Arriving in Australia mid-2005, the Mk5 GTI was one of the most eagerly anticipated small cars of the ‘noughties’; and waiting lists in the first couple of years stretched to six months and longer.
After four and a half years of ownership I am still pleased with the car as it fills so many roles so well. Longer term I have appreciated the economy (regularly get close to 7.0L/100km on a longer trip), comfort – I am yet to sit in a more supportive and comfortable driver’s seat, and size – a great balance between city car and having just enough room for two adults, two children (under 10) for a weekend trip if required.
The direct injection motor and DSG combination is still up-to-the-minute and feels unburstable. The engine is so flexible and willing and the responsive DSG suits it well.
I often get to drive on the Great Ocean Road. With windows partly down to hear the exhaust pop on up changes – the car always flows beautifully with no real weaknesses. In this type of environment it takes on a different personality and really engages you in the drive.
Negatives – a limited slip diff would be good (addressed on Mk6). The ‘Jackie’ tartan trim could be a bit more durable. It’s pretty heavy for its size – to make a real leap with the Mk7 (if that’s possible) it should lose some weight.
The strong resale values and well resolved styling of this car makes it a great choice in the used car market. As a hot hatch to live with every day it is hard to beat.