When introduced in 1976, the GTI created a market niche known as “the hot hatchback segment.” Hard to believe that 100 hp was ever hot—but, hey, polyester was hot back then, too. This sixth-generation Golf GTI, with its 200 hp from four turbocharged cylinders, has swagger to spare. Interior updates include a new steering wheel, pedals trimmed in brushed stainless steel, and chrome-tipped window switches.
For this latest edition, VW ditched the Rabbit moniker and went back to the Golf badge. If the last generation looked “bloated and bulbous,” this one seems “low, wide, and aggressive.” A larger rear anti-roll bar improves cornering, and new sound-deadening materials make the interior “downright church-like in its quietness.” One complaint: Power window switches are now mounted too far forward.
Car and Driver
Actually, GTI Six is almost identical to Five, both inside and out. Roof, brakes, suspension—the same. As for styling—“your eyes deceive you” if you see anything much different, other than narrower head and taillights. All this is good news, though: The GTI will hold steady on price.