2022 VW GTI Starts Just Over $30K, Golf R at $44,640

With the regular Golf models gone, the least expensive VW hatch you can buy stateside costs $30,540.

byChris Tsui|
Volkswagen News photo

The regular Volkswagen Golf may have been discontinued here in the U.S. but, thankfully, we'll still get to enjoy the sportier GTI and R variants. We've already seen the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R as they'll be sold overseas but VW of America has now released official pricing and stats for the American-spec versions at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show.

Starting at $44,640 after destination, the Mk8 Golf R uses an updated rendition of the company's EA888 2.0-liter boosted to 315 horsepower (27 more than the previous generation) and 295 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the seven-speed DSG automatic. A six-speed manual can also be had but comes with slightly less torque—280 pound-feet to be exact. The all-wheel-drive Golf R comes standard with rear-axle torque-vectoring that can distribute all of the rear-axle torque to either the left or right wheel as needed.


The less powerful and naturally less expensive GTI, meanwhile, uses the same engine albeit calmed down to 241 hp (up 13 hp from the Mk7 GTI) and 273 pound-feet on premium fuel. Strictly front-wheel-drive, the GTI features a torque-sensing limited-slip differential as standard to optimize fast-corner grip and combat understeer. 

Both models are available with either a six-speed stick or seven-speed auto and top out at an electronically limited 155 mph. Adaptive damping (standard on the R and the top Autobahn trim GTI) can adjust 200 times per second for better agility and accuracy behind the wheel. That 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is standard across the board, too, as is the 30-color ambient lighting.

While the Golf R is only available as one "fully-loaded" trim, the GTI's pricing structure is a bit more complicated. For its $30,540 starting price, one can get into an entry-level GTI S, which includes standard equipment such as 18-inch wheels, automatic LED head- and taillights, keyless entry, automatic wipers, a heated steering wheel, heated plaid front seats, an 8.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, and wireless charging.

Step up to the $35,290 SE and Volkswagen will throw in a sunroof, adaptive front lighting, a front grille that lights up, the bigger 10-inch infotainment, voice controls, a nine-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, road sign recognition, and the option of pulling the trigger on the $1,225 leather package.

$38,990, however, buys you the top GTI Autobahn, which boasts 19-inch wheels with summer tires, the same adaptive damping system out of the Golf R, Vienna leather, 12-way adjustable ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, leatherette on the doors, three-zone climate control, a HUD, and a parking assist function.

Whichever one you choose, the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R will hit U.S. dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2021.


Got a tip or question for the author about the new Golf? You can reach them here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com