VW Golf GTI: the best car ever made?
A car without compromise...
When it comes to modern car design, we want it ALL. We demand speed, good looks, practicality, fun handling and the latest technology - all rolled into one affordable, metal box.
Over the years we have seen almost every manufacturer try to come up with the perfect design, from bold looks to well-equipped cabins. However, no other car has stood the test of time and won the hearts of so many everyday petrolhead's quite like the Golf GTI... As Volkswagen rightfully say, it's the people's supercar.
And that brings me onto today's debate - is the Golf GTI the best car ever made?
You've only got to look at the Golf to see why it's so appealing - it's attractive! And in a society where looks are so highly valued that in itself is a HUGE selling point. I mean, nobody ever looked at a car and went "check out the reliability on that wagon". It just doesn't happen.
The designers at Volkswagen were smart enough to know that the secret to good car design is creating something that is both bold enough to stand out on the road but not quirky enough to appeal to a limited market, and that's where the GTI is a winner. It's simple, effective style is achingly cool and appeals to all genders, ages and personalities unlike its predecessor the Beetle, which only really took off with hippies and Hitler.
However, the 'easy to live with' vibe doesn't stop there. With a respectable 229HP, the GTI is athletic enough to sprint from 0-60mph in just 6.5 seconds but won't give you a reputation as a boy racer when you pull into the office car park.
German manufacturers are synonymous with quality and Volkswagen is no exception. Ok, the average German interior may be even less exciting than a night out in Eastbourne (well, unless you're a pensioner of course) but shopping German isn't a bad thing at all when you know you're getting peace of mind.
The Golf comes with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty and although that's not a patch on the seven years offered at Kia, it's long enough for you to be confident in the Golfs reliability and trade it in before you've grown tired of it. There's a reason we still see so many of the Mk1 GTI's on the road today. Unless of course the 'check engine' symbol lights up...
Down to earth thrills
Overall, the GTI does what it was originally designed to do - be a reliable daily driver during the week and still tears up a track at the weekend. It's the perfect compromise between bold and boring, fast and average and thrilling and reliable and it's easy to see why it's a hit.
And there's its Heritage...
Volkswagen have always ensured the GTI has been well equipped and cool long before infotainment touch screens, phone connectivity and air conditioning became must-have's (oh, it has those now too by the way!). In fact, with the GTI you don't just get a car but you also get a piece of Volkswagen history. For example, if you're after a Mk1 GTI today you are looking to pay upwards from around £5000 and for a special edition or fully restored model you are looking at double. It's almost a better investment than putting your money into the stock market!
Through the years... *
So... are you a fan of the beloved hot hatch?
Be sure to share your comments and pictures of your own Golf in the comments...thanks for reading!
*gallery images courtesy of evo.co.uk