Volkswagen Golf Review: Model | Golf | Car Buyers Guide

Volkswagen Golf GTI

For decades the Volkswagen Golf GTI has been the car of choice for many car enthusiasts. Every generation has been special to its owners, and the hope for fans of the GTI is that Volkswagen can maintain the excellence which this car has been offering for decades. 



This week we are looking at the Volkswagen Golf GTI Mark VII, and from the second it was delivered to me I was impressed. You see, over the years I have been in many Golf GTIs, but would you believe that this is the first one I have ever officially test driven? Sure, I’ve driven a few around the block but I’ve never been blessed with its company for a full week. It’s easy to see why this car is so sought after and why it’s so popular among the masses. It’s the emblem of true driving. Everything, from its style to its drive, spells quality motoring.


The interior of the Golf GTI is exactly as you’d expect it, nicely laid out and comfortable. Immediately I’m aware of subtleness inside. The only thing which doesn’t overly impress me is the “Clark” cloth seats. They’re not to my liking (although if they’re not for you either there is an option for “Black Vienna Leather” seats). With that said these “Top Sports Seats” are very comfortable and head height and legroom is as I would want them to be. As standard you should expect to find a 5.8” touch-screen, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, USB and Aux port as well as an SD card reader.




Other nice interior extras include a 12 volt socket in the luggage compartment, fatigue detection driver alert system, a flat tyre indicator, cruise control and of course air-conditioning with a dust and pollen filter.

My kids found the back seats to be very comfortable, and my daughter, who by now is an accomplished back-seat reviewer, said she loved the car. As an adult I found the back seat area to be very comfortable. A pleasant surprise about this car for me was a large amount of boot space – I don’t know why, but I wasn’t expecting that.


Exterior style of the GTI is again subtle, but there is no doubt that this is a GTI. There are a few test drives I’ve had when randomers have approached me to ask about the car, and from the second I got this one everybody wanted a look. This car is so attractive that I went to feed the parking meter and found two twenty-something year old men taking photos of the car and while shopping with my daughter in ALDI a father and son approached me and spent some twenty minutes questioning me about the car – it broke my heart to tell them that it wasn’t mine.


Outside you get 17” Brooklyn alloy wheels and GTI specific bumpers. Other GTI specific items include the radiator grille and of course the chrome plated GTI emblem. Another nice touch is the twin exhaust tailpipes on the left and right of the rear.



To drive
This is what the Volkswagen Golf GTI is most famous for. This is one of the best drives on offer out there at the moment for an affordable-enough price. The GTI I drove is powered by a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder TSI petrol engine and this model offers 220hp. I drove the six-speed manual and the gear changes are perfect and the response of the throttle creates music to ones ears.


On paper Volkswagen tells us that top speed of this particular GTI is 246 km/h, I have to comment that in their brochures this top speed comes with the warning “where the law permits”. The GTI should deliver 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds – not too shabby.


The steering is very responsive, this is one of the changes from the outgoing model – not that the steering in the Mark VI was bad - it’s just there has been specific changes in the Mark VII progressive steering system.


Price, CO2, etc.
On the road prices for the Golf GTI start out at €35,500 and depending on what trim are looking for they can stretch beyond €39,370. For what you’re getting these prices aren’t too outrageous. Below are prices, fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures.




The verdict
Out of my test-drives since July 2013 the main competition to this GTI would be the Ford Focus ST. The GTI is a joy to drive and I fully understand its draw. This is a great car.



SevenBells 01 Dec 2016 10:25

That first image is amazing


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