$15,982 - $20,269

2016 Volkswagen GTI Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Volkswagen GTI was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.3

The 2016 Volkswagen GTI boasts an attractive interior and uses quality materials, according to automotive writers. Critics praise the comfortable seats, although they disagree about passenger space, with some saying that the front and rear seats can accommodate adults easily and others saying that the rear seats are a tight squeeze. The new infotainment system impresses reviewers with its user-friendliness, but some wish the touch screen were larger. The GTI has good cargo capacity for the class.

  • "The VW Golf [f]or 2016 continues a tradition of having an upscale look to its interior, using high-quality materials, soft-touch surfaces and, on higher trims, piano-black accents." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Materials are well-grained and soft to the touch, and the overall design is distinctly European, comfortable and sporty, thanks to bold red stitching." -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin is quiet, comfortable, and better finished than even some more-expensive German offerings." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • Things are also somewhat dark and severe inside, especially in cars without the plaid upholstery, although oversized windows do provide a bit of a respite from the darkness within. All in all, those are relatively minor complaints for an interior that noticeably eclipse[s] rivals like the Ford Focus ST and Subaru WRX in terms of material quality and ergonomics." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • We'd stop just short of calling the cabin ‘luxurious’ or even ‘premium,’ but it still has hints of the finer things, including a plethora of soft-touch plastics and a high level of sound dampening which contributes to a surprisingly quiet ride." -- Autoblog  (2015)

Seating

The five-seat GTI comes standard with cloth upholstery and heated front seats. Leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available. Some critics say that front- and rear-seat passengers will find plenty of room, though others say rear-seat occupants may lack legroom if the front seats are slid back. Most agree that the seats are quite comfortable and remain that way even on extended trips.

  • "The cabin has generous shoulder room in both rows." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Passenger space is excellent for this class. Front seats provide ample support and comfort, even during long-distance driving stints, and not at the sacrifice of rear seat passengers, who will have plenty of head-, shoulder and legroom. Wide, tall doors combined with a moderately high seat make this an easy car to get in and out of, especially for its size. Even the two-door models have good rear-seat access." -- Edmunds
  • Legroom in the back still isn't great, especially if the front seats are pushed rearwards a bit. Fitting five adults inside is a stretch, but it's not out of the question, particularly for shorter runs, and especially if the car in question is the five-door model." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "The new seats are the best to ever grace a Golf -- I am including Golf Rs, Anniversary editions, and even Trophies for you old-schoolers out there." -- Motor Trend (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features in the Volkswagen GTI include Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, an eight-speaker audio system, a rearview camera and an infotainment system with voice recognition, a 6.5-inch touch screen and VW’s Car-Net smartphone app integration. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, navigation, an eight-speaker Fender audio system, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, lane departure warning, park assist, adaptive cruise control and an upgraded infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.

Testers praise the infotainment system for its easy-to-use – though some say small – touch screen, and its inclusion of the latest in-vehicle technologies from Apple and Android. They add that the system responds well to both voice and smartphone-style touch commands.

See 2016 Volkswagen GTI specs »

  • "One of the few weak links in the 2015 model was the outdated audio-navigation interface, and for 2016, that's where Volkswagen has turned its attention, giving every 2016 GTI an all-new technology interface. Although the touchscreen is still modest in size (just 6.5 inches), the new system supports voice-to-text messaging and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. Better yet, VW's outdated MDI cable has finally given way to a real USB input." -- Edmunds
  • "Though understated, the dashboard is furnished in upscale materials, and all the important controls fall readily at hand." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The display also has a proximity sensor function that senses when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to what VW describes as ‘a more finger-friendly layout.’ How cool is that?" -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • The GTI includes a new 5.8-inch touchscreen, which houses its new infotainment system. In terms of its look and feel, it's among the least-remarkable systems we've tested, employing plain graphics and a thoroughly uninspired black background. But the system does as it's asked, and it does so with minimal lag and frustration. Considering the bulk of maddeningly sophisticated systems we've tested in the recent past, we don't actually mind this sort of functional simplicity." -- Autoblog (2015)

Cargo

The 2016 GTI offers 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 52.7 cubic feet with them folded down. Both numbers are among the best in the class. The GTI comes standard with an adjustable cargo floor. Automotive writers report that the cargo opening is wide and makes loading items easy.

  • Cargo volume is 16.5 cubic feet below the parcel shelf and 22.8 cubic feet to the roof. Loading is made easy thanks to a low liftover in the rear hatch. The rear seat has a 60/40-split rear-folding back, expanding the load space to 52.7 cubic feet when lowered. There's plenty of front-seat storage in the center console and door panels." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The trunk opening is wide and low cut, meaning it will be easy to fill the giant hatch with all the stuff, which is why you wanted a hatch to begin with, right?" -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "A welcome surprise, given the weight loss, is that cargo capacity has actually expanded due to incrementally increased exterior dimensions and better packaging." -- Left Lane News (2015)

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