Volkswagen Golf GTI review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Costs & verdict

Star rating
Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI TCR infotainment
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  • Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI TCR infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI dashboard
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI 2019 Performance interior
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  • Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI TCR front cornering
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  • Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI dashboard
  • Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI rear seats
  • Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI TCR infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI dashboard
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI 2019 Performance interior
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI 2019 boot open

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Golf GTI Performance is pricier than the Hyundai i30N or Renault Megane RS, but undercuts more powerful models such as the Honda Civic Type R. Meanwhile, the TCR version costs more than any of those rivals.

Similarly, PCP finance rates are higher than for other hot hatches, and while CO2 emissions are comparatively low, company car tax bills are nothing special due to the high pricing.

When we fuel tested the TCR it averaged 31.6mpg, which is slightly down on the figures of the Civic Type R (32.0mpg) and Megane RS Trophy (32.4mpg). However, it’s not all bad news, because servicing and insurance bills are sensible.

Equipment levels are pretty high, with 18in alloy wheels, twin exhausts, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights and heated sports seats all standard on the Performance edition. The mechanical tweaks we've mentioned are arguably the key attraction of the TCR, but it also brings a handful of styling upgrades.

Every GTI comes with a three-year warranty, but Volkswagen didn’t perform brilliantly in the 2018 What Car Reliability Survey, coming 17th out of 31 brands overall. And although the Golf did score five stars in its Euro NCAP safety appraisal, this was way back in 2012 when the tests weren't anywhere near as tough as they are today.

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Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI TCR infotainment
Volkswagen Golf 2019 GTI TCR front cornering
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Overview

Few fast cars are as easy to live with as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and it remains very desirable. However, you can get at least as many thrills from the cheaper Hyundai i30N, while the GTI TCR is pricey and outgunned by the Honda Civic Type R.

  • Strong performance
  • Precise steering
  • Quiet and comfy for a hot hatch
  • Some rivals are more fun
  • Digital engine note
  • TCR version is pricey

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