The Golf 7 GTI
Pros: Complete package, convenient, relentless acceleration, exhaust pops, predictable handling. and the DSG gearbox.
Cons: Not much.
The 7th generation Golf is possibly one of the best hot hatches we have ever driven. It ticks all the right boxes and soothes the mind into believing that you are going to experience heritage, cult and fine German engineering.
Looking at the Golf 7 one can see a number of similarities with the previous generation Golf 6. Basically, the if its not broken don’t fix it principle has worked well for Volkswagen. They have done very well on the design front, it’s easy on the eye and the smooth flowing lines tend to draw you into an awkward stare. It’s not often I gaze at a car with a stupefied look, not many cars have managed to stir up those emotions, this car has a subtle beauty which other manufacturers struggle to achieve.
You don’t have to be a fanatic to distinguish the difference between your normal Golf and the GTI, it has presence and a huge presence at that it looks the part sounds that part and is quick enough to put a few smiles on your face.
The interior is well put together with the use of fair quality materials but it does feel a whole lot more than just fair, it has all you need to have and caters to your daily driving needs, seats are comfortable and very supportive so if you throw yourself into a corner you can be guaranteed that you won’t be spilling your passengers all over the cabin.
The stand out feature would be how well refined the car is though, I often use to argue in prejudice against the Golf, but, I have now realised why it’s so popular, the element of having just a little more than you need works well and we implore Volkswagen not to change it.
With 162kw and 350Nm which feels a like a lot more I began wondering if that is not power at the wheels. The model we had was mated to a DSG gearbox and oh what a combination, one can never get used to how good this transmission is, flawless changes and the awe inspiring exhaust pops. With tire screeching attempts to achieve 0-100km/h we reached it in 6.6 seconds which we achieved more than once, the manufacturer claims it will go all the way to 244km/h which we didn’t try, but given the opportunity we would not shy away from the opportunity.
Mid-range acceleration is brilliant too with endless power surging all the way to redline, the only small gripe I had was the inability to hold the gear to my heart’s desire but that is a little inconvenience for what is otherwise a great transmission, you could always get the manual but it has no pops.
The fun doesn’t stop there, the ability to hone in a comfortable and fast car has never been mastered by many and this is why the Golf is such a popular package. Throw the Golf into an apex and you get a hint of under steer but it’s all controllable and even the inexperienced can test the limits of its performance. Unlike the OPC the power is delivered in a more refined and smooth way, you won’t be getting any surprises when you floor the loud peddle.
The GTI will remain the king of hatches for a very long time, many have tried to create packages that can match it, but are sadly trailing in the Hot Hatch King’s trail. Some do come close like the Megane RS but the suspension is harder than granite and will leave you with backaches for years. On the other side you have options like the M135i but how much more will you have to pay to achieve the same levels of performance and refinement? Volkswagen has come up with a product that will reign supreme for years to come. We salute you Volkswagen keep them coming.
GOTTAGGED Rating: 8.5/10
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