It’s not exactly news that sales passenger cars have tumbled in recent years, nor is it exactly a surprise the number models available has dwindled as manufacturers pare back their line-ups in response to changing consumer preferences.
Nonetheless some hardy perennials, such as the 2022 Golf GTI 2.0 Turbo Autobahn, are still available for astute customers who enjoy the enhanced handling and maneuverability that comes with driving a car either in traffic or the open road.
The 2022 Golf GTI 2.0 Turbo Autobahn is a compact five-door car of the “hot hatch” variety, which enjoys an independent set of fans. But the 2022 GTI also comes with well-integrated driver assistance features, and a knob-free entertainment system, making it a very modern-looking vehicle despite its multitude of old-school virtues. The GTI artfully blends both new technology and traditional engineering in a great package.
The exterior of the latest GTI combines the five-door silhouette with the singular Volkswagen nose and insignia. While the shape is not exactly original, the stylists have given great attention to the details and the hatchback or fifth door is fits nicely into the overall design. The light fixtures are nicely integrated and the wheels pushed out to the corners feature their own unique designs.
The new Golf GTI also is lower, longer and sportier than its predecessor. However, the evolved exterior design retains the styling hallmarks of past generations, such as the classic GTI red detailing and honeycomb accents and distinctive C-pillar, while adding a more sharply raked hood.
The 2022 Golf GTI boasts a relatively modest interior, but one enhanced by the quality of materials used in furnishing the cabin. The layout of the of the Golf is very efficient, putting all the controls within easy reach of the driver.
The instrument cluster is also cleverly structured for a straightforward presentation of information. For example, the speedometer also features a tachometer, which is a must in any hot hatch. While the rear seat is rather cramped, the front seats — driver and passenger — enjoy plenty of room, enhancing comfort on a long drive or during a commute. The visibility from the driver’s seat is very good and the cabin is surprisingly quiet considering the Golf is compact car.
The Autobahn version of the 2022 Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams. The engine is matched with a 7-speed automatic DSG transmission with Tiptronic and mode selection.
The powertrain produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The car also is equipped with a stop/start system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that Golf GTI has a combined fuel-economy rating of 28 miles per gallon, which includes 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The GTI is equipped with an advanced protection system with six airbags, forward-collision alert, active blind-spot monitor, rear traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, park assistance, parking distance control and rear traffic alert.
It also comes with plenty of other advanced driver assistance tech, such as adaptive cruise control, head-up display, dynamic road sign display, Sirius XM radio connection, Harmon Kardon premium entertainment system, App-Connect with smart-phone integration, USB ports and wireless charging as well as Bluetooth and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Driving the Golf GTI is a lot of fun. It is quick and nimble thanks to some impressive driving dynamics fortified by the front-wheel drive chassis with four-wheel independent suspension and adaptive chassis control as well as ventilated four-wheel disc brakes.
Weighing a modest 3,113 pounds, the Golf also has plenty of power thanks to the 241 hp of the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The power comes up quickly and the shifts of the automatic transmission are well-timed and quite smooth. The Golf works well commuting on the freeway or with crisp steering and excellent brakes, zipping around on suburban streets.
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 Autobahn Specifications
|Dimension||L: 168.8 inches/W: 70.4 inches/H: 57.6 inches/Wheelbase: 103.6 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, 7-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||25 mpg city/35 mpg highway/28 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $29,880; As tested: $40,185 including $1,095 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
Prices of all kinds of vehicles have climbed quickly in the past couple of years. But the price tag of more than $40,000 seemed very expensive for what is basically a compact five-door car that is not all versatile given its low ground clearance. Nonetheless, it is spirited, does not require a lot of fuel and it handles well, while delivering a smooth ride. The Golf GTI is very attractive for a solitary motorist or even quite capable of serving a small, young family with limited parking space.