2021 Volkswagen Golf

2021 Golf Photos
 Editors' Pick
Autoblog Rating
8

With engaging dynamics and distinctive styling, the GTI remains the standard for enthusiast hatches.

Industry
N/A
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. — Darkness has finally settled well after 9 o’clock as I make my way up Woodward Avenue. Michigan’s springs are long with cool mornings, hot days and plenty of daylight. The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI stands out a little during my evening run, catching a few stares as I roll to a stop in some of Michigan’s tonier suburbs where expensive cars are the norm. Some attention, but nothing crazy. The GTI is still a VW Golf, albeit one with cool wheels, LED lights and a throaty engine note. Heading north on Woodward, I work the gears, leveling off in sixth to cruise at 50 mph. Surreptitiously, another Golf creeps into my blindspot. The driver lingers, probably a bit startled to see the Mk 8 GTI on public roads. He or she knows what they are looking at, I surmise, and is willing to stalk a fellow driver for a better look. I jam on the brakes — the GTI’s return excellent bite with solid feel through the pedal — and slow down, amused rather than bothered. The episode reminds me why VW still bets on the GTI in the United States when the basic Golf no longer pulls its own weight. The GTI is the enthusiast machine for Volkswagen, and it’s a durable halo that carries on with a new generation alongside its Golf R sibling. While the Golf R has its attributes, like all-wheel drive and more power, the GTI holds a special place going back to the first generation that launched in Europe in 1976 and landed in the United States in ‘83. The GTI is lighter, less ostentatious and captures VW’s unique combination of sportiness and whimsy. There are other fun-to-drive hatches, but how many can you get with plaid seats? Yes, the 2022 Golf GTI is straight out of central casting, though it’s enhanced for the digital age. The dual gauges in front of the driver are replaced with a screen. To the right is an easy-to-use 10-inch touchscreen (an upgrade over the standard 8.25-inch). There’s a whiff of the ID.4’s forward-looking feel, though the large steering wheel with perforated grips reminds me that this is still an analogue driving experience. The tall shifter with a red accenting underscores that notion, though the GTI does offer a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The take rate is currently 40-percent manual. The GTI also gets a torque-sensing limited slip differential standard for 2022. Once comfortable, I note the interior's minimalist style with dark gray and black surfaces interrupted by the longitudinal vents, subtle trim and ambient lighting. In a base Golf, it would be a little grim, but with GTI flourishes, the cabin presents smartly. The visibility is solid, and the seats are supportive with light bolstering. It’s a proper setting to drive yet with a degree of comfort. From the curb, it looks like the GTI. This one is done up in a vivid shade called King’s Red Metallic, which is naturally attention getting. The Mk …
Full Review
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. — Darkness has finally settled well after 9 o’clock as I make my way up Woodward Avenue. Michigan’s springs are long with cool mornings, hot days and plenty of daylight. The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI stands out a little during my evening run, catching a few stares as I roll to a stop in some of Michigan’s tonier suburbs where expensive cars are the norm. Some attention, but nothing crazy. The GTI is still a VW Golf, albeit one with cool wheels, LED lights and a throaty engine note. Heading north on Woodward, I work the gears, leveling off in sixth to cruise at 50 mph. Surreptitiously, another Golf creeps into my blindspot. The driver lingers, probably a bit startled to see the Mk 8 GTI on public roads. He or she knows what they are looking at, I surmise, and is willing to stalk a fellow driver for a better look. I jam on the brakes — the GTI’s return excellent bite with solid feel through the pedal — and slow down, amused rather than bothered. The episode reminds me why VW still bets on the GTI in the United States when the basic Golf no longer pulls its own weight. The GTI is the enthusiast machine for Volkswagen, and it’s a durable halo that carries on with a new generation alongside its Golf R sibling. While the Golf R has its attributes, like all-wheel drive and more power, the GTI holds a special place going back to the first generation that launched in Europe in 1976 and landed in the United States in ‘83. The GTI is lighter, less ostentatious and captures VW’s unique combination of sportiness and whimsy. There are other fun-to-drive hatches, but how many can you get with plaid seats? Yes, the 2022 Golf GTI is straight out of central casting, though it’s enhanced for the digital age. The dual gauges in front of the driver are replaced with a screen. To the right is an easy-to-use 10-inch touchscreen (an upgrade over the standard 8.25-inch). There’s a whiff of the ID.4’s forward-looking feel, though the large steering wheel with perforated grips reminds me that this is still an analogue driving experience. The tall shifter with a red accenting underscores that notion, though the GTI does offer a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The take rate is currently 40-percent manual. The GTI also gets a torque-sensing limited slip differential standard for 2022. Once comfortable, I note the interior's minimalist style with dark gray and black surfaces interrupted by the longitudinal vents, subtle trim and ambient lighting. In a base Golf, it would be a little grim, but with GTI flourishes, the cabin presents smartly. The visibility is solid, and the seats are supportive with light bolstering. It’s a proper setting to drive yet with a degree of comfort. From the curb, it looks like the GTI. This one is done up in a vivid shade called King’s Red Metallic, which is naturally attention getting. The Mk …
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Retail Price

$23,195 - $23,195 MSRP / Window Sticker Price
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Engine 1.4L I-4
MPG 29 City / 39 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 6-spd man w/OD
Power 147 @ 5000 rpm
Drivetrain front-wheel
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