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Fun Factor: Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-Door Test Drive Review

Yes, the hot-hatch market is getting more and more exciting with 300+ horsepower models like the Honda Civic Type-R and the Ford Focus RS. However, there is something about the Volkswagen Golf GTI that keeps grasping our attention. While there is the 292-horsepower Volkswagen Golf R, we are just continuously drawn to the price tag, practicality, and the exciting fun factor of the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI offers the perfect balance of utility and performance in a good-looking package at an affordable price tag – and if that doesn’t sound good to you then we don’t know what will. We recently had the chance to spend some quality time with the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door and found ourselves pretty upset after it left our garage. With that in mind, we decided to write a little tribute (aka review) for one of the most legendary hot-hatches to ever grace our roads.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen a major overhaul in the design of the Volkswagen Golf and its higher-performance siblings, the GTI and the Golf R. While that may be looked down upon for other models, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has always been one of the sleekest and sexiest looking hatchbacks on the market.

For the 2017 model year, Volkswagen redesigned the headlamps and taillights to give the Golf GTI 4-door a little style. Other than that, it still rocks a red bar in the front grille, aggressive 18-inch alloy wheels, and ‘GTI’ badging throughout the body. The integrated rear-spoiler, honeycomb mesh grille, and sport side skirts give the Golf GTI 4-door some added character.

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door sits on a wheelbase that measures 103.6-inches with an overall length of 168-inches. It sits at a width of 70.8-inches and has a ground clearance of 5-inches.

Honestly, we wouldn’t be frustrated if Volkswagen didn’t totally overhaul the design of the Golf GTI 4-door for another two years because to us, it’s flawless as is.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior

Our test model, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door SE came with leather seating that’s not available on the other models. It also came standard with a leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel, keyless access with push-button start, and much more.

Tech wise, our 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door SE came fitted with an eight-speaker Fender audio system, Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, USB connectivity, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a large screen to see all your info including an exciting performance monitor.

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door a very spacious cabin with 38.4-inches of legroom for front passengers and 35.6-inches of legroom for rear passengers. Cargo capacity comes in at a sizeable 23 cubic feet so you can take your fun little hot-hatchback on many road trips.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance

Not much has changed for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door under that hood. Power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes a total of 210 horsepower with a peak torque of 258 lb-ft. Our test model was fitted with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that pushes this little bugger from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds with a top speed of 126 mph. If you’re always in a sporty mood, make sure you keep the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door is ‘Sport’ mode as that will give you an additional ten horses for a total of 220 horsepower.

On the fuel economy end, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door averages an EPA-rated 24/34 mpg* (city/highway) so that means that its quick and will also save you some coins at the pump.

Overall, the acceleration is quick and the handling is magnificent, which provides for an exciting daily commute or drive.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Safety

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door comes with one of the more competitively priced driver assist packages for a total of $595. The package will add on adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, front brake assist, and blind spot monitoring. As mentioned above, a rearview camera is standard.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Overall

Yes, you can go and spend over $30,000 for a 300+ horsepower hatchback like the Ford Focus RS and the Honda Civic Type-R. But if you’re not going to be running the track on the weekend, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door is still your best option. It will give you all the utility and practicality a hatchback has to offer while putting a smile on your face when you want to go a little wild. Prices for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door start at just $25,595** for the GTI S. Visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Volkswagen dealer for a test drive today.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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