A Used Volkswagen Golf GTI Is Always a Good Idea Under $20,000

Fast cars turn heads, exceed speed limits, and can take you on some pretty exciting adventures.  But they aren’t always the most practical vehicles you could own, and they cost a pretty penny. If there’s no way a new fast car could fit into your budget, all isn’t lost. There are plenty of good used fast cars available at reasonable prices like the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The team at U.S. News put together a list of fast used cars you can buy for under $20,000. And yes, the Golf GTI is on the practical side of the fast car spectrum. But it’s a great vehicle, and there are several reasons why it’s worth a closer look. 

Is it the Volkswagen Golf GTI a good deal?

There are compromises with fast cars. You get performance and appearance but lose other qualities like fuel efficiency, comfort, and technology. You give up being able to fit five people in the car.

But the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI allows you to have the best of both worlds. According to U.S. News, the Golf GTI gives you fast car performance but minimizes those practicality compromises that usually come with them. It’s got cargo space, technology, comfort features, and it’s fast.

According to Edmunds, you can find a good used 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI anywhere from $13,000 to $20,000 but the average going price is around $16,000.

A fast car under $20,000

For less than $20,000, you get 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seat down thanks to its hatchback body and smart design. It’s comfortable and unlike many sports cars, a great vehicle for your daily commute. You can seat up to five people. 

Great features? The VW Golf GTI has those too. The 2016 models are equipped with great features like cloth sport seats, a touch screen infotainment configuration, heated front seats, and satellite radio. The interior has an upscale feel with a generous amount of passenger space.

For performance, all 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI models have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. The standard engine gets 210 hp and with an available performance package 220 hp.

There’s also an available adjustable suspension that enhances the GTI’s impressive handling. You can enjoy a longer trip with a smoother ride than you’d get in most sports cars. It’s the unique blend of practicality, performance, and flexibility that earned it an overall score of 8.8 out of 10 from U.S. News and a spot on their list of fast used cars for under $20,000.

It’s a great car

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The team at U.S. News likes the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI because it’s fun to drive. It also offers spirited acceleration, nimble handling, and great comfort. When it comes to compact hatches, it’s got an impressive amount of space for cargo and passengers.

There were things they didn’t care for. The predicted reliability rating is good but several of the 2016 GTI’s peers have better ratings. They also thought the infotainment screen was a little small.

Part of the second generation, the 2016 GTI debuted in 2015. The team explains that while the 2013 and 2014 models have good overall ratings and will cost less, the 2016 models have an updated appearance. They also have recent tech like a rearview camera, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth standard.

The 2016 GTI is also the last model year that you can get the GTI as a coupe or a four-door hatchback. It’s available in S, SE and Autobahn trim levels. The base trim features 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, heated front seats, and a selection of driving modes. SE models give you automatic headlights, leather seats, push-button start, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

You can only get the Autobahn trim for the hatchback models. It gives you navigation, an automatic air conditioning system, and a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. U.S. News says the Autobahn trim is a good balance between safety and creature comforts.

The U.S. News team explains that the 2017 model offered no changes so shoppers can save money by finding a good used 2016 model instead.