Volkswagen Hatchbacks

With most automakers phasing out their smaller cars in favor of the increasingly popular SUV and crossover, Volkswagen hatchback cars are among the few remaining five-door compacts on the US market. The fact that they continue to sell well and stay popular in the face of heavy competition from the practical high-riders is a testament to their quality and the unique selling points they bring to the table. Thanks to their small dimensions, they are ideal city runabouts and their light weight, paired with competent engine options, make VW hatchbacks some of the fastest and most fun vehicles on the road.

Volkswagen Hatchback Models

There are only two Volkswagen hatchbacks to choose from for 2021, but that’s already a lot more than you’ll find in many other automaker’s stables. Both are based upon the same Golf platform, though different powertrains, interior styling, and feature lists set them apart. Unlike rivals such as the Toyota Prius, there is no hybrid option with the e-Golf ending production in 2019. AWD is not offered in any guise.

  • Golf: The most basic hatch in the lineup, the standard Golf TSI is powered by an adequate turbocharged four-cylinder mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. This setup develops 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. While the specs aren’t all that impressive, the TSI is appealing at its low price point. You still get a decent list of features, including driver aids, and a spacious cabin and trunk.
  • Golf GTI: For the real promise of fun, upgrading to the GTI is a must. The turbo four-pot in this pocket rocket is far more enticing, developing 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. While not quite a hot hatch, this VW hatchback can sprint from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph. The handling is where it really shines, though, especially if you opt for the upper-tier Autobahn trim.

Price List of 2021 Volkswagen Hatchbacks

Though there are just a pair of Volkswagen hatchback models on the menu for 2021, the GTI is available in multiple trim levels. The base model will be discontinued for 2022, but the GTI will return alongside the Golf R, both in their eighth generation. Here are the MRSP prices for the current models when purchased new (contact your local dealer to find out about the cost to lease):

Model Power Engine Base Price
Volkswagen Beetle 174 hp 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas $20,895
Volkswagen Golf 147 hp 1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas $23,195
Volkswagen GTI 200 hp 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas $24,595
Volkswagen New Beetle 150 hp 2.5L Inline-5 Gas $18,690
Volkswagen R32 250 hp 3.2L V6 Gas $32,990
Volkswagen Rabbit 170 hp 2.5L Inline-5 Gas $16,300
Volkswagen Golf GTI 228 hp 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas $28,695
Volkswagen Golf R 292 hp 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas $40,395
Volkswagen e-Golf 134 hp Electric $31,895

What to Consider When Buying a VW Hatchback

There isn’t a lot of competition in the hatch segment in the US. Still, it is important to read reviews on prospective buys. Carbuzz’s buyer’s guide is an invaluable tool here, as aside from providing specs and packaging options, it also lets you compare direct rivals and leading brands against one another using the comparison tool. With that said, VW cars generally have a few things in common that set them apart from their competitors. Here are the advantages and disadvantages you can expect when you buy a Volkswagen hatchback.

Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • Engaging driving dynamics
  • German build quality
  • A comfortable ride
  • Loads of standard features

Cons

  • A few rivals offer real hot hatch performance
  • Limited customization options
  • Subpar warranty coverage

FAQs

Does VW have a hatchback?

For the current model year, there are two Volkswagen hatchbacks to choose from - the Golf and Golf GTI. Both are known for their high quality, fun driving experience, and generous tech. However, the Golf is being dropped from the lineup in 2022, and the GTI will be redesigned to be released alongside a new Golf R.

Why is the Golf GTI so good?

At the asking price, the Golf GTI is extremely well-packaged. Though a bit dated compared to modern rivals, it is still handsome and outfitted with loads of features. Add to that a great powertrain, an engaging driving experience, and the option to go stick, and it’s not hard to see why die-hard hatch lovers keep touting it.

Is the Volkswagen GTI a reliable car?

Germans seldom make poor cars, and the Golf GTI is no exception. It is highly regarded as a dependable vehicle and retains its value well on the used market, despite having a low purchase price, to begin with. Perhaps the only concern is the lower-than-average warranty coverage.
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