I must admit, I’m not a fan of the Golf GTi. They’re not bad cars – quite the opposite, in fact. Great handling, room for five plus their luggage, top quality interior, up-to-date tech for their class, and decent all-round performance. There’s a reason the Golf GTi (and its heavy hitting Golf R sibling) has been the quintessential hot hatch since inventing the genre some 40-plus years ago.
However, it’s just that when it comes to hot hatches, the “hot” bit needs to extend to the aesthetic aspects of the car too. Sedans might be the more “executive” (read: subtle) option, but hatches IMO need the visual aggression to back-up the back road driving dynamics. In saying that, I’d never recommend styling for the sake of it. Look at the current Civic Type R and it looks like it was designed by a team of designing graduates willing to get one over each other in terms of how complicated they can feasibly make it look.
Cue the new Golf. Predictably, the standard hatch is just that – standard. It’s not a bad looker, but neither will it make you take a second look. This is where VW needs to step up its game. Or possibly keep the GTi at tikka-masala level, but bump up the R to full vindaloo status (that’s the International Curry Index for all you non-Indian-cuisine-indulging crowd).
Wide-body kit, huge wing on the back, fat exhausts. Chuck in the AWD system, turn up the wick on the boost to a nice 400hp, and ka-boom!
What do you think?