The seminal sizzling hatch stays Volkswagen’s definitive automotive within the Golf GTI section. Upholding the ethos of evolution over revolution, VW’s newest Mk 8 GTI is an extremely succesful machine, however does not stray removed from its roots.

  • The VAQ limited-slip differential on the entrance axle results in a extra pointier automotive, making the GTI higher in any respect levels of no matter nook you throw.
  • As anticipated, the seats are bolstered extremely nicely, holding my five-foot-eleven body securely throughout spirited drives.
  • The brand new exhaust notice accentuates the loud noise signature of the EA888 energy plant, which now produces pops and bangs on overrun.


    • Base Worth: $29,545
    • Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder (EA888 evo-four)
    • Horsepower: 241
    • Torque: 273 ft-lb (at 1,750 rpm)
    • Transmission: Six-speed guide (or seven-speed DSG)
    • Drivetrain: Entrance-wheel drive
    • MPG (Mixed): 28

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      What’s in a reputation

      A trailblazer within the sizzling hatch section, the Mk 1 GTI arrived in 1976. The GTI is a reference to “Grand Tourer Injection”, a direct fuel-injection system that made that introductory automobile so particular. Along with the apparent benefits over the carburetor, Volkswagen’s fuel-injection system was designed to energy long-distance journey with out sacrificing efficiency.

      Many additionally affiliate the GTI with its trendy inside, which boasts focal factors like a plaid seat and golf-ball shift knob—particulars that nearly by no means got here earlier than. Hiring one in all its first feminine designers in 1964, Volkswagen introduced Gunhild Liljequist into its material and coloration division in Wolfsburg, Germany. With the inside spiced up, Liljequist was impressed to go to Tartan after his journey by Nice Britain. The golf-ball shift knob she added was a completely intuitive concept—simply an expression of her curiosity in {golfing} and the sport.

      Volkswagen not too long ago invited me to drive a US-spec GTI on the gorgeous roads round Asheville, North Carolina. After driving 1000’s of miles behind the wheel of my three-pedal MK7 GTI each day driver, I used to be desirous to get a really feel for a way the most recent iteration stacks up.

      driving impression

      And I can say with confidence that VW has achieved it once more, one way or the other managing to make the GTI even higher. assuming The Mk1’s humble debut churns out 110 horsepower from its naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine mated to a barely tweaked chassis, making it stunning to see the most recent iteration with greater than double the ability. and turning means. Nonetheless, regardless of the brand new automobile being extra of a spaceship than its ancestor, it stays as a lot of a riot to drive.

      Daniel Byrne

      Unsurprisingly, the twists and turns of the drive route showcased the Mk8’s capabilities in any respect levels of any nook I threw at it. The top consequence was a package deal that felt on its toes, nearly like a sentient being who was dedicated to creating certain I used to be having enjoyable.

      Ranging from the nook entry, the braking package deal punches nicely above its weight. With the Mk8’s 13.4-inch and 12.2-inch vented discs on the entrance and rear, respectively, you’ll be able to stamp the pedal so long as you’ll be able to and the ABS system will settle issues with out interrupting. Threshold braking in some tight switchbacks on the drive route, I may begin spinning the rear finish round, however nothing to the purpose the place I felt I used to be dropping management.

      Regardless of the shortage of a golf-ball shift knob (extra on that later), the six-speed guide transmission within the Mk8 is a pleasure to make use of. Rowing by the gears required a comparatively agency hand, however as I used to be going up and down the field, the shifter landed properly. My nicely calibrated arm says it isn’t the identical because the transmission in my Mk7, however I will must drive each autos again to again to verify. I am completely satisfied to report that, beneath deck, pedal placement allowed for straightforward heel-toe downshifting, due to the shut proximity of the accelerator and brake pedal.

      2022 Golf GTI Shift Knob

      Daniel Byrne

      2022 Golf GTI Pedal

      Daniel Byrne

      From the center of the nook, VW’s VAQ limited-slip-differential eradicated a ton of understeer I skilled with a previous-gen automotive. In comparison with the Mk 7 and seven.5, the brand new automotive does not really feel inherently front-wheel pushed when the steering is loaded. The hole permits for a bit much less in the event you go at a excessive sufficient pace, but it surely was all the time capable of finding a grip to maintain me between the strains.

      Volkswagen’s newest iteration of its EA888 turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder energy plant actually shines when it veers out of the nook. Peak torque—273 foot-pounds—at simply 1,750 rpm, the most recent automobile pulled itself out of gradual corners with out breaking a sweat. Because the drive route started doubling by itself, it allowed for some textbook point-and-stream driving, which by no means did not put a smile on my face.


      Regardless of my disappointment that VW now not contains Golf-ball shifter, plaid seats stay. The remainder of the seat wealth comes as no shock to the GTI, both: properly sturdy, straightforward to regulate, and cozy. I am at house with the seat as little as attainable, and I am completely satisfied to report that the driving force’s seat may have gone down rapidly and simply—with room to go down much more. Volkswagen says they made a aware effort to place the seat, shifter and pedal field for higher consolation and engagement, and it actually exhibits.

      VW Golf GTI

      Daniel Byrne

      VW’s new inside switchgear features a redesigned steering wheel, which I am not an enormous fan of. Whereas the haptic contact buttons work nicely, the piano-black plastic was a fingerprint magnet. Earlier than handing the automobile again over, there have been fairly a number of marks left on the wheel on the time of my or his drive. Nothing everlasting, however not engaging both.

      VW Golf GTI

      Daniel Byrne

      VW Golf GTI


      Whereas I spent the vast majority of the drive listening to pops and bangs from the exhaust, I performed a few of my favourite music by a nine-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo—out there in SE and Autobahn trim ranges. After giving the stereo a correct exercise with traditional hip-hop, traditional rock and pop, I used to be totally impressed by the daring mid-range. Whereas bass is comparatively straightforward to get proper, reaching a fragile steadiness with mid-tones and excessive frequencies is the mark of an excellent stereo system.

      My solely different grievance contained in the cockpit was the shortage of tactile buttons for the standard controls like air con, quantity and seat heating. Whereas the touch-sensitive controls weren’t troublesome to make use of, the answer seems like one step ahead and two steps again. I truly needed to make a aware effort to verify I used to be adjusting the suitable setting identical to I needed. Nonetheless, within the grand scheme of issues, these do not hinder the driving expertise an excessive amount of.


      I will be the primary to confess that I used to be actually uncertain in regards to the aesthetics of the Mk8 GTI’s post-introduction. Nonetheless, having seen it in individual, I have to say I could not be extra fallacious. Principally, the brand new GTI retains nearly the identical silhouette because the earlier era, with minor adjustments.

      VW Golf GTI

      Daniel Byrne

      Probably the most notable adjustments are the entrance fascia, which has a steeper hood rake below the principle grille, and an all-new lighting package deal with extra hexagonal components. Whereas the wheelbase stays unchanged from the earlier automotive, the automobile itself is about an inch longer. The ultimate package deal appears actually sharp and maintains the underlying GTI aesthetic we have now come to know and love.

      Deviating away from the cookie-cutter type wheels seen in earlier GTIs, the Mk 8 comes normal with 18-inch wheels, whereas Autobahn claims the package deal 19s – each of which have a really angular and aggressive design. The smaller wheels are wrapped in 225/40R18 all-season tires, and the upgraded 19s are mated to grippier 235/35R19 summer season tires.


      On the finish of the day, it was exhausting for me to stroll away from Volkswagen’s newest sizzling hatchback with out praising its design. Being such a succesful package deal below the pores and skin, it is going to go away Volkswagen’s design and engineering groups with a variety of headache attempting to make the ninth era even higher. In case you have the cash, go and purchase one with three pedals. you’ll not remorse it.

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