The 2022 Volkswagen GTI is all new and kicks off the eighth generation of the historically impressive and inexpensive hot hatch.

What’s New for the 2022 Volkswagen GTI?

In a word, everything. Well, the engine and transmission are carried over, but with a bit more power now. Everything else though has been thoroughly upgraded including the exterior and interior styling, technology, and performance.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI - media.vw.com

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI – media.vw.com |  Shop 2022 Volkswagen GTI on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $30,540

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

24 City / 34 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Three pedals for the win

Excellent build quality

Fun to drive hard

Understeer for days

Cheaper interior materials

Rough infotainment interface

Where’s the AWD option?

2022 GTI Specs

Trims & Pricing

S - $30,540
SE - $35,290
Autobahn - $38,990

2022 Volkswagen GTI Powertrain

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0L I4 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0L I4 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com

241 horsepower isn’t all that much in today’s world of Hellcats, Raptors, and Weissach packages. Nevertheless, Volkswagen has found a way to make it highly engaging when paired with the GTI. The powertrain is punchy and fun to play with. Both the six-speed manual and the dual-clutch seven-speed are engaging and enjoyable. Overall, the 2022 Volkswagen GTI is very nicely balanced and revs out happily.

In everyday traffic or the city, it’s an admirable performer with simple easy feedback from the steering wheel and pedals. The GTI is easy to place and visibility is well above average for the segment. Volkswagen knows how to make an economical commuter car and that’s on display here again.

If there’s an issue, it has to be that this thing still understeers like it’s going out of style. In fact, we find it important to point out that despite VWs grand and almost sneaky efforts to say that this thing doesn’t understeer, buyers who actually push the car will find otherwise. Back off of it a little though and it’s still a good driver. Just don’t expect to take it to track days and feel the backend letting loose at all.

2022 Volkswagen GTI Fuel Economy & MPG

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI - media.vw.com
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI - media.vw.com

Volkswagen has kept things simple with the GTI as they’ll all get around 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. That equates to a 28 mpg combined rating from the EPA. While some competitors will beat those numbers, the 2022 Volkswagen GTI is more than average enough to not lose many points here.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

One specific area where the 2022 Volkswagen GTI has taken a step backward is the interior. It’s not bad by any means, but the previous generation feels much nicer to sit in, look at, and live with. That’s down to a handful of cheaper materials that get used throughout the interior. Hard plastics are littered throughout and the change from physical switchgear to haptic feedback-based touch controls doesn’t come away with the luxurious feeling VW might have hoped for.

The seating is a real high-spot though. It’s comfortable, supportive, and feels way nicer than it looks. The ergonomic layout in the front seats is great too. Controls are all easily within reach and intuitively located. We like the ambient lighting in the cabin as well. It’s a small but noticeable touch that makes this car feel just a touch more lavish.

Cargo space is a big win here. With nearly 20 cubic feet of space before dropping the back seats down, the GTI is as capable as ever. The low load floor is nice too and buyers will love the spacious door card pockets and interior storage options. This is the part of the GTI that probably sells it more than any other. It’s sincerely practical while also being fun.

Entertainment & Technology

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI - media.vw.com
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI - media.vw.com

Some of the technology inside of the 2022 Volkswagen GTI is truly next level. For example, the voice recognition system feels like it’s straight out of an Audi e-tron model. It can adjust climate control, media, and more quickly and accurately without ever having to physically touch anything. We also love the heads-up display and the premium Harmon Kardon sound system. Both features add significant value to the GTI and offer options that other rival brands can’t really match.

If there’s something to complain about, it has to be the infotainment system in general which is slow to respond and overfull with controls. For example, many climate control functions exist only within the touchscreen. That means you’ll need to pull your eyes off of the road to change those settings. Many other vehicles do this too, but most offer physical controls in addition to settings that can only be found in the system here.

Safety Features

Volkswagen sells every 2022 Volkswagen GTI with automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. It hasn’t yet been scored by either the NHTSA or the IIHS and since it’s an all-new generation, last year’s scores won’t apply. We’ll keep an eye that point as the year goes on.

2022 Volkswagen GTI Trims & Pricing

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI S - vw.com
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI S - vw.com

S – $30,540

The base 2022 Volkswagen GTI comes with 18-inch wheels, heated mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, customizable ambient lighting, an 8.25-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and seven speakers. Safety equipment includes forward collision mitigation, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot intervention. Every GTI regardless of trim comes with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 241-horsepower and front-wheel drive. A six-speed manual is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE - TyDrives on youtube.com
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE - TyDrives on youtube.com

SE – $35,290

The SE adds a 10-inch infotainment system with integrated navigation and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. It also gets a sunroof, adaptive headlights, and proximity keyless entry.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn - media.vw.com
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn - media.vw.com

Autobahn – $38,990

Go for the top-of-the-line VW GTI Autobahn trim and you’ll get 19-inch wheels, heated rear seats, a heads-up display, rear-seat climate controls, and most importantly, adaptive dampers.

Warranties

Volkswagen offers a strong set of warranty coverage that only falls short of rivals like Hyundai or Kia. It provides 4 years or 50,000 miles of both limited and powertrain coverage as well as 2 years or 20,000-miles of complimentary maintenance on the 2022 Volkswagen GTI.

What we think

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI - media.vw.com

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI – media.vw.com |  Shop 2022 Volkswagen GTI on Carsforsale.com

It’s very hard to beat the package that the 2022 Volkswagen GTI is in its base form. It’s quick, it’s spacious, and it’s well built. For the cash, the SE and Autobahn aren’t nearly as value-oriented considering how hotly contested the hot hatch market is right now.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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