The 2023 Volkswagen GTI enters its second year in its current form with exterior lighting upgrades. All models now come with performance LED headlights, LED fog lights, and active cornering lights. A 40th Anniversary Edition will join the lineup at midyear.
Choosing your Volkswagen GTI
The GTI once again comes in three trim levels: S, SE, and Autobahn. Pricing starts at $31,625 including destination and goes to $40,165 for the Autobahn.
The related Golf R is covered in a separate entry.
Every GTI carries a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all trims, and a seven-speed automatic is available for $800. The GTI features front-wheel drive, selectable driving modes, a sport-tuned suspension, and an electronically locking limited-slip differential.
The GTI is EPA-rated at 25 miles per gallon city (24 with manual), 34 mpg highway, and 28 combined.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The GTI is a four-door hatchback with seating for five. The relatively long and flat roofline permits good headroom for rear passengers.
The GTI offers 19.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 34.5 cubic feet with it folded. While the GTI is certainly more versatile than a sedan, it carries less than a utility-oriented hatchback or small crossover.
The base S comes only with automatic emergency braking and front and rear parking sensors. The SE does much better, adding adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear traffic alert, and road sign recognition. The Autobahn also packs automatic high beams, a head-up display, and an automated parking system.
The infotainment system for the S includes an 8.25-inch touchscreen, seven speakers, HD radio, four USB ports, wireless device charging, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The SE and Autobahn offer a 10-inch system with navigation, nine Harman Kardon speakers, satellite radio, and wireless phone integration.
2023 Volkswagen GTI S — MSRP From $31,625
The S carries a plaid cloth interior with heated front sport seats, ambient lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, single-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and stainless pedal covers. Other features include automatic wipers, heated washer nozzles, heated power side mirrors with memory, and full LED exterior lighting with active cornering lights. The S rolls in 18-inch aluminum wheels.
2023 Volkswagen GTI SE — MSRP From $36,425
Along with its other upgrades, the SE furnishes a sunroof, push-button start, proximity keyless access, and puddle lamps. The Leather Seating Surfaces Package ($1,225) adds leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a 12-way power driver seat with memory. Gloss black wheels can dress up the outside for $395.
2023 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn — MSRP From $40,165
The Autobahn carries an adaptive suspension and 19-inch wheels, plus heated rear seats and the extra safety features. The Leather Seating Surfaces Package is also standard.
Compare GTI Trims Side-By-Side
The 2023 Volkswagen GTI S lacks too many safety features to be a serious contender in this class. The well-rounded SE makes the most sense unless you can't live without the Autobahn's adaptive suspension.