The 2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI is a fantastic automobile, a very accomplished hot-hatch that was once the go-to model for many individuals looking for a car that could easily justify spending a little bit more. However, with the cost for this model heading well into the “you could buy a luxury compact SUV for that” area, and the hotter Golf R presumably just requiring a few Uber Eats dinners per week to finance, the GTI has found itself in niche territory.
2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior
The Golf 8 series is so well packed for a hatchback measuring just 4287mm in length that it makes the space efficiency of a Mazda 3 or Toyota Corolla (both of which are larger and have smaller boots and tighter rear seats) appear unconsidered. That’s the beauty of a boxier body, and if the Golf’s squared-off edges have softened and streaked a little over the years, it’s still a clever car in terms of cabin capacity.
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Up front, there is plenty of storage, with cup holders between the seats and a pair of door cubbies with large bottle holders (which are lined, which I appreciate). It means items don’t rattle when you’re driving; a smart clamshell holster for your phone with a wireless charging pad, a center console bin, and a functional glovebox. Furthermore, the two USB-C connections ensure that you are charged and ready to go.
2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI Engine
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is propelled by a tried-and-true powertrain combination: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, and front-wheel drive. This engine’s outputs are adequate but not as powerful as other competitors. It has a power output of 180kW (5000-6200rpm) and a torque output of 370Nm (1600-4300rpm). The advertised 0-100km/h time is 6.4 seconds, but depending on the conditions, it feels like it may be much faster.
Again, some context is required. The i30 N features a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that produces 206kW of power and 392Nm of torque and can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds. It is also significantly less expensive. The Subaru WRX boasts a 2.4-liter boxer turbo-four engine producing 202kW/350Nm and claiming a 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds. It is significantly less expensive. The Cupra Leon VZ features the same 2.0-liter turbo-four engine as the Golf, as well as DSG and FWD, and a 0-100km/h pace of 6.4 seconds. It’s also less expensive – you get the picture.
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2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI Price
That means parking one in your driveway will cost you at least $60,000. Even more, if you want a few luxury upgrades, as our test car had, you’re looking at a drive-away price of almost $65,000. The aforementioned Hyundai i30 Hatch N (from $46,200) and i30 Sedan N (from $50,200), as well as the Subaru WRX Sedan (from $44,990), are all priced lower than the GTI… Even the Cupra Leon, an in-house rival, begins lower than the GTI – the identical VZ with the GTI-sourced 180kW/370Nm motor now starts at $51,990.