Because the GTI is no different in dimension or design to any other Golf, it is one of the best hot hatches for drivers to sit in. There’s plenty of height and reach adjustment to the steering wheel, and its driver’s seat can be adjusted in so many ways, including for height and for lumbar support, it gives the opportunity for all shapes and sizes to find comfort. The pedals also line up nicely with the driver’s seat and steering wheel, while the standard 12.3in screen that sits in front of the driver and contains digitalised instruments as well as extra information such as the satellite-navigation maps is easy to read. The rest of the major controls are thoughtfully arranged, too.
Easy to operate is a description that can be applied to the 8.0in, high-definition, glass-fronted, colour infotainment touchscreen. Either side of it are touch-sensitive shortcut buttons for flitting between the main function menus easily, and two rotary switches - one for volume and the other for scrolling through lists or zooming in and out of maps if you don’t want to do this via the touchscreen. You get Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink for mirroring smartphones to the screen, and a DAB radio and Bluetooth as standard. It’s quite easy to fathom the logical menus, so pairing your phone or finding you favourite radio station is easy to do without resorting to the owner’s manual. An upgraded system with a bigger 9.2in screen and more features is an option, but we’d save the money and stick with the standard system.
In fact, the infotainment system and dashboard layout at large is better to use than that of the Focus ST’s, as is the fit and finish and the smartness of the materials used.
The Golf’s boxy design also helps with visibility. The large windows and relatively thin windscreen pillars mean brilliant vision forward and to the side. The rear pillars are fairly chunky, but as all GTIs get front and rear parking sensors as standard, you shouldn’t find slotting it into a tight parking space overly stressful.