Volkswagen’s small but still lauded Golf has long been a driving enthusiast’s favorite – a vehicle focused on delivering a truly joyful driving experience for enthusiasts who appreciate what a vehicle can do and don’t want shell out luxury dollars to get it. ride quality.
This vehicle helped create the “hot hatch” category which is both performance oriented while trying to retain a certain level of practicality. It faces stiff competition from Hyundai, Honda, Subaru and MINI hatchbacks, but has always been a benchmark in the class.
Returning for 2022, the Golf GTI debuts the 8th generation of this popular and sporty car, improving performance and revamping some physical elements of the car’s design and technical setup.
I recently spent some time in a 2022 VW Golf GTI, and I’m back with a full report on how tough it was in the hot hatch department.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Vehicle: Volkswagen Golf GTI 2022Price as tested: $40,185 (starts around $31,000)Best feature: Really enjoyable driving experience, clean design but not too flashyEvaluation: 4 out of 5 starsWho wants this vehicle?: Compact car buyers looking for a fun and sporty sedan
The unique design of the 2022 Golf GTI is instantly recognizable to car enthusiasts, and my test vehicle featured beautiful metallic yellow paint as well as an attractive redesign up front.
In keeping with Volkswagen tradition, the Golf GTI doesn’t have as flashy styling as some of the hot hatchback competitors, but offers a clean design that’s pleasing to the eye.
Exterior features on my tester included: 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a panoramic sunroof.
The vehicle is 168.8 inches long, 58.2 inches tall and has a curb weight of 3,154 pounds.
Moving inside the 2022 Golf GTI, you’ll find a redesigned interior with comfortable seats up front for the driver and passenger, but the rear seats are quite cramped. Limited rear space is a reality that applies to most vehicles in the hot hatchback segment. On the plus side, cargo space is decent for the segment.
Almost everything inside the Golf GTi – even the sunroof controls and some steering wheel controls – feature some sort of touch controls instead of the traditional buttons or dials. More on that later, but suffice it to say that VW has gone a little overboard with this approach, which is often frustrating to use, especially for climate controls.
Interior features include Vienna leather seating surfaces, leather-wrapped GTI sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated driver and front passenger seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seats with center armrest , heated rear seats, unique red accents, USB charging ports in both rows and multi-color adjustable ambient lighting, add it all up and you’ve got a premium vehicle but not one that shoves it in your face. It’s more subtle.
HOW IS THE ROAD?
For 2022, the Golf GTI’s only engine option is a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder offering 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Both of these numbers offer respectable bumps over the previous model – and the 2022 edition is both lighter and faster than in the past.
An optional adaptive suspension upgrade and standard limited-slip differential further enhance the ride. But please note that you will need to get the best Autobahn trim to get the adaptive suspension.
All Golf GTI models come with front-wheel drive, and fans of the “Save the Manuals” movement will be happy to hear that a six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Golf GTI, with an option to upgrade. level to a seven-speed automatic. transmission.
I had an automatic version and really loved driving the Golf on a daily basis. Handling, braking, power and speed all deliver a brilliant, fun and sporty ride, whether you’re using the automatic transmission or the paddle shifters.
Whether you’re navigating narrow city streets or letting the Golf GTI spread its wings on the highway or a windy road, it’s a thrilling experience through and through.
Speeds from zero to 60 don’t disappoint, clocking in under 6 seconds.
Technology is one area where the 2022 Golf GTI fails to deliver a satisfying experience.
To put it bluntly, the Golf GTI’s infotainment system – centered around a 10-inch screen – is quite frustrating to use, and not very well designed compared to rivals’ systems. There are too many unnecessary touch elements in this vehicle where traditional buttons and controls would have provided a better user experience.
The system needs to be updated on future models, as this is a legitimate reason why some people may be drawn to competing vehicles over the Golf GTI.
A plus point is that you can use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay for phone mirroring, and I mostly used that setup rather than working with the standard vehicle interface on the tech system. And I found voice commands to be much more reliable and responsive than touch commands, so this is another option to ease the burden of touchscreen controls.
The Harman Kardon sound system includes a subwoofer and delivers impressive sound, and wireless phone charging is also offered. Satellite radio is included with a three-month trial subscription and USB-C ports are included.
Moving on to safety features, the Golf GTI has more features than I expected from this type of performance-oriented vehicle.
Six airbags are included, and other safety features include:
- Electronic stability control
- Intelligent Collision Response System
- Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
- LATCH system for child seats
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Reversing camera system
- Parking assistance
- Dynamic display of traffic signs
Volkswagen’s IQ Drive package includes advanced technologies including:
- Travel Assist (semi-automated driving assistance)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane keeping system
- Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, with pedestrian and cyclist monitoring)
- blind spot monitor
- Rear traffic alert
The available head-up display is useful for things like speed limit notifications, and what’s somewhat unique here is that features like adaptive cruise control are even available for those who choose the transmission. Golf GTI manual.
The official fuel economy numbers on the Golf GTi I tested were 25 city/34 highway/28 combined. In real-world testing, I averaged 23 mpg in real-world testing.
These are solid numbers for a performance-oriented vehicle like the Golf GTI.
The 2022 Golf GTI Autobahn trim level I tested cost a hair over $40,000; and the base price starts at around $31,000. The SE trim level splits the difference and starts around $35,000.
These numbers make the Golf GTI one of the more expensive hot hatchback options, but it matches the high level of performance offered by the vehicle compared to its rivals.
If you like the Golf GTI but want to keep a few extra bucks in your pocket, stick with the base model and skip some of the bells and whistles you’ll get when upgrading to higher trim levels.
VW’s New Vehicle Warranty covers 4 years/50,000 miles, including powertrain component coverage. There is also a corrosion perforation warranty for 7 years/100,000 miles.
Maintenance is covered for 2 years/20,000 miles and you get 24-hour roadside assistance for 3 years//36,000 miles.
The redesigned 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI is an attractive, fun and fast hatchback that will appeal to Volkswagen fans and likely sway competition buyers.
You’ll want to drive this car as much as possible, regardless of gas prices.
Matt Myftiu can be contacted by email at [email protected] Its past reviews can all be viewed online at autotechreviews.com. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews.