Europeans are already able to purchase the sixth-generation Golf, a car we'll eventually know as the Rabbit. More importantly, the next-generation GTI has already been revealed. It looks good. In fact, the GTI mkVI looks like it may improve upon the mkV's appearance, economy, and performance.
Yet the current GTI manages to assemble enough support from The Good Car Guy to claim a second Good 12 crown on the merits of an aging car that was here last year because of " a rediscovered down-the-road adeptness". It is the chassis that cuts muster again. The VeeDub's steering forges a link that already binds mind-to-hands by sending streaming footage of the road beneath. This isn't Lotus Elise-like stuff we're talking about; just good old-fashioned driving fun, the kind that is as enjoyable at 20 mph exiting your subdivision as it is at 85 mph on a twisty on-ramp.
The VW GTI's excellence must be understood with a grain of Civic Si nonetheless. Honda's 197-horsepower hottie is a great accomplishment. The simple fact that Volkswagen makes it here and Honda doesn't ought to speak volumes about the German, a vehicle that indulges more readily without depriving its owners of any practical sensibility.
Engines: 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque from a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder
City Mileage: 21-22 mpg
Base USD Price: $22,990
Anything Else? Want to turn your high-value uber-hatch into a high-priced luxo-barge? Opt for a DSG transmission, sat-nav, upgraded wheels, and other accessories and you'll easily top $30K on the way to $34,000.