Is the Volkswagen Golf GTI MK8 still the best hot hatchback yet? Because, there are lots of capable hot hatchbacks in the segment like the Renault Megane RS, Ford Focus ST, Hyundai i30N and Honda Civic Type R.
The eighth generation of the 2021 Golf GTI has had a lot of changes done to its exteriors, interiors and technology. Visually, the front is revamped with a new bumper, honeycomb grille with a full set of Matrix LED headlights and taillights. and new fog lights. While on the inside, the cockpit receives a buttonless approach which makes life easier and difficult at the same time. The touch buttons can get fiddly and you need some patience to operate them but eventually, you can work your way around.
The new Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine that produces 245HP and 370 Nm of torque which is coupled to a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. The Golf GTI still remains a front-wheel-drive (FWD) hatchback. An electronic limited-slip differential makes sure that you get all the traction possible at all the time.
On the interior, you get a 10.3-inch driver’s display and a 10-inch Volkswagen infotainment screen that controls the air-conditioning as well.
In this latest Golf GTI, the spring rates are firmed up by 5% in front and 15% in back. A stiffer set-up to give you additional traction and handling capabilities. With the adaptive suspensions, the ride quality is softy in the comfort mode and soaks up all the bums quite well. Put this thing into sports mode and it becomes super lively and everything stiffens up with a more aggressive response.
Sure, the Volkswagen Golf GTI mk8 is low on power compared to the other hot hatches, but the GTI brings in sophistication, brutal response, and nimble handling. While on the inside, it’s still a usable hatchback for daily runs. In many ways, you can compare it to a Porsche 911 of the hot hatch world, it doesn’t change the game but just refines its act.