Call the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance boring. Call it bland. Call it the populist choice that will ensure you’re forever anonymous, running round in a sea of other Volkswagen Golfs. You can call the GTI Performance all those things but there’s one other title you should also bestow upon it - the most complete, all-round hot-hatch benchmark.
There’s no doubting the Golf’s credentials when it comes to hot hatch legend - it was the first and there can only ever be one original. Recently though, there have been more pretenders to the Golf’s throne than ever before, and those pretenders are more competent than they’ve ever been. It’s ironic then that the Golf GTI Performance might not be the best pure hot-hatch on the market, but it remains the best all-purpose tool.
The Performance Pack drags the base GTI ever so much closer to the range-topping Golf R, which raises another interesting point. The GTI’s most vocal critics have, since the launch of the R, hammered the GTI by bleating ‘it isn’t even the best Golf in the range’! When that’s the main line of criticism from your opponents, we reckon you can rest easy.