2022 VW GTI Highway Take a look at Overview | A pleasure to drive; a ache to cope with

It’s tough to view new choices just like the 2022 Volkswagen GTI as something however lame geese. VW has made it clear that, like the vast majority of the trade, its future product pipeline will transition to electrical energy over the course of the approaching decade. Inside-combustion, fanatic choices like this one are formally endangered species, and automakers have few alternatives remaining to essentially get them proper.

And whereas GTI followers could also be loyal, in addition they are usually persnickety. Even an automaker as massive as VW Group has finite assets, and using them is a zero-sum recreation. Electrification’s achieve is inner combustion’s loss, and area of interest merchandise just like the GTI usually get the quick finish of the stick. If you happen to really feel like I’m prepping you for dangerous information, nicely …

However let’s begin with the nice, as a result of there’s loads of it. Volkswagen was amongst those that lengthy insisted that 200 horsepower was the cheap restrict for front-wheel drive. Advances in digital throttle management and torque apportionment have softened the corporate’s resolve. The 2022 GTI’s 241 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque really feel completely tame and satisfyingly potent. VW says it’ll do 0-60 in underneath 5.4 seconds with the dual-clutch automated; our handbook check automotive on snow tires wasn’t a great candidate for testing straight-line velocity.

The brand new, MKVIII GTI’s fundamentals are extremely sound. All the things that connects the driving force to the highway is flawless. The steering is dialed in completely. The clutch and kit selector each have wonderful weight and talk clearly. In typical GTI vogue, each the driving place and the help from the seat itself are wonderful.

The powertrain is equally good. There’s loads of energy and minimal lag while you’re out of the meat of the torque curve. The throttle response is borderline telepathic. In every week of driving, I didn’t as soon as misjudge a blip. This, regardless of not driving a manual-transmission Golf or GTI (from this century) in years. It has simply that pure of a rhythm to fall into.

And if it had been a toy, this might be sufficient. However except you’re a cargo area fanatic, you’re shopping for a GTI as a result of it’s greater than a mere weekender. Not like a Miata, the GTI’s rear cargo space had no bother swallowing a three-piece wood child barrier, some paintings, getaway luggage and different assorted sundries. That is the purpose of a GTI. It’s the enjoyable automotive you purchase when you’ll be able to’t actually justify a very enjoyable automotive. I understand that appears like a back-handed praise, however consider me, it’s supplied in good religion.

My Volkswagen appreciation goes again to my first automotive — a B4 Passat. It was additionally my final Volkswagen. After that monetary fiasco, I vowed to understand them from a distance, however I’ll be the primary to acknowledge that the GLI, GTI and the assorted permutations of R have all the time represented the very best all-around compromises of their respective classes. Not all the time probably the most enjoyable, not all the time probably the most sensible, however persistently a near-perfect stability between the 2.

By that measure, the brand new GTI falls quick, and never simply by a bit bit. For each satisfying “snick” of the shifter or blip of the throttle, there’s a corresponding annoyance. Take the infotainment system, which is gradual in addition (assuming it does in any respect; that’s not assured) and firewalls virtually each operate behind a menu or app of some type. People who aren’t hidden behind the digital interface are small capacitive buttons and toggles, few of that are lit, that supply nearly no suggestions, particularly when you have the audacity to put on gloves.

The adaptive cruise management is likewise finicky to make use of however blessedly simple to revert to “regular” cruise. With both, although, you’re nonetheless caught with 5 mph incremental velocity changes – there isn’t any choice to do 1 mph at a time. At the least that I can might discover – possibly it is locked away in a kind of menus. The one different model that involves thoughts that does that is Subaru.

We might extra simply cope with these shortcomings in a Miata, BRZ or GR86, however in a automotive that’s imagined to be the front-wheel-drive Swiss Military Knife of fanatic transportation, this consumer expertise borders on unforgivable. A GTI is meant to be simply as rewarding to dwell with as it’s to drive; this one fairly merely isn’t.

However VW fanatics are die-hard, and the GTI’s drive could also be satisfying sufficient to sway those that can dwell with its day-to-day shortcomings. In spite of everything, negotiating the model’s inherent German-ness has develop into second nature for its devoted followers. Those that are keen to dwell with (or discover methods to work round) its unlucky quirks shall be rewarded by an expertise that defies the GTI’s humble front-wheel-drive commuter automotive roots.

Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

You may also like...