SECOND OPINION: ‘IT’S THE GOLF GTI FOR ME’
JACKPOT. THREE corners in a Golf GTI Original and that’s what comes to mind. Forget adaptive suspension or overly grippy tyres, because flawless fixed suspension and 18s in a lighter three-door body simply enliven this Mk7.5-gen car. Punchy and playful, the fact this limited edition costs $38,490 driveaway in preferred manual guise makes it the best-value – as well as the best – GTI. The plucky i30 N is no walk-up winner at $44,063 driveaway. Sure it has 202kW, but it weighs over 1429kg. The N can feel slower, and struggles to hide its extra mass, but the damping is Hyundai’s best yet, the ESC is excellent and the LSD helps deliver slingshot cornering. What the i30 doesn’t have is the front-end of a Civic Type-R and I feel it should move around more, like the VW. Anyone who calls a Golf boring is wrong, and for this tester, the frisky and fun handler trumps the hard-and-fast by the slimmest of margins.