2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Review
Like facial tissue is dominated by Kleenex brand. So too is ‘hot hatch’ dominated by VW’s Golf GTI.
And 2020 is no exception. Because again Volkswagen delivers great performance with exceptional attention to detail for an incredible value.
Sure, that’s come to be expected by VW followers worldwide. But here in the U.S., more and more drivers are taking note. Perhaps, more importantly, more and more driving enthusiasts are doing so. And you might want to as well.
My friends at Ontario Volkswagen in Southern California’s Inland Empire hooked me up with the Golf GTI pictured throughout this review.
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2020 VW Golf GTI Compact 4-Door Hot Hatch
So the 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI is technically a compact car. It’s got four doors, a hatchback, and a whole lotta fun behind the wheel. :0)
In fact, the GTI is just one of many versions of the Golf that Volkswagen has made, and continues to produce, for many years.
But GTI has always been the sportier version of the Golf. Bested only when VW also produces the Golf R, which is arguably a street-legal racecar.
Here’s a look at Volkswagen’s Golf family of models.
- 4-door wagons
- Golf SportWagen
- Golf Alltrack
- 4-door hatchbacks
- Golf GTI
- Golf R
Additionally, VW has made electric and 2-door hatchback Golf versions in recent years.
With all these Golf variations, Volkswagen has gotten the car very ‘right.’ And that especially holds true with the GTI. Which is truly an incredible value for the performance you get.
VW started producing Golf in 1974. With GTI starting in 1976. And it’s currently in its 8th generation. Or Mk8 (Mark 8) as Volkswagen likes to say.
So, even with the recent popularity of crossover SUVs Golf and it’s sporty GTI has stood time’s test. Plus I’m betting it will be around for many years to come – in some form.
Is Golf GTI The Original Hot Hatch?
Trim Levels And Prices
For 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI is being produced in three main trim configurations. And they’re all well known to the Golf GTI lineup as they’ve been parts of it before.
- SE $32,195
- Autobahn $36,495
*All starting MSRPs
As always, we include manufacturers starting retail prices for reference only.
And I highly recommend my friends at Ontario Volkswagen. Because not only are you going to get the best deal. Btt also an exemplary buying experience.
No pressure. No non-sense. And I love that.
Engine, Transmission & MPG
All 2020 VW Golf GTI trims come with the same engine.
And that’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. It puts out 228-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
You do have two transmissions to select from.
There’s a 6-speed manual. And that’s my personal choice for the Golf GTI. Because that makes the car’s power and performance all the more fun to play with!
But, the other good option is the 7-speed automatic. Because that’s two things at once.
First, it’s better in traffic. Nobody likes shaking hands with a shifter. And not going anywhere.
Second, the 7-speed auto comes with Tiptronic. And paddle shifters. So you still get most of the playfulness of the manual. Without the headaches in traffic.
- City: 24 mpg
- Combined: 27 mpg
- Highway: 32 mpg
*Estimated same manual or auto
2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior
The VW Golf GTI keeps its classic yet athletic great looks. And that’s one of the things I love. It’s that to the uneducated. The GTI can look very deceiving.
Because you have to know about cars. At least a little. To appreciate what a Golf GTI is capable of.
- Wheelbase: 103.6
- Front: 60.6
- Rear: 59.7
- Length: 168.0
- Width: 70.8
- Height: 57.8
- Ground clearance: 5.1
Inside 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Inside the 2020 VW Golf GTI is everything you need. And not much that you don’t.
The bolsters are the first thing you’ll notice. When sitting in the driver or front passenger seat.
Because they’re significant. And you’ll feel them in two places. Your hips and torso.
There are two things I like about that. First, the sense of sportiness. And second is the security you feel.
Because GTI will hold you in place. While you put it through its paces. :0)
And the 2020 Golf GTI is plenty spacious in the backseat. And legroom it provides is assisted. It’s helped by smart German engineering.
Specifically the indentations in the back of the front seats. That really helps in the comfort category.
And with up to 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space, Golf GTI has you covered. It’s such a functional car. Versatile in its ability to haul people and stuff.
But still, a blast to drive. If you don’t know Golf GTI. All these reasons and more. Are why it enjoys a cult following.
- Headroom: 38.4/38.1
- Shoulder room: 55.9/53.9
- Legroom: 41.2 35.6
Infotainment & Technology
The available 8-inch touchscreen on the GTI is two things. Crystal clear. And super-easy to use.
Volkswagen’s app-connect lets you plug-in your smartphone. And use select apps through the 8″ touchscreen. So you can keep your hands-off your phone!
And both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity is available. VW has partnered with Fender for the available premium sound system. And it sounds sweet!
Finally, a big one is the VW Car-Net suite of app-based services. Because as of 2020 a number of it’s best features are free of charge. And that’s for 5-years!
Driver Assistance & Safety
And there’s plenty of driver assistance safety features. Both standard and available in the 2020 Golf GTI.
- Blind-spot monitor
- Rear traffic alert
- Front assist
- Park distance control w/ maneuver braking
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane keep assist
- Light assist
- Park assist
2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Top-3
My Top-3 for the Golf GTI is always tough. Because it’s got a lot going for it. But also because each of my Top-3 is nearly equal.
So, in this case. The order does not matter.
- Drive: Golf GTI has been a fun car to drive since – forever. :0) It’s fast. Has lots of acceleration. And it’s a blast around tight corners.
- Value: For what you get. It’s tough to beat the value of a Golf GTI. VW’s famous fit and finish. Euro-quality. And it will last.
- Interior: I hinted at this earlier in this article. The sweet drive is enhanced by an interior designed for it. Especially those bolstered seats.
My thanks. As always. To the team at Ontario Volkswagen in Ontario, California.
Led by my friend Earl Reed. Everyone I send loves the treatment and deals they get there.
And, I’m always happy to make a personal intro. Email me: tom [at] idrivesocal.com.
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