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2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI Test Drive

by Randi

The 2024 Volkswagen GTI continues to be defined by a combination of sporty performance, practicality, and technological sophistication. During my week-long test drive of this legendary hatchback, I witnessed its spirited ride and comfort.

The eight-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI, launched in 2022, offers an impressive blend of performance, technology, and practicality. It remains a benchmark in the hot hatchback segment, offering driving enthusiasts a versatile and engaging vehicle. The Autobahn model I tested is a well-rounded and fun-to-drive trim with enhanced driving dynamics.

For 2024, the Golf GTI received several updates that enhanced its appeal, including exterior design tweaks on the front and rear bumpers, new LED headlights, and revised alloy wheel designs. Inside, the GTI features an upgraded 10-inch infotainment system with a 10.25-inch digital display and improved software for better responsiveness.

Volkswagen has also added more standard safety features across all trims, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking. The Autobahn trim adds adaptive headlights and park assist.

Models/Price: The 2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI is available in three trim levels with a choice of automatic or manual: The GTI S Automatic ($33,190) and 390 S Manual ($33,910); SE automatic ($38,140) and 390 SE Manual ($38,710); Autobahn Automatic ($47,730) and 380 Autobahn Manual ($42,050) MSRP. To mark the final year for the six-speed manual transmission, Volkswagen equipped the GTI 380 manual with special equipment, including Graphite Grey paint, black-painted 19-inch wheels, and an adaptive suspension system.

The top-of-the-line Autobahn trim, which I tested, includes many premium features, such as a panoramic sunroof, adaptive suspension, and a Harman Kardon sound system.

Power/Engine: The 2024 Golf GTI has 13 more horses than the previous year and is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine that generates 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. It’s either paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Its quick and powerful acceleration gives it an advantage in dense urban traffic, easily changing lanes and eagerly attacking entry ramps on the highway.

Fuel Economy: The VW GTI automatic averages one more mile in fuel economy than its manual counterpart. According to the EPA, the automatic gets 25 city/34 highway mpg.

For more detailed car-buying tips and reviews on the latest new cars, SUVs, and trucks, visit Decisive Media Network and subscribe to my auto blog. Stay informed and drive safely! Randi Payton, Decisive Media Network

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