Legend lives with new Golf GTi

GOLF
This new Golf has so many variants that I cannot detail them all here. Suffice to say the range kicks off at €19,995 and as always with the Golf though new, its an evolution rather than a revolution.This week however I am giving you a brief introduction from the Irish press launch in

This new Golf has so many variants that I cannot detail them all here. Suffice to say the range kicks off at €19,995 and as always with the Golf though new, its an evolution rather than a revolution.This week however I am giving you a brief introduction from the Irish press launch in

the Dublin docklands to the legendary GTi version which alongside its sporty diesel stablemate, the GTD has just arrived.

The GTi needs no introduction of that I am sure. The latest version has al the qualities of the new VW Golf range with that extra spice that only the GTi can deliver.

You will not mistake this car for anything but a VW Golf GTi. The styling has evolved rather than radically changed and I suppose that is a good thing.

The 17inch “Brooklyn” alloy wheels, GTi specific bumpers, GTi badging, large rear twin exhaust pipes, and GTI specific red brake calipers all distinguish this Golf GTi from the rest of the pack.

The interior gets a touch of the sporty treatment too with chrome detailing around the dials, the leather trimmed multifunction sports steering wheel which by the way is not completely round but has a flat base like a racing car and aluminium look pedals. It all looks great.

Everything is where you would expect it, with the usual high standard of ergonomics and unsurpassed build quality.

The dashboard is a model of clarity with easy to read instruments and switches that move with a well- engineered precision.

Standard equipment includes Climatic climate control, cruise control, an on board computer, high quality stereo with MP3 compatibility and an AUX port, a six-speed manual gearbox front fog lights, Fatigue detection, Bluetooth, a super and very high tech centrally mounted touchscreen, GTi Sports Seats, and the usual electrics we have come to expect. On the safety front it is also well kitted out with, ABS, HBA (Hydraulic Brake assist), CBA (Cornering Brake Assist) Front, side and curtain airbags, a drivers knee airbag, ESP, ISOFIX, and full three point rear belts.

The cabin is very well laid out and of course has bags of leg and headroom both front and rear.

The new VW Golf GTi rides and handles very nicely. That sports suspension, which is lowered by 15mm does a rather good job of insulating the passengers from road imperfections. Yes its firm but not unduly so. The GTI has dynamic handling with no body roll in corners and limpet like grip.

The new Golf GTi is a winner! It delivers in all areas and in particular as a performance hot hatch.

Prices start at €34,570 for the 3-door manual, rising to €37,970 for the 5-door with DSG. The new Golf GTi is one of the most interesting and involving cars I have driven of late.

It offers a terrific blend of style, performance and practicality which is simply hard to beat. It is a car with many characters, from a hot blooded all-out high performance machine to plodding around in city traffic or just doing the school run, the GTi takes to all these roles with ease. There is no other car in this class to match it. For a rewarding driving experience the new GTi is hard to beat.