Volkswagen Golf GTI (2012-2019) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Golf GTI once again fulfils its promise by offering genuinely practical performance

The GTI is virtually identical to the standard Golf in terms of size and packaging, so it's just as practical as the standard hatchback. The five-door model makes up about 70 per cent of all GTI sales, which makes sense as it’s the more practical body style and we think that suits the GTI’s agenda of offering practical performance much better than the three-door. You might choose the three door for style reasons, but unless you rarely use the back seats there’ll be plenty of opportunities to regret the compromise.

Whichever version you choose though, the Golf’s cabin is spacious and easily able to accommodate five adults. The car is also very well thought out from the point of view of oddment storage, with a large glovebox, big door bins and storage under the front seats.


The Golf GTI is 4,268mm long, 1,790mm wide and 1,442mm tall. For comparison, a Ford Focus ST is 4,362mm long, meaning the Golf has a compact footprint.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The rear seats are definitely large enough for most adults, and there’s plenty of head- and legroom in the rear. The transmission tunnel reduces foot space for a central passenger though. Isofix child seat mounts are standard, and access to the rear seats is excellent – unless you’ve picked the three-door.


The Golf GTI is identical to its less sporting stable-mates in the load-carrying department. It gets a solid 380-litre boot with an adjustable floor, making it a better bet for luggage than the Ford Focus ST. However if you’re looking for the ultimate load volume the GTI has less space than the Honda Civic Type R and Skoda Octavia vRS.

With the rear seats folded the Golf’s load area becomes even more practical – the floor is completely flat and the low boot lip makes it easy to get things in and out. 

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