For most gearboxes, the humble Golf GTI represents the genesis of hot sedans. When he first appeared, he reversed the script for many, luring more than a few people out of their V8s and into a small, throwable car that still had the smiley meter on but was low on fuel.
“But wait!” do you cry as you toss stale Vachon cakes and tin cans of Skoal randomly at your author. “The GTI himself is a garnish! Initially, it was true; the GTI resided at the top of the Golf food chain (or Rabbit, depending on the year). For 2022, there is in fact Three GTI’s trim – base, Autobahn and Performance – not to mention a sleek new body style.
All are powered by the brand’s 2.0-liter TFSI engine, developing 241 horsepower and available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG automatic. Despite the automatic’s propensity to tear through acceleration times with eagerness, we will without hesitation benefit from the additional driving engagement provided by the stick.
The entry-level GTI stickers at $ 31,495 plus freight, $ 3,500 walk to the highway, and $ 7,500 south of the expensive Performance Edition (all with manual transmissions, of course). All models include the Limited Slip Differential (VAQ) and meaty stabilizers front and rear. Progressive steering and drive profile selection are also standard, meaning the base GTI gives up little in these departments.
LED lights dot the front and rear fascias, while body-color exterior mirrors and the washer nozzles are heated. The latter is a feature you didn’t know you wanted until a particularly frigid Canadian morning. The illuminated door handles are a nice touch. One of the most visible clues that a customer has chosen to bring up for the base GTI? Richmond alloy rims measuring 17 inches in diameter instead of the 18 or 19 fitted on the other versions. In addition, more expensive models have access to interesting paint colors such as Pomelo yellow and Atlantic blue.
Inside, the more expensive trims are more luxuriously equipped, as you would expect, with the base car doing without wireless CarPlay, for example. Yet it is not really a barren wasteland here. A configurable 10.25-inch instrument cluster makes a good impression of the gauges found in much more expensive machines in the VW family, while wireless charging and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system are also on hand. edge. The front seats are heated and there are leather contact points on the steering wheel and handbrake lever.
What we would choose
While there’s a lot to love about the base car and $ 3,500 isn’t a trivial amount of money, the Autobahn version is very tempting. The bigger wheels are one of the top attractions, along with the integration of wireless smartphones and adaptive cruise control. Satellite radio is also a big draw in the eyes of your author, although it really should be the norm across the board. Dynamic headlights are also a cool party trick.
But, basically, the base GTI is a huge boon. Just be sure to specify the manual transmission.