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2021 Volkswagen Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta GLI and Tiguan named Car and Driver Editors' Choice picks

Feb 24, 2021

  • Golf GTI and Jetta GLI also named to Car and Driver’s 10Best list for 2021

Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. is proud to announce that Car and Driver magazine has named the 2021 Volkswagen Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta GLI, and Tiguan to the magazine’s Editors’ Choice list for 2021.

“It is an honor to have so many models named to the Editors' Choice list,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “These models represent the best of what this brand offers with their combination of smart packaging, stellar driving dynamics, high-tech features and outstanding quality at a value price.”

The Car and Driver 2021 Editors’ Choice list consists of 96 vehicles—cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs—out of more than 400 models that Car and Driver editors tested, rated and ranked this year. Each year, Car and Driver conducts rigorous instrumented testing on hundreds of vehicles. Those results and the following criteria are used to choose the vehicles for the Editors’ Choice list: the rankings each vehicle earns within its market segment and editors' subjective evaluations of each vehicle's performance, value, and how well it fulfills its intended mission. Only vehicles the editors have hands-on driving experience with are eligible for Editors’ Choice.

“The Golf is a great compact hatchback,” said the editors of Car and Driver. The high points: “splendid ride-and-handling, two satisfying transmission choices, [and] capacious cargo space among compacts.”

It has been 46 years since Volkswagen’s iconic hatchback debuted in the United States, and the seventh-generation Golf is the best Golf yet. In its last year of production for this generation, the Golf continues to represent a great value with a compelling combination of style, sporty handling, roominess, fuel efficiency, and technology. The 2021 Golf is available in one well-equipped trim—the Golf TSI. The value-driven model offers standard 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, leatherette seating surfaces, heated front seats, a panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof, and heated washer nozzles.

Pricing for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf with a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at an MSRP of $23,195. The eight-speed automatic transmission starts at $23,995. The destination charge for all Golf models is an additional $995.

“The Mk 7 Golf GTI is the ultimate sport compact.” said the editors of Car and Driver. The high points: “Exceedingly fun for the price, wonderful transmissions, classy and practical.”

The 2021 Golf GTI continues the tradition of affordable performance it has built since its U.S. debut in 1983. With 2021 being the seventh generation’s final model year, every trim—S, SE, and Autobahn—includes visual cues to signal the change: painted side view mirrors and a rear lip spoiler, both in glossy black. SE and Autobahn models feature the new MIB3 infotainment system as well as new designs for the standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

MSRP for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI with a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at $28,695. The seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission with Tiptronic® starts at $29,495. The destination charge for all Golf GTI models is an additional $995.

“Along with being more affordable and having a bigger back seat, the Jetta GLI sedan has the same performance acumen as the Golf GTI hatchback,” said the editors of Car and Driver. The high points: “Always entertaining to drive, accommodating rear seat and trunk, [and] costs less than the hatchback GTI.”

Since it first debuted in 1984, the Volkswagen GLI has had one mission: to deliver an accessible German performance sedan. The 2021 Jetta GLI is offered in two well-equipped trims—the S and Autobahn. The Autobahn trim adds a host of upscale features including the new MIB3 infotainment system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), and High Beam Control (Light Assist).

MSRP for the Jetta GLI with 6-speed manual transmission starts at $26,345. The 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission starts at $27,145. Destination charges for all Jetta GLI models is $995.

“It's not the GTI of compact crossovers, but the Tiguan has enough VW traits to make it one of our favorites,” said the editors of Car and Driver. The high points: “Agile driving behavior, optional third row of seats, [and] fuel-efficient powertrain.”

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan combines Volkswagen’s hallmark fun-to-drive character with a sophisticated and spacious interior, flexible seating, and high-tech infotainment and available driver-assistance features. It is available in five trims—S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line—and is offered with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For 2021, Tiguan democratizes driver assistance features by making Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) standard on SE models, and adds the next-generation MIB3 infotainment system to all but the base trim.

Pricing for the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan starts at $25,245 for front-wheel drive models and $26,545 for all-wheel drive models. The destination charge for all Tiguan models is an additional $1,195.

For more information on Car and Driver’s 2021 Editors’ Choice list visit:


About Volkswagen
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Arteon, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Tiguan vehicles through more than 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen online at or to learn more.


“DSG”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Tiptronic” is a registered trademark of Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This information and any vehicle specifications are preliminary and subject to change.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

All prices provided are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and exclude destination, taxes, title, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

Driver-assistance features are not substitutes for attentive driving. See Owner’s Manual for further details, and important limitations.