1 Flaw Keeps the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI From Being a Great Sports Car

There’s nothing that evokes the same thrilling feeling as carving corners in a nimble sports car. Few affordable models do this as well as the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI. In many ways, it’s the perfect hot hatch.

Many car enthusiasts would love to get behind the wheel of this sporty compact. Thankfully, that’s easy to do, thanks to the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI’s accessible starting MSRP of $28,695. However, the Golf GTI has a significant downside, and it’s not something you’ll notice during a test drive.

Where does Volkswagen’s coolest car fall short, and should this reason impact your buying decision? Let’s analyze what the industry experts have to say about the new VW Golf GTI.

What could potentially be the Golf GTI’s greatest downfall? 

A red 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI driving down a highway
The 2021 VW Golf GTI in action | Photo via Volkswagen

One of the hardest things to determine for a newer vehicle is its dependability. This is simply because it’s a guestimate of how great the staying-power of the machine as a whole could be. While there is absolutely a science to gauging predicted reliability, it is still an estimation based on previous iterations of the vehicle. Only time will tell how reliable a new model will turn out to be. 

However, Consumer Reports has published that the predicted reliability score for the 2021 Volkswagen GTI to be just a hair short of abysmal. The publication gave it a score of 2/5 in this category. According to Consumer Report’s data, areas of concern in past Golf GTI models include the engine cooling system and the car’s body integrity.

Predicted reliability likely had a significant impact on the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI’s overall vehicle score. The Consumer Reports heavily praised the GTI’s performance, but it gave the hot hatch a rating of just 63/100.

New buyers heavily rely on reports such as reviews from Consumer Reports to aid in the car-buying process. It remains to be seen whether the low predicted reliability score of the 2021 Golf GTI is warranted or is simply a guestimation based on factors such as the quality of machinery in this newer vehicle. However, smart shoppers would do well to heed this warning. 

What we love about the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

While reliability is a serious concern, it’s important to remember that the GTI is first and foremost a sports car. Buyers will likely put fun above all else, and the GTI delivers in that department.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine powers the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI. This powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, and it kicks out 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Shoppers can also opt for an available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in place of the standard gearbox.

VW also equipped its hot hatch with a limited-slip front differential, red brake calipers, and a drive mode selector. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line Autobahn trim also adds an adaptive suspension.

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI also features quite an impressive assortment of driver-assistance technologies for a sports car. These features include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and more.

Should you rethink buying this hot hatch?

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Few cars under $35,000 are as fun to drive as the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI. However, its predicted reliability is an enormous concern. After all, buying a vehicle is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make, and nothing is more frustrating than frequent mechanical issues.

Overall, predicted reliability is just that – a guess of what might happen. Many Golf GTI owners have gone on without experiencing any significant issues during their time with the car. Regardless, you should seriously consider the long-term dependability of this sports car before signing the dotted line.