In 1983, Volkswagen introduced its first Golf GTI, this new Mark 8 version for 2022 is fun to drive and offers more than ever. It has had a very loyal following for decades. Thanks to the modding community and folks who simply love to drive small, fun cars, the GTI has been a staple model for VW.
Powering this 2022 Golf GTI is Volkswagen’s proven, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. There’s a 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed DSG automatic transmission available. A fun fact is that 60 percent of GTIs sold are with the 6-speed manual. Zero to 60 time is rated at 5.7 seconds, so it’s no slouch. The EPA provides an economy rating of 27 miles per gallon around town and up to 34 on the highway.
Four drive modes are available. Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Custom.
Driving the GTI is nothing short of a blast, especially with the manual transmission. You can easily put the power down and do a better job of keeping the engine in its powerband. The engine is very responsive and has no issue passing slower vehicles or getting up to freeway speeds in a hurry.
Handling is excellent. It doesn’t matter if you’re scooting around town, hitting up some windy country roads, or driving it on a track. There’s very little understeer and the car simply hammers around corners. It’s almost as if the Golf GTI has a little voice in it, asking you to push it harder. You’ll find very few cars in this price bracket that will make you smile so much.
When it comes to seating, there are a lot of great features about this Golf GTI. Starting with the front heat/vented seats, the driver seat is a 12-way power adjustable seat with lumbar while the front passenger seat is only an 8-way with manual lumbar.
Rear passengers have ample room, heated seats with a host of storage options, charging points, and are quite comfortable.
The standard 8.5-inch infotainment system is powered by Harman/Kardon and provides excellent music playback. There’s standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built-in. Interesting to note that VW used to only use Fender but H/K is now the premium audio option.
VW has put in a digital instrument cluster that’s completely customizable with the kind of data you want to see behind the steering wheel. Never before has the Golf GTI offered so much customizable data for the driver. You can have the typical twin gauge cluster or have your navigation map shown between them, and more.
We love the exterior design. Its modern, LED lights track with the steering wheel and have a very effective set of fog lamps. The red grill line and honeycomb pattern below the front-logo, looks very sporty and help give the GTI a very bold, sporty look.
LED tail lights wrap-around nicely and the dual exhaust tips help cement the sporty curb-appeal. There’s no question that this is the best-looking GTI ever built. VW absolutely knocked the ball out of the park. While there are competing cars that are a tad quicker, it’s the fun-factor the GTI gives you that helps cement it as a sure-fired winner in our books.
The GTI starts at $29,545 for the S model, goes to $34,295 for the SE, and a whopping $37,995 for our test model, the Autobahn edition. As always, check with your car insurance provider to get rates on this GTI as that might impact your buying decision.