Consumer Reviews Summary
12 of 13 (92%) customers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Overview
- High-performance sibling of the Golf hatchback
- Offered in two- or four-door version
- IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award winner (models with forward collision prevention)
Returning sans updates after a major redesign last year, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI (referred to just by GTI from here out) is one of the most formidable competitors in the hot hatch segment with a potent mix of driving enjoyment and interior refinement.
The latest GTI is called the Mark Seven (MkVII) and is the seventh iteration of the GTI since its debut. Its redesign was done in tandem with its sibling, the Golf, with which it shares a platform, shape, and plenty of parts. Like the Golf, the GTI will be offered in two- and four-door version. A thin front grille with a signature red stripe feeds directly into angular headlights clusters, while standard LED fog lights housed in stylish recesses in the front fascia sit below. The standard 18-inch alloy wheels nicely fill out the wheel wells.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 210-hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque, which is good enough for an increase in 10-hp and 51 pounds-feet of torque over the last generation GTI. Fuel economy figures increase to 25/34 mpg city/highway and are identical whether you opt for the six-speed manual or the six-speed automatic gearbox. The GTI remains the standard when it comes to front-wheel drive performance, offering exceptional balance and a well-tuned steering rack that is a joy to use.
There are three available trim levels: S, SE, and Autobahn. The GTI gained interior room in the redesign, but it’s still not the ideal car to fill for a long road trip with backseat passengers. The center console is canted slightly towards the driver for easier access to climate controls and the standard 5.8-inch touchscreen that controls the audio and infotainment systems. Volkswagen has been quietly tamping down their interior quality for the last few years in an effort to make their cars more affordable, but thankfully that hasn’t happened to the GTI. There is still great fit and finish and high-quality materials, and while it’s not quite a luxury grade interior it remains a well-appointed, comfortable cabin. And thankfully, the plaid seats are still available.
Adding to the good news, the 2016 GTI received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS for its performance in crash testing (for model with forward collision prevention). The usual standard safety features are all there: six airbags, electronic stability control, and antilock brakes. An automatic post-collision braking system, which will automatically apply the brakes if the airbags deploy to reduce the chance of a secondary collision, is also standard.