2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport verdict and specs

The iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI has been outgunned by a raft of faster rivals, but now there’s a more potent Clubsport edition to fix this. Can it help the GTI regain its crown?...

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport rear corner


We suspect that the raw driving experience of the Honda Civic Type R will still give it the edge over the more refined Clubsport. While crushingly competent in all areas, the Clubsport doesn’t quite have the dual personalities of comfortable everyday car and savage track weapon that makes the Civic Type R so engaging. But then again, the Clubsport is far more affordable on PCP finance, and that will certainly appeal to a lot of potential buyers.

As for the question of whether or not the Clubsport should be your go-to fast Golf, we'll have to drive the upcoming R version before we can be sure. However, for little more than the price of a phone contract per month over the ‘regular’ GTI, you could have the quicker, sharper handling Clubsport. It's worth the extra.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TSI GTI Clubsport DSG 

Price £37,215 Engine 4cyl, 1984cc, petrol Power 296bhp at 5000rpm Torque 295lb ft at 2000-5200rpm Gearbox 7-spd auto 0-62mph 5.6sec Top speed 155mph Official economy 38.2mpg (WLTP) CO2, tax band 167g/km, 37%