Saturday, October 19, 2013
Comparing several different types of vehicles is a useful process to employ before choosing which one you will purchase. For the current model year, you may be interested researching the Volkswagen GTI vs. the Ford Focus ST, two popular hatchbacks. Both cars have attracted praise and criticism and, although similar, have key differences that may help sway your purchase decision.
Volkswagen GTI overview
The 2013 Volkswagen GTI is available as either a two- or four-door hatchback. In either case, it has room for five people. With an attractive starting cost of $29,695, the GTI offers the maneuverability of a sports car with the price tag of a family sedan. Reviewers praise the interior amenities of the GTI, a cousin to VW's popular Golf model, and they also like its available cargo space. The GTI comes with a 200-horsepower two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as standard, with six-speed manual and auto-shift manual transmission options.
The Volkswagen GTI is rated as the number one upscale small car by U.S. News over luxury models like the Acura TSX and Audi A3, and it is ranked the number two hatchback behind only the Mazda3.
Ford Focus ST overview
When comparing the Volkswagen GTI vs. the Ford Focus ST, one of the first things you'll notice is that the Focus' 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is turbocharged. The Focus offers 52 more horses under the hood than the Volkswagen GTI. Reviewers also love the handling of the Focus ST, which starts at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $23,700. Less costly and a bit more powerful than the GTI, the Focus ST comes only in a four-door option with six-speed manual transmission.
The Ford Focus ST was named "Hot Hatch of the Year" by Top Gear Magazine.
Road test results
Road tests of 2012 and 2013 vehicles have shown that despite the difference in horsepower, the performance of the Volkswagen GTI vs. the Ford Focus ST is competitive in terms of speed. However, the Volkswagen does not measure up so well in terms of steering and brake power, two key areas for you to consider as a potential buyer. Day-to-day, the Volkswagen GTI logs in at 21 mpg fuel economy in the city and up to 31 mpg on the highway. The Ford Focus ST fares slightly better with an average 23 mpg efficiency rating in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. However, upgraded trims of the GTI offer even higher miles per gallon, albeit with a hefty cost.
In the end, reviewers and road testers are split on which is the better vehicle in the comparison between the Volkswagen GTI vs. the Ford Focus ST, typically giving a slight edge to the Focus for specs and to the GTI for design and finishes. As you make the decision about your next vehicle, be sure to gather quotes from multiple local car dealerships to find the lowest price. Then be sure to schedule your own road tests and find out for yourself which car offers the best ride and performance.
Alex Gabriel is a writer at Reply! with several years of digital marketing and copywriting experience. A native of Portland and graduate of the University of Oregon, Alex has a passion for writing about new cars. To learn more about Ford Focus, see his guide on new Ford models.