There is no denying that Volkswagens are popular cars. They always have been, existing as public favourites both on the rally track and in the real world. Their engines in particular are well-loved, as they are respected for having a healthy combination of power, sportiness and drivability. That technical term, drivability, refers to one of the most important factors that a car designer needs to consider – does the brilliant engine actually make for a smooth, easy and effective ride? With the VW range, they seem to have got this balance spot on.
Whilst the rest of Volkswagens little hatchbacks are popular (the Polo is well loved up and down the country, not to mention around the globe) there is one example of true royalty in all the used Volkswagens that turn up at various dealerships. In fact, this car is still being produced now in a new flashy form, and VW don’t show any signs of stopping their most iconic design. That car? That car is the Golf GTI, and Golfs truly are legends in the world of motoring.
So what, honestly, is the difference between a Golf GTI and another equivalent hatchback? Well, let us start with the differences between a “basic” Golf and something such as a Seat Ibiza. In my opinion the looks are a little subtler! They are also more comfortable inside, although I admit that that comes down to being a matter of personal opinion. The Volkswagen engine is the real difference, even on the simpler less sporty models – they last for ages, and have won awards for their design quality and drive.
The Golf GTI surpasses all the excellent features to become something new. More than capable of being driven normally, to and from work or out for the weekly show, this can also transform neatly into a speedy beast, powerful and somewhat wild. People do have an unfortunate urge to race in this car – but even so Volkswagen seem not have really capped the top speed unreasonably – the 2.0 TSI model has a max of 149 Mph. This is of course on the manual version, but I don’t really see the point of driving a car like this in its automatic form – although I happily admit that it may well be a very pleasurable experience in the Golf GTI!
Despite the Golfs ability to go from 0 to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds, this isn’t a car that will break the bank, and that is one of the major advantages. Sure it isn’t cheap to buy first off (even if you do buy it from a used Volkswagen dealer), but running the Golfs spacious engine isn’t as costly as you would perhaps presume. The combined MPG is actually a respectable 38.7 – not the most economic vehicle in the world, but doing quite well for what is essentially a sports car in a hatchbacks body. With this reassurance on your side, the only real payout is going to be on the reasonably high insurance needed to keep this wonderful car completely out of harms way!