16-valve in-line four EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 23/32 (manual) 25/31 (DSG automatic) Horsepower: 200 @ 5500 rpm Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1800-4700 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine / front-wheel drive Transmission type: Six-speed manual transmission (six-speed DSG automatic transmission with sequential shifting feature and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters optional) Suspension: Independent strut sport front suspension; independent multi-link sport rear suspension Wheels and tires: 17-inch alloy wheels standard; 18-inch alloy wheels optional (as equipped) 225/44R-17 summer tires standard 225/40R-18 summer tires optional (as equipped) Brakes: Front: Vented discs, vacuum assist, 11.9-inch diameter, red painted calipers Rear: Solid discs, vacuum assist, 11.6-inch diameter, red painted calipers Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), anti-lock braking system (ABS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Overall length: 165.8 inches Overall width: 69.3 inches Overall height: 58.4 inches Curb weight (lbs.): 3162 (manual)/3212 (DSG) Top Speed, mph: 130 mph (electronically limited) 0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds (DSG automatic) 7.0 seconds (manual)

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