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We would like to say a very big thank you to the team at Gazley VW Wellington (35-41 Kent Terrace) for allowing us use of their New MkVII VW Golf GTi for this road tested review. Drop in anytime to see them and to check out their complete range of new and used VW’s.DSC02780

In June we road tested the amazing MkVII Volkswagen Golf TSi, which was the first car to ever get top marks for being an all round great package at a jaw droppingly good price. And no sooner had the latest Golf been release, auto enthusiasts everywhere waited patiently in the shadows for any news on what the GTi is like.DSC02793

First impressions

The GTi means business, the front and rear end have had face lifts with sporty vents, grills, diffusers and a large rear spoiler. All of which gives the GTi a very aggressive look over the standard golf. The expected tartan print was covering every seat, I get that its a legacy thing, but it wasn’t my thing. But to each their own, it really didn’t bother me that much once I started driving. One odd thing we did notice was with the new 18” alloy wheels, that their angular directed design looked different depending on which side of the car you’re on, with one side pointing forward and the other side pointing to the rear.DSC02800

The Test Drive

The majority the new Golf GTi is the same as the Golf TSi highline we reviewed in june, and instead of covering what we have already covered we thought we would just stick to the important stuff. And that is, does this Golf deserve to wear the GTi badge. Every previous Golf GTi has done exactly what it says on the tin. A punchy, feistier version of the base model golf, providing consumers a sporty fun car at an affordable price, a philosophy that has given VW a home run every time. Will this latest GTi follow in the footsteps of its predecessors.

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This GTi comes packing a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engines, with 162 kw (217 hp) and 350 Nm of torque. This is 12 kw and 70 torques more than the MKVI GTi, and thanks to the MQB platform it’s also around 150kg lighter. And if there is one thing we all know, its that more power and less weight is a good thing and results in a 0-100 kmh time around 6.2 seconds.

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This car is a great to drive, for the day to day its very comfy, the suspension felt slightly stiffer than that of the TSi model, but not too the extent that its annoying. Our test model was also equipped with the DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) like the TSi Highline, but I did not feel like it made as much of a difference in overall performance as it felt like it did in the TSi, and found myself leaving it in comfort for the majority of the test.

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The exhaust note was really nice too, while driving around it hummed away in the background, loud enough so you knew its no ordinary car, while not being a constant drone. Once you flicked the gear stick down into sport mode and gave it some gas this all changed, and with each gear shift you were rewarded with a short deep gurgling pop from the exhausts. The fuel consumption did seem to be higher than stated, we averaged around 9.5 L/100km, which is quite a bit above the 6.4 L/100km that is advertised, we estimated that if we drove the GTI like we drove the TSi model you could get dramatically closer to the stated figures.

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Its very easy and quick to direct and every time you dropped the hammer and it held on to second gear, it put a grin on my face. This is what a GTi is all about, its not the most powerful hot hatch, its not the fastest hot hatch, its aiming to be the most enjoyable hot hatch.

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What it’s up against.

The GTi finds itself in quite a different position than the TSi model, the saving we saw due to the introduction of the MQB platform, which cut costs that were passed on to the consumer don’t seem to be as evident. This GTi has become more expensive than the MKVI model, which in turn gives you a lot of other options to choose from.

Brand / Model

Engine

Power

Luggage Capacity

Price High to Low

Audi S3

2.0L 4 Cylinder TFSi (Turbo)

195 kw / 350 Nm

365 Litres

$83,700

BMW 125i M Sport

2.0L 4 Cylinder Twin Turbo

160 kw / 310 Nm

360 Litres

$65,700

Mercedes A250 Sport

2.0L 4 Cylinder, Turbo

155 kw / 350 Nm

341 Litres

$64,900

VW Golf GTi

2.0L 4 Cylinder, FSI Turbo

162 kw / 350 Nm

380 Litres

$59,750

Ford Focus ST

2.0L 4 Cylinder, Turbo

184 kw / 360 Nm

373 Litres

$52,840

Mazda 3

2.2L 4 Cylinder Turbo

190 kw / 380 Nm

160 Litres

$49,195

Mini Cooper S

1.4L 4 Cylinder

135 kw / 184 Nm

160 Litres

$44,200

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The majority of pros and cons are similar to the TSi model, but with one or two unexpected extras.

Pros

  • Very sporty engine, with good power to weight feel.
  • Great exhaust sound.
  • Good Visibility all round, minimal A pillar blind spot due to the new design
  • Spacious and comfortable. Even for taller people, with space for a left and right dead pedal. Rear seats also good for taller people.
  • Easy to use multimedia system,
  • More storage compartments than previous models.
  • Very wide and clear reversing camera.
  • Optional extras are reasonably priced for what you get.

Cons

  • The price compared to the base model is almost 30k more. and $20k more than the TSI highline.
  • No visible savings from MQB Platform, unlike base models.
  • Mirror adjustment can be annoying, as the control dial is set at a right angle to the door.
  • Touch screen sometimes does not respond if you press it too quickly, slow firm actions are required.

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What do we think ?

I really enjoyed road testing this car, its was hard not to have a smile on your face while you’re driving around, it just wants to have fun and wants to make your driving experience more enjoyable. But it does cost more than the previous model, even though its a great all round package, is strange how we do not see the same or any savings like we saw on the base model golf from switching over to the new MQB platform.

Rating – Chevron rating 4.5 out of 5

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It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.

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