2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE: A Hatchback with Attitude

Published: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 | 7:23 PM

2017vwgolfgti475When you need extra cargo space on a regular basis, nothing beats a hatchback for its size and usefulness. This is especially true when you live in an urban area where parking is at a premium and the roads are almost always crowded. But combine those useful attributes with a powerful engine and a sporty attitude? Now you’ve got something and that something is the Golf GTI.

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI comes in four trim levels: S, Sport, SE, and Autobahn. This review will focus on the SE trim.

The SE trim features a sunroof, automatic headlights and wipers, leather upholstery, Fender premium audio system, electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip front differential and larger front and rear brakes, along with adaptive xenon headlights and keyless ignition and entry.

2017vwgolfgtidashThere is a Driver Assistance package available as an extra which was included on my model adding: adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Sporting a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Golf GTI tools down the highway with 220 horses and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. Expect to get 24/city, 32/highway, and 27/combined mpg.

On the inside the vibe is European and the materials are upmarket. There are no hard plastics in this car, everything is soft and attractive. The 6.5-inch touchscreen, though small, is easy to use and two smartphones can be Bluetoothed to the Golf GTI, which makes a long trip that much more enjoyable.

2017vwgolfgtiseatThe seating is comfortable fore and aft. Both front and back seat passengers will enjoy their head and legroom. Cargo will be easy to load and unload in the spacious 22.8 cubic feet of space. Putting the back seats down adds to the roominess with up to 52.7 cubic feet of space.

The Golf GTI is great fun to drive with its turbocharged engine that delivers on the speed. The steering is tight and at its best on a curvy mountain road.

Need a car with a bit more cargo space and a whole lot of zip-a-dee-doo-dah? Then give the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE a test drive.