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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Golf - GTI 5-dr hatch


Volkswagen returns to its roots with a seriously sophisticated Golf GTi

30 Sep 2005

THERE’S nothing raw about the latest version of the legendary Volkswagen Golf GTi. In fact, despite being the most powerful GTi ever, the Golf 5-based five-door hot hatch is a great example of how to build solid torque into a front-drive chassis without rendering it virtually undriveable. Even though the engine punches out a (very) useful serve of torque, the GTi’s chassis does a splendid job of containing torque steer. The whole car is similarly well balanced. As a five-door, it’s as practical as any other decent-size hatchback, while the styling – particularly at the front-end – is enough to advertise its status in the Golf hierarchy. Order books for the Golf GTi are overflowing and, with a pricetag under $40,000, it’s not hard to see why.
Model release date: 1 May 2005 to 1 October 2009

Previous model

Golf GTi

Released: March 1999
Ended: July 2004
Family Tree: Golf

Discontinued in March 2004, the last Golf GTi majored on style, quality and presentation, but left a little to be desired as far as scintillating dynamics were concerned. Powered by a 110kW/210Nm 1.8-litre 20-valve four-cylinder nicked from the A4 1.8T, the MkIV GTi was more of a boulevard cruiser – albeit one with safe and secure handling – than a back-road screamer. Compared to its successor, this quick Golf was far too grown-up and was priced at an expensive $44,390. Following equipment additions and price reductions over its model life, it was last sold at $36,990. VW's far hotter, 177kW/320Nm V6 all-wheel drive R32 Golf was sold here between March and July, 2004, priced at $63,000.

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