Volkswagen Did the Impossible With the New GTI

The original hot hatch is back and more impressive than ever. The new 2021 Volkswagen GTI is turning heads with its nimble handling, speedy acceleration, and unmatched versatility.

Always considered a fun car to drive, the GTI strikes the perfect balance between functionality and performance. Volkswagen took it a step further with this model year by achieving the impossible in a classic compact hatchback.

The new Volkswagen GTI

Volkswagen perfected the necessary elements of the engine, suspension, chassis, and transmission in the all-new Volkswagen GTI. Not relying on just one component, the automaker combined the vehicle’s essential parts to achieve a perfect balance.

The VAQ electronic limited-slip differential, 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, improved adaptive suspension, and dynamic chassis control system provide the building blocks of this fun-to-drive vehicle. 

There’s no driveshaft in a typical FWD vehicle, so the wheels shift in one direction, causing torque steer. The GTI has a transversely mounted engine, which takes up valuable real estate in the car’s front. There’s only enough space left for unequal-length half-shafts connected to each of the front wheels, which can lead to unpredictable veering.

Volkswagen corrected this problem through the use of the locking differential. It’s the first company to employ this technology in a front-wheel-drive vehicle, where the power transfers effectively to each wheel. The GTI can take corners effortlessly without experiencing torque steer issues.

Does this sporty car need AWD?

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The 2021 Volkswagen GTI is fast, fun, and turbocharged. Unlike the Golf R, SportWagen, and Alltrack models, the GTI doesn’t offer AWD. But this shouldn’t deter you from considering the more affordable GTI that comes with FWD.

Many people think AWD is the key to a high-performance sports car. Volkswagen proves them wrong with the 2021 GTI. Relying on the weight of the vehicle, drivers can achieve lift-off oversteer on almost every corner. Easing up on the throttle while going into a turn transfers the weight across the front, achieving the necessary balance.

Not only is the steering responsive, but there’s also a good deal of weight to this small car. There is also a decent amount of feedback from the transmission, although it’s a bit sluggish when in second gear.

Test drivers at Throttle House determined that FWD is all you need for the majority of driving conditions. Sure, the AWD Golf R is more fun in harsh driving conditions, but it comes with a heftier price tag. Throttle House’s test drivers find the GTI to be a better value and more than adequate for everyday driving. They highly recommend the Volkswagen hatchback, saying, “You save money; you save gas. Get the GTI.” 

The GTI is fun to drive

It’s impossible to ignore how enjoyable the Volkswagen GTI is to drive. Car and Driver said the new GTI is “exceedingly fun for the price.” With an MSRP of $29,690, this compact hot hatch is the ultimate sporty vehicle.

Volkswagen somehow made front-wheel drive fun in the GTI. Auto reviewers across the industry agree that driving the 228-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder is some of the most fun they’ve ever had. Shifting is made simple with an easy-to-use clutch in the manual model, with an option to upgrade to the dual-clutch automatic.

Volkswagen has developed a car that does what you want it to do without hesitation. The engine, transmission, and brakes work harmoniously together to provide superior performance.

Take the GTI for a test drive and see why everyone is calling this nimble vehicle such a joy to drive.