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Video: 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI – Detailed review (POV)

This is one of the most iconic vehicles in the world for driving enthusiasts and car fans. Now in its eight-generation, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has some tough competition. Can it retain its status as the best all-rounder hot hatch on the market?

We’ve already reviewed the latest model. This exact vehicle, to be precise. But we thought we’d put together a nice big detailed review video to go over the finer details. Also for the sake of savouring what could end up being the last petrol-powered Golf GTI in history.

The latest, Mk8 version is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder, as before. Specifically, the ‘EA888’ motor, as seen in various Audi models and even Porsche, with the Macan. Here it produces a healthy 180kW and 370Nm – the most powerful core GTI model in history.

These figures might not set the class on fire, however, the GTI has never been about outright power – that’s for the Golf R. Instead, the GTI focuses on outright balance. And for a front-wheel drive, 180kW is a superb amount power to play with. Peak torque is spread from just 1600-4300rpm, which is perhaps more important and more useful.

With this much torque available from such low revs, it means you can pull away from corners with immediate haste. And it doesn’t matter if you’re not in a low gear, as this will pull through in third or fourth, depending on the corner.

It does have some tough competition in the name of the Hyundai i30 N, which is a fire-cracking micro machine and the brainchild of former BMW M boss, Albert Biermann. Although it is an outstanding driver’s hatch and one that offers almost unlimited driver engagement, the Golf GTI goes for a more refined character that’s also up for fun, rather than crazy track speed and lap times.

Is the Golf GTI more to your style? Check out our POV test drive video below as it might help you decide, either way.

Brett Davis

Brett started out as a motor mechanic, but eventually became frustrated working on cars that weren't his. He then earned a degree in journalism and scored a job at Top Gear Australia back in 2008, and then worked at Zoom/Extreme Performance magazines, CarAdvice, and started PerformanceDrive/PDriveTV in 2011 with Josh Bennis, and ran it for 12 years. He's now the owner and managing editor here at Driving Enthusiast.

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