The Volkswagen Golf GTI has been a benchmark for hatchbacks and for the 2022 model year it gets a full redesign but retains the enjoyable hot-hatch character that enthusiasts have enjoyed for over four decades. Marking its 8th generation, the 2022 VW Golf GTI remains to be a little thrill ride wrapped up in a hatchback package with many attractive tweaks that have polished an already-great formula but has one fault that’s hard to overlook.

Performance and Driving Character

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn builds upon the Golf recipe to add a little spice where you get a reworked 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that’s good for 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Best of all, at least for enthusiasts, the new Golf GTI can be had with a 6-speed manual transmission. My test vehicle comes equipped with the seamless-shifting 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic with steering wheel shift paddles, which is a welcomed option considering how fast it fires off shifts without upsetting the strong front-wheel-drive pulling power of the turbocharged engine. In fact, the engine feels as it is much stronger than the power figures stated on paper. Zero to 60 mph ticks off in just 5.1 seconds.

2022 vw golf gti autobahn side

The driving character of the new VW GTI always feels lively with minimal turbo lag out of the hole. The handling, partly thanks to the GTI Autobahn’s DCC (dynamic chassis control) adaptive damping system that allows several settings through the custom drive mode, is excellent and feels almost like the GTI is hooked on rails. The turn-in is quick as is the exceptional short ratio steering rack that actually has a small bit of feedback sent through the electric assist. Having a torque-sensing limited-slip VAQ differential up front helps power the GTI Autobahn through turns and lay down even power in a straight line without fail. The limited-slip VAQ diff, which is an electronic intervention type setup using the stability control systems instead of a mechanical type, magically prevents some understeer when you really push the GTI Autobahn through turns with moderate to full applications of power.

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By: Malcolm Hogan
Title: 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn Review & Test Drive
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Published Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2022 12:16:14 +0000

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