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Volkswagen Golf GTI 2024: A Tale of Passion

2023-10-02

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Today, the North American automobile market is predominantly composed of sport utility vehicles. Some manufacturers have chosen to offer sportier versions of their SUVs, but Volkswagen has instead opted to preserve the sporty versions of its cars. Thus, even though the Golf as a whole is no longer available in our market, the GTI version and its more radical variant, the Golf R, are still available.

 

In my opinion, this is an excellent decision on the part of the German manufacturer because small sports cars are becoming increasingly rare, and that's a pity. They offer a more dynamic driving experience and generally better fuel economy than performance SUVs. Furthermore, the Golf GTI remains practical, and its price range is well below the average selling price for a new vehicle in Canada today. I'm a bit sad to put it this way, but the Golf GTI is a small sports car like there's almost none left, and that's one of the reasons why you should enjoy it now, before it's too late. By the way, if you didn't know, everything indicates that 2024 will be the last year of production for the manual transmission Golf GTI.

 

Lineup and Prices

 

The 2024 Golf GTI starts at a price of $37,310, which remains reasonable for this type of car. For this amount, you get a complete standard equipment package, including heated front seats and an electronically controlled front differential lock. The Golf GTI is also available in two other configurations, starting with the Autobahn version, which offers more essential technologies. Finally, there's the Performance version, which is somewhat misleading in its name as it offers more luxurious features in my opinion. Ultimately, it's up to you, but considering the price difference, I would go for the Autobahn version or even the Performance model. After all, the Volkswagen Golf is a car you buy to enjoy above all else.

 

GTI - $37,310 GTI Autobahn - $39,410 GTI Performance - $43,510

 

Category and Competition

 

Compact sports cars are becoming increasingly rare in the market, which is a shame because it's a category that still has a following. Unfortunately, one must understand that most cars of this type cannot exist without a mainstream version with which they share many elements. Volkswagen, on the other hand, still manages to justify the presence of the Golf GTI and Golf R in our market, which is excellent news. At the same time, the Golf is far from being the least popular car in the market, and sales figures prove that.

 

Rivals: Honda Civic SI, Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Elantra N, Mini Cooper S, Subaru WRX, Toyota GR Corolla

 

Design and Technologies

 

Unlike most of its rivals, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is not a flashy car, and perhaps that's one of its greatest qualities. The German manufacturer's compact sports car focuses on elegance and simplicity. It may not necessarily grab attention, but it's a car that you appreciate greatly when you take the time to observe it from every angle. Speaking of details, the Golf GTI offers an interior that is just as elegant and modern as the exterior. I really like its infotainment system. The ability to change the color of the menu and icons makes the car even more fun. The interface is quite smooth and easy to navigate. The vast majority of the technologies that the Golf GTI offers are well-balanced and work well.

 

Performance

 

The 2024 Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. You can still choose between the 6-speed manual transmission or the 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. In either case, power is sent to the front wheels. According to Volkswagen, the average fuel consumption is 10.1 L/100 km in the city and 7.0 L/100 km on the highway with the manual transmission. As for the automatic transmission, it's around 9.9 L/100 km in the city and 7.4 L/100 km on the highway. Having tried both, I can tell you that you'll have fun behind the wheel regardless of your choice. However, my heart remains with the manual transmission, even if the Golf is technically slower in this configuration.

 

Weak Points

 

The sunroof is not offered as standard on all versions. The manual transmission is only available starting from the Autobahn version.

 

Strengths

 

It's a practical car, fuel-efficient, and very enjoyable to drive. The Golf GTI tends to hold its value well. It's a significantly more robust car than its rivals. Its build quality is impressive. Historically, it has also proven to be one of the most reliable sports cars on the market.

 

Signature Element

 

The Golf GTI is one of the best small sports cars on the market. There's not much you can fault it for.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The current automobile market is flooded with SUVs, and to say that it doesn't affect me would be a lie. Fortunately, there are still real cars like the 2024 Golf GTI. It's a model that is here to remind us that automobiles are still about emotion and that you don't need to spend $100,000 to get an enjoyable car to drive. If you love driving and are looking for a model that will make your journeys a lot more fun, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is an excellent choice.

 

Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

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