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Everyone knows that shopping for used cars can be beyond frustrating. With record-high inflation, gas prices, and record-low automotive inventory, it’s especially difficult right now. If you’re in the market for a used compact car that’s within a couple of years old, though, this will make it easy on you. There’s one clean and clear choice!

Volkswagen GTI is the best used compact car you can buy in 2022

Red 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI cruising past a grassy field in the sun, the best used compact car to buy
202 VW Golf GTI | Volkswagen

U.S. News put together a list of the best used compact car offerings considering a budget of $20,000 or more. Generally, this pricepoint puts you within the scope of modern cars that are within a few years old. This is a beneficial position to be in, as it offers all sorts of modern amenities, warranties, and safety features without breaking the bank by paying full MSRP or higher.

Though there are a ton of fantastic competitors, U.S. News ranks the 2020 Volkswagen GIT as the best used compact car you can purchase in 2022. Frankly, when looking at the list of features the GTI has, it’s pretty easy to see why. It offers the perfect balance of comfortable and upscale interior, practicality, and a fun driving experience.

The 2020 Volkswagen GTI features a potent turbo engine that makes a substantial 228 horsepower. Additionally, the GTI comes standard with a limited-slip differential. So, the GTI offers no shortage of fun when it comes to windy roads, weekend autocross adventures, or even race tracks.

Additionally, despite U.S. News giving it a negative ding for “poor fuel economy,” it still manages EPA ratings of 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. In a world of 50 mpg+ hybrids, it’s easy to see how that can be considered “poor.” However, it’s still plenty impressive given the power and performance side of this car.

Aside from the power and performance, the 2020 Volkswagen GTI is remarkably practical.

Enough room for family vacations and a crazy nice interior

Bolstered cloth seats with plaid inserts inside the best used compact car to buy, a 2020  Volkswagen GTI
2020 Golf GTI Interior | Volkswagen

As one might expect with a hatchback, the 2020 Volkswagen GTI has plenty of room. In fact, this is one of the major reasons USN named it the best used compact car to buy.

Even with the rear seats folded up, the 2020 GTI offers an astonishing-for-class 22.8 cubic feet of cargo room. If you don’t have any back seat passengers, folding the seats down expands the storage to 52.7 cubic feet, absolutely blowing the compact competition out of the water. It’s a lot more family-oriented than one might think!

Additionally, the GTI features an upscale interior design that takes a ton of influence from its cousins under the Audi marque. Minimal use of cheap plastics combines with plush leather or cloth heated seats with sport bolstering and an unlimited supply of high-quality materials. A 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard, with a larger 8-inch option available. Both units have Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Thanks to fantastic standard equipment, even lower-trim level 2020 Volkswagen GTI offerings are convenient, comfortable, and well-featured.

Overall, it’s very easy to see how the 2020 Volkswagen GTI earned the title of the best used compact car to buy. Despite its projected high cost-to-own in the long term, its positives far outweigh the negatives.


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