2000 Volkswagen Golf GTi T 1.8 turbo 20v from UK and Ireland
Good, satisfying car, but Peugeot build much better hot hatches
Lazy electric window.
A nicely crafted, swift, satisfying and refined car which sadly has no right to wear the GTI badge.
My previous 306 XSi was infinitely more fun to drive, but that doesn't mean the Golf isn't a great car, because it genuinely is. I just object to it being marketed as a hot hatch.
Where a 306 has cheap black plastic, the Golf has an interior which is an object lesson in quality and attention to detail. The Recaro seats and blue glowing dials are particularly superb. In fact, the whole car has a polished, slick feel to it, which is only really let down only by a vague gear change. It also lacks the incredible chassis balance, feel and agility that makes the 306 such massive fun to drive hard. As a driving machine, the 306 is a much superior car.
The Golf's engine is beautifully refined and incredibly flexibile. I suspect it has a fairly light pressure turbocharger as it doesn't deliver the kick in the pants that you might expect from what is a fairly exotically specced power unit. Instead, power builds from little more than idle, and there's a wave of torque all through the range. Consequently fuel economy is pretty good, and I suspect engine life will benefit too.
Dealers are fairly unpleasant. They seem to think they are selling prestige cars, not mainstream products, and would do well to remember that Volkswagen is not a prestige brand.
Overall, a beautiful car, just not a hot hatch. Recommended though.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 29th August, 2001
30th Aug 2001, 13:13
Volkswagen is, in fact, re-aligning their brands where VW goes upmarket vs Mercedes without the need to create a newer brand like Toyota did with Lexus. VW has grown to be that instead of being a Honda substitute. You can see in the materials they have done so, forcing Ford to do the same with the new Mondeo as the only way to get to the Passat market. Audi will go after BMW, Skoda will go against Volvo and SAAB, and Seat will go against Alfa Romeo and Lancia, so I think if you're looking for a 306XSi competitor, you need to look at the Seats.
3rd Sep 2001, 03:23
I take your point, and agree that in most respects the Golf is a much higher quality product than say, the 306. My point though was that while VW might be trying to abandon their traditional mainstream market and chase the prestige brands, they are still badging this car as a Golf GTI.
The mk1 and 2 Golf GTI's were dynamically superior to almost any of their rivals, whilst putting absolute comfort and refinement on the back burner. The Golf GTI brand grew up and became established like arguably no other on the back of this ethos. What VW are trying to do is offer a product which is the total antithesis of this philosophy, as a Golf GTI. To my mind, it is abuse of a badge which has always commanded utmost respect. They should have called it the Golf T Sport or something similar.
The GTI T is a superb car - it's just not a GTI as far as I'm concerned.
26th Feb 2004, 07:25
1st Aug 2005, 09:15
Skoda will go against VOLVO and SAAB? That was the best one I heard in a long time... My 1994 VOLVO was more comfortable and had more equipment than my friend's 2002 Octavia L&K.The Volvo was also more reliable, nothing had gone wrong with mine in more than 500.000 kilometers, but my friend had had his Octavia (60.000 km) in the shop more than on the road.