2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI review: Predictably top-notch

There’s a entire-width LED functioning light-weight concealed among the headlights. Thankfully, it does not seem like a unibrow at evening.

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We have no preference but to warn you that this whole critique is a person big tease. The pair of 2022 Volkswagen GTIs we examined have German entrance license plates, a forewarning of sorts, considering the fact that the eighth-gen GTI is even now months absent from going on sale in the US, together with its higher-functionality sibling, the Golfing R. If you can hold it in your trousers, nevertheless, the reward will be worthy of it, simply because VW’s newest sizzling hatch is these kinds of a delight.

Table of Contents


  • Torquey turbo 4-pot
  • Sharp dealing with
  • Plaid!

Really don’t Like

  • Iffy entrance-conclusion styling
  • Dumb new cup holders

The Volkswagen Golfing is not a vehicle of radical reinvention, and the 2022 GTI’s model much more than reinforces that notion. From the rear, the hatchback appears to be much more like a refreshed seventh-gen, with some much more polygonal taillights and some additional bumper creases. Only forward of the A-pillars do you get started to see some accurate newness. But I am even now not totally marketed on the sloping-brow entrance conclusion, which gives the vehicle a dose of Geico caveman aesthetic. The entire-width functioning lights and quintuple-hexagon fog lights are neat additions, nevertheless. The 19-inch alloy wheels seem fantastic, way too, and whilst they are rather big for a compact vehicle, they really don’t seem like caricatures, leaving much more than enough area for some sidewall meat.

There’s much more revolution than evolution inside of, and claimed revolution plainly arrived for the buttons, simply because they are practically all gone. Touch-delicate panels now address the steering wheel and dashboard, getting rid of practically each piece of actual physical switchgear. Furnished you might be neat with that, it will make for a clean up, uncluttered seem. Although the normal condition of the dashboard has adjusted, the inside feels just about as roomy as it did prior to, with ample glass generating way for ample sunshine and solid visibility from all sides. The GTI’s plaid seats are back and just as comfy and supportive as at any time leather is overrated, individuals.

Other parts of the inside are a small hit or miss. Although the center console’s armrest storage is even now little, VW straight-up produced the cup holders even worse. Now, two drinks are relegated to this weird indentation wherever a little button pops out a spring-loaded cup holder for smaller sized-diameter drinks. The dilemma, nevertheless, comes with trying to suit a 2nd consume in there whilst it really is probable, something larger sized than the smallest Pink Bull can is going to smash uncomfortably towards the consume future to it, which can spell difficulties. Some of the plastics feel flimsier than on its predecessor. Just take the “cellular phone household” forward of the shifter, for illustration whilst we love that it holds a cellular phone in put and out of see, its lid feels like it really is always about 3 seconds from snapping off. The use of piano-black trim on each surface meant for touching signifies fingerprints will practically always be seen.

People contact-delicate bits can verify difficult in other means. The GTI’s steering wheel buttons are clicky, but they are also able of doing work by a light-weight contact by yourself, so you can drag your finger together the volume slider and make larger sized changes much more swiftly. However, precision is not fantastic, so your eardrums may well get much more than they bargained for. Also, VW failed to feel to illuminate the volume and temperature sliders at the bottom of the display, generating any changes way much more disheartening at evening.

If you have pushed any other current GTI, the eighth-gen product will feel like 2nd nature.

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VW’s newest infotainment system is a sound move forward, with a contemporary aesthetic and an admirable boot time when chilly. There’s a household display that can screen several sorts of info at once, and a swift faucet of the household button on the left aspect of the display will make jumping among internet pages sufficiently simple. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are wonderful touches, specifically if you have been lagging on updating your cellular phone cords, considering the fact that the 2022 GTI is a USB-C-only affair. The gauge cluster is a display, now, way too, carrying some enjoyment graphics whilst letting for a fantastic diploma of customizability. An obtainable HUD delivers related info much nearer to my eyes, even though we would not exactly connect with it essential offered how effectively the gauges express factors.

All all those cares melt absent the 2nd you start driving the 2022 VW GTI in earnest. Substantial-high-quality caning has always been at the coronary heart of the GTI practical experience, and the eighth-gen vehicle will make no big alterations in that regard. It truly is much more enjoyment than some sports cars costing 2 times as much, and it all starts with the GTI’s turbo 4-cylinder gas motor, which in its newest iteration generates 242 horsepower and 273 pound-ft of torque, all of which is routed to the entrance wheels as a result of a typical constrained-slip differential and both a 6-velocity manual or 7-velocity twin-clutch transmission.

Utilizing a light-weight foot and short-shifting all over town returns smooth, gradual forward motion, but dig a small deeper into the pedal throw and the two.-liter EA888 will throw an complete wall of torque at you, pushing the hatch forward with stunning haste. The clutch pedal is nicely weighted and has a definitive chunk issue, generating for smooth starts and shifts, and the lever itself delivers just the correct amount of money of notch as it slinks among gates.

The EA888 may well not seem like much from a distance, but there is a mountain of torque emanating from beneath that motor address.

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As for the DSG-outfitted vehicle we examined in California, it really is much more evidence that Volkswagen’s twin-clutch device is a person of the best. Indeed, it even now has a inclination to jerkily interact 1st gear when starting off, but from that issue on, shifts are seamless and swift. The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters them selves are rather little, but they offer you quick response. If paddles are not your point, you may be joyful to know the DSG ‘box will maintain gears as extensive as you want in Activity manner, with the cutest small farty brapp with every single upshift.

The GTI is positively chic in the switchbacks. Adaptive dampers reduce any trace of overall body roll with out generating the ride so rigid as to be troublesome, and the manner switch also adds a wonderful little bit of fat to the electrical electricity steering. Blended with the aforementioned constrained-slip diff, the new GTI is significantly much more agile whilst cornering. The seventh-gen vehicle was no slouch whilst carving as a result of California canyons, but the new vehicle is merely much more keen to dive into hairpins and delivers improved traction on corner exit. Truthfully, the new GTI is nearer to past-gen Golfing R levels of on-road excitement.

Nonetheless, when it really is time to chill, rolling in Convenience practically feels like a unique vehicle totally. The rigid damping ceding to a smoothness that dispatches troublesome bumps and jostles with really small motion transferring to the occupants in excess of Michigan potholes and California freeway growth joints, the GTI is a doll. Cabin isolation feels a move over its predecessor, way too. In actuality, the total shebang feels appreciably much more adult with out getting rid of sight of the GTI’s inherent playful nature. If there is a person components that we’re joyful to see in excess of and in excess of once again with small adjustment, it really is this a person.

We’re so much absent from the 2022 GTI’s US launch that the EPA has not nevertheless produced gasoline-financial system figures, but that is what the trip laptop or computer is for. More than a few hundred miles of blended metropolis and freeway, we see all over 26 or 27 mpg, which is what the feds rate the outgoing GTI in merged use. For a longer time stretches of freeway thrust the needle north of thirty mpg, provided you stop glomming on the throttle just to feel the torque do its point.

The GTI’s makeover does not mess with that handsome condition.

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Even with some newfound electricity and capabilities — and, assumingly, the a bit higher price tag tag to match — the GTI’s level of competition remains about the same as regular. The Honda Civic Si is thanks to enter a new technology in the around long term, and whilst it really is even now obtainable in two overall body kinds (coupe and sedan), it really is not as enjoyment to generate as the GTI. The Hyundai Veloster N gives the VW a rather sound operate for its cash, but it really is not obtainable as a accurate 5-door and its cabin merely isn’t as wonderful. If you want an inside much more closely resembling a luxurious vehicle, you can move it up with the Mazda3 Turbo, which isn’t a functionality variant for every se, nevertheless it even now moves like a person.

The hold out will be worthy of it for the 2022 Volkswagen GTI. The parts that ended up offered a dose of radical reinvention really don’t get in the way of the driving practical experience, which remains as exhilarating and redeeming as at any time. There’s a superior purpose this is the sizzling hatch by which most are compared, and it does not look that development will be switching any time soon.