The redesigned Golf GTI builds on VW's long-running tradition of turning a practical hatchback into a fun-to-drive yet sophisticated alternative to sports coupes.
This latest generation brings sharpened handling, more power, and a new infotainment system.
Now only available as a four-door, the GTI's 2.0-liter turbo-four produces 241 hp and pulls strongly with immediate throttle response, whether you get the six-speed manual or the dual-clutch automatic.
There are driving thrills aplenty, thanks to its sharp steering, slick shifter, and the invigorating engine and exhaust sounds.
The cabin is well finished and most versions come with plaid upholstery--an ode to the original Rabbit GTI.
Unfortunately, VW has replaced its formerly user-friendly controls in favor of a very distracting control layout.
FCW, AEB with pedestrian detection, BSW, and RCTW are standard.
Those seeking more power and cornering capability should consider the all-wheel-drive Golf R.