Is the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn Really Worth Nearly $40K?

Many drivers have turned to the Volkswagen Golf GTI as their go-to for an affordable little sports car. It’s been around for a while, but the newer versions have hit the 10 Best Awards on several occasions for the fun way it drives. Now, the Golf GTI offers the Autobahn trim on its latest redesign as its top tier level, and it’s a bit costly. Will it be worth paying nearly $40,000 for it? Let’s look at what both the baseline and the Autobahn trims have to offer.

What does Volkswagen’s Golf GTI S baseline trim level offer?

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn parked in front of a worn brick wall
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn | Volkswagen of America, Inc.

In a nutshell, the Volkswagen Golf GTI S offers a decent amount of basics for the starting price of $29,545. That cost gets you 18-inch all-season tires with five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, VAQ limited-slip front differential lock, and LED headlights. 

According to Volkswagen, you’ll also get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. An optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available if you want to upgrade. As for the interior, you get a plaid-designed cloth seating, a heated steering wheel, a Climatronic system, App-Connect, and VW Digital Cockpit Pro. 

Other features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting, front Top Sport heated seats, a crash response system, tire monitoring sensors, and electronic stability control—all for a pretty affordable price. 

What does the VW Golf GTI Autobahn Edition offer in terms of price and features?

With the top-level trim, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn Edition, you’ll get many of the same features as the S trim but with a few more surprises. These include a panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers with heated washer nozzles, LED fog lights with a corner illuminating feature, and 19-inch diamond-turned alloy wheels with summer performance tires.

The interior also won’t disappoint when it comes to luxury features befitting a top-level trim. You get a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather and heated/ventilated front seats, outboard rear seats, and stainless steel pedal caps. 

As for tech features, you will also get a Harmon Kardon Premium Audio system, Heads-Up display, keyless access, push-button start, High Beam Control, Volkswagen Car-Net, Travel Assist, and Pedestrian with Cyclist Monitoring. All of this comes at a price of $39,385.

How does the Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn compare to competitors?

The nearly $40,000 price tag on the Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn seems steep, but could it be worth it? According to Motor1, the Honda Civic Type R comes out on top when comparing engines on both models. Its 2.0-liter engine can produce 320 horsepower vs. the VW Golf GTI Autobahn trim’s 241 horsepower. Additionally, the price tag for the Civic Type R is similar to the VW model. 

The Hyundai Veloster N is pretty much the same with its six-speed manual gearbox and available seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It has a four-cylinder engine that generates up to 275 horsepower, 34 more horses than the Golf GTI Autobahn. The price is approximately $33,000 to start, which is less than the Volkswagen.

All in all, it’s a draw whether the price tag on the Autobahn trim is worth it. You get a lot for your money, which is great, but you could buy a similar vehicle with a bit more power for around the same price as the Honda Civic Type R. Still, if you’re a Volkswagen fan, the Golf GTI Autobahn edition would probably be more than worth it. 

RELATED: 2022 Volkswagen GTI Pricing and Options: What’s the Best GTI?