It's the bloated great grandchild of the first proper 'hot hatch',
weighing in at a third more than it's illustrious ancestor. Moreover
build quality has taken a dive over the last generation. Anyone who has
sat in one will have been dissapointed by the cost cutting that's taken
place at VW. Cheap plastics that are lifted straight from an 80's
'Hinari' stereo system, leather that's more like vinyl, tales of
creaking noises from the steering system not to say total failures and
a myriad of other little foibles.
Yet despite this the MKV GTi is undisputably cool. Why so?
Firstly I've seen criticism of the 'Interlagos' cloth suggesting it's
tacky. That's missing the point, you may not like it but that's what
was in my MKI and MKII GTi's and if it's good enough for those icons
then it's certainly good enough for the MKV. Retro cool points- 10/10.
Then there's the handling, this isn't as great as some would have you
believe, certainly not up there with the great lightweights of old.
That said it does have a charm and character of it's own. Precision,
compliance and adjustability place the MKV a cut above your average
competitor in the class. 'Nurburgring hassling a Porka in the bendy
bits' cool points 8/10
Being an Audi forum we're probably all familiar with the blown 2.0. It
hits the magic 100bhp/litre in standard tune. A remarkably lag free
unit it's perfectly judged to give the Golf enough shove to be fun.
Remap it however and the 'beast is unleashed'- 240 odd Bhp is enough to
propel the Golf into straight line competition with it's higher powered
class rivals, the VXR and Focus ST. Of course it's beaten them already
in terms of outright driveability. Techno nerd turbo cool points 8/10.
So there we have it, the MKV GTi, Volkswagen finally remembered how to
make a cool car. Not quite sub-zero like some of Audi's past offerings
though eh? :D