GTI - manual or DSG?

My girlfriend and I have decided to get a car and we’ve chosen to get a 2015 GTI, but we’re not sure about the transmission. The pros and cons that we’re hung on:

We will be living on a hilly part of Brooklyn. Also, my girlfriend sort of knows how to drive manual but not comfortably enough to drive on the roads, so she’s not 100% in (and obviously can’t be) that she wants a stick, although I think she would enjoy it in the long run.

I love and prefer stick, and the manual on the GTI is insanely good. Buttery smooth and just a great feel. Also, we would mostly use this car on the weekends as we both take the subway to work, so even though we’re in the city, we’re not daily commuters.

Any thoughts? We’re buying it for the long haul, so we really need to think this through and can’t make up our minds. I’m also wondering if I should ask a dealer to let her try it in an empty lot, just so she can get a feel. But assuming that may or may not sway her, any ideas?

Thank you!

You will have to sit down and have an honest discussion with your GF. If she is really not into a manual car, there is no point in pushing her. Then, go read on VW forums on DSG problems. I have been on Ford Focus forums and there is ample complain about their DCT, I believe VW is better, but still an issue.

Who is paying for the car. You might have to settle on a different car altogether esp if longevity is a concern.

I guess it would depend on who actually will drive the car more, my brother wouldn’t even consider the DSG when he ordered his '09 GTI but he’s used to driving stick as his wife is. The Manual has a better chance of holding up in the long term (with the exception of the clutch of course) Is part of her concern the hills and a manual (can’t remember if these have any kind of hill-holder function)

Thoughts? Yup. Since your GF isn’t comfortable with a stick, and you’ll both be driving the car, you should not get a stick.

There’s an old but wise saying; “if mama’s not happy, NOBODY’s happy!”

The VW version of DSG seems to work better than most, but there is no doubt it’s more complex and likely to break than a manual. Also, make sure she likes the DSG. They feel different than a standard auto and can be a bit jerky at low speed. The GTI is a terrific weekend car, perfect for enjoying twist northeastern roads (at legal speeds, of course.) If you buy this summer you’ll get to enjoy leaf season. I’ve had to cancel trips to Quebec the last two years, but not even trying this year. Go enjoy in my place. My trip started in NYC, looped through the Catskills and Adirondacks before heading to Quebec City for French culture and food. Then back down through Vermont and Western Mass. and Conn.

To answer, she’s not comfortable YET. She seemed to enjoy trying :slight_smile:

My younger brother enjoyed trying to learn a stick. Right up til he destroyed the clutch on my 69 Olds.

If she is not comfortable yet, maybe you should get comfortable with the DSG transmission. It seems from your posts that you are looking for some support to buy the car you want and maybe not the one she wants. I mean no offense by this remark. I’m just trying to make sure this car buying experience is a two way street.

@jtsanders - I fear that you’re right :slight_smile:

You give a little and she gives a little another time. It is a major part of a long term relationship.

There is a good chance she’ll never feel comfortable driving with a manual in city hills. I live in San Francisco and hardly anyone buys a manual who lives here. Some manuals have ‘hill holder’ features that keep you from rolling backwards. But the VW DSG is a mature transmission and seems to work OK now. If you buy a manual you are taking a risk. She may never become comfortable driving it. I’d just get the DSG and enjoy.

So thank you all for the help. Especially @jtsanders and @MarkM. We selected a 2015 carbon steel grey metallic GTI Autobahn with DSG and Lighting package (they apparently almost all come with it). Coming next week! Excited to try that launch control (hey, silver lining!). I’ll update once we get it. Thanks again!

You’re welcome, and best of luck with the new car.

Let us know how you like it. I’d look at the 2015 GTI, and I’d probably get the DSG. I has an '83 for 12 years, most fun car I’ve ever owned.

I dunno, I’ve driven manuals quite a bit when I was young and there are highly over rated. When I’m towing, I use the paddle shift and I find it quite distracting and a bother to have to shift all the time. I think today you get as much utility out of an automatic as a manual and clutches are not cheap anymore. Plus, you don’t have to make a long term commitment on a car. They are traded all the time when needs and desires trade. There is nothing honorable to hanging onto a car for ten years. So automatic it is. The only advantage of a manual is that the new generation of car thieves don’t seem to be able to drive them or haven’t read the manual yet. And hills?

@Bing - DSG is the automatic.

Actually DSG has paddle shifters so you can shift if you desire or let the DSG do it for you. Motorweek had a pretty positive review this week and from other reviews I’ve read the DSG shifts very quickly just maybe not quite as satisfying as the stick shift.

Congrats on the new car and glad I could be of assistance. You can just play with those paddles all you like and pretend it’s a manual. Tell your girlfriend they adjust the ailerons. But only if she isn’t a pilot or the daughter of one.

Mark, that’s hilarious. Check back in a month, I’ll let you know how it is :slight_smile: (apparently delay in delivery…)