Over the past four decades the Golf and GTI variants have gone through a carefully orchestrated evolutionary process. The 2018 Golf GTI is even better than our recent 2017 Golf GTI long-term test car, with interior and exterior tweaks. Our 2018 Golf GTI 5-Door Autobahn edition test car is equipped with the White Silver Metallic exterior (no-cost option), Clark Cloth interior (no-cost option) and the Driver Assistance Package ($1,750 option). The base GTI starts at $30,595 with the 6-speed manual, or $31,995 with the optional 8-speed DSG transmission. The base GTI Autobahn starts at $35,895 with the 6-speed manual, or $37,295 when equipped with the DSG. With the optional $1,750 Driver Assistance Package, our test car’s MSRP is $39,045 plus freight, PDI and taxes.
The GTI’s Sport Suspension is slightly stiffer and lower than those of the non-GTI Golf models. The Cross Differential System (XDS) works seamlessly and moves power to the outside wheel when cornering if the system anticipates wheel spin of the inside wheel. This car really does deliver quick, sporty and precise cornering. The DSG will out-accelerate the 6-speed manual by a few tenths of a second with both cars scampering from 0 to 100 km/h in the low to mid six second range.