The Volkswagen Golf GTI pioneered the hot-hatchback style and now, after a long time of existence, it’s nonetheless the whipped cream atop this sundae of delectable, fun-to-drive compact machines. The GTI was redesigned for the 2022 model 12 months, full with up to date styling and extra trendy inside options, but it surely nonetheless possesses the fun-to-drive nature that makes it a efficiency icon. A turbocharged, 2.0-liter, 241-hp four-cylinder is underneath the hood and powers the entrance wheels by means of both a seven-speed automated or—our alternative—a six-speed handbook transmission. Its cabin is spacious in each the entrance and the again and, like each GTI because the nameplate’s inception, there’s loads of room for cargo underneath the hatchback door. Whether or not you’re new to speedy boxes-on-wheels or have been a trustworthy GTI fan because the early days, this newest rendition is as fun-loving as when the unique first arrived on these shores. For a GTI turned as much as eleven, try the Golf R (reviewed individually), which boasts 315 horsepower, normal all-wheel drive, and equally good dealing with.
What’s New for 2023?
The one factor new for 2023 is the addition of a 40th Anniversary Version to the lineup to have fun 40 years because the Golf GTI made its method to the U.S. The restricted manufacturing version joins the S, SE, and Autobahn trims, slotting in above the S. In any other case, the Golf GTI is unchanged from 2022.
Pricing and Which One to Purchase
When deciding which GTI trim to purchase, the mid-level SE strikes us as the very best worth. For an additional $800, the usual six-speed handbook might be swapped for a seven-speed dual-clutch automated. We favor to shift for ourselves, so we would keep away from the surcharge. In contrast with the entry-level trim, the SE provides a 480-watt Karman/Hardon audio system, a cool illuminated grille, enhanced infotainment options, and a sunroof. It will also be fitted with leather-based upholstery, ventilated entrance seats, and reminiscence settings for the motive force’s seat, however which means ditching the GTI’s conventional material seats and their plaid design. We’d by no means try this.
Engine, Transmission, and Efficiency
The 2023 Golf GTI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that develops 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. That is a rise of 13 horses and 15 pound-feet versus its predecessor, however that energy continues to be routed to the entrance wheels by means of both an ordinary six-speed handbook transmission or an optionally available seven-speed dual-clutch automated. We examined a GTI with the auto ‘field, which had sensible shifts and helped ship the hatch to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds–0.7 faster than a last-gen Rabbit version with the automated. Not solely is the brand new GTI faster in a straight line, we credit score its revised suspension, electronically managed limited-slip differential, and brake-based torque vectoring for an uptick in leisure worth on again roads and race tracks. The VW’s expertly tuned chassis deserves extra reward than ever, with its sharp responses and not-too-firm, not-too-soft experience high quality. The latter was skilled in a top-spec Autobahn model, which comes with adjustable adaptive dampers and a set of 19-inch wheels (18-inchers are normal) sporting summer season tires. Nothing places a damper on spirited driving like a smooth brake pedal, however the GTI supplies agency suggestions and noteworthy stopping energy, halting the hatch from 70 mph in simply 151 toes.
Gas Economic system and Actual-World MPG
Essentially the most environment friendly Golf GTI model is the one with the automated transmission, which earned rankings of 25 mpg metropolis and 34 mpg freeway. Choosing the six-speed handbook reduces gas economic system within the metropolis by 1 mpg. Once we examined a Golf GTI with the automated on our 75-mph freeway gas economic system route, which is a part of our in depth testing routine, it overperformed its EPA estimate and returned 38 mpg. For extra details about the Golf GTI’s gas economic system, go to the EPA’s web site.
Inside, Consolation, and Cargo
Inside, the Golf GTI boasts a extra trendy design than earlier than and a few conventional callbacks. The dashboard is dominated by two giant shows—a ten.3-inch gauge cluster and a ten.0-inch touchscreen—that share a piano-black bezel. The GTI’s three-spoke steering wheel boasts a closely contoured rim and touch-sensitive controls. Its bolstered entrance seats have crimson accents round their outer edges and iconic plaid inserts on the highest and backside cushions—a GTI hallmark by means of the a long time. Sadly, not like the high-quality environs of the earlier era, the brand new inside is marred by some chintzy finishes and onerous plastics. Seeing the highway forward is improved by a decrease cowl, however we favor a easy set of analog gauges over the overly configurable digital setup. The brand new GTI grows by an inch general and sees its wheelbase stretch by 0.6 inch, which solely furthers its spectacular passenger lodging and cargo area.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The GTI’s infotainment system runs by means of an ordinary 10.0-inch touchscreen. Sadly, it is primarily operated through touch-sensitive sliders as an alternative of extra intuitive buttons and knobs. Together with a few charging ports, the system contains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These acquainted telephone apps and menu buildings will assist offset VW’s in any other case busy and doubtlessly distracting interface.
Security and Driver-Help Options
The GTI comes with a number of normal driver-assistance know-how in addition to optionally available upgrades. Notably, VW’s IQ.Drive system is accessible on all trims and, along with conventional options resembling automated emergency braking and lane-keeping help, contains Emergency Help, which brings the car to a cease and activates the hazards within the absence of detected driver enter. For extra details about the Golf GTI’s crash-test outcomes, go to the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) web sites. Key security options embody:
- Customary automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Customary lane-departure warning and lane-keeping help
- Out there adaptive cruise management
Guarantee and Upkeep Protection
VW contains an above-average restricted guarantee, however its powertrain safety trails behind most rivals. The corporate does sweeten the take care of complimentary scheduled upkeep that’s much like what Toyota affords.
- Restricted guarantee covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain guarantee covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary upkeep is roofed for 2 years or 20,000 miles
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
turbocharged and intercooled inline-4, iron block and aluminum head
121 in3, 1984 cm3
241 hp @ 6500 rpm
273 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automated
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.4-in vented disc/12.2-in disc
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza S005, 235/35R-19 91Y
Wheelbase: 103.4 in
Size: 168.8 in
Width: 70.4 in
Top: 58.2 in
Curb weight: 3154 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.1 sec
100 mph: 12.2 sec
1/4 mile: 13.6 sec @ 105 mph
130 mph: 24.6 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling begin, 5–60 mph: 5.5 sec
High gear, 30–50 mph: 2.7 sec
High gear, 50–70 mph: 3.8 sec
High velocity (mfr’s declare): 155 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 151 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 311 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.97 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Noticed: 25 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Mixed/metropolis/freeway: 27/24/32 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
Extra Options and Specs