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Volkswagen Golf Gti

Volkswagen Golf Gti Published: 30th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Volkswagen Golf Gti
Volkswagen Golf Gti
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Why should i buy one?

Along with other classics, such as the Mini Cooper, Volkswagen’s Golf GTi redefined sports motoring and launched a whole new segment that’s going stronger than ever.

The Golf GTi was the original hot hatch that others had to emulate; a car that was that was vivid yet versatile, sporting yet civilised – and classy with it. And while it’s had its ups and downs, the greatest Golf is still badged GTi and still among the very best hot hatchbacks. You only need to say you own a Golf GTi, that speaks for itself.

What can i get?

With the Mk8 just around the corner, the Golf is one of those rare classics that, while fully kept up to date, still knows its roots and any GTi is as desirable as ever.

Mk1 and Mk2s are the most classical with the latter the better developed plus introduced five-doors. The Mk1 has the most sparkle but the Mk2 is not only a performance tool par excellence, but imagewise up their with BMW and Mercedes.

The Mk3 that followed for the 1990s lost its way a bit, becoming smoother and softer although did introduce us to the bigger-engined Golfs (both five and six-cylinder) while the Mk4 bought the GTi back on track and with a turbo too.

Like the Ford, there was a convertible range and a saloon (badged Jetta, Vento and Bora depending upon year). The most sophisticated Golf is the R32; an all-wheel driven (200bhp+) 3.2 V6 that are becoming quite a cult in modern classic circles and originals are rare.

Generally, the newer the model, the cheaper and less collectable they are. Most sought after model is the Mk1 Campaign with its novel touches such as golf-styled interior door knobs and unique Pirelli wheels. Only 1000 were made for the UK so watch for cunning fakes (green tinted glass, four-lamp grille, a post-August 1983 registration, a spring-loaded fuel filler cap, EW in the chassis number, and a factory-fitted sliding steel sunroof) because they can easily sell for £20K which is double the price of a normal Mk1 and two-thirds that of a Mk2. Mk4 GTis can sell for the same as a Mk2 so it depends what you want from your GTi.

What are they like to drive?

While many rivals have wavered, the Golf has always upheld the GTi badge admirably. True, the Mk3 did let the side down, but all perform smoothly (much better than any Ford) and are easy to drive with gusto (particularly the 16V Mk2s) with no nasty surprises. The lightweight Mk1s feel the most agile and sharp but the standard brakes were always criticised and probably modded by now. The Golf scores over the XRs with its BMW-like precision and feels that bit better engineered in virtually every area.

Too often the Golf GTi is over-modified in the suspension and tyre departments. A good spring/damper match is crucial while many owners go far too wide with the wheels and so spoil the geometry.

What are they like to live with`?

We’re keener on Golf GTis than any other country and as a result there’s a thriving army of specialists and parts suppliers (such has VW Heritage) in conjunction with the support of a large owners club and dedicated monthly newsstand magazines. Rust can be rampant so check for bodges. Parts supply is good as the Mk1 survived in South Africa until the ‘naughties’ – check out specifically and Southampton-based Wagen Wheels (

We reckon

Full of class and yet totally classless, playing this Golf game suffers few handicaps irrespective of model.


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