2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition: Price, Features, and Value

The Volkswagen Golf GTI zoomed into the United States as the Rabbit GTI in 1983. This iconic hot hatch is arguably the German automaker’s best model. And to celebrate the zippy hatchback’s four decades stateside, VW unveiled the 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition. But is it worth the extra $3,000?

2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI overview and pricing

Volkswagen redesigned the Golf GTI for the 2022 model year, so the 2023 version remains unchanged. The hatchback is still available in S, SE, and Autobahn trims but adds the new 40th Anniversary Edition.

The S trim starts at $30,530. The SE follows at $35,330, and the Autobahn is priced at $39,070.

As the name implies, the 40th Anniversary Edition is a special model celebrating the GTI’s four decades in the United States. It will be available only in North America, with 1,500 units produced. Once it goes on sale in the middle of the model year, the 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition will cost $33,055 with the manual transmission and $33,855 with the automatic, according to Volkswagen.

All GTI models pack a 2.0-liter turbocharged EA888 engine producing 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Also, buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. In addition, all Volkswagen Golf GTI trims are front-wheel drive.

The significant differences among the models are interior and performance features. For instance, the S trim has an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, while the SE and Autobahn boast 10.0-inch touchscreens. In addition, the Autobahn is the only model with Adaptive Chassis Control.

2023 Volkswagen GTI 40th Anniversary Edition features

2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition: Price, features, and value
2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

The 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition features the same equipment as the S base model. However, that $3,000 extra brings additional features.

For instance, the exterior comes in a choice between two Anniversary Edition-exclusive colors: Tornado Red or Urano Grey. However, buyers can also opt for Pomelo Yellow Metallic or Opal White Pearl, available on other trims.

Additionally, the 40th Anniversary Edition boasts glossy black roof caps and mirror caps, shiny black 19-inch alloy wheels with red pinstripes, and an illuminated grille. The number “40” and a honeycomb design also appear along the door sills. Inside, “40” reappears at the bottom of the steering wheel. Also, expect more honeycomb accents, plaid cloth seats, and a golf-ball-inspired manual shift knob.

Special performance features include speed-sensitive steering, an adaptive damping system, and 235/35 summer tires.

Is the 40th Anniversary Edition worth the extra $3,000?

2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition interior
2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition cockpit | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

Of the four 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI models, Car and Driver reviewers recommend the SE. They note this mid-range trim’s enhanced infotainment system, sunroof, illuminated grille, and upgraded audio system over the base model.

Optional perks include ventilated seats and leather upholstery. However, VW will limit production of the 40th Anniversary Edition. So the SE doesn’t have that air of exclusivity.

Also, the special edition comes with unique perks making it worth considering. For instance, it’s cheaper than the SE, and it offers two exclusive exterior colors and unique design details. It even comes with performance summer tires, a feature not available on the SE.

Ultimately, the extra $3,000 over the base model is worth the spend if you value the above features. Perhaps the biggest drawback to the 40th Anniversary Edition is that you’ll have to wait until the middle of the model year to get your hands on this hot hatch.

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