2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Review: Eighth Wonder

Back to Page 1: Introduction

1. Introduction
2. Design and Interior
3. Driving Experience
4. Conclusion and Competition

Design and Interior

As we detailed during the official launch of the Volkswagen Golf in Singapore and also in the review of the base model VW Golf, the car is an evolution rather than a revolution.

Volkswagen Golf GTI driving

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.

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI lights

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.

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI detail

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.

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI cabin

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.

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI dashboard

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.

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI cabin infotainment screen

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.

Volkswagen Golf GTI cabin

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. 

Volkswagen Golf GTI boot

To Page 3: Driving Experience

about the author

Lionel Kong
An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.