Volkswagen Golf GTI review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Introduction

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Volkswagen Golf GTI 2020 front
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  • Volkswagen Golf GTI 2020 front
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  • Test driver inside Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 prototype
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  • Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 prototype front tracking
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  • Volkswagen Golf GTI 2020 front
  • 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear corner driving
  • 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI dashboard
  • Test driver inside Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 prototype
  • 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI wheels
  • 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI interior
  • 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI fog lights
  • 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI panning shot
  • 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI engine
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 prototype front tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 prototype rear cornering

Introduction

What Car? says...

What do the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Rubik's Cube have in common? Very little, if we’re honest, apart from the fact that both were launched back in mid-1970s and have proved to be enduringly successful. But Ernő Rubik had life far easier, because his little cube hasn't needed much tweaking, while Volkswagen has had to reinvent the Golf GTI consistently over the years. Can you believe this is the eighth generation of its seminal hot hatchback? Well, it is, so keep reading if you want to find out if this icon is still iconic.

Now, the problem with being an icon is twofold. First, it heaps an awful lot of pressure on those engineers tasked with keeping it the same, but different, if you catch our drift? Imagine working to that kind of brief. Second, it means every one of your rivals thinks "I want a piece of that, please" and floods in with imitations. 

Still, that's good news for buyers, because these days you can pick from a hot hatch pot that has swelled to bursting point. The Hyundai i30 N Performance was the most recent entrant, and then there are the models that have been thorns in the GTI's side for a while now: the Ford Focus ST, Renault Mégane RS and our benchmark hot hatch, the Honda Civic Type R

So, what has Volkswagen done to keep ahead of the game? Well, the Mk8 Golf GTI comes with a 242bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which, as usual, drives the front wheels. To please all the enthusiasts, there's a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, for added driver interaction, or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for more everyday usability. And usability is still a bit part of the Golf GTI's brief, but the Mk8 is also claimed to be sharpest GTI yet through the twisty bits.

Click over to the next page to discover if it hits the spot, but before you do, did you know we can save you thousands on your next new car? We can, and all you need to do is visit our New Car Buying pages to see exactly how much. 

 

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