VW Golf GTI 2021 review - is the MK8 the best yet?

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The all-new Golf GTI is HERE!
Volkswagen’s mid-level sporty edition of the Mk8 Golf rolls up with all the classic hot hatch styling cues you’d expect, from the classic red striping across the bonnet (and throughout the cabin!) along with a more aggressive, honeycomb-style grille.
As for performance, well it’s certainly not too bad, as you’ll find a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that will deliver 245hp and 370Nm.
Sure, so it all sounds pretty good! The question is, does it really offer enough to sway you away from the competition? And more importantly, with the new Golf R already announced and just around the corner, are you better off just waiting for the GTI’s big brother?
There’s only one way to find out… Sit back, relax, and join Mat for his latest in-depth review!
00:00 Intro
00:38 Price
01:06 Exterior Design
02:39 Interior & Infotainment
04:20 Back Seats
04:58 Boot
05:21 Five Annoying Things
06:59 Five Cool Things
08:15 0 - 60mph
09:37 Twisty Road Driving
10:35 Town Driving
11:24 Motorway Driving
12:45 Verdict
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  • 07:30 - Oops! We obviously didn't mean it's 0.3 Cd more aerodynamic. The new Golf GTI has improved over its predecessor from 0.3 to 0.275! That's still pretty slippery...

    • Can you guys do the new dacia sandero please

      Alex RoAlex RoHónapja
    • Car Wow - CW 33 Matt Watson - MW 33

      RR ShowtimeRR ShowtimeHónapja
    • Golf r review

      Among GuyAmong GuyHónapja
    • 10:57- I live near there

      Football Food and EverythingFootball Food and EverythingHónapja
    • Mazdas have 0.26 coefficient of drag

      Billie BoeBillie BoeHónapja
  • Monobrows never look good on any car.

  • Fugly alloys

    lukman karlialukman karlia2 napja
  • i just bought a mk7 no aspiration to update to that shite

    DanielDaniel2 napja
  • That dashboard is just a deal killer for me. At that price point you can't really call it a "peoples vehicle" anymore. It's just a knock-off luxury brand.

    KanonenfutterKanonenfutter3 napja
  • 05:40, I thought these cars allow one to change the ambient lighting, including the dial colour, as one wishes?

    cHa0scHa0s5 napja
  • Wow that is one ugly car.

    TowelieTowelie6 napja
  • This is whack im sorry

    sharko punchsharko punch7 napja
  • my dream car as my first car

    Nabiev AlisherkhonNabiev Alisherkhon7 napja
  • Such a dissappintment 😫😫

    just onejust one8 napja
  • Wouldn't trust the fuel computer, more like 35mpg

    Richie BtimeRichie Btime8 napja
  • I wish your editor would just make the audio levels consistent. It's all over the place.

    Jared MayerJared Mayer9 napja
  • Them wheels are dreadful

    Luke !Luke !9 napja
  • touch-sensitive buttons... on a steering wheel wth? this should be illegal for safety reasons alone

    EskiLdnEskiLdn9 napja
  • what a horribly boring POS car lol those touch buttons are aweful, you can't hear it and the dials are digital?? That gti is about as exciting as powering on your ipad lol. perhaps alfas breakdown more than your girlfriend every 27 days but at least they have life to them each time you sit in one.

    asdfasdfsafdsfasdfasdfasdfsafdsfasdf10 napja
  • This car is so ugly.

    Roger NkosiRoger Nkosi10 napja
  • & if you touch anything inside it looks shit with all fingerprints everywhere 👎🏽 Why black flat shiny plastic when we can reform any plastic back into anything we want? I don’t get it. 👎🏽 Come on VW you have had years practice at getting this right. Must do better on the interior.

    Senna 1993Senna 199312 napja
  • I hate touch sensitive buttons, everything today is made touch sensitive: microwaves, radio’s, portable phones, induction stoves, I HATE THEM ALL!!! Why does even the volume button needs to be touch sensitive. The only thing that needs to be touch sensitive is a WOMAN!!!!!!!!!

    M.M.12 napja
  • Don’t like the rims. Eeewww.

    Pierre SchreuderPierre Schreuder13 napja
  • Literally touches the phone while driving:death or life in prison Fiddles with infotainment system on the autobahn to open ur glove box: ......

    sanjay krishnasanjay krishna14 napja
  • I’m sorry but for the price compared to other hot hatches it’s just plastic and cheap looking ! Especially the interior !!!

    ChraosGamingChraosGaming14 napja
  • This new Mk8 looks hideous, such a downgrade from the Mk7.

    Arturo EscorciaArturo Escorcia14 napja
  • People love to hate on things they can't afford repeating what others say 🤣

  • God I hate touch sensitive buttons or touch screens all together. Why tf they are doing that, it's hindering while driving too!!

    awdadw adwadawdadw adwad15 napja
  • Here in South Africa we get leather seats as Standard on the GTi.

    Goodwill SebuaGoodwill Sebua16 napja
  • In this review, Matt tries to sell you any other car than this GTI

    Zeus AngelblazerZeus Angelblazer16 napja
  • The shift knob is no longer a golf and that makes me sad

    Rhincodon typusRhincodon typus16 napja
  • ave maria vem pro BRASIL logo

    gabriel caetanogabriel caetano18 napja
  • Plastic plastic more plastic, oh wait! We got a new front end!

    Maximus PrometheusMaximus Prometheus18 napja
  • Bc india me launch nhi kr rhe h vw wale🙄

    Omkar sarojOmkar saroj18 napja
  • Those wheels are horrible

    MegaJasperdogMegaJasperdog19 napja
  • Damn it looks awful

    Tiisetso HlatshwayoTiisetso Hlatshwayo20 napja
  • With all these dismal sounding exhausts, I reckon it’s a good time to buy shares in Milltek.

    Adrian KingdonAdrian Kingdon20 napja
  • The new golds are ugly

    HH21 napja
  • The front of the car is a little bit strange. The wheels are so ugly i think.

    LondonerLondoner21 napja
  • Fugly compared to the hottest looking GTI ever, the '337' Mk4! These modern GTI have lost their spark and personality, it seems!

    AudiophileTubesAudiophileTubes22 napja
  • May help for future VAG dsg but I used to find with my dsg GTD if you stick in N while rolling a bit it let's you rev it up red line

    Thomas BranniganThomas Brannigan23 napja
  • The front seats look like seat covers from the back.

    Nathan DickinsonNathan Dickinson23 napja
  • Whoever designed those rims deserves to be fired !!! 🤣

    Tashinga KeithTashinga Keith24 napja
  • Pointless...just get the R

    ScottScott25 napja
  • The iconic GTi does seem to have lost its way. Is all the electronic gizmos really necessary? Bring back knobs and buttons, the car was once the place of freedom from screens, now it’s, office, lounge and car. Think I’ll look for a good Mk2 Gti. Fun and personality in one package.

    William HodgsonWilliam Hodgson25 napja
    • YES!

      AudiophileTubesAudiophileTubes22 napja
  • Those wheels are looking so bad, I don't know how they are still a thing 😭

    Cyrill AnicocheCyrill Anicoche25 napja
  • i think those red dials would keep me away from the car, they get on my nerves even watching the review.... honestly what is wrong with some nice analog dials and a small, clean, nice screen for the on board computer and that's it?

    Pablo MorenoPablo Moreno25 napja
  • That looks bobbins in white on the stock wheels; they’re grim. Aesthetically it’s a step back Mk7 which was a cracking looking car. Not a fan of the central GTI badge but that’s easy to sort. My biggest issue is the interior and the move to haptic buttons and bloody touchscreens. The obvious cosy cutting is a shame too. Nice I hear some properly honest thoughts about the haptic buttons! 😂

    Sam CourtSam Court25 napja
  • Double whammy! Air pollution contributed to death of young person and VAG guilty of air pollution in Europe! Perhaps you should reconsider your allegiance? Murderers!

    Audi YUKAudi YUK27 napja
  • Mk7 and 7.5 was way better

    Mad MaxxxMad Maxxx28 napja
  • It is a little bit goofy looking, but I really love golf's new design. 😉

    재현박재현박29 napja
  • Why are you launching on a narrow, twisty road??

    TheZacDanielTheZacDaniel29 napja
  • @carwow do you list the spec anywhere for the car tested?

    Faisal AhmedFaisal AhmedHónapja
  • The mk8 golfs are ugly as f***! The rear end is ok.... But everything else about it looks crap. Disappointing is an understatement. I really hope VW sort their shit out for the next edition. I'll stick with my mk5 GTI for now and upgrade to a mk7 or 7.5 golf R in the near future.

    Gary GurnerGary GurnerHónapja
    • I agree!

      AudiophileTubesAudiophileTubes22 napja
  • It's certainly the best looking. Had a few Golf's and I always found them a bit too "German" by that I mean Tank-like and a little wallowy for the spirte that it's advertised and praised as. This actually looks the business, flattened it nicely, aero improved and removed some fluff from it. Nice. Sounds crap tho, bloody EU regs taking the fun out of everything.

    Tony BeckTony BeckHónapja
  • Worry that the mk7.5 prices will increase now. What a horrible looking car!

    Chris MarshChris MarshHónapja
  • Did they fix all the the water leak issues, or will new golf owners also have to drive mildewy cars?

  • I would still buy one

  • absolute abomination.

    Everything PotatoEverything PotatoHónapja
  • Just got mine, never meant to be the R, still a great whip. Anyone know how to change the clock???? Please help.

    Andy FoxAndy FoxHónapja
  • If only VW would make this available in Indian market too. They are still facelifting the 10 yr old model in India

  • Everything looks great but for the love of christ di they fuck up that front bumper. Why? It is a huge down grade. Just look at the current GTI and then look at this trash. Why would they do that? Someone at VW needs to get fired.

    Francisco MunizFrancisco MunizHónapja
  • Shame, always loved Golfs. This one is a big BIG downgrade from the Mk7. How on earth does the Mk7 look more modern and more luxurious? and why tf do the seats look like they have aftermarket covers on them? Shame VW, shame.

  • I hate how all new cars are getting rid of the dsg gear stick 😕😕😕

    Liam DarlingLiam DarlingHónapja
  • I love VWs and have a MK5 GTI as my daily but the MK8 is ugly as hell... what?

  • Sorry to say I like the look of the mk8 golf R more. The front of the mk8 g t i seems like its missing something on the bumper. And I really hate the seat patten.

    Quattro BajeenaQuattro BajeenaHónapja
  • Dont like it one bit!

    Joris De LaatJoris De LaatHónapja
  • This wont sell well, the front looks naff, what’s with the bulbous bonnet? Touch sensitive buttons? Nah, looks cheap, 7.5 better in every way.

    daniel bissettdaniel bissettHónapja
  • I don’t like the rims

    Juan CovarrubiasJuan CovarrubiasHónapja
  • Euwww!

    Liam BrownLiam BrownHónapja
  • I don’t like the front end redesign at all or that same interior fabric. My 2017 GTI at least had a CD player in the glovebox! The engine upgrade is the only notable improvement.

    no nameno nameHónapja
  • I LIKE IT!! XD

    phuong tranphuong tranHónapja
  • why does every test car have the number 7 or 70 on the number plate? 😂

    Rui CésarRui CésarHónapja
  • Never thought the day would come when I'd prefer a Yaris to a Golf GTI

    Akram S.Akram S.Hónapja
    • Agreed, the Yaris GR looks much better than this

      Arturo EscorciaArturo Escorcia14 napja
  • Ugly as sin.

  • MK8 is a wirte-off on my books.

    Mitt PMitt PHónapja
  • 2018 golf R

    On a RipOn a RipHónapja
  • Theres a way to shut off the soft limiter on the mk7 generation gti manuals. Traction fully off, foot on the clutch and in first gear. Just so yah know

    Tyler LeDrewTyler LeDrewHónapja
  • "Click on the popup banner" - where do i click? He says that in every video, i have not seen a popup banner in any video.

    Robertas KaRobertas KaHónapja
  • Good review but still looks like the arse off a Seat Leon! soft limiter, crappy touch sensitive buttons & cheap interior finish doesn't help either, like the new Audi A3 😥 Honey for money is still the mk7.5

  • Im wondering how many of these ugly rims has VW in stock as been using them for last 10 years

    Benjamin DBenjamin DHónapja
  • Amazing review! No way would I want this car, it’s so boring!

    Peter FPeter FHónapja
  • What an ugly Golf

    Jamieson DonnellJamieson DonnellHónapja
  • Yuck!

    Andy KAndy KHónapja
  • Cheats and robbers who settled out of court (except in the US). Lung disease deaths are horrific and these criminals are getting away with it!

    Audi YUKAudi YUKHónapja
  • Just ordered one! The Clubsport. Just can’t wait for a review-test from Matt!

    Mercedakias KMercedakias KHónapja
    • I seen a yellow one on HUworld it look great

      Peter SothernPeter Sothern9 napja
  • I still love this froggy shape of all cars. Maybe because Balkan drivers always want a newer VW frog. VW close to my heart

    Andria PavičićAndria PavičićHónapja
  • What have they done to the front ?

    Mohammed RucsaalMohammed RucsaalHónapja
  • 🤔They just ran out of ideas a put lots of S - - t bits together and tried to charge a arm and leg for a run around ,VW please get someone in the office who knows class and design something cool sporty with class if Mercs can do it so can VW and at £35k there needs to be something a bit special for that price tag it's a 19k car at most, And them wheels ? out of all the beautiful wheels in the world that can be designed or even bought what are they 🤔 👍☘️

    Anthony scottAnthony scottHónapja
  • Interestingly I don't get any of these popups you mentioned

  • I would avoid vw just because they keep trying to cut cost every year, and it shows.

    Sergey ShlykovichSergey ShlykovichHónapja
  • Ugly car ,Ugly rims ,Ugly interior ,VW messed up the beauty of GOLFS!!!!

    Space WarSpace WarHónapja
  • The front end looks pretty bad but I think the interior makes up for it. Maybe not how cheap the seat covers look but everything else.

    Plus Minus InfinityPlus Minus InfinityHónapja
  • Please read the "toxic air" article on the BBC News website and ask yourself the big question. Should VAG be held responsible ?

    Audi YUKAudi YUKHónapja
  • Not liking the front end and the arches look naff, Mk 7 looks way better.

  • Wheels are awful

  • The bright faucet architecturally load because yam technologically flash than a filthy law. immense, nutritious saw

    matt kimmatt kimHónapja
  • When are you reviewing the new Golf R?

    James WilliamsJames WilliamsHónapja
  • Disappointing car from VW. It feels a cheap alternative.

    David MacLeanDavid MacLeanHónapja
  • Usually VW soft limiter, is over pass if disable ESP, and press clutch when reving!!!

    Paulo LourençoPaulo LourençoHónapja
  • 2021 and still from 0-to 60 in 6.3 seconds. that's bad

  • Unless they get rid of the bloody touchscreens and bring back physical buttons and switchgear, no, the Mk8 will never be the best, put the Mk7.5 interior back in The Golf officially died as a unique platform at the Mk7.5 Glad I have my Mk6, won’t be “upgrading” to any new VW until they ditch the touchscreen crap... Extrapolating from the Mk8; Mk9; Now with Touchscreen steering wheel! Mk10; Now with touchscreen pedals! (Requires proprietary VW “DrïvenSchüsen” footwear) Mk11; Now with LCD windscreen (also a touchscreen)

  • Da a review on BMW X1 25e hybrid 2021!

    Simen JenssenSimen JenssenHónapja
  • Boring people please queue up now to buy matts sponsors latest car.