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2021 Chicago Auto Show: 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI (left) and Golf R
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI (left) and Golf R

Volkswagen announced complete pricing info for its redesigned 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R high-performance 4-door hatchbacks at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show. The ’22 Golf GTI and Golf R kick off the eighth generation of VW’s long-running compact hatchback in the U.S., and they are the only Golfs we’re getting… the non-performance versions of the Golf have been dropped for the American market and essentially replaced on our shores by VW’s new-for-2022 Taos compact crossover SUV.

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Both the GTI and R use Volkswagen’s EA888 turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, and both offer a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. The GTI’s engine makes 241 horsepower—a 17-hp bump from the previous-gen GTI—and 273 lb-ft of torque when running on premium gasoline. The R’s engine is rated at 315 hp (27 hp more than the previous R) and 295 lb-ft of torque with the automatic transmission, or 280 lb-ft when equipped with the manual transmission.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The GTI’s previous trim levels carry over on the new 2022 cars. They ascend through entry-level S (base MSRP: $29,545), SE ($34,295), and Autobahn ($37,995) models. Compared to the outgoing generation, these prices represent an increase of around $850-$1600 depending on the model, but the new GTIs come with more standard equipment.

The S model comes standard with features such as 18-inch alloy wheels, wireless device charging, heated front seats and steering wheel, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and 30-color ambient interior lighting. The SE adds features such as adaptive headlights, sunroof, 480-watt Harman/Kardon-brand stereo system, and an upgraded infotainment system with navigation. The decked-out Autobahn includes 19-inch wheels on summer performance tires, DCC adaptive-damping suspension, Vienna leather upholstery, head-up display, 12-way power driver seat with memory, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.

The Golf R is available in one fully loaded trim level, with an MSRP of $43,645. In addition to its hotter engine, the R comes standard with R-Performance 4Motion all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring, DCC adaptive damping suspension, 14-inch cross-drilled front brake rotors, and a host of exclusive upscale trim touches and features inside and out.

On both the GTI and R, the automatic transmission is an $800 option regardless of model, and all models have a $995 destination fee. The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R are slated to begin arriving at dealers in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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2022 Volkswagen Golf R (left) and Golf GTI

CG Says:

If you’re a driving enthusiast, it’s hard not to get excited about a new-generation Golf GTI and Golf R. These Volkswagen hot hatchbacks have long offered an outstanding blend of invigorating performance, daily-driver practicality, and a cool European ambiance that’s a step above the compact-car norm. The redesigned 2022 models promise to continue that tradition in fine fashion, and we especially applaud the fact that a traditional manual transmission is still on offer across the board. However, we have to pour one out for the discontinuation of the “garden variety” Volkswagen Golf—an everyday hatchback that delivered driver’s-car litheness and European flair at a more affordable price point.

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2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

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