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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Golf - GTI 3-dr hatch

Overview

The eagerly awaited Golf GTI is here. But is it true to its legendary ancestors?

Volkswagen logo4 Feb 2010

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

THE daddy of all hot hatches has had the same super-slick makeover that has given the rest of the Mk6 Golf range a new lease of life (and a swag of awards), but is the GTI still the class champion? After much deliberation, we chose a base three-door manual (most buyers plonk for the five-door DSG ‘auto’ with a list of extras as long as this car’s lineage – it goes back to 1976 you know!), since we reckon the lightest and cheapest in this category of car can often mean the best. And – with the exception of a couple of issues – we have not come away unimpressed either ...
Model release date: 1 October 2009 to 1 September 2013

Previous model

Golf GTI Mk5

Released: May 2005
Ended: Oct 2009
Family Tree: Golf

STATING that an icon was reborn is no overstatement, because the fifth-generation Golf GTI restored the hot hatch qualities that made the pioneering Mk1 and world-conquering Mk2 versions classics within their lifetimes. Powered by a 147kW/280Nm 2.0-litre TFSI four-cylinder turbo engine mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed wet-clutch DSG dual-clutch transmission, the South African-assembled front-wheel drive GTI soon became Australia’s affordable performance-car darling, with waiting lists extending beyond one year. Initially, just a five-door hatch was imported, but from late 2006 a cheaper three-door version was also introduced. A limited edition, 169kW/300Nm GTI Pirelli edition landed in October 2008, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a Europe-only model featuring special wheels from the Italian tyre-making giant. All-in-all, some 25 per cent of all Golf sales were of the GTI.

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