Much Improved Handling - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited December 2014 in Volkswagen
imageMuch Improved Handling - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Before, the GTI was great at getting you to destinations but perhaps a bit of a disappointment if you were really keen on putting the hammer down. Now, you get both.

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Comments

  • vvkvvk Member Posts: 196
    So, in other words, it is more like Focus ST.

    I bet good summer tires have a lot to do with it. As I recall, the 2010 GTI had crappy all-season Pirellis.
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    I think it actually had the Dunlop SP Sport 01s which was the alternative OEM to the Pirelli P Zero Neros. You could select Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer performance tires but I don't know if I ever saw a test so equipped. In the context of all-seasons the Pirellis are high-rated and had the advantage of being significantly less expensive to replace than the Dunlops, as well as better tread life, traction, and temperature resistance. On the track, they are naturally disappointing compared to summer tires, but iirc, the older long-term GTI was frequently praised as a daily-driver, even with 40-series rubber on (quite heavy) 18-in wheels. Since we don't have a comparison of the two cars with the same type of shoes it's hard to evaluate the magnitude of the new one's superiority.
  • vvkvvk Member Posts: 196
    > I think it actually had the Dunlop SP Sport 01s

    Yes, you are right. It has Dunlop SP Sport 01 AS. Crappy all-season tires.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Car & Driver tested the Mk6 with the all-season Pirelli PZero Neros - .86 on the skidpad and tons of complaints about the non-defeatable stability control.

    Edmunds tested their Mk6 with the all-season Dunlops bc1960 mentioned - .87 on the skidpad and tons of complaints about the non-defeatable stability control.

    Car & Driver tested a Mk6 with summer tires (Conti SportContact 2) - .93 on the skidpad and they made one mild reference to the stability control you can't turn off, saying the intervention threshold was high in the partially-defeated setting. Said it could be driven with a high level of confidence, and was quick on its feet, with eager responses.

    Edmunds has now tested the new Mk7 GTI with summer Bridgestone Potenza S001s on it. Their finding? .94 on the skidpad and they made one mild reference to the stability control you can't turn off, saying the intervention threshold was high in the partially-defeated setting. Said it can be driven aggressively with confidence.

    I think we've discovered a pattern here...probably that both Mk6 and Mk7 are European-engineered cars with stability-control settings optimized for the kind of tires they put on the car in pretty much every other market besides the U.S - summer tires, not all-season tires. Not that there is a whale of a lot of difference between the two cars' basic handling competence.

    My takeaway is that the Mk7 suspension is maybe slightly firmer and the steering ratio is quicker than the Mk6...and that Edmunds' skidpad is worth an extra .01 g compared to Car & Driver's.
  • ducky10ducky10 Member Posts: 27
    The Mark 6 likes simple upgrades. Went with Koni shocks and a ECS rear sway bar to make is a more playful companion.
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 15,843
    edited December 2014
    If I was going the FWD hot hatch route again for my next work beater the GTI S(with the lighting and performance packs) would be my first choice.
    But I probably won't.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

  • millemanmilleman Member Posts: 19
    Fordson's comment cannot be improved upon. Added to, perhaps: VWoA was dumb to offer nothing except A/S tires on post-2010 US Mk6 GTIs. I replaced them with proper summer tires a few months after buying my Mk6. The difference is night and day, particularly with the real-world threshold of triggering the stability control. It was so frustrating to read your long-term test of the 2010 GTI with A/S tires, never even trying a reader's mounted set of summer tires for a weekend. And this in SoCal where there's no need for A/S tires in the first place!

    I can say from experience my stockish Mk6 with summer tires handles, brakes and steers better than a Mk7 with A/S tires. All bets are off were I to sample a Mk 7 with summer tires -- it feels a little better balanced than the previous generation, as a whole new optimized platform should.

    Oh, and the Mk7 steering ratio is numerically and empirically basically the same as the 2010 GTI (15.3:1 vs 15.6:1), faster than the 2011-2014 16.4:1, for the 180-degrees left and right from straight, beyond which the progressive ratio rapidly kicks in for parking lot maneuvers.
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