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Volkswagen Golf GTi

Broadcast dates : 18th September 2005
24th September 2005

After spending some time on the road with the VW Golf GTi, Car Torque has already experienced the impressive overall chassis balance and ride.

With a certain limousine quality to its ride, one might expect the GTi to wash wide on the corners. Soft springs generally equal body roll and party-pooping understeer.

But understeer has officially been banished from the Kingdom of Golf. As for the engine, it’s a perfectly contrived blend, kind of like peanut butter and honey.

We’d be hard-pressed to pick a single outstanding attribute of the Golf GTi. Responsive steering, sensitive brakes, silky engine… this car is just so accomplished. The gearchange too, is a source of delight.

The GTi is also available with the dual-clutch DSG gearbox, still the best of the paddleshifter transmissions. The DSG has a 0-100 time of under 7 seconds, but our six-speed manual version is tops in our book.
VW Golf GTi
The turbocharged engine really comes into its own at high altitude, where it suffers minimal thin-air power drop-off.

The likes of Opel GSi and Renault Sport Megane offer similar or better performance in some respects. But no other hot hatch gets its act together so well in all departments.

There's just enough exterior edginess to set it apart from common and putting-green Golfs. And its interior has an overall feeling of classiness and space packaging a few strokes clear of its rivals.

You could place the GTi alongside cars from BMW, Audi and Mercedes and not find much to criticize.

In fact, if Porsche had to build a hot hatch, it would be a lot like this Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Golf GTi
  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, 1 985cc
  • Power: 147 kW @ 5 100 rpm
  • Torque: 280 Nm @ 1 800 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 7,67 seconds (Car Magazine)
  • Top speed: 225 km/h (Car Magazine)
  • Fuel consumption: 9,84 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R240 000

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