Volkswagen Golf GTI (Mk7) review

Perception

What is?

The quintessential hot hatch. Rarely the most exciting, attractive or best-handling car in its class, but generally the most sophisticated and desirable, the Golf GTI has been around in one form or another since the mid-1970s, when it was dreamed up by a team of just six guys who work after hours. It was an instant success: VW planned to build 5,000, but ended up selling six times as many in just one year.

Now, 45 years and more than two million GTIs later, the world is preparing for the launch of the eighth-generation Golf, with its mild-hybrid powertrains and touchscreen interior. You can read our full review by clicking on these words. Of course, there will be a new Mk8 Golf GTI, based on the same platform and powered by the same engine, but the Mk7 GTI isn’t dead yet. You can always buy (and even specify) one. And there are still many, many reasons why this is exactly what you should be doing.

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Launched in 2014 and then updated in 2017, the Mk7 GTI succeeded the rather good Mk6 and the incredibly good Mk5 (the less said about the Golf Mk3 and Mk4 the better…). It’s based on the same ‘MQB’ platform as various Skodas, Seats and Audis and, yes, the new Golf.

Back when it was new you had the GTI option – there was the standard car, then there was the “Performance Pack” which added power and a difference. Today the Performance Pack is the base car, the car reviewed here, but you can upgrade to the slightly tougher TCR (which you can read a full review of here) if you can afford it. The manual gearbox died when the WLTP emission standards came into force, so now all GTIs are DSG only. The three-door is also dead, but that’s okay, because the five-door is the one you wanted anyway.

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Our choice of the range.

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volkswagen
2.0 TSI 245 GTI Performance 5-door DSG
£32,915

What’s the verdict?

Forget the fact that it’s so good it’s almost joyless – the latest Golf GTI is really desirable

Even though this is an outgoing model, there’s still a lot to like about the Mk7 Golf GTI. Yes, rivals are generally cheaper, more powerful and more fun to drive, but that’s business as usual. None can match the GTI in terms of appeal and quality – it’s a hugely stylish and classless vehicle that’s hard to beat as an everyday car. If you don’t mind being seen on last year’s model, look for deals on these things when production stops…

Next: Conduct

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Source : topgear.com

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