• 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The new Mk.8 Volkswagen Golf GTI is better than ever

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Volkswagen unveiled the eighth-generation Golf GTI and Golf R, at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show. The new GTI packs a lot of features and, in our words, a new era of hot hatches has arrived. The Golf GTI competes with a few popular options in the segment, like Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai Veloster N.


The Golf GTI has been one of the best-selling hot hatches around the globe and now it’s even better with “...more performance, better handling, more standard equipment, and improved tech features, yet minimal price increases.” - as quoted by the Senior Vice President, Hein Schafer. The most important upgrades are made to the interior of the GTI, which now has a full-digital instrument panel to go with a bigger and updated touchscreen infotainment system.

Trims And Features.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
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The trim list stays the same as the outgoing model with S, SE, and Autobahn. The entry-level S trim has a starting price of $29,545. The Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder that’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Apart from these, a few of the standard features are as follows:

  • Leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel.
  • All-new 10.25-inch driver information display and an 8.25-inch touchscreen display.
  • seven-speaker audio unit.
  • Cloth-covered and heated front seats.
  • Front and rear parking sensors.
  • Adaptive cruise control.
  • Blindspot monitoring.
  • Forward collision mitigation.
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
- image 1001861
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Trims and Features
Trims Price Features
S $29,545 (Manual)$30,345 (DSG) 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped and heated  steering wheel, cloth-covered heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, interior ambient lighting with multi-level customizability, 8.25-inch touchscreen display, 10.25-inch driver information display, seven-speaker audio unit, single-zone automatic climate control
SE $34,295 (Manual)$35,095 (DSG) Panoramic sunroof, 10-inch touchscreen display, adaptive headlights, nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation system, proximity keyless entry.
Autobahn $37,995 (Manual)$38,795 (DSG) Adaptive dampers, 19-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, Vienna leather seats with rear heating functions, three-zone automatic climate control, faux-leather door trims, 12-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory.

How does the new 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI look?

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The exterior of the 2022 Golf GTI has been updated to look more dynamic and sporty to match its advancements. The front face gets a set of angry-looking LED headlights and DRLs. The intake grille design is bigger now and is similar to that of Audi, which is the signature honeycomb mesh. The X-shaped LED foglights are standard on the new GTI and are integrated into the intake vents. An LED strip runs to the Vee-Dub logo from the DRLs, giving the front-end a cinematic visual.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
- image 1001863

The rear sports a spoiler at the top with all-LED taillights and dual-exhaust tips with a big diffuser. The rear spoiler is set back a bit more than the previous model year, making the GTI look more aggressive and wind-cheating. An all-new set of 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels make their way to the GTI that not only look great but are lighter in theory. The new GTI is slightly lighter than the model it replaces at 3,154 pounds, but it should be poitned out that it has the same 103.5-inch wheelbase. The overall dimensions are not the same but there are no major differences. A few of the exterior features to be noted are as follows:

  • Newly designed LED DRLs, headlamps, and taillights.
  • New X-shaped foglights.
  • 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels as standard.
  • Twin-exhaust tips with rear diffuser.
  • Heated mirrors.
  • Keyless proximity entry.
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior Dimensions
Model 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Curb Weight (lb) 3,154
Length (inches) 168.8
Width (inches) 70.4
Height (inches) 57.6
Ground Clearance (inches) TBD
Wheelbase (inches) 103.5

Interior Changes And Features.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior
- image 1001867

Volkswagen took forward a big leap in making the cabin stand out in every aspect. The new GTI gets many necessary upgrades and now that they are here, it looks and feels good in our opinion.

The big changes are noticed in the dashboard layout that has become sleeker and holds a new bigger 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen and a 10.25-inch fully digital instrument console called the Digital Cockpit Pro. Both of them are fitted as standard equipment and offer customizability.

The dashboard and door trims have a soft touch feel and the attention to detail is phenomenal. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is re-designed and comes with heating functions as standard.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior
- image 1001878

Speaking of cabin spaciousness, there is enough room to fit up to 5 people without any fuss and the standard seats offer good cushioning with ensuring prolonged comfort on long-distance travels - as long as nobody is that big. The front seats come with manual adjustability with multi-level heating. The rear can fit three people comfortably as long as they aren’t on teh larger sude. A 19.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity will fit your usual daily luggage and also can be expanded to 34.5 cubic-feet for added convenience. A few major interior features are listed below:

  • Three-zone automatic climate control.
  • Vienna leather seats with both front and rear heating functions.
  • 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro.
  • Leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel.
  • 12-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory.
  • Faux-leather door trims.
  • Heads-up display.
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior Dimensions
Model 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Seating Capacity 5
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 38.4/55.9/41.2
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 38.1/53.9/35.6
Cargo Capacity (lb) 19.9
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior
- image 1001871

The infotainment system is all-new which is the MIB3 in the 2022 GTI with a bigger 8.25-inch or an optional 10.25-inch touchscreen display. Both the displays offer supreme touch sensitivity with zero lags and an easy-to-use interface. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard with a few other features like Bluetooth, WiFi connectivity, navigation, and many more. A list for the same is just below:

  • 8.25 or 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display with MIB3.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • 30-color ambient lighting.
  • Nine-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio experience. (Optional)
  • Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
  • SiriusXM.
  • Navigation services.

Performance And Handling.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Drivetrain
- image 888825

Powering the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI is the same but reworked 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that now puts out about 242 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of maximum torque. this accounts for an improvement of 14 ponies and 15 pound-feet over the last-gen model.

The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission as standard but can be upgraded with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission or DSG as Volkswagen calls it. The latter comes with paddle-shifters so you can control shifts when you want to. The new GTI is front-wheel driven like its predecessors.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
- image 1001855

The GTI’s improved power output, as expected, performs better than the model it will replace. The new GTI does clock 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and does a standing quarter-mile in 13.6 seconds, according to Car And Driver. Both the timings are about a second faster in overall acceleration. The top speed is set to 155 miles per hour by the factory. The handling aspects have been upgraded too, with a new electronically controlled torque-sensing limited-slip differential as opposed to the mechanical LSD of the outgoing generation. The E-LSD operates in conjunction with the electronic stability control and differential lock to provide on-demand torque distribution. All these help in getting in and out of corners with precise steering feedback. Adaptive dampening is available as an optional add-on and will enhance the ride quality by adapting about 200 times per second.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Powertrain Details
Model 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Engine 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
Drivetrain FWD
Transmission 6-speed manual/ 7-speed DSG
Power  242 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque  273 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM
0-60 MPH (seconds) 5.1
Quarter-Mile (seconds) 13.6
Top Speed (MPH) 155

Fuel Economy.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
- image 906669

The 2.0-liter mill is still good in terms of economy and, while the EPA ratings are not out yet, the new GTI is expected to deliver around 32 miles per gallon on the highway. The tank size remains the same at 13.2 gallons and will deliver a decent fuel range in its class. The outgoing model has an EPA rating of 27 miles per gallon combined and similar ratings can be expected from its newest iteration.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Fuel Economy
Model 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI (Expected)
MPG (City) 24
MPG (Highway) 32
MPG (Combined) 27
Tank Capacity (Gallons) 13.2
Model 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI (Expected)
MPG (City) 24
MPG (Highway) 32
MPG (Combined) 27
Tank Capacity (Gallons) 13.2

Safety Convenience.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
- image 1001858

The safety tech gets an upgrade too with the standard driver assistance features. Apart from that, the previous crash test results show that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rated the outgoing GTI with a full 5-star rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated well too with “Good” in the majority of the categories. This means that the new GTI should perform similarly or even better with the updated safety tech in hand. Volkswagen has added a few of the important features as standard and they are as follows:

  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Forward collision warning.
  • Automated emergency braking.
  • Pedestrian detection.
  • Rear parking sensors.
  • Blindspot monitoring.
  • Adaptive cruise control.

A worthy upgrade for a new generation?

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
- image 906673

The new generation is a lot better than the already impressive outgoing generation but now, with all the updated features and suites, the complaint list is going to be short as Volkswagen is offering everything with just a few hundred dollars hike, which in our opinion, makes the GTI a killer value.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automotive Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
About the author

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