Volkswagen Golf GTI review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

With decent fuel economy and reasonable insurance premiums, Golf GTI ownership shouldn’t break the bank

Running a powerful hot hatch certainly won’t deliver the low running costs of a small city car or supermini, although the Golf GTI offers enough of a balance between performance and efficiency to make things a little more financially palatable than some hot hatches. 

The GTI isn’t really designed for fleet users, so it’s perhaps best to ignore the fact that you’ll be paying the top 37 per cent Benefit-in-Kind tax rate if you do happen to convince your employer that the iconic hatch is just what you need to liven up the grind of the daily commute.

What’s more reassuring is the WLTP combined fuel economy figure of over 38mpg for both the six-speed manual and DSG auto versions so, thankfully, you should be able to travel in excess of 400 miles before needing to fill up.

Adaptive cruise control is standard on the GTI, which will help maintain decent fuel economy on longer motorway trips, but if you’re looking for greater efficiency then VW also offers the GTE plug-in hybrid model which is able to travel up to 38 miles on electric power alone and emits 27g/km of CO2 - putting it in the 11 per cent BiK bracket.


The Golf GTI is a desirable performance hatchback, so you might think that it would be particularly expensive to insure. But with both the six-speed manual and DSG auto versions being in group 28, it means annual premiums hopefully shouldn’t be too costly. In comparison, the more powerful Ford Focus ST sits in group 34, while the bonkers looking Civic Type R is in group 38.


Strong demand and the enduring smart sophistication of the Golf GTI brand means that residual values have generally stayed pretty strong. Our data predicts that all Mk8 versions should hold onto around 50 per cent of their original value after a typical three-year/36,000- mile ownership period. This figure is comparable with the Ford Focus ST and Skoda Octavia vRS models, but lags a little behind the Honda Civic Type R which should retain around 55 per cent over the same period.

The premium Mercedes AMG A 35 and Audi S3 hatches cost more to buy than the models above, but keep up to 60 per cent of their list price over three years.

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

New Kia Niro EV prototype review
Kia Niro EV  prototype - front
Kia Niro

New Kia Niro EV prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a pre-production prototype version of the 201bhp Kia Niro EV
22 May 2022
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
Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695
Citroen Ami UK - front static
Citroen Ami

Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695

The compact quadricycle is pricier than first thought, but the Citroen Ami will still be the UK’s cheapest ‘car’
24 May 2022