A bit more than six months after purchase, my 2016 VW GTI (Autobahn with DSG, DCC, Performance Pack, and Lighting Package) has rolled over 10,000 miles. Here are my thoughts on ownership thus far.

Basically, I am very, very happy with the car. It meets my requirements of four doors (because dog), good fuel economy, and comfortable/nice interior. I also appreciate that the styling is understated, as I am not trying to attract attention to myself.

And yet it will accelerate more quickly than the E30 BMW M3 that I coveted as a lad (among other vehicles). And having an adjustable suspension from the factory is great - setting it for “sport” results in terrific cornering abilities.

Fuel economy has averaged 30 mpg for me. My commute is pretty smooth without too much stop and go (if no accidents), so it is like I am mostly highway driving, and I let the DSG keep the revs very low. The worst tank I had was 18 mpg when I was being vicious with the accelerator, manually keeping the revs high and in the turbo, and braking a lot on the Tail of the Dragon. The best was 33 mpg.

The biggest downside to the car is when I keep it in standard “drive” mode on the DSG, it hesitates to accelerate because it keeps the revs low, and then there is turbo lag. Other than that, my only slight dislikes are 1) The steering wheel controls: They are not well differentiated by feel (I sometimes turn up the volume instead of canceling cruise), and don’t have a scan button for the stereo, only bumping to the next preset, and 2) That the thing has visual alerts that are irritating (It’s 39 degrees F out, watch out for ice! Your fuel is low, can we help you find the nearest gas station?) Oh yeah, 3) The fuel at empty still has probably 2 gallons in the tank, so it starts warning me at about 4 gallons left in the 13-ish gallon tank.


Of course, there is some torque steer even with the Performance Pack limited slip differential. I’m quite happy with the handling, although above 9/10th I would like a rear- or all-wheel drive car. But since this is my daily driver, I’m okay with the trade-offs. I can haul most of what I want, and the initial and long-term costs should be less than rear-/all-wheel, four door, equal performance and fuel economy options that I considered.

I no longer want a second car for performance.

Now it just comes to mind occasionally for entertainment.