2020 Volkswagen Golf vs 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Comparison in Huntington Beach, CA

There's a lot about hatchback cars that's appealing, and Volkswagen knows more about making them than just about anyone else! The Volkswagen Golf is an elegant and well-rounded modern hatch that also happens to be the template for a number of other hatchbacks, including the sporty Volkswagen Golf GTI. Figuring out which one of these hatchbacks is best suited to your needs might be difficult, but that's where we come in. Below, you'll find a side-by-side comparison that looks at some of the key differences between these two cars, as well as some important similarities.

2020 Volkswagen Golf vs 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior

2020 VW Golf vs VW Golf GTI: Design

Since the Volkswagen Golf GTI is a modified Volkswagen Golf, you might not expect to find many design differences. You'd be right, but only to a point. It's true that the body shape and interior volumes are the same. However, these two hatchbacks still find ways to show their differences. On the outside, the VW Golf GTI includes subtle red trim on the front grille, as well as larger wheels. And, while halogen headlights are standard on both models, the VW Golf GTI also offers LED headlights with an Adaptive Front Lighting System. Red brake calipers further distinguish the VW Golf GTI as a sportier model. These design differences carry over to the interior, as well. The 2020 VW Golf is available in one trim level only, the TSI. This trim level comes with attractive leatherette seating. Choose the 2020 VW Golf GTI and you'll start off with cloth seating surfaces that include red-accented Clark Plaid inserts. Or, choose the SE trim to get available leather seating surfaces.

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2020 Volkswagen Golf vs 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior

2020 VW Golf vs VW Golf GTI: Interior Technology & Comfort Features

At the entry level, these two hatchbacks have similar features to keep you comfortable and connected. Heated front seats are standard on both, providing you with extra comfort. You'll also get standard manual climate control, a six-speaker sound system, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen. But, since the Volkswagen Golf GTI has more trim levels, you will get more options. Whereas the VW Golf only comes with manually adjustable front seats, the Golf GTI offers an available 12-way power adjustable driver's sport seat with lumbar support. Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control is also available in the VW Golf GTI, as are an 8-inch touchscreen and a Fender Premium Audio System.

2020 VW Golf vs VW Golf GTI: Performance

The 2020 Volkswagen Golf is a fun-to-drive hatchback. Its turbocharged engine gives it 147 horsepower and an impressive 184 pound-feet of torque, while still allowing you to get up to 36 miles per gallon! But if you want more power, you'll love the 2020 VW Golf GTI. Its turbocharged engine puts out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque! Despite this power, it can still get up to 32 miles per gallon. Autobahn-tuned sport suspension makes it even more responsive, and the available DCC® adaptive chassis control lets you choose between three suspension settings. Paddle shifters and GTI performance brakes are other options, and the progressive power steering includes variable assistance for easy and responsive steering at different speeds.

2020 Volkswagen Golf vs 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Features

2020 VW Golf vs VW Golf GTI: Driver Assistance Technology

Both the 2020 VW Golf and the 2020 VW Golf GTI come with some impressive driver assistance features. The Front Assist feature includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, making it easier to avoid accidents. The Blind Spot Monitor lets you know when someone is in your blind spot, and the Rear Traffic Alert helps take the guesswork out of backing out of a driveway or parking spot. But for even greater safety, the 2020 VW Golf GTI SE configuration gives you the option of adding more features like adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping system, and high beam control.

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2020 VW Golf vs VW Golf GTI: Value

These two hatchbacks both deliver remarkable value. The 2020 VW Golf is the more affordable of the two, with a starting MSRP that's $5,400 less than that of the 2020 VW Golf GTI. However, the VW Golf GTI does have the more powerful engine. Furthermore, the Golf GTI SE trim comes with many of the available features we mentioned; that trim level starts at $32,195.

2020 Volkswagen Golf2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI
$23,195Starting MSRP*$28,595
147Horsepower228
184 lb.-ft.Torque258 lb.-ft.
36 Highway / 28 City (MPG)Gas Mileage32 Highway / 24 City (MPG)
16-Inch AlloyWheels18-Inch Alloy
93.5 cu. ft.Passenger Volume93.5 cu. ft.
22.8 cu. ft.Cargo Space22.8 cu. ft.
53.7 cu. ft.Maximum Cargo Space52.7 cu. ft.
Not AvailableLED Fog LightsStandard
LeatheretteStandard Seating SurfacesCloth w/ Clark Plaid Inserts

*Prices exclude destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.