Its overall shape is still recognizable as the smart and well-proportioned Golf, though the new, more angular fittings give the car a harder edged vibe. The GTI of course gets plenty of visual upgrades over the vanilla version, starting with the lower stance thanks to the sports suspension.
The front intake grille gets the traditional GTI badge, and the rear of the car features a pair of exhaust tailpipes, plus a large GTI logo under the Volkswagen emblem. More GTI badging can be found just aft of the front wheels on the front fenders. The Golf badge doesn’t actually appear anywhere on the car’s exterior.
The interior may share the same basic layout as the base model Golf 1.5 eTSI, but it’s also very different. There’s no mistaking the fact that you’re in a hot hatch rather than just a classy hatchback, with a purposefully sculpted steering wheel, body-hugging front seats, and in case you forget what you’re driving, another GTI logo set in the lower spoke of the steering wheel.
The digital instrument cluster has the standard layouts of the Golf 1.5 eTSI, along with a very handsome three-dial display that’s exclusive to the GTI.
The stubby little shift-by-wire gear lever greatly reduces clutter on the centre console, and there’s also a wireless phone charging dock fitted.
Everyone is getting in on the touchscreen interface these days and the Golf GTI’s control panel does take some acclimatising with its mix of touch buttons, sliders and touchscreen controls, but it seems to be what every carmaker is doing so we guess it’ll be the new normal in no time.
Rear seating room and boot space is as what you would expect for a Golf, which means it’s bigger than what you might actually expect if you’ve never driven or sat in one before.