|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
The fifth generation GTI shared a platform with multiple VW/Audi models such as the Golf (Rabbit in North America), Jetta, Jetta Sportwagen and Audi A3. Introduced in mid-2006 as a 2007 model it earned rave reviews from the press, including winning Automobile Magazine’s 2007 Automobile of the Year Award. They had this to say about its handling:
“… feels utterly responsive but never punishing.”
Priced from around $23k to close to $30k, it featured a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine good for about 200 hp. This was paired with either a 6 speed manual transmission or a 6 speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox), which featured two clutches and launch control.
It was available as either a 3 or 5 door hatchback, and came standard with stability control, six airbags, 17 inch wheels, and xenon headlights. Those who would prefer something other than plaid cloth upholstery on the seats could upgrade to leather.