After nearly four decades and now in its seventh generation of the VW Golf GTI can the German maker get the ingredients right to make this a classic hot hatch? In a word Yes! You can keep your other hot hatches, this is the real deal, this my friends is the seventh generation Golf GTI and hot hatches don’t get much better than this. This is a little corker. This is a Golf but with a twist. Just in case you forgot what model you bought from the dealers, well there’s a few reminders The GTI decals on the steering wheel, on the headrest and on the doorsill while there’s badging on the front and rear. Don’t forget the gearstick, possibly one of the coolest features on the car, it’s actually a golf ball sitting on the stick, every time you change gear you can feel the dimples in the ‘golf ball’, a cool little feature especially like me if you are a golfer- and enjoy your driving. Standard kit includes airbags, adaptive cruise control including front assist, radar sensor controlled distance monitoring system, city emergency system and cruise control. There’s also 18-inch alloys, 2Zone aircon, puddle lights, front and rear sports seats, stop/start function, automatic cornering light, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Media system with 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, DAB radio, MP3 compatibility, satnav, parking sensors front and rear and a sports suspension lowered by approximately 15mm are some of the highlights.This is where the Golf GTI comes to life. Drive normally and this could be any car, its comfortable, refined and fairly economic. Motorway driving is a cinch, keep it in the ‘normal’ default setting and you have more than enough oomph when overtaking slower traffic. Under the bonnet, the GTI is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder 16-valve turbocharged petrol engine. It eats up the benchmark sprint in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 152mph. And that sprint really does feel quick. The GTI is rapid. Take it in to the country and well, this is where the fun begins.Flick the switch, select Sports on the touchscreen, feather the throttle, and listen to the turbo kick in – burble, burble burble second, third, fourth, the GTI is now singing, the smile on my face that’s not acting this car is class yes the Megane RS is better set-up for a track but the GTI well what can you say I love the looks, there is a understated coolness about the GTI this car makes good drivers
great drivers the Megane RS is a ‘balls out’ car at all times, the GTI can be, but only when you want it to be. This is what makes the GTI a smart car it lets you decide how you want to drive it, whereas the Megane RS teases you at all times to kick-on. Normally you purchase a hot hatch as an emotional response the Golf GTI well you can actually make a financial case for the car yep listen up emissions are 139g/km of CO2 which is not too shabby while VW claims the average economy is 47.1mpg that should see you return around 40mpg in real world driving.The case is certainly standing up while our version of the GTI starts at £26,250. For me, this is the best hot hatch on the market, it has a superb turn of pace which makes you grin from ear to ear, the interior is first class from the tartan seats to the golf ball gearstick. It makes financial sense, and it comes with oodles of driving pleasure. So what about this Golf GTI then? Well VW has shown, you can have your cake and eat it… .