2015 Yahoo Autos Car of the Year: the Volkswagen GTI

gti

In independent testing the GTI beat Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Chevy Camaro Z28, Honda Fit, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW i3 electric car.

Previous winners of the award included the 2013 Tesla Model S and 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. This year Yahoo Autos ran the finalists through the most tests to date, judged by five standards: Performance, efficiency, value, design and engineering.

Competitors included the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Chevy Camaro Z28 and Ford Mustang Ecoboost. Luxury cars included the Alfa Romeo 4C and BMW M235i, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Hyundai Genesis, Kia K900, Acura TLX and Maserati Ghibli; affordable cars included Honda Fit, Subaru WRX, Hyundai Sonata and Chrysler 200C. They even tested th Mercedes GLA-Class and the electric BMW i3.

Only one car landed on most lists: the new Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Based on VW’s new MQB chassis, the 2015 GTI is longer, lower and lighter, with more cargo space than the Mazda3 and Audi-level refinement. The VW Performance Pack adds 10 hp, better brakes and new limited-slip differential, the VAQ.

“The VAQ is a set of electric clutches and software controls on the front driveshaft,” says Autohaus VW Manager Michael Wanner, “that diverts power to the wheels that need it most, say, when coming out of a turn to reduce understeer. It’s the only front-wheel-drive car in the world with this technology, which makes the GTI equal to much more powerful cars like the Mustang and BMW M235i. It even beat the Subaru WRX and 707hp Challenger Hellcat outright.”

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