The Volkswagen Golf is one of the longest-standing names in the hatchback market. It combines practicality, refinement and performance like none other. But hatchbacks are losing ground to small crossovers in the U.S., and even though the Golf is newly redesigned in other parts of the world, there's little business case for bringing the standard model stateside. However, its sporty variants have a strong following here, which is why we'll be getting the new 2022 Golf GTI (along with the more performance-minded Golf R) at the tail end of 2021. Due to the low take rate, a two-door GTI will not be offered; a four-door will remain the sole body style.
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Under the hood of the Golf GTI is the newest version of the EA888 turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that has appeared in VW products for more than a decade. In the 2022 GTI, it produces 242 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque — a bump up from the previous engine's 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. A six-speed manual is standard (rejoice!) and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional.
On the inside, this modern Golf offers a sleek new dashboard design punctuated by two large display screens. The first is the central touchscreen, which features a 8.25-inch display on most models, or a new 10-inch screen on models equipped with navigation. The other is the eye-catching Digital Cockpit instrument panel already implemented in some newer Volkswagens. While it's often optional in other Vee-Dubs, the Digital Cockpit is standard equipment on the Golf GTI.
Volkswagen is mum on which advanced driving aids will be standard and which will be optional for the new Golf GTI. That said, we know for sure that all models will come with lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The current GTI offers other features, such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors and an automated parking system. These are likely to return for the new GTI.
The current Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of our favorite hatchbacks on the market. Even with an aging interior and average power numbers, it's able to hold its own against more recently redesigned rivals. A redesigned Golf GTI should do very well against modern competitors, and a new focus on driver engagement can only improve its outlook.