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For most, the focus of sports cars centers largely on mid-corner rotation and torque curves. However, there are those of us who want a sports car that can easily handle daily tasks as well. The longstanding king of this category is the GTI. While things have changed over the years, the Golf GTI is still one of the most family-friendly sports cars available today.

2022 VW Golf GTI, one of the most family-friendly sports cars
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI | Volkswagen

Back seat space helps the GTI earn its most family-friendly sports car status

These days, the cabal of sports cars is dominated by two-seat, two-door models. These focused options include such legends as the Mazda Miata, BMW Z4, and Chevy Corvette. But even four-seat models like the BMW 2 Series, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota GR86 offer such limited back seat space that fitting passengers is a laughable concept.

Not so in the GTI.

With 46.3 inches of rear hip room and 35 inches of rear legroom, it’s easy to fit two adults or three teenagers across the back seat. Whether your life involves running carpool duties for the office or handling the morning school run, the GTI can handle it with grace. It’s why the German hatchback has long been considered one of the most family-friendly sports cars from its inception to today.

Advanced safety features keep the family-friendly GTI safe for all

In addition to its ample interior space, the Golf GTI provides a wealth of advanced safety features for added protection. Each new GTI comes with forward collision warning and automated emergency braking to assist with accident avoidance. There is also adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning for easier highway drives. And despite a relatively small cabin, the GTI earns top safety ratings from both the IIHS and NHTSA.

Roadtrip-worthy cargo space

It’s easy to look at the silhouette of the GTI and assume that the spacious passenger compartment eats up all the interior space. However, the most family-friendly sports car leaves plenty of room for extra stuff inside. With all seats in place, there are 20 cubic feet to work with in the rear cargo area. The split-folding rear seats expand the available space up to 34.5 cubes.

Genuine sports car performance

2022 Volksagen Golf GTI White
2022 Volksagen Golf GTI | Volkswagen

The latest generation of Golf GTI hasn’t left its sports-car roots behind. Despite being family-friendly, the Volkswagen hatch delivers sharp handling with adaptive suspension settings. There are sport brakes to get everything slowed down and lightweight alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero tires out of the box. Admittedly, those tires are a bit lackluster compared to some aftermarket options, but they provide respectable grip for a factory tire, according to Car and Driver.

Under the hood, you know the story. The EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder provides more punch than ever. This GTI sends 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Alternatively, a six-speed stick is still available for those of you that want a three-pedal driving experience.

The most family-friendly sports car is still this practical German hatch

Despite some tech-based headaches, the MK8 GTI still delivers on its family-friendly sports car reputation. It comes out of the box more hot and ready than a discount pizza, with plenty of quality aftermarket support to make it even better. All told the GTI is one of the few modern cars that stays true to its original formula, and we’re grateful for it.

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