Used Volkswagen Golf GTI

Golf GTI

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Volkswagen Golf Gti Guide

Get the best online car shopping experience with expert reviews of the Volkswagen Golf Gti. Read more to learn about the most important features and important factors to consider when researching the Volkswagen Golf Gti.


The Volkswagen Golf GTI is widely regarded as a "hot hatch" that has revolutionized hatchbacks in America and Europe. Volkswagen basically means "the people's car" and has a long history, with the Golf GTI being born in 1976, just two short years after the Golf was created. Today, the Golf GTI packs a lot of standard features, while giving drivers a sense of driving a classic.


A Strong Powertrain

Whether you opt for the six-speed manual transmission or six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), there is a lot of power that comes from the 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This powertrain, which is found on the 2018 model year, generates 220 horsepower and 258 pound-foot of torque. While the manual GTI can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, the DCT helps it get there in 6 seconds flat. The DCT is known for its smooth shifting, and both GTIs have a firm feel while still feeling sporty.

Adjustable Dampers on the Autobahn Trim

The line-topping Autobahn trim level offers adjustable dampers, known as Dynamic Chassis Control or Adaptive Chassis Control. This offers three selectable driving modes: Normal, Comfort, and Sport. Comfort and Normal modes both offer ride comfort similar to that on the regular Golf, but Sport Mode stiffens the dampers but does not let the ride quality become rough.

The Infotainment System

Up until 2016, the Golf GTI did not have a USB port. The standard infotainment touchscreen is 6.5 inches while the Autobahn has an 8-inch screen. Smartphone app integration is standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The infotainment system itself has clear graphics that are easy to use. The upgraded 8-inch touchscreen display offers 3D navigation and 10 GB for storing music.


The Standard High-Performance Tires

On the trim levels below the Autobahn, the GTI is equipped with high-performance 225/40R-18 Hankook Ventos S1 Noble 2 all-season tires. These tires create a stiff ride quality and create a long panic stopping distance. Drivers who want a plusher ride quality can swap those tires out for summer tires.

Limited Availability of Common Driver Aids

On some of the more recent GTIs (such as the 2016 to 2018 models), standard driver aids found on other vehicles are only equipped on the top two trims. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking come standard on the SE trim level. However, lane keep assist, dynamic cruise control, and automatic high beams are only standard on the Autobahn trim, which means consumers will pay more for aids that come standard on more affordable competitors.

The Brakes

The Golf GTI's brakes feel light beneath the foot and lack force upon first pressing down. The vehicle only makes it from 60 mph down to 0 in 134 feet. This could be due to the all-season tires not having a lot of road grip, and it is likely that the sticky summer tires can come to a safer panic stop. The brakes still might come off as being too squishy, though.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Reviews

4.8 OUT OF 5 (14 Reviews)