This is the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf GTI. It is available with prices starting at £25,845 on the road – just £195 more than the previous model despite substantial enhancements. For the first time it is available from the factory with two power levels: the standard 220 PS GTI and the GTI Performance, a £980 option which increases power to 230 PS, adds larger brake discs and a front limited-slip differential.
The standard GTI accelerates to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 152 mph. The GTI Performance has a top speed of 155 mph and needs just 6.4 seconds for the sprint to 62 mph. Despite its impressive performance, the new Golf GTI is in insurance group 29E – five groups lower than its predecessor.
As well as high performance, a high level of safety equipment comes as standard in the Golf GTI. On top of high passive safety levels – thanks in part to a passenger cell made from high- and ultra-high strength steels – active safety features include the Automatic Post-Collision Braking system, which automatically applies the vehicle brakes after an accident to reduce the chances of a second impact; the pre-crash system, which tensions seatbelts and closes windows and the sunroof if an accident is likely to improve the effectiveness of the airbags; Front Assist, which warns the driver in the event of coming too close to the vehicle in front, can prime the brakes, and operates at speeds of up to 99 mph; City Emergency Braking, which can automatically brake the vehicle at speeds below 18 mph; Automatic Distance Control, a radar-operated cruise control that maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front; and seven airbags as standard, including one for the driver’s knees.
Naturally there’s the wonderful interior as standard too, including the brilliant tartan cloth trim that has been a mainstay of all GTI models. Could this seventh generation VW Golf GTI be the best car ever? It certainly is in the runnings in that it can do just about everything and tick so many boxes that whatever kind of driver you are, you won’t be disappointed.
One of the reasons why you see a lot of Golf GTIs out there is that they are really very good cars. This new seventh gen brings even more to the mix – so expect to spot that provocative grille a lot when you’re out and about!