Volkswagen Golf GTI (2012-2019) review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

The Golf GTI proves that running a performance car needn’t break the bank

The officially quoted economy figures for the VW Golf GTI Performance are impressive for a hot hatch; it returns a best of 43.5mpg (the faster TCR is rated at 36.2mpg) and emits 148g/km of CO2. However, don’t forget those numbers are the best ones VW’s engineers are able to massage from the car on a theoretical driving cycle on the test bench – real life figures will be a lot lower, especially if you use the available performance in anything like the manner those same engineers intended.

The Golf GTD is a much better bet if you want low running costs, as it is said to return more than 60mpg in mixed motoring. It’s not as quick, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. GTE versions offer a small electric-only range, which is perfect if you have a short town-based commute.

If you can cope with the GTI’s day-to-day costs, the fixed-price servicing and VW’s large dealer network mean it shouldn’t be too expensive to keep on top of servicing and maintenance either.

Insurance groups

Thanks to the emergency city braking technology, the GTI is cheaper to insure as well - it's actually five insurance groups lower than the previous model with a group 29 rating.


The VW Golf GTI will likely look after your investment, but it’s not an exceptional performer on the used car market. Used car valuation experts CAP reckon all variants will be worth 49 to 50 per cent of their new cost after three years and 30,000 miles of ownership. Those figures are actually a couple of percentage points higher than the GTD models, but lower than the Golf R – which CAP reckons will be the most valued at 51 to 53 per cent.

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