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2021 VW Golf GTI heads into the sunset

Farewell, old friend.

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Andrew Krok
2021 VW GTI
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The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the all-time greats, spending seven generations in the sweet spot between daily usability and an old-fashioned good time.

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In its final year before the introduction of an all-new eight generation, the Golf's hot-hatch variant continues to remind us why it remains a darling of critics and car geeks alike.

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While a manual-transmission GTI S can be had for $29,690 (including $995 for destination), the price can quickly reach quasi-wonky heights, with my 6MT Autobahn rolling out of the dealership with a $37,940 price tag. 

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There's a good deal of competition in this segment. 

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There are older guards like the Civic Si, which is down on power but also down on price (and fun factor), but there's neat new rivals on the horizon, like the Mazda3 Turbo, which will pack 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque in conjunction with all-wheel drive. 

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The Subaru WRX is in there, too, but with a new one on the way, it might be worth holding off -- then again, the same can be said of the GTI.

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It's always a shame to say goodbye to a beloved model, but there's no need to weep over the 2021 Volkswagen GTI.

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While it remains one of my favorite cars thanks to its equal-dose blend of pragmatism and excitement, there's a brand new one on the horizon and it's likely to take all the good parts of the current model while enhancing the aesthetics, technology and more.

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But for now, the current model scratches just about every itch there is. 

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Keep scrolling or clicking to check out even more pictures of the 2021 VW GTI.

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