Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 22 Dec 2021

Not much of an explanation is required when you’re dealing with a Golf GTI. The vehicle for the man who plays sport, has a family, is a racing driver and plays a game of chess. The vehicle for the man who does the school run and then goes to a stage performance in the evening. The GTI has always had to be one vehicle for all people, but is this latest one?

In short, YES!

Volkswagen always masters the art of sticking to a simple formula when developing models upon which replace iconic vehicles not only within their own range but also that which play a major role within the global automotive platform. Think of the new GTI as evolutionary rather than revolutionary with the evolution being way, way more than just skin deep.

The MQB platform underneath the new GTI is NOT identical to that of the outgoing GTI (7.5). A new aluminium front subframe saves around 3 kg, add to this many structural upgrades that increase overall stiffness and the rear suspension has been firmed up to improve stability.

The steering is also reassuringly weighted making the 8th generation of Volkswagen’s hot hatch much more responsive than its predecessors.

The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder powerplant is brisk offers up 180 kW and 370 Nm, move this onto smooth gearing transitions with VW’s top-class DSG technology and you have a winning recipe. 0 – 100 km/h takes a shade over 6 seconds to achieve (claimed at 6.4 seconds).

21st Century Technology 

The Golf 8 GTI introduces a button-free interior. A small gear shifter leads to an illuminated wireless charging pad, above this is the latest Volkwagen multimedia interface with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The dash is a digital display that can be optioned to include the brilliant “virtual cockpit” digital mapping.

With incredibly bolstered, stylish and plush seats which are both heated and ventilated for both the driver and passenger and overall increase in dimensions and a new stylish piano black key fob to match the interior panelling, the new GTI is refreshingly modern, clean and premium.

What does it all cost?

The GTI has landed in South Africa with a starting price of R669 300, of course not failing the usual options list which can see the price increased. While vehicles are getting increasingly more expensive, it’s refreshing to see that the new GTI has landed at a price that is not far north of its predecessor. The GTI is sold with a 3-year/120 000 km warranty and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan.

So, is this still a pure Golf GTI. In my opinion, absolutely, it still has all of the Vrrrrpaa.

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