Let’s say you what a VW Golf GTI or a Jaguar
XFR or even a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. But you’d like to turn their performance all the way
up to eleven. Well that’s why you can get a Golf GTI Performance Pack, a Jaguar XFR
S and even a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. However, are these highly-tuned models really worth
the extra cash. To find out, I’m going to be comparing them on track. In this video
we have the Golf GTI Performance Pack against the normal GTI. The normal Golf GTI has a
2.0-litre engine with 220bhp and 360Nm of torque. It can do 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds and
tops out at a top speed of 153mph. It costs £25,845 for a three-door hatch. The Performance
Pack version costs an extra £995 but for this you get the 10bhp upgrade to the engine,
and although the torque remains the same, the 0-62mph falls to 6.2 seconds while the
top speed is up to 155mph. More importantly, the car gets bigger breaks and a clever electronically-controlled
torque vectoring differential. But does all this make the standard GTI feel somewhat lacking
on track? This car’s got DSG which is okay on the track but you do have to wait quite
late with the downshift before you try to slip the downward gear. Also, you can’t fully
turn off the stability control system, you can turn off the traction element and you
can get a little bit of more freedom into the stability system but you can’t fully turn
it off. Which can be a little bit frustrating. We’ve got the car in the sports setting, so
the steering is weighted up and we’ve got a really sharp throttle. First thing you’ve
noticed as well is the car’s really stable. You sense that on the road but on the track
as well. You can really feel how stable it is. The rear axel is really tort and there’s
loads of grip at the rear. It does take away a bit of the engagement when you’re loading
the car up through a corner. The car’s not that adjustable there’s loads of grip and
it’s very well sorted. But you just haven’t got that sense of rear liveliness that you
get in cars like a Focus ST. So it’s really long corners, once you’ve committed to cornering
with the speed there’s not a huge amount you can do. Through this high-speed axis the stability
is amazing. Really good – you can carry speed. It’s a nice car to drive but it’s not thrilling.
Traction is okay, this car hasn’t got a limited slip diff – it basically brakes one of the
front wheels to try and help traction. The standard GTI completed one lap in 1:17:20
seconds but can the Golf GTI Performance Pack go any quicker. Straight away I prefer the
manual gear box on the track it just gives you a bit extra sense of engagement compared
to the DSG. Straight away through this first sequence of corners the car just holds the
line better with this diff than it does with the other diff in the standard car. This transfers
power to help you get traction and hold your line. And you can feel that working – It’s
nicer down through the gears using a manual box as well you can select the right gear
exactly when you want with the manual box. Traction is better than the normal car as
well. Definitely makes the car feel a little bit sharper and a bit more engaging but again
it’s such a shame you can’t turn off the stability control because it just takes away that final
little bit of freedom you need on a track. Obviously, because it’s working, it’s increasing
the temperature of the brakes but you can definitely feel the difference with the power
pack car. In terms of power it’s not night and day but you can definitely feel the diff.
The question is, as we come towards the last corner, is it going to be faster against the
stopwatch than the standard car. In the end the Golf GTI Performance Pack was 1.6 seconds
faster at 1:15:60. So is it worth the extra money? Well if you drive the GTI hard then
it’s definitely worth the extra money because you can feel that diff helping to improve
traction on the exit of tight corners.

Tagged : # #

Dennis Veasley

83 thoughts on “Volkswagen Golf GTI vs Golf GTI Performance Pack: are the upgrades worth it?”

  1. My very very rough estimation based on other dsg vs manual tests is that a manual gearbox is approximately 0,5 seconds quicker than DSG.

  2. Title is wrong, this is a comparison between DSG and manual. How can you compare a standard GTI to a performance pack gti while they have a different gearbox lol?

  3. Save the £995, then save for a few more months and buy the Golf R with 296bhp, then do 0-62mph (DSG) in 4.9 seconds. 

  4. Why are you comparing the golf with a £1000 option to two cars with a £15000+ price difference between models? the performance pack is just an add on while the RS and the Turbo S are completely different models to the standard versions. 
    Would of been better comparing the new Golf R to the GTI as its the more hardcore version of the hardcore version for the golf.

  5. I would pay for the upgrade, just for the few times I would push the car. Why compare a DSG to a manual car? If it were the other way round, I think you might have liked the non-pack car better. 3 pedals is always better than 2.

  6. Both cars should have been identical except for Performance Pack, e.g same gearbox… Not really an ideal test

  7. Actually for the extra money that we have to pay for the GTI PP,  I'd rather wait for the new Golf R when there is a sale on.

  8. I was so convinced I needed to buy the MK7 GTI with the PP, until I watched this video. You brought up some good points. With that said, i'm still getting the MK7 GTI with or without PP, but now I won't feel so bad if the NA MK7 GTI doesn't come with PP. Thanks for posting the vid!

  9. It is not sold everywhere, but I rather spend my money on the new wrx. It does take more gas, but the grip is better, it's faster, and it is cheaper then the performance pack. The interior is loads better on the GTI, it is a great car, but not being able to turn all the nannies off seals it for me


  11. why would you test a dsg vs a manual…………………………………. dsg is faster every damn time. dsg vs dsg or manual vs manual. really guys?

  12. The way I look at it, it's all well and true been able to turn all the assists off for fun, but all your gonna do is just end up sliding through corners chewing up tyres which is pointless, I'd rather have the traction to keep going that way I can laugh when the other person loses control of there car trying to be Jack the lad thinking there great while I fly pass them at speed because I can tackle the corner easy with the power in reserve. That's just my personal opinion not everyone will be like that but if your gonna have more or less a 30K car your not gonna wanna right it off or be constantly replacing all 4 tyres at £1000 a time. You want it to be civil on day to day basis it be sporty to kiss the ass of the person in a crappy super up beat up machine when needed.

  13. I'd take the performance pack power up to 228 bhp & the diff making it better handling. Mind as Tiff said you can't turn off the traction control but you can on the MK5 Gti which you can get for £5,000

  14. I guess I will be the hated one here, track driving is far and few between and is limited to about 5% of owners or less!! Most people want to know how it accelerates and travels over a long distance with some fuel consumption numbers!! That's fucking it… Sick of car reviewers losing their touch on realistic driving conditions!!

  15. Is the performance pack worth it, definitely! Say you buy the GTI without and later on want an LSD later on. It will cost $1000 just for the LSD, plus the bolt kit, fluid and installation. Then you also get upgraded brakes with this package.

    Anyone that is into the VW scene knows that the traction control can be completely turned off with Vagcom, should you want that. Pain to turn on and off, but still an option

  16. THAT is the only reason to spend the extra money? because you can feel the diff going around corners? … not sure… I got the regular GTI and I wish they did sell the performance model here.. but I still think that the comparison wasn't detailed enough .. but meh .. i just take what i can get.. 😛

  17. How much of the time difference is due to the different gear ratios of the manual vs. the DSG? I would like to know how much better the LSD is when accelerating hard from standstill in the wet – that alone could justify it.

  18. Being unable to turn off the stability program completely in a car that is supposed to be sport oriented is wrong.

    The GTI developed its 30 year history as car you can hoon around in and wag the tail out; basically a car you could control completely.

    There's nothing wrong with safety, there's something wrong with being a NAZI and not giving someone the choice. (probably not a great euphemism =p.)

    If Subaru/Ford/BMW allow you to turn it off, im not entirely sure what VW's excuse is.

    Sure there are various defeats that can be engineered by messing around with the ECU through VAG-COM but the way i see it, thats a ridiculous requirement.

    This is coming from a current MK VI owner.

  19. Can't disable Traction Control? WFT. I really don't like the direction all these manufactures are going with all auto trans offered etc… shame

  20. I'd rather hear about real world driving. Like does the diff help on wet/snowy roads. I personally don't have a track near me to even go to let alone do it if I did.

  21. Manual shifters are only quick if the person driving can do clean shifts. How many gear boxes do you manufacturers

  22. Try again, 
    Manual shifters are only quick if the person driving can do clean shifts. How many gear boxes do you think manufacturers wreck to get the published 0-60 times.
    I can tell you its quite often double digit numbers of wrecked cars.

  23. This is ridiculous you compared a dsg to a manual???? Stupid.  Next time use the same transmission.

  24. I was really excited about this video until I found out they don't use the same transmission. Lame! What's the point in comparing them now? The point was to see if the performance pack was worth it or not in basically the same car. Can't really do that now. A sad waste of time. 

  25. If you're not racing on the track, but want to keep this an inexpensive driver's car/DD, then the lighting package is the only upgrade worth paying. Base model `S` + bi-xenon adaptive headlights and cloth seats. No nav, no backup cam, no moonroof, no dual-climate control, no PP.

    Don't be sold on features you aren't gonna use. Save that ~$6k for your next car in the future or something else. You'll still be stoked on the car. I'd rather ensure I get the right exterior color and non-leather seats. If you start wanting all those other options you'll have to limit your choices or order one and wait forever. Then you'll still kick yourself a few months later when the Golf R comes out.

  26. That means the DSG version of PP would do better than 1.6 seconds faster.
    Ordered one but it takes waaaay too long to come (US…. sigh)
    Probably just grab the non PP one for cheap soon

  27. given VW reliability history, and the nature of the LSD, what are the odds something goes wrong with it?  and if it blows up, what happens?  is it like it's just not there anymore, or does it leave the car un-drivable?  what's going to die first, the LSD or the turbo unit?  or maybe anyone who worries about this stuff should just buy a Honda?

  28. Performance pack GTI has 10 more horse powers  and bigger brakes. Take these two away and they will be even and have  insignificant lap  times difference.  LSD is not a big game changer here.  XDS+ and  the very well sorted chassis in MK7 GTI  are phenomenal combination. 

  29. I like the GTI but the Focus RS will shit all over it when it becomes available for sale.  Yeah the Golf R is nice too but it's still going to lose to the RS.  VW needs to be commended for making such a plush and posh interior though.  It looks like a $100,000 interior.

  30. It might be worth it for the diff, but not the power. 10bhp and no more torque is not going to make a clear difference on the road. they should have called it the traction pack rather than power pack. A remap will get you way more than 10bhp and cost a lot less than a grand.

  31. Regarding packages, I find it an unnecessary expense when VW refuses to let owners configure the car the way they want to. MINI is light years ahead in that area. I wanted to delete the leather seats and get the checkered ones but they told me there was no way to do that and keep the sunroof. Gee VW, is it THAT hard to please your customers? And all I asked for was one little thing. And why did they put the CD player in the damn glove box? I have no GPS option so there should be room to put the CD slot. I can't change discs when stuck at a traffic light without having to put the parking brake on. It's aggravating if you like to listen to music.

  32. In addition to the LSD, the PP also comes with the Golf R's brakes. If you think about what it would cost to put in a diff and upgrades brakes, the money is well worth it.

  33. In order to really appreciate what the PP on the GTI can do…you need to drop at least a JB-1 in it…the extra HP and torque are harnessed by the LSD differential better than the base GTI

  34. It is very stupid to compare the two against each other. People buy it for performance, quality, reliability and not to mention it is a legend. For people who does not spend their time on race track it is doesn't really matter for every day driving what you have a base or upgraded. Enjoy your car but never use it as a weapon on the road!

  35. U can turn off the traction and stability control in a mk7 at least, u gotta play around with the menu and its hidden in a submenu under ESC options

  36. Should of had 2 manuals or 2 DSG's with one being a standard GTI and the other the Performance pack upgrade… That would of made more sense to see if the performance pack is really worth it or not!

  37. The front diff keeps car in line and accelerating. If you hate understeer, PP is a must. Pretty good value in my opinion. Brakes, Diff, HID are bundled in the sport trim in 2017. Sport trim also have better looking wheels imo. I hate the massive dish type.

  38. I feel like if you REALLY want performance hatchback…get the Golf R, if you want a fun, quick hot hatch, get GTI Autobahn.

  39. Doesn't it kinda water down the comparison when you have manual gearbox against DSG and you want to compare NOT The gearboxes but the performance with and without the performance pack? Automatic gearbox will change a lot. The feel, overall performance (like in this case the car probably shifts better with an automatic gearbox), weight of the car etc. It's a valid thing when you f. ex. compare the fuel comsumption between manual and automatic. But when the comparison point is the "performance package" it's weird that the cars aren't similar in any other way. I'm not a car expert or anything but just want to point that out.

  40. So the answer is that the big brakes, the electroidraulic lock differential, the 10 more hp and last the 50kg less of manual 6 gearbox of the premium PP, are extremely more important than the DSG of the standard GTI! Is It true?

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