7th Jan 2006, 12:52

You're obviously looking at different magazines to me. Look at the Auto Express GTI group test as one good example of the "best overall package". Also now you're comparing the Golf to another "Quality German Marque". What exactly is your angle? I think you've got a Golf fetish! By the way I drove a GTI about 3 months ago and thought it was great. I also drove an ST just before Christmas and thought it was just as great, but cheaper and better value for money. Have you driven or even sat in an ST to compare quality? Probably not, you just passed judgement on the one you saw parked up somewhere because you didn't like the look of it. Hardly a fair comparison. German cars are nicely built, but so is pretty much everything else now days if you look close enough. Car manufacturers have had to smarten up their act to survive and continue selling cars. By the way the Golf didn't feel anymore luxurious or make me feel any more special than the ST. I just enjoyed driving both of them for what they are, well sorted hot hatches.

15th Jan 2006, 05:32

I totally agree with the comments re. judging the Focus ST purely because it isn't German. In my view Ford provide a much more refined and exciting drive than VW. The Golf GTI is an average car hiding behind a respectable reputation. It used to be that VW made far superior cars to the other bulk manufacturers, but this is no longer the case. They are massively overpirced and the current GTI is the only one that has ever had any decent performance. It's predecessor would have found it difficult to shake off a 1.8 Mondeo. For those VW lovers out there - it may be hard to accept, but the ST Focus is by far the better hot hatch - this is largely based on one thing - T5 Engine. I'll see you GTI boys / gals in my rear view mirror.

30th Jan 2006, 13:22

We live in a society that is obsessed with status. What has happened to the petrol heads in this world? Have any of you GTI lovers heard the fantastic sound the T5 engine produces? It makes you want to drive it hard because it turns heads based on sound alone.

The bottom line is the GTI and ST are both hot hatches and in terms of performance and accoustics, the ST is leagues ahead of the GTI. The looks are a matter of taste. The GTI does look good, but it's not exactly ground breaking. Modern cars have a similar look to them.

What really matters is how they are bolted togther. VW do not build any better cars that Ford. I agree the Fords of the 80's were problematic, yet fun. However, I have owned Fords for 10 years now and I drive VW's at work. The Fords are far more refined and fun to drive.

To conclude, we're on the subject of hot hatches here, where performance is paramount - sorry VW, but you've lost!

20th Feb 2006, 08:58

Vauxhall astra vxr is miles better.performance/looks/chassis.

22nd Feb 2006, 08:31

The 2.0 MKIV GTI was an overweight, underpowered poor excuse for a GTI, everyone knows that. The new Golf GTI still reigns as the best hot hatch in today’s market, it has been proven time and time again. Yahoo recently did a ‘Five of the Best Hot Hatches’ review, which included the GTI, Focus ST, VX220, Renault Sport Megane, Civic Type R, and the Golf GTI came out on top.

Quentin Wilson said that the GTI was the best in his weekly newspaper column, and when it was reviewed on Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson said it would ‘probably the best all round car you will ever own’.

I have driven the GTI, Focus ST, and the VX220 and I’m currently in the process of buying the GTI, but it was very close between this and the ST I have to admit. The ST has more straight line speed, but there’s not much in it handling wise. I plan on chipping the car anyway, which will give me a nice 260bhp for £600.

In response to the comments regarding the Clio 182, this is an excellent little car and I seriously looked into buying one, but it was a little bit too small for me. The only real driver’s cars VW has produced were the MK1 & 2 GTI’s, the Corrado and the latest GTI, but have you forgotten VW own Audi, who have been producing excellent driver’s cars since the 80’s? Give me an Audi Quattro UR over a Cosworth any day. Audi have produced some of the best, understated drivers cars of all time; remember the Porsche powered S2 and the twin turbo’d S4’s? Awesome cars. And even the TT, hate it or love it, is an excellent drivers car.

Porsche are currently in the process of taking out a 20% stake in VW, which can only be good news for both companies. Porsche powered Golf anyone? Yes please VW!

26th Feb 2006, 08:11

Adding a further 60 Bhp to the GTI would not be a good idea. It puts unnecessary strain on the engine and gearbox. Also it begs the question of whether there would be sufficient traction to put the power to the road. Probably be better off spending a bit more and going for the AWD R32. High powered front wheel drives are a nightmare in terms of tyre wear, torque steer and severe loss of traction, particularly during hard acceleration on wet / damp roads.

1st Mar 2006, 12:23

Autoweek reported this same issue regarding the new MPS Mazda3.

It will use the same engine as the Mazda6 AWD model (something like 268 hp), but will be detuned to match the FWD layout of the Mazda3 (AWD will not be offered apparently).

My friend's Acura TL has a lot of horsepower, but he constantly complains about torque steer.

2nd Mar 2006, 12:27

There's one thing that stands out out about the current Golf GTI - it's incredibly bland. The only good things are the little red stripe on the front grille and big wheels. The back is awful - it looks like an MPV. I have no doubt it's good to drive, but it's hardly a head turner VW.

19th Mar 2006, 12:58

This is not a fast car, this is a brisk car. It feels no faster than the diesel version, it is on a par with the Focus ST, but absolutely not fast at all.

Is this a conspiracy by the motor magazines, they hype and pump these cars up, and they just don't deliver.

The power delivery of the GTI is very linear and it just doesn't feel special at all. When I took one for a test drive, I was very disappointed indeed. Personally I like the power delivery to be explosive. I don't know if the turbo is of the low pressure variety, I'm not sure, but it is sadly lacking in the excitement department.

I guess only the Japanese can deliver real excitement in cars nowadays, because having test driven the lowly Mitsubishi Lancer 260, it is simply in another league, but of course it is more expensive all round. But I did find the Golf an anti climax none the less.