Published on August 27th, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
VW Golf GTI Mk8 With IQ.Drive Test Drive Review
Driving The Golf GTI Mk8 and understanding why its better with IQ.Drive
This all-new GTI, now with IQ.Drive delivers even more safety features and not forgetting the all important driving performance which has it at the top of the segment as an everyday sports hatch.
Let Us Explain IQ.DRIVE First
This feature is a Driver Assistance System (DAS) that was not made available before in the 2022 Golf GTI which was launched in February 2022. The system can alert you to obstacles in front and helps keep an added ‘eye’ around you.
In lay-mans language, IQ.DRIVE monitors the road ahead with the ability to help brake/slow down the vehicle on its own. It will first provide audio and visual alerts when you are driving at higher speeds and at risk of a potential collision. Then, if necessary, it will automatically apply brakes to help mitigate or avoid an accident.
Meanwhile, the added features provided inside the cabin include wireless charging and an embroidered GTI logo on the front seats and more. So, how much does this revised GTI with IQ.DRIVE cost?
Interestingly, this new Golf GTI with IQ.DRIVE has a recommended retail price of RM244,990 which is a little higher of its earlier selling price of RM211,689 (without IQ. DRIVE).
So, is the extra RM32,801 worth it? Well, with todays heavy city traffic and increased accidents due to negligence by car drivers, motorcyclists and others, it is just about 15 percent more for added peace of mind. Right?
Driving This GTI
This hatchback is powered by a tried and tested 2.0TSI turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed wet clutch DSG that delivers 245PS and 370Nm of torque. This allows for a standstill to 100km/h acceleration time of 6.2 seconds.
From ignition, this 1,463kg Mk8 is quick and entertaining. The seats hug you well and the steering provides enough feel to maintain its GTI status. We miss the tartan seat material, a proper manual gear shifter and a straightforward classic analogue meters.
With the Mk8 GTI, VW engineers have installed a brand new digital cockpit which is what many new generation buyers want (very similar with Audi). Like in a new generation Mercedes-Benz ICE cars, you get ‘tablet like’ screens with finger scrolling functionality.
You get 4 drive modes, ambient lighting and a host of features to provide entertainment in a traffic jam. However, when the traffic jam ends and the open road is in front of you, this new GTI is quick, feels quicker than the suggested 6.2 seconds and the exhaust ‘bark’ remains as before which many others have tried to mimic.
Gear-changes are quick and on the limit handling remains very good. The soft touch buttons on the steering are easy to get used to after a few days as is the infotainment system (residing in the tablet screen) on the dashboard.
The provided sound system is impressive and we enjoyed it as we had Def Leppard and Whitney Houston working the system and providing us with music delivery from two ends of the musical spectrum.
Yes, there are still some faster hot hatchbacks like the very limited Hyundai i30 N at RM293,797 with a standstill to 100/km acceleration time of just 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h and then the is the recently face-lifted Mercedes-Benz A 250 4MATIC AMG Line which retails at RM264,000 and has a standstill to 100km/h acceleration time of 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h and it is on sale right now.
Visit a Volkswagen showroom and take a test drive and you will probably end up making a booking.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 IQ Drive Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder Turbocharged 16V
Power: 242bhp @ 5000-6500rpm
Torque: 370Nm @ 1600-4300rpm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG
Top speed: 250km/h