Quick Spin: Volkswagen Golf GTI

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Max power: 207 (bhp)
Torque: 206 (lb/ft)
Acceleration: 6.7 (secs)
Max speed: 149 (mph)
Transmission: FWD, 6 gears

The Golf GTI – an enduring classic performance car for the masses. Offering practicality and speed. General opinion is gushing in it’s praise of this car so I thought I’d check it out, especially after my Focus ST and Civic Type R drives that generally impressed.

As my quick spin reviews are due to not spending much time for the car (and so not being able to call it a ‘review’ in my opinion) this is just a bit of a splurge of thoughts as it happened.

Getting in you’re impressed with the overall visibility of the car – big windscreen, big windows and generally very light and open (unlike a Scirocco I sat in later). It’s well loaded – in built sat nav, rear parking camera and sensors, dual climate control, heated seats – the lot. In that way, it feels like a very well sorted car.

So out onto the road. First thoughts are that the brakes are pretty sensitive and bloody good. Generally though, I always think this with performance cars compared to my S2000 brakes which are a tad more progressive (or poor depending on your label).

It’s ridiculously easy to drive. Light clutch, light slow speed steering, easy visibility – just overall a complete doddle. You’d never feel tired due to how ‘difficult’ this car is to drive, because it couldn’t get much easier. That might not be a complement (I like to feel my cars).

The acceleration feels good, very smooth and refined with some noise (but not a lot) and plenty of power to allow comfortable overtaking and to make good progress on any journey. The grip feels good round the few roundabouts we go round (even when pushing it) and the handling feels fine.

Overall, it’s a great car. I’d like to spend some more time with one though as I didn’t have a lot of time with it and don’t feel like I got the full depth of the GTI’s personality. What I can say is that this is a very accomplished car. For me though, it’s a bit too safe. Safe styling, refined acceleration (never feels fast), not a great deal of juicy engine noise (unlike the guttural roar of the ST) and I just didn’t really warm to it in any way. Its the kind of car that everyone would describe as a ‘nice guy’ – because that’s the most interesting thing you can think of to say.

About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.