2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI
- Starting at $29,500 (estimated)
- Fall-Winter 2020
What to expect
- No significant changes expected for the 2021 Golf GTI
- Part of the seventh Golf GTI generation introduced for 2015
What is the Golf GTI?
The Volkswagen Golf GTI single-handedly popularized the concept of the hot hatch in the U.S. Though at its core the GTI is a performance-oriented variant of the Golf compact hatchback, the GTI also offers a more comprehensive set of features than the standard Golf. If you can swing it in your budget, the Golf GTI is well worth the upgrade.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque — a substantial increase over the Golf's 147 hp and 184 lb-ft. The GTI's cabin also receives upgraded materials, including supportive sport seats clad in plaid upholstery — a signature dating back to the first GTI. Upper-level models get features not available on the Golf at all, such as adaptive cruise control and a navigation system.
The Golf GTI competes in a small class of hot hatchbacks that includes the Honda Civic Si, Hyundai Veloster N and Mini Hardtop Cooper S. Even among this illustrious competition, the GTI stands out for its refined interior, pleasant ride and practical storage. With a new Golf GTI debuting for 2022, we won't expect any changes to the 2021 model.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of our favorite hot hatchbacks, thanks to its artfully executed blend of performance, comfort and utility. We don't expect any major changes to the GTI for 2021, so if you're in the market for a new car now, the 2020 Golf GTI will probably suit your needs just fine.