Cars and Bids Bargain of the Week: 2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn

With the loss of Ford’s ST and RS models, the hot hatch selection in the US has gotten fairly thin. Fortunately, in addition to relative newcomers like the Hyundai Veloster N, the archetypal hot hatch, the Volkswagen GTI, is still sticking around. And as we await the next-gen 2022 model, older examples will start getting cheaper. One such car is this week’s Cars and Bids bargain: a 2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn Edition.

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI introduced the hot hatch’s most recent generation

A white 2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Volkswagen GTI | Volkswagen

When the next-gen Volkswagen GTI hits US shores for the 2022 model year, it will mark the hot hatch’s eighth generation. The current version, the Mk7, came to the US for the 2015 model year. And it was promptly named a Car and Driver 10Best car, an Automobile All-Star, and MotorTrend’s 2015 Car of the Year.

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI received those accolades due to its bandwidth as a car. On the performance side, it has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 210 hp and 258 lb-ft. With the optional Performance Package, the output increases to 220 hp, Car and Driver reports. Said package also adds a mechanical limited-slip differential as well the contemporary Golf R’s larger front and rear brakes, MT reports. So-equipped, the Mk7 Volkswagen GTI is a genuine “giant-slayer,” Road & Track reports.

However, the other half of ‘hot hatch’ is ‘hatchback.’ And when it’s not being driven spiritedly, the Mk7 Volkswagen GTI is a practical car. MT describes the overall build and interior material quality as Audi-like, only with a lower purchase price. It’s noticeably better than the contemporary Subaru WRX’s interior, Car and Driver reports.

The GTI also rides comfortably and is a more pleasant daily-driver than the Ford Focus ST, Car and Driver reports. Plus, the dual-clutch DSG transmission is arguably better than the manual, and the rear seats fold down, Automobile reports.

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn on Cars and Bids

A black 2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn
2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn | Cars and Bids

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI currently listed on Cars and Bids doesn’t have the Performance Package. However, it’s an Autobahn model, which Cars and Bids notes was the range-topping trim. That means heated leather seats, a Fender audio system, navigation, keyless entry, a sunroof, and dual-zone climate control, MT reports.

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn seats and dash
2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn interior | Cars and Bids

This Volkswagen GTI is also in very good condition with no modifications. As of this writing, it only has 27,400 miles on the clock. And the only flaws are a few scratches on the wheels and bumper. This GTI is also a one-owner car, with an accident-free history and extensive service and maintenance records.

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI has a reputation for being unreliable. CarComplaints reports the A/C system can be faulty, as can the radiator and water pump. Some of the earliest-built cars have also suffered turbo failures, GolfMk7 forum users report. However, PistonHeads reports that many faulty turbos were replaced under warranty. It’s a similar story with the engine cooling system parts, r/GolfGTI sub-Reddit users report. And PH points out that a bit of oil consumption is perfectly normal with the Mk7 GTI’s engine.

What makes this a hot hatch bargain?

Rear 3/4 view of a black 2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn
2015 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn rear 3/4 | Cars and Bids

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As of this writing, this 2015 GTI Autobahn is listed on Cars and Bids at $10,690 with three days left in the auction. Given its service history and condition, that’s a below-average price.

Originally, a car so-equipped would have cost around $30k, MT reports. And past Mk7 GTIs have commanded prices closer to $20k, Cars and Bids reports. But while there are other Mk7s listed on Autotrader for less, they all have significantly more miles. And examples with similar mileage cost roughly twice as much.

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