2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Pros: Outstanding balance between invigorating performance and day-to-day practicality; impressive refinement; cargo versatility of hatchback body style; decent fuel economy

Cons: Top-end models get rather pricey; automated-manual transmission’s behavior feels odd to some drivers; rear roof pillars are a bit thick, blocking the view to the corners

CG Says: For 2017, Volkswagen Golf GTI kills its two-door bodystyle and now only offers four-door models. GTI gains a new Sport model. The topline Autobahn trim adds standard adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and mitigation, blind-spot monitor, cross-traffic alert, and bi-xenon headlights. The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the sporty “hot-hatch” performance version of VW’s Golf lineup. It comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 210 horsepower on base S or 220 on all other models. All models but S, have a standard Performance Package which includes a limited-slip differential and larger brakes. An adaptive suspension is performance option. The Golf GTI is an impressive car that upholds this time-honored nameplate’s status as a benchmark among performance-focused sporty hatchbacks. What the GTI might lack in outright horsepower compared to others in the Sporty/Performance Car class, it more than makes up for in terms of sprightly handling, surprising practicality, and an amazingly high level of refinement. It’s simply one of the best vehicles in its class.

The Facts
Class Sporty/Performance Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Nation of Manufacture Germany
Base Prices S: $25,595
Sport: $27,995
SE: $30,890
Autobahn: $34,095

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
210 (220 Sport, SE, Autobahn)
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automated manual
EPA City Range (mpg)
24
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
32