0 - 62 mph6.2s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2168 g/km

The Volkswagen Golf GTI returns and with each generation, it just becomes more polished. This MK8 model is pretty much as new as a fresh Golf GTI tends to get. It's a decent step forward - and a little of the original GTI DNA still remains.


The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI moves the hot hatch into a different era. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

The Volkswagen Golf GTI returns and with each generation, it just becomes more polished. This MK8 model is pretty much as new as a fresh Golf GTI tends to get. It's a decent step forward - and a little of the original GTI DNA still remains.


Before Volkswagen dreamed up the Golf GTI, there was no such thing as a 'hot hatchback'. Now the phrase has entered everyday parlance and virtually any manufacturer that has a hatchback also has a hot one - or a warm one at the very least. It was 1976 when the original version of this car was born and since then, through seven generations and with the help of countless imitators, it has brought performance, handling and fun to the masses on an unprecedented scale. The current Golf GTI is the mark eight and by rights, it should be the best yet.

Driving Experience

The big news for enthusiasts is that this GTI now gets a bit more power. The latest 'EA888 EVO4' version of the Volkswagen Group's 2.0-litre TSI petrol turbo engine puts out 245PS with a gutsy 370Nm of torque. As usual, a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a 7-speed DSG dual clutch paddleshift auto being optional. Select the DSG variant and 62mph from rest takes 6.2s en route to 155mph. As before, for diesel fans, Volkswagen still offers a 'GTD' version of this model which these days uses a 200PS 2.0 TDI black pump-fuelled unit. This eighth generation Golf GTI model's handling should feel a touch sharper thanks to a tweaked version of the previous model's multi-link rear suspension and a new driving dynamics control system known as the 'Vehicle Dynamics Manager'. This set-up controls both the XDS torque vectoring system (which helps get traction down at speed through tight turns). And if you've specified the optional DCC adaptive chassis control adaptive damping system, 'Vehicle Dynamics Manager' will proactively oversee that too. With DCC, the required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four shock absorbers within fractions of a second. As usual, the DCC set-up has 'Comfort', 'Eco', 'Sport' and 'Individual' settings.

Design and Build

There's no doubt that this is a seriously good looking car these days. It sits on the same MQB platform as the last generation model but gets the lower, more menacing nose that's a feature of this eighth generation design. There's a single five-door hatch body style on offer. Unique 17-inch Richmond alloy wheels are standard (with 18 or 19-inch rims optional). There are wider black side skirts sills - and a splitter design similar to that found on racing cars. The dominant design element of the side section is the C-pillar, which as usual with a Golf visually propels the vehicle body forwards. Full-LED tail lights feature at the rear and the GTI lettering is now positioned centrally under the Volkswagen emblem. Inside, key detailing elements will be familiar to previous Golf GTI buyers - the golf ball-style manual gear knob, the tartan sports seats with black side bolsters, the sports steering wheel with three silver double spokes - all of this is present and correct. But this cabin's futuristic too, mainly thanks to the so-called 'Innovision Cockpit', which fuses a 10.25-inch digital instrument binnacle screen with a 10-inch centre-dash screen. Otherwise, things are much as with any other Golf, so you get great build quality, decent space for two adults on the rear bench and a class-competitive 380-litre boot.

Market and Model

You'll now need to think in terms of a budget getting on towards £37,000 or more for a Golf GTI. Once, that was the amount you'd have needed for the more potent Golf R, but things have moved on. You'll need another £1,500 more for the 7-speed DSG auto paddleshift version. To justify its asking price, this MK8 Golf GTI arrives with quite a portfolio of optional semi-autonomous driving tech, including a 'Travel Assist' feature that allows the car to accelerate, steer and brake on motorways at speeds of up to 130mph. Standard equipment includes a 10-inch centre-dash infotainment screen with an operating interface that responds to the command 'Hey Volkswagen', followed by whatever you want to ask. This is the segment's most interactive voice control system. Also standard are the full-LED headlights and the 10.25-inch 'Digital Cockpit' instrument binnacle screen. Volkswagen also says that this eighth generation model will be upgradeable, so if required, features like adaptive cruise control, light assist and a wi-fi hotspot can be added and enabled after you bought the car. Most owners will want to consider the option of adding DCC adaptive damping. The car's driver assistance systems include lane change assist and Travel Assist with Side Assist and Emergency Assist.

Cost of Ownership

There's no mild hybrid tech offered on this MK8 GTI model's 2.0-litre turbo engine but Volkswagen still claims that efficiency has improved by around 10%. Let's get to the WLTP figures. In manual form, the car manages up to 38.2mpg on the combined cycle and up to 169g/km of CO2. As a DSG auto, the figures are exactly the same. If that's not enough for you, then switch your attention to the diesel-powered Golf GTD version of this model. That black pump-fuelled variant gets an AdBlue delivery system that cuts nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%. Whatever engine you select, the car's coasting function (available with DSG auto transmission) is always active helping with its efficiency figures. And the warranty? Well the standard package is three years and 60,000 miles. We can't see why Volkswagen couldn't extend that mileage limit to 100,000 miles, since that what you get on its mechanically very similar Caddy model. Doing that though, wouldn't give Volkswagen dealers so much of an opportunity to sell extended warranty packages. There's one for four years and 75,000 miles or, if you plan to see a bit more of the world in your Golf GTI, there's a five year / 90,000 mile package.


When the Golf GTI was first launched in 1976, Volkswagen wondered whether it would struggle to sell an early production run of 5,000 vehicles. Today, well over two million sales later, the issue is not whether this car will sell but who will buy it. After all, in recent generations, this model has mainly sold to folk who, if they were honest, would probably admit to having out-grown the shopping rocket genre it originally created. These people will really like this eighth generation car. It needed to return a little to its roots - add an old fashioned dose of fun into the mature mix. It has.

  • Rain sensor
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Heated rear windscreen
  • Rear windscreen washer and wiper with interval delay
  • Rear tinted glass 65% light absorbing from B pillar backwards
  • Heat insulating glass windscreen

  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control)
  • Electronic parking brake with auto hold
  • Front disc brakes
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Rear disc brakes

  • Front + rear carpet mats

  • Wireless app connect
  • Mobile phone interface with wireless inductive charging function
  • Car2X communication

  • Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with speed limiter and front assist (reacting to vehicles pedestrians and cyclists)
  • Dynamic road sign display
  • Progressive steering
  • Lane change assistant
  • Lane assist
  • Driver alert system
  • Driver profile selection

  • Start/Stop function

  • Speedo, rev counter, electronic odometer, trip, service interval display, exterior temperature and fuel gauge
  • eCall - Emergency call service for SOS calls to emergency response
  • Warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts unfastened
  • Travel assist with emergency side assist with electrically foldable door mirrors
  • Digital cockpit pro - 10.25" high resolution TFT dash display screen with customizable menus and information

  • Remote electrically heated, adjustable and foldable door mirrors, including door mirror puddle lights and reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on pa
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Body colour door mirrors with integrated indicators

  • Black metal chrome decorative inserts in dash and front door trim panels
  • Soul dashboard

  • Petrol Particulate Filter

  • Premium USB cable in choice of either Apple or Android smartphone compatibility

  • Body colour rear roof spoiler
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Body colour door handles
  • GTI style bumpers
  • Chrome plated tailpipes (1 either side)
  • Illuminated front grille

  • LED rear combination lamp inlcuding dynamic turn signal
  • Advanced high beam control dynamic light assist for LED matrix headlamps
  • LED front fog lights with 5 honeycomb design
  • Automatic headlamp activation with Coming home and Leaving home feature
  • IQ.Light - LED Matrix headlights inc. dynamic cornering with LED interactive matrix dipped and main beam + LED daytime running light + 22 LED lights
  • High level 3rd brake light
  • Highway light
  • Welcome light
  • Rear fog light on one side and reversing lights on both sides
  • LED License plate illumination

  • 3 zone climate with controls in the rear

  • Woven fabric storage compartments in front and rear doors
  • Brushed stainless steel pedals
  • Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • 12V socket in front centre console
  • Removable luggage compartment cover
  • Glovebox
  • Centre console
  • Aluminium gear knob
  • Front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Black roof lining
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • Chrome plated surround to electric mirror button, window switch and air vent surrounds
  • Leather wrapped multifunction sports heated steering wheel with paddle shift

  • Front reading lights x 2 incorporating LED technology
  • Ambient lighting, exterior illuminated styling elements at the sides
  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Ambient lighting - Customisable 30 colour ambient lighting

  • Drivers and front passengers safety optimised head restraints
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • 3 rear three point seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Two tone horn
  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Front and rear passengers curtain airbag system including front side airbags
  • 3 point height adj front seatbelts + pretensioners

  • 3 rear head restraints
  • Height adjustable front seats
  • Front sports seats
  • Front seat lumbar support adjuster
  • Split folding backrest with centre armrest and unsplit rear seat bench
  • Isofix child seat preparation for 2 rear child seats and front passenger seat

  • Keyless entry with start/stop button on centre console
  • Alarm with interior protection and deactivation via infotainment system
  • Electronic engine immobiliser

  • XDS electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling
  • Front differential lock

  • Drivers and front passengers sun visors with vanity mirrors

  • CO2 (g/km): 149
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 168
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 174
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 168

  • CC: 1984
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Engine Code: DLBA

  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 11.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 11.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 11.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 7.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.6
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 25
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 38.2
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 45.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 38.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 25
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 24.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 38.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 36.7
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 45.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 39.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 38.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 37.2

  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 28E
  • Coin Series: GTI
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Generation Mark: 8
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 245
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 37.7
  • Engine Power - BHP: 245
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.2
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - KW: 180
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 273
  • Engine Torque - NM: 370
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1600

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Wheel Style: RICHMOND
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/40 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/40 R18

  • Length: 4287
  • Width: 1789
  • Wheelbase: 2627
  • Height (including roof rails): 1478

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 787
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1545
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.9
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1388
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1950
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1600
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 730
  • Max. Loading Weight: 562

  • Front windscreen washers and wipers with 4x interval delay: Included

  • Dynamic chassis control (DCC) - variable suspension settings sport, comfort and normal: £785
  • Sports suspension: Included

  • Rear view camera: £300
  • Park assist sensor controlled steering aid to assist parallel or bay parking features optical parking display via vehicle's infotainment system: £200
  • Multifunction camera for distance control: Included
  • Front and rear ultrasonic parking sensors, audible with audio volume reduction when activated + optical parking display via vehicles infotain system: Included

  • Discover nav pro with streaming and internet - 10" touch, european map, 3D map, traffic info, branded point of interest, speed limit display, 3 routes: £1,600
  • Discover navigation system - 10" touch screen, FM and DAB, USB C socket connection, Title and cover art display, Bluetooth connectivity + 6 speakers: Included
  • Head up Display: £625

  • Harman/Kardon sound system including 12 channel digital amplifier, 480 watt output and 9 speakers plus subwoofer: £625

  • Additional metallic paint: £755
  • Metallic paint: £625
  • Pearlescent paint: £1,040
  • Special solid paint: Included
  • Additional special solid paint: £375
  • Electric sliding/tilting panoramic glass sunroof with integrated roller blind: £1,000

  • Jacara cloth upholstery: Included
  • Vienna leather upholstery with heated and airconditioned front sports comfort seats, electric adjustment driver seat, seat memory: £2,100

  • Winter pack with heated rear seats - Golf GTE/GTI/GTI Clubsport/R: £470
  • Winter pack - Golf R Line/GTE/GTD/GTI/GTI Clubsport/R/Alltrack: £270

  • Metallic - Deep black pearl: £625
  • Metallic - Reflex silver: £625
  • Metallic - Dolphin grey: £625
  • Metallic - Atlantic blue: £625

  • Pearl - Oryx white: £1,040

  • Special solid - Pure white: £0
  • Special metallic - Kings red: £755
  • Special solid - Moonstone grey: £375

  • Proactive passesnger protection: £140
  • Digital key: £215
  • Rear side airbags: £335

  • Trailer hitch mechanically swiveling and power detachable: £785

  • Jacara cloth - Red: £0

  • 19" Adelaide alloy wheel with anti theft wheel bolts: £725
  • 18" Richmond alloy wheel with anti theft wheel bolts: Included

  • Tyre mobility kit Includes 12V compressor and tyre sealant: Included
  • Space and weight saver spare wheel: £100

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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