Owner Review

2014 Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance review

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As a bald-headed bloke soon to turn 50, and recently been bitten by the high repair costs of an E90 330i BMW, the Golf GTI appealed as both a car for my wife to use during the week, and for us to both enjoy during weekends.

It’s March 2018, and we’ve now travelled 52,000km without any issues, zero warranty claims or any really annoyances. Fuel economy is consistently 6.7L/100km (always on 98 Premium fuel), no doubt aided by the wife’s tendency to select the 'economy' setting.

Last month, we replaced the original Pirelli P-Zeros with Bridgestone S050 tyres, which seems to be now the standard fitment on new GTIs. These tyres ride much better on our ordinary country roads compared to the original fit P-Zeros.

Performance is outstanding from the 2.0-litre engine, and mated with the DSG this seems to be a great all-round combination. I’ve not had any issues with the way the DSG behaves, except for some occasional jerky creeping at less than walking pace.

The Performance Pack extras are well worth considering. Although not excellent, the xenon headlights are better than the standard halogen units. The R brakes are strong stoppers with not too much brake dust to clean. The tricky front diff is an excellent addition, particularly if you are hitting the curvy roads frequently, and does eliminate that FWD tendency to run wide through oversteer. The Alcantara trim on the bolsters is a nice touch too.

Interior room and boot/hatch space are more than adequate with two adults seated in the back very comfortably in the individually mounded seating, and the hatch easily accommodating two suitcases and other bits. It also helps that the floor can be lowered too.

The car continues to exude a quality execution with beautiful paint work, no rattles, and a reassuring feeling of solidity when driving. Gripes? Well, the size of the infotainment screen and lack of Apple CarPlay are minor annoyances, and the ride on the 19-inch wheels can be a little jiggly on very poor country road surfaces, although improved with the aforementioned Bridgestone tyres fitted.