What do the Volkswagen GTI, Tesla Model S and Corvette Stingray have in common? They’re all recent winners of the Yahoo! Auto of the Year award. However, Yahoo! admits that in 2013 and 2014, the winners were chosen from a close pack of contestants. For 2015, though, the year dished up a lot of new models, “yet not one had emerged as the front runner by the time we assembled in California” in October. That is, until the latest VW GTI came along.
In order to scoop up the lofty Yahoo! title, a series of challenging tests need to be passed. It includes hundreds of miles on a state of the art autocross course. Everything that has a hinge is opened and closed, says Yahoo!, and factors ranging from how well cars perform as commuter machines to the quality of the fabric and level of horsepower are assessed. Among the runners-up are the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Ford Mustang EcoBoost and the Chevy Camaro X28.
A Volkswagen enthusiast could have saved Yahoo! a lot of time, trouble and testing—nothing compares to the GTI.
And the Winner Is…
In the end, the editors didn’t all decide on the same ride as the winner, but only the GTI appeared at the top of every single judge’s list, “proving itself worthy of our highest endorsement.” The major five categories that the GTI passed with flying colors included value, engineering, performance, design and efficiency. While the categories are assessed individually, Yahoo! is even more concerned with seeing how they work as a system. “A car has to be among the best in its breed before it can compete for the top prize,” says managing editor Justin Hyde.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder the GTI took home the gold (at least the 2015 model). With 40 years of history, the hatchback wasn’t always a fan favorite. Hyde says, “A lot of people who were attracted to the GTI over the years would walk away because it was too small, too expensive or too European for them. This 2015 edition should make them reconsider.”
The Makings of a Winner
Does the GTI have what it takes to win you over? It’s built on the latest MQB chassis and it’s lower, lighter and longer than ever before. This means more interior cargo space, which is more than the 2014 Mazda3 (another Yahoo! favorite). Those updated dimensions make it gorgeous on the outside, while on the inside there’s “Audi-level refinement” according to judge Steve Siler.
And as for power? There’s a 2-liter turbo, four cylinder engine under the hood with 210 horsepower. It’s made for speed, power and of course looks—everything a Yahoo! Auto of the Year winner demands. The downside? It’s not going to fit under any holiday tree (but it looks fantastic with a big red bow in the driveway).