Volkswagen Golf GTi
(2014 - 2020)

  • Excellent levels of performance
  • All the practicality of a Golf hatchback
  • European class and good looks
  • Perfect for almost any scenario
  • Major reliability concerns
  • Tech is starting to feel its age
  • Expensive repair bills
  • Questionable longevity
Overview

The Mk7 Volkswagen Golf GTI, when new, was quite possibly the perfect car.

A perfect blend of performance and practicality, an understated yet sporty aesthetic, a comfortable yet purposeful interior, the GTI was (and still is) a classless and immensely enjoyable car.

But this was when the GTI was new, which it no longer is. Does it still live up to its new car reputation? Hopefully this Cheat Sheet will answer that question.
The seventh generation Golf and GTI received a mild cosmetic and equipment mid-life update in 2017 (commonly called the Mk 7.5) as well as incremental upgrades each year.

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What goes wrong
  • Turbo failures on early year models
  • Water pump failures
  • Thermostat failures
  • Inlet tract issues
  • Injector faults
  • Oil pan faults
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Intercooler issues
  • Clutch concerns in manual versions
  • DSG issues
  • Subframe bolts have stretching issues
  • Hood cables and release handles can fail
  • Engine bay plastics fail
  • Water incursion and leaking issues
  • Infotainment systems known to fail
  • Interior and exterior trim can age badly
Model range, pricing and features

GTI

  • Price when new: $40,990 - $47,190
  • Price used: $17,500 - $55,000

The base model GTI may be all the GTI the vast majority of the population will ever need but if embracing your inner racing driver is high on the priority list, you may need to look higher up the food chain.

Standard features:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Sports suspension
  • Adaptive dampers
  • Driver fatigue monitoring
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Leather multi-function steering wheel
  • Satellite navigation
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear view camera
  • Front fog-lights
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
  • Multi-collision brake
  • Seven airbags
  • Storage compartment under driver seat
  • Bi-xenon headlights (optional)
  • Vienna leather upholstery (optional)
  • Heated front seats (optional)
  • Panoramic electric sunroof (optional)
  • Drive Assistance Package (optional but standard from 2019. Including adaptive cruise control, semi-automatic parking system and low speed automatic braking)
  • Active info digital instrument cluster (Optional on Mk7.5 but standard from 2019)
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (Mk 7.5)
  • Traffic Jam Assist (Mk 7.5)
  • Lane Assist (Mk 7.5)
  • 9.2-inch Discover Pro touchscreen (Mk 7.5 optional)
  • 8.0-inch ‘Discover Media’ infotainment system (from 2017)
  • Automatic LED headlights with dynamic cornering (Standard from 2017)

GTI Performance

  • Price when new: $46,490 - $48,490
  • Price used: $22,000 - $38,000

For those that like their GTI more driver- and performance-orientated, the GTI Performance offered what we think is quite possibly the perfect hot hatch recipe.

It’s our pick of the range and offers all the fun you’ll need while still being a supremely practical and classy hatch.

GTi Performance adds:

  • Electronically-controlled limited slip differential.
  • Larger brakes
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Alcantara seat trim
  • Xenon headlights with LED daytime lights
  • Cornering lights
  • LED tail-lights
  • Tinted tail lights
  • Extra 7kW of power

40 Years

  • Price when new: $19,890 - $21,130
  • Price used: $2,500 - $13,500

Released to celebrate 40 years of Golf GTI, this special edition was arguably the most refined front-wheel-drive hot hatch on the market at the time.

Find one of the 100 rare manual transmission models and hold onto it as it’s sure to be a future classic.

40 Years adds:

  • Larger black gills and intake on the front bar
  • Black “40 Years” graphic on the sides and back
  • Black roof-mounted spoiler
  • Black front splitter and side skirt extensions
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Alcantara-trimmed unique sports seats
  • Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel
  • Alcantara gear selector boot
  • Alcantara interior trim
  • Bespoke GTI 40 Years insignia throughout the cabin

Performance Edition 1

  • Price when new: $47,990
  • Price used: $35,000 - $41,500

Available as a 3-door hatch instead of the more traditional 5-door, the Performance Edition 1 received some extra kit as standard, a boost in power and with the addition of a 5-door variant, became the “standard” GTI as of 2019.

Performance Edition adds:

  • Front Differential Lock and larger disc brakes
  • 19-inch (Brescia) alloy wheels
  • Honeycomb micro fleece/leatherette upholstery
  • LED tail lights with dynamic indicators
  • Active Info Display
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Lane Assist
  • Park Assist
  • Dynamic Light Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert
  • Dark tinted rear and rear side windows
  • White silver metallic and dark iron blue metallic paint

Original

  • Price when new: $37,490 - $39,990
  • Price used: $30,000 - $38,500

Stripping the GTI back to its bare basics and lowering the cost of admission delivered a GTI many fans were keen for.

Available as a 3-door hatch only, the GTI Original is a fun, if slightly less practical package.

Original adds:

  • 18-inch ‘Sevilla’ black alloy wheels with red pinstriping
  • ‘Original’ badging
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (but no factory navigation)
  • City-speed autonomous emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection

TCR

  • Price when new: $51,490
  • Price used: $53,000 - $59,500

The ultimate example and final special edition for the seventh-generation Golf GTI is a very special thing.

Limited to just 300 units, the TCR (Touring Car Racing) GTI features more performance, more kit and more exclusivity than any previous GTI.

TCR adds:

  • 18-inch alloys
  • 19-inch alloy wheel (Optional)
  • Upgraded brakes
  • Front splitter
  • Sill extensions
  • TCR-specific rear spoiler and diffuser
  • Black wing mirror caps
  • Revised exhaust tips
  • Unique microfibre trim
  • ‘Flash Red’ interior highlights
  • 12 o’clock marker on the steering wheel
  • Honeycomb side decor (Optional)
  • Black roof (Optional)
  • Carbon-fibre mirror caps (Optional)
Should you buy it?

We’ve genuinely lost count of how many horror stories we’ve heard regarding the Mk7 Golf GTI. Interiors leaking, engines imploding, catastrophic and hugely expensive failures are becoming almost common.

If you’re ok with that level of stress and impending doom and you can find a GTI with some factory warranty remaining, that has been completely cared for, that includes a faultless service history, then yes, buy one. When they’re working, they’re quite possibly the perfect car. Just make sure you sell it before the warranty is up.

However, if you require a completely reliable and dependable hot hatch that will provide many years of trouble-free, practical and performance motoring, even when it’s out of warranty, sorry, it’s a no, you shouldn’t buy one.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 years/unlimited kms

5 years/unlimited kms (From 1/10/2018)

Servicing:

15,000kms or every 12 months

Tech specs

Body style:

  • 5-door Hatch (GTI, GTI Performance, 40 Years, TCR)
  • 3-door Hatch (GTI Performance Edition 1, Original)

Engine & outputs:

  • 2.0-litre, 4 cyl turbo-petrol
  • 162kW (GTI until 2018)
  • 169W (GTI until 2019, Performance and Original)
  • 180kW (GTI from 2019 and Performance Edition 1)
  • 195kW (213kW on overboost) (40 Years)
  • 213kW (TCR)
  • 350Nm (GTi, Performance, Original)
  • 370Nm (Performance Edition 1 and TCR)
  • 380Nm (40 Years on overboost)

Transmissions:

  • 6-speed manual (GTi, 40 Years, Original)
  • 6-speed DSG (GTi until 2018, Performance, 40 Years, Original, TCR)
  • 7-speed DSG (Performance Edition 1, GTi post-2018

Fuel use:

  • 6.6L – 7.5L/100kms Combined (Depending on variant)

Dimension:

  • Height: 1466mm
  • Length: 4268mm
  • Width: 1799mm
  • Kerb weight: 1304kg (3-door manual) – 1357kg (5-door DSG)
Disclaimer

Information correct as of April 16, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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