She is one of the fastest , well behaved hatchbacks that I have driven. She is compact, but mean. She takes to the corners with ease. She is quick, but also stops on a dime. She has been around for 36 years. She is an epitome of German engineering. She is the Volkswagen GOLF GTI.
I personally never thought she would impress me, before I drove her in 2010 now even in 2013 she’s one hot lady.
Words & Photography : RD
It would seem its a bit pricey for its segment, but then again, if you are looking for a cheap alternative for the super car adrenalin rush, then this car serves the purpose just right. This beauty comes with a 2.0 Litre turbocharged 210 PS petrol engine which is the reason behind the thrills,its quick but also fairly economical as well. When compared to my Subaru Impreza WRX this surely saves on fuel. Astonishingly it gives 11 Kmph per litre in the city. The engine revs eagerly past the red line of the tachometer and have pushed her from 0 to 100 in just under 7 seconds.
Even though its a front wheel drive assembly, it has minimum wheel spin when floored at the starting line. One thing Volkswagen got it right with this machine is the braking, whatever speed , when you brake, you can stop on a dime. And with the usage of the XDS tech,which is a extended electronic differential,in fast corners, it applies slight brake pressure to the inner wheel, which sends more torque to the outer wheels which enables the understeer to be subtly reduced, and in turn the corner-exit speeds improve. Uniquely, this enables the hatchback to have the handling abilities of an all wheel drive. When pushed, the electronic stability kicks in softly, and still lets you enjoy the play, but once the breaks are touched the ESP reengages.
Its astonishing how VW managed to pack so much space into this hatchback. The boot is spacious enough to go for trips to the country side. Even with the driver seat fully pushed back, there is still space for an average sized person to sit comfortably. The driver and front passenger seats, are semi racing seats, which give ample lumbar support, and arrests movement of the driver when taking tight turns. The designers at VW have substantiated the cost of the car by using rich interiors, that look and feel rich. The leather wrapped multi functional steering wheel comes with a flat bottom racing style finish. The driver seat has electronic lumbar and thigh adjustments.
The GTI comes loaded with 10 airbags, ABS ,Electronic stabilization program(ESP), Traction control system(TCS) hill hold control, automatic rain sensors and the irresistible Bi- Xenon headlights that bend at corners with LED daytime lights. These features along with Park Distance control (PDC) make this car very safe. The media console is well laid out and comes with touch screen, aux in, and blue tooth mobile connectivity.
The GTI has surely lived up to its name for decades, I dont look at it screwing up in the future.