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.

Size

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.

Boot

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. 

Have you considered?

Cupra Leon TSI 300: long-term test review
Cupra Leon long termer - final report header
Cupra Leon

Cupra Leon TSI 300: long-term test review

Final report: we’ve got mixed emotions as the Cupra Leon hot hatch leaves our fleet
3 Mar 2022
Volkswagen Golf GTI review
VW Golf GTI - Mk8
Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTI review

The Volkswagen Golf GTI remains a tremendous all-rounder with its typically sophisticated take on the hot hatch formula
20 Jan 2022
New Cupra Leon Estate 2021 review
Cupra Leon Estate - front
Cupra Leon

New Cupra Leon Estate 2021 review

The new 306bhp Cupra Leon Estate has arrived in the UK, but is it worth its premium price tag?
14 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front
Volkswagen

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up
Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider - watermarked front
Alfa Romeo

New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up

Alfa Romeo bosses have confirmed that a new two-seat electric roadster is in the company’s rejuvenation plans and our exclusive images preview how it …
19 May 2022