Test: Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GT

Of all the hot hatches, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is without a doubt the one with the longest honors list. After all, it has been the benchmark in that area for 45 years, if only because there is always a GTI. We tried the new VIII.

As the icon of the hot hatchbacks, successive versions of the VW Golf GTI have not always been of impeccable quality (think of the III and IV), but you really don’t have to explain those three letters to anyone. A GTI is a GTI is a GTI.

This is perhaps more true than ever for the youngest generation of the fast icon. At the front of the Golf VIII GTI is in fact still the same 2.0-litre turbo engine that once debuted in the Golf V, with the difference that it now has Evo4 as a suffix. This mainly means a whole series of measures to reduce emissions and consumption. The power increased only slightly compared to the previous GTI. In fact, the 245 hp and 370 Nm that the block now squeezes out as standard, predecessor Evo3 already delivered in the GTI Performance. With the GTI, it’s not just about raw power, because that’s what the GTI Clubsport and R are for. No, the GTI must have enough power to be fast, but again not so much that the accelerator pedal rarely touches the bulkhead. the public road. That works very well, although a 0-100 sprint in just over six seconds in the Tesla era of course no longer raises eyebrows.

However, it feels much faster on board, because everything is happening. The 2.0 TSI delivers its maximum torque at 1,600 rpm and peaks at 5,000 rpm, but there is still enough air in the lungs towards the rev limiter at just over 6,500 rpm to reward pulling through. The DSG automatic shifts with short, dry hits and the block sounds amusingly thick. It is a pity that the transmission always takes the initiative to shift up or down if necessary, even if it is in Manual.

Not so wild right away

In keeping with its status as the nestor of hot hatchbacks, the Golf GTI is quite mild. It doesn’t have to be so wild right away, there’s no need for it. Although this car is fitted with passive shock absorbers (adaptive dampers are available as an option), the comfort on poor road surfaces is reasonable. Of course you feel a lot above average, yet you go at a decent pace on, for example, a cobblestone road. In fact, only the very direct control reveals that it is not an ordinary Golf.

Until you start looking for the limit and every time it turns out to be just a little further than you think. Before you know it, you’re flying around corners with the GTI, while it doesn’t feel like it’s going that fast yet. This is mainly because the Golf does not react so fiercely; the carriage settles briefly before the nose bites into the bend. The rear follows neatly and only responds to aggressive provocation. Out of a bend, the now standard limited slip differential brings the forces to the asphalt without too much drama and even with the ESP in Sport, the traction control still adjusts a bit. The Golf takes you by the hand, which makes it very accessible. Even an inexperienced driver can handle it fast. It is this duality with which the Golf GTI has been scoring for generations: excitement without sensation.

Not a real spectacle

That is also a great way to describe the interior of the Golf, tension without sensation. There are some sporty accents here and there, such as a compact sports steering wheel with deep notches, a special GTI mode for the digital instrumentation where the tachometer is central and very nice sitting sports seats that support well. However, you do not have to expect real spectacle, for the rest it is just a Volkswagen Golf. There is nothing wrong with that in itself, because that also means a lot of space in the trunk and a rear seat on which adults can also take a seat. But unfortunately it also means an unpleasant operation with generation VIII, because there is far too much hidden in the infotainment system, which also has the tendency to falter regularly. This often makes it impossible, for example, to quickly put the car, the transmission and the ESP in Sport mode during your favorite flyover. By the time you have everything on focus, the flyover is already in your rearview mirror.

The tested GTI VIII is in the price list for more than €58,000, so it is solid, but there is also some extra equipment, such as an electrically operated tailgate, a head-up display, leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel.

– Thanks for information from Techzle.nl

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