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Volkswagen Golf GTI review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Volkswagen Golf GTI remains supremely easy to live with and features lots of practical touches as standard

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.4 out of 5

Price
£30,155 to £30,155
  • Still great to drive
  • Decent efficiency
  • Easy to live with
  • Expensive options
  • Some dubious cabin materials
  • Fussy infotainment system
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Volkswagen has always strived to ensure that the Golf GTI offers an appealing blend of performance and practicality - all wrapped up in a sophisticated package. Three-door models are no longer available, which will please those you’ll ask to travel in the rear seats, while overall cabin space is a little bigger than in the previous model. The standard front sports seats, trimmed in the iconic Jacara Red cloth, are well bolstered and a pleasant place to sit even on longer journeys.

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The GTI includes plenty of useful touches which make driving, either on a busy urban route or on a faster motorway journey, a little easier. Front and rear parking sensors are standard, along with automatic headlights and wipers, while on-board tech includes integrated sat-nav, adaptive cruise control and a host of driver assistance safety features.

Size

The Mk8 Golf GTI measures 4287mm in length, 1,789mm wide and 1,478mm in height, which makes it 19mm longer and 36mm taller than the previous Mk7 model, with overall width virtually identical. In comparison, the Ford Focus ST leaves a larger footprint, being 4,388mm in length, 1,825mm wide and 1,459mm in height.

Leg room, head room and passenger space

With slightly increased dimensions compared to its predecessor, the latest Golf GTI offers a little more interior space. Four adults can be accommodated with ease, while a fifth passenger is maybe best avoided other than for shorter journeys. If you’re after more rear leg room and extra space in general, the Skoda Octavia vRS might be a better option.

Boot

The GTI has a 374-litre boot which offers reasonable load space, but is outshone by both the Focus ST and Civic Type R with 378 and 420 litres respectively. If you’ve decided on a hot hatch but don’t want to compromise on practicality, then the 600-litre boot of the Octavia vRS should provide all the space you need.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI GTI 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £29,045

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 TSI GTI 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £29,045

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 300 GTI Clubsport 45 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £41,580
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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