Expert Review - Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 (2022-Present)
18 March 2022
We cannot shake the thought that perhaps the Mk8 feels like a mildly diluted version of its predecessor, but man, the Mk8 GTI is still one hell of a hot hatch, and we seriously think you will like it.
Compared against the Mk7.5 GTI, the Mk8 does not feel distinctly quicker, despite pushing a bit more power with 245 PS and 370 Nm. Its power is better spread thanks to the new seven-speed DSG, and the exhaust crackles in Sport mode.
Ride & Handling
Thanks to the new Vehicle Dynamics Manager software and XDS electronic differential lock, the Mk8 is a lot less prone to understeering at speed. It is more darty than the older car, but also feels less visceral.
Ride is a tad firmer from before, thanks to the use of uprated bushings and springs. The adaptive shocks do not change rebound rates as much as you think they should, but the hatch never feels too rigid in any circumstance.
With absolutely no driving aids available, the Golf unfortunately scores low here. It does not even have AEB fitted as standard, unlike the competition. We hope this will change in the future.
Overall footprint of the Mk8 is almost similar to the previous generation, so front and rear passengers get roughly the same amount of space from before. The boot is slightly smaller at 374 litres, but there is at least a space-saver tyre and a 12-volt socket in the boot.
At RM213k, the latest Golf GTI is actually cheaper than the older CBU Mk7.5 GTI. As hot hatches go, the new boy is a 10/10. But as a daily driver, it is an 8/10 (we are being generous), because nearly all its rivals within the same price range have at least some form of ADAS.