May 16, 2021


Connecting People

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI review: Predictably top-notch

You will find a full-width LED jogging light-weight concealed concerning the headlights. Thankfully, it will not seem like a unibrow at night time.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

We have no selection but to alert you that this whole evaluate is one large tease. The pair of 2022 Volkswagen GTIs we analyzed have German entrance license plates, a forewarning of types, given that the eighth-gen GTI is even now months away from heading on sale in the US, alongside with its bigger-general performance sibling, the Golfing R. If you can preserve it in your pants, though, the reward will be well worth it, because VW’s hottest very hot hatch is this sort of a delight.


  • Torquey turbo 4-pot
  • Sharp handling
  • Plaid!

Never Like

  • Iffy entrance-close styling
  • Dumb new cup holders

The Volkswagen Golfing is not a vehicle of radical reinvention, and the 2022 GTI’s style much more than reinforces that idea. From the rear, the hatchback seems much more like a refreshed seventh-gen, with some much more polygonal taillights and some added bumper creases. Only ahead of the A-pillars do you commence to see some genuine newness. But I am even now not thoroughly bought on the sloping-brow entrance close, which offers the vehicle a dose of Geico caveman aesthetic. The full-width jogging lights and quintuple-hexagon fog lights are awesome additions, though. The 19-inch alloy wheels seem excellent, as well, and though they are very large for a compact vehicle, they don’t seem like caricatures, leaving much more than enough area for some sidewall meat.

You will find much more revolution than evolution inside of, and reported revolution evidently came for the buttons, because they are virtually all long gone. Touch-delicate panels now go over the steering wheel and dashboard, eradicating almost every single piece of physical switchgear. Delivered you are awesome with that, it tends to make for a cleanse, uncluttered seem. Whilst the standard form of the dashboard has modified, the inside feels just about as roomy as it did prior to, with sufficient glass building way for sufficient sunshine and potent visibility from all sides. The GTI’s plaid seats are back again and just as comfortable and supportive as at any time leather is overrated, folks.

Other parts of the inside are a little strike or skip. Whilst the heart console’s armrest storage is even now compact, VW straight-up designed the cup holders even worse. Now, two drinks are relegated to this weird indentation in which a compact button pops out a spring-loaded cup holder for more compact-diameter drinks. The issue, though, will come with striving to fit a second drink in there though it really is attainable, just about anything much larger than the smallest Crimson Bull can is heading to smash uncomfortably versus the drink up coming to it, which can spell trouble. Some of the plastics really feel flimsier than on its predecessor. Consider the “cellphone home” ahead of the shifter, for instance though we love that it holds a cellphone in spot and out of look at, its lid feels like it really is always about 3 seconds from snapping off. The use of piano-black trim on every single area intended for touching suggests fingerprints will virtually always be visible.

Those touch-delicate bits can prove difficult in other strategies. The GTI’s steering wheel buttons are clicky, but they are also capable of operating by a light-weight touch on your own, so you can drag your finger alongside the volume slider and make much larger changes much more promptly. Nevertheless, precision is not excellent, so your eardrums could possibly 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 screen, building any changes way much more aggravating at night time.

If you have driven any other modern GTI, the eighth-gen product will really feel like second nature.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

VW’s hottest infotainment technique is a stable phase ahead, with a contemporary aesthetic and an admirable boot time when chilly. You will find a household display screen that can display screen numerous forms of facts at after, and a quick faucet of the household button on the remaining side of the display screen tends to make leaping concerning pages sufficiently uncomplicated. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are good touches, particularly if you have been lagging on updating your cellphone cords, given that the 2022 GTI is a USB-C-only affair. The gauge cluster is a display screen, now, as well, carrying some entertaining graphics though letting for a excellent degree of customizability. An offered HUD provides applicable facts considerably closer to my eyes, while we would not particularly connect with it important offered how properly the gauges express points.

All people cares soften away the second you commence driving the 2022 VW GTI in earnest. High-high quality caning has always been at the heart of the GTI knowledge, and the eighth-gen vehicle tends to make no main alterations in that regard. It is much more entertaining than some sports cars costing twice as considerably, and it all begins with the GTI’s turbo 4-cylinder fuel engine, which in its hottest iteration generates 242 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed to the entrance wheels by a regular minimal-slip differential and either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Applying a light-weight foot and shorter-shifting close to city returns easy, gradual ahead motion, but dig a little further into the pedal toss and the 2.-liter EA888 will toss an absolute wall of torque at you, pushing the hatch ahead with shocking haste. The clutch pedal is properly weighted and has a definitive bite point, building for easy begins and shifts, and the lever by itself offers just the correct volume of notch as it slinks concerning gates.

The EA888 could possibly not seem like considerably from a length, but you can find a mountain of torque emanating from underneath that engine go over.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

As for the DSG-geared up vehicle we analyzed in California, it really is much more proof that Volkswagen’s dual-clutch device is one of the finest. Indeed, it even now has a inclination to jerkily interact to start with equipment when starting off, but from that point on, shifts are seamless and quick. The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on their own are very compact, but they offer you fast reaction. If paddles usually are not your thing, you will be content to know the DSG ‘box will hold gears as extensive as you want in Activity method, with the cutest little farty brapp with each and every upshift.

The GTI is positively elegant in the switchbacks. Adaptive dampers get rid of any trace of human body roll without the need of building the trip so stiff as to be frustrating, and the method change also provides a good little bit of excess weight to the electric powered electrical power steering. Mixed with the aforementioned minimal-slip diff, the new GTI is noticeably much more agile though cornering. The seventh-gen vehicle was no slouch though carving by California canyons, but the new vehicle is basically much more keen to dive into hairpins and offers greater traction on corner exit. Actually, the new GTI is closer to past-gen Golfing R amounts of on-road excitement.

However, when it really is time to chill, rolling in Comfort virtually feels like a unique vehicle fully. The stiff damping ceding to a smoothness that dispatches frustrating bumps and jostles with pretty little movement transferring to the occupants around Michigan potholes and California highway growth joints, the GTI is a doll. Cabin isolation feels a phase earlier mentioned its predecessor, as well. In fact, the whole shebang feels drastically much more grownup without the need of getting rid of sight of the GTI’s inherent playful nature. If you can find one method that we’re content to see around and around once more with little adjustment, it really is this one.

We’re so far away from the 2022 GTI’s US launch that the EPA has not however produced gas-financial state figures, but which is what the trip laptop is for. About a pair hundred miles of mixed town and highway, we see close to 26 or 27 mpg, which is what the feds fee the outgoing GTI in put together use. For a longer time stretches of freeway press the needle north of 30 mpg, provided you prevent glomming on the throttle just to really feel the torque do its thing.

The GTI’s makeover will not mess with that handsome form.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Even with some newfound electrical power and features — and, assumingly, the a little bit bigger price tag to match — the GTI’s competition remains about the exact as regular. The Honda Civic Si is because of to enter a new technology in the around upcoming, and though it really is even now offered in two human body types (coupe and sedan), it really is not as entertaining to drive as the GTI. The Hyundai Veloster N offers the VW a very stable run for its revenue, but it really is not offered as a genuine 5-doorway and its cabin basically just isn’t as good. If you want an inside much more closely resembling a luxurious vehicle, you can phase it up with the Mazda3 Turbo, which just isn’t a general performance variant per se, however it even now moves like one.

The wait will be well worth it for the 2022 Volkswagen GTI. The parts that were being offered a dose of radical reinvention don’t get in the way of the driving knowledge, which remains as exhilarating and redeeming as at any time. You will find a excellent rationale this is the very hot hatch by which most are compared, and it will not look that pattern will be transforming any time shortly.