TOP DRIVE, NO HANDICAP
THE drive-away price on a Golf GTI is outrageously good, at least until the end of the month.
At $38,500, it undercuts every hot hatch in the country.
Beyond the obvious performance credentials, the GTI packs the likes of LED headlamps, eight-inch touchscreen, adaptive dampers and the trademark tartan cloth trim.
The warranty is average at three year/unlimited km and service intervals are 12 months/15,000km, with the first three visits to a dealer capped at $1413.
The dual nature of the GTI is one of the reasons it has been a perennial favourite with driving fans who still need to carry a family on the weekday commute.
Set the driving mode to comfort and it’ll happily waft around town with inoffensive looks, light steering and soft(ish) dampers that make it a viable city car. Dial up sport mode and the Golf’s mechanicals brace for bigger hits and more dynamic inputs.
The basic safety is covered with seven airbags, a solid chassis and autonomous emergency braking.
ANCAP rates the GTI as a five-star car with a score of 35.92/37 points. I’d invest another $1600 on the driver assistance package, which bundles adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, blind spot and lane departure warnings.
Even if you don’t often use them, it will help the Golf’s value come resale time.
The Golf 7.5’s standard midlife facelift brings new bumpers and revised grille to headlamps and wheels.
The interior has likewise been updated and now has Apple CarPlay.
For the technophiles, there’s also the option of a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 9.2-inch infotainment screen with gesture control.
The breadth of the GTI’s capabilities make it so much of a bread-and-butter car for Volkswagen. More than 25 per cent of Golf sales are for performance versions and the GTI is both entertaining family transport and engaging track day toy. The manual gearbox is slick and the pedal placement is spot-on. Verdict: The Golf GTI has always been reasonable buying and, for those prepared to change gears themselves, the drive-away deal makes it a compelling hot hatch.
Volkswagen’s Golf GTI.