2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Frustrating Reliability Wrecks an Otherwise Fantastic Consumer Reports Road Test

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the most popular cars on the market for folks looking for a fun car that will not break the bank. So, while the 2022 VW Golf GTI does live up to that reputation, it’s by no means a flawless machine. Here’s a look at the 2022 VW Golf GTi and how its frustrating issues hurt the car overall. 

How the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI scored

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI sporty hot hatch hatchback in red parked on an asphalt lot surrounded by tropical trees
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

According to Consumer Reports, despite the reputation and popularity of the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI, it has a relatively average overall score in its segment. The Golf GTI has an overall score of 67 out of 100, putting it on the lower end of the affordable sports car segment.

That being said, the VW Golf GTI did very well on its road test, as it has a score of 85 out of 100 there. The Golf GTI’s predicted owner satisfaction rating is also pretty good, as it has a 4 out of 5 there. What dragged the Volkswagen hot hatch’s score down was its predicted reliability rating. There, Consumer Reports only gave it a 2 out of 5.

How reliable is the 2022 VW Golf GTI?

The Volkswagen Golf GTI’s great road test score shouldn’t be a surprise, as it’s equipped with a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gets 241 horsepower. That represents a 13-hp upgrade from the prior model year. With that additional power, this engine allows the VW hot hatch to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds. As a result, Consumer Reports gave the Golf GTI a 5 out of 5 for its acceleration.

Volkswagen gave the Golf GTI a manual transmission as standard, but an optional dual-clutch automatic still makes the car very fun to drive. Additionally, the Golf GTI still has excellent handling capabilities, allowing it to be a fast, agile car. To top it off, despite these performance characteristics, this Volkswagen is quite fuel-efficient for its class, at 28 mpg combined.

Unfortunately for the Golf GTI, its predicted reliability scores are a big letdown. These are predicted scores, so they may not necessarily reflect the 2022 model year’s actual reliability. That being said, the Golf GTI’s predicted reliability scores are low for many reasons. It’s has a long and consistent history of being unreliable. 

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI was very unreliable, especially true in terms of the car’s engine. Over the next few model years, Volkswagen did improve the Golf GTI’s reliability somewhat. However, even in the 2019 model year, the Golf GTI still suffered from engine reliability issues. VW may have since fixed those issues, but it’s also possible that those issues have persisted into the 2022 model year.

Reliability isn’t the Volkswagen hot hatch’s only issue

While the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s reliability issues are its biggest drawback, it does have another significant issue, according to Consumer Reports. The Golf GTI comes equipped with a 10-inch touch screen display, but this may be a downgrade. Compared to the Golf GTI’s older infotainment systems, the 2022 Golf GTI has some confusing controls.

One of the reasons the infotainment system is so confusing is its home screen button. According to Consumer Reports, this is a critical button, but VW didn’t label it, which may make it confusing for some drivers. On top of that, the button can change color, making it difficult for some people to see where the button is.  

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