On this episode, we drive the 2022 Volkswagen GTI. We discuss how this classic hatchback has evolved since the 1980s, where it fits in Volkswagen’s SUV focused lineup and the one thing that holds the GTI back from being a great all-around vehicle. We also answer a question about the safety of paddle shifters.
0:00 – Volkswagen GTI discussion
12:20 – Question: Does CR consider paddle shifters a safety hazard?
Preview: 2022 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R Gain Power, Tech, and Sophistication:
Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #38: Volkswagen GTI:
VW Golf R vs. Golf GTI:
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I wonder how much cost cutting VW achieved with their infotainment/steering wheel haptic feedback. There’s no way it was a cost neutral or more expensive solution to last generation’s system.
If you’re driving and pass by a dead skunk or a smelly industrial pond, or a truck rolling coal – you can’t quickly switch to recirculate in time to not get the stink.
Even worse is the window switches in the ID4. The driver has two switches and a button that toggles whether it controls the front or the rear windows. Cost cutting to an extreme, and the dumbest idea ever.
I would like to know how the new GTI compares to the 2022 Civic?
I use the paddle shifters on my Elantra Sport both for fun and for controlling engine braking when driving down a mountain (generally when leaving the ski resort). I’m not sure I would have chosen my car if it didn’t have them, it really gives it that extra bit of sporty feel, being able to control the DCT on the fly with just the flick of a finger. I probably would have bought a Civic if not for the paddle shifters on my car.
Doesn’t your car automatically engine brake when going down hill off throttle?
@shinybaldy it does but downshifting will increase engine braking
I’m not sure, but I think it was always called the Golf in Europe.
Well done to Jake remembering Quincy’s thumbs down from the last GTI review in 2014!! Love the long segments about the test car of the week.
I’m glad to hear the GTI is back to Germany & not Mexico. Our GTI was wonderful to drive, but it had serious quality issues that forced us to trade it off.
Seems most German cars have quality issues, no matter where they’re made at. BMW, Mercedes, Audi. Almost have that Italian quality going for them.
They completely blew it. I own a 2017 GTI Autobahn and was going to trade it in for a 2022. The lights in the front look really cheesy but thats minor compared to the inside. What were they thinking ?? Really ….no really ?? No knobs or buttons, how many manufacturers learnt their lesson making this same mistake Hey no big prediction here, by next year or two they will bring the knobs back and redo it all ….like everyone else. Its like they let some young inexperienced designer lay it all out, were all out drunk, looked at it, laughed a lot and then signed off on it ….only explanation !!!! Now they are waking up with a hangover going ” Wow, that wasn’t very smart . Other things too, screen, shifter , etc…etc
What were they thinking with that grill o_O
As a former VW enthusiast, I find myself asking “what were they thinking” about a lot of their products lately.
Yes, the original Rabbit GTi made only 90hp, but you (Consumer Reports) said at the time it was the fastest car you’ve tested in years. It did 0-60 in 10.0 flat!
You’ll have to wait another two to three years for them to fix the mess they made inside.
The Golf was always called that name in Germany. Its the equivalent of Gulf, as in wind. Scirocco was also the name of a wind that came from the Sahara.
Gulf is not a wind, it’s an ocean stream, as Gulf Stream. Passat is what you are referring in your comment
@himakgam well to be pedantic, a major driver of the Gulf Stream is from surface winds.
My last two cars have both had paddle shifters. I don’t use them.
Hi guys. Great review. I am seriously considering getting one of these – I have always wanted a GTI and the time is right for us. Quick question…If I use Apple CarPLay for music, navigation etc and generally leave the climate control in automatic then are the drawbacks less of an issue? Thank you!
This car reporters infotainment system hysteria is overblown.
I agree, bottons and knobs are better than slider and screen.
But after a week of ownership i can tell you the infotainment system is functional.
It depends on how much you use the controls. I test drove this car and the controls are disconcerting. Trying to move the slider on the volume on the radio while you are driving will take a while to master. It won’t be simple to use it. Me? I decided against it. I am thinking more about the Kia Stinger which has a hatch, has more power, and is not much more than the GTI in cost, and has better controls.
Volkswagen reliability is still questionable. VW needs to have the 7 year/84000 mile full warranty brought back. VW got rid of it because that short-lived long warranty cost them a fortune in warranty claims. Hmmmmm
VW still has a longer warranty because of what you wrote. They still offer a full 50,000 mile four year warranty. Probably not enough but it helps some.
might be a good handling car, but the price! too much money for a car that barely has any visibility on the freeway or one god forbid gets into accident in. times have changed, look at the sizes of SUV’s the roads or full of
I’m a CR subscriber who enjoys watching these segments. I enjoy Alex’s opinions, but look forward to his conquering the “you know” tic. It was so distracting that listening to Jake say “I mean” half a dozen times was not as annoying.
I taught high school English & speech. These are just bad habits we fall into. “You know” & “like” were often a problem. These are “garbage” words that add nothing to a speech, comment, dialogue or conversation. These words just fill time. It is easy to break the habit if they choose to. I can suggest ways for them if they want to modify that. Some might say it seems more “conversational” the way the speak now.
12:32 The type of person who would go through the manual or the sub-menus of the infotainment system to disable the paddle shifters is not the type of person who would go “Hmm. I wonder that this does…” at 60mph.
So Chris’s proposed solution is a non-starter unless you’re setting up the vehicle for someone else.
My wife and I have 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvios, both with optional paddle shifters. For me, the paddle shifters were a must and I love them. For her, she didn’t understand what they were and now dislikes them. I mostly use them going down curvy hills and they work great. Also, our cars have been completely free of mechanical issues.
I’m a proponent of flappy paddles for automatic transmissions and I use them on my car all the time for a few reasons. A) in an age where nearly all cars have automatic transmissions they add an extra level of control and engagement B) they’re very useful for increasing engine braking, especially on a downhill or when slowing down/stopping when it’s slippery C) they are the best solution to manually controlling an automatic transmission. Much safer and effective than buttons on the dash or rocker switches on the transmission lever, that companies like companies GM inexplicably use.
I was very much looking forward the the current gen GTI and was seriously considering it for my next car. However, I’ve been disappointed. It has a great chassis and powertrain but the terrible infotainment system, unintuitive controls, of which some are unlit, bland interior and ugly exterior are too much. VW even managed to ruin the cupholders. I’m not completely writing it off but the new Civic Si and new WRX are my top choices now.
In Germany, the original car was the Golf. At that time, VW was trying to rejuvenate their image moving on from the ancient Beatle. So they decided not to call it Golf in America but Rabbit in 1974. With the redesign in 1984 in North America VW changed to Golf like the rest of the world so that sales of the Rabbit in North America would count toward sales of the Golf worldwide so it could become the #1 car sold in the world. It worked.