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 40 miles on electric power alone and emits 25g/km of CO2 - putting it in the 7 per cent BiK bracket.

Insurance

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.

Depreciation

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?

Verdict
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Verdict

The Volkswagen Golf GTI remains a tremendous all-rounder with its typically sophisticated take on the hot hatch formula
7 Oct 2021
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