$19,357 - $26,205

2018 Volkswagen GTI Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2018 Volkswagen GTI was new.


Interior: 8.6

Volkswagen makes up for the 2018 GTI's lofty starting price by building a luxury-grade interior. It's easy to spend the day in this hatchback, thanks to its comfortable seats and ample cargo space. The infotainment system is not only responsive and easy to use, but it also connects with your smartphone to enhance your entertainment choices.

  • "The most impactful revisions in the 2018 GTI are found on the inside, where an optional large display combines with the already excellent interior to deliver an experience that competes with entry-level luxury vehicles." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Volkswagen built a reputation for making German luxury interiors available at affordable prices, and the GTI lives up to expectations. Attractive and nicely trimmed, the cabin in our Autobahn trim level GTI looks and feels appropriate for a $32,000 car." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "Materials are well-grained and soft to the touch, and the overall design is distinctly European, comfortable and sporty. Bold red stitching throughout adds to the effect." -- Edmunds (2017)


The five-seat GTI has standard cloth upholstery, heated front seats with manual adjustments, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Seating upgrades include leather upholstery and a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Both the front and back seats are roomy enough to comfortably accommodate adults, even on a road trip.

The GTI's back seat has three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors for securing child safety seats. The LATCH hardware is clearly marked, easy to locate, and takes little elbow grease to use.

  • "The power seats in the Autobahn put me in the perfect driving position with adjustments for both the front and back of the bottom cushion. I can't tell you how many of us get angry when you can only adjust the height of the back part of the bottom cushion. You either get dead flat or falling forward out of the seat. We're looking at you, Honda Fit. There was a good 8 inches of room between the front and back seats with my 5-foot-10-inch frame in front." -- Autoweek
  • "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 shoulder room, head- 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." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The seats are well shaped and provide support to make long journeys less tiring. Rear passenger space is also good for a compact car, especially headroom." -- Autotrader (2016)

Interior Features

The 2018 Golf GTI comes standard with a 6.5-inch touch-screen display, smartphone integration (via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink), an eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and an automatic post-collision braking system.

Available in packages and uplevel trims, Volkswagen also offers navigation, an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, HD Radio, keyless access with push-button start, a sunroof, a Fender premium audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, parking sensors with automatic braking, park assist, automatic high beams, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring.

The GTI's infotainment system is easy to reach and use, with sensors that automatically pull up additional menus when your hand approaches the touch screen. Smartphone integration is included in every model, giving users convenient access to a wide assortment of smartphone apps.

See 2018 Volkswagen GTI specs »
  • "In this age of complicated digital climate controls with multiple menus, the S model's three analog dials are refreshingly simple. Same goes for the S model's keyed ignition, a rarity these days, but one that gets away from the oddly placed pushbutton start on the console of higher trims." -- New York Daily News
  • "The new infotainment setup looks slick with a big central screen, hard buttons along the side and quick reactions to touch. It has a little sensor that knows when your hand is approaching, which pops up more on-screen controls. The digital cockpit (don't call it virtual), works well too, with clean, easy-to-read info and cool graphics around the tach. Whatever model you get, we'd say spring for the new stuff. It makes this car feel damn near futuristic, years ahead of the last one." -- Autoweek
  • "… our 8.0-inch version offered in SE and Autobahn trim is a welcome upgrade. … Its integration into the dash is seamless, and using it is intuitive enough that you'll finally reach for the dash instead of your iPhone. Features are quick to access and function fantastically, and the infotainment interface feels as natural to use as any modern smartphone." -- Kelley Blue Book


Behind the seats of the GTI is 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space. That's more than most compact cars and many hatchbacks. The GTI's rear seats lay almost flat, for a total cargo capacity of 52.7 cubic feet.

  • "And even though the GTI measures only 168 inches nose to tail, a 17.4 cubic foot cargo bay that's larger than any midsize sedan's trunk expands to a crossover-like 53.7 cu.-ft. with the rear seat folded (almost) flat. Under the cargo floor, you'll find more storage and a real mini-spare tire instead of some can of goo and an air pump that may or may not get you back on the road." -- New York Daily News
  • "The cargo opening is nice and square, which is really helpful when loading larger items. With the rear seatbacks up, the GTI has room in back for two suitcases and a duffle bag. Rear seatbacks are split 60/40, allowing various arrangements for people and cargo. There's also a pass-through behind the rear armrest door for skis or other long items." -- Consumer Reports (2017)

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