The all-new Mk 7 Volkswagen Golf GTI has got it all covered as the best all rounder hot hatch. Pavement burner or wedding car, the GTI does it all!
Photos by Azfar Hashim
Imagine yourself sleep deprived as you were busy decorating the wedding car in the wee hours of the morning with the help of another friend, only to later fall in exhaustion and into deep sleep. Hours have passed and you wake up realising that you only have 15 minutes to pick up your bride. So what will you do, or rather what can you do? Well, like One Republic, you should be counting your lucky stars, as the wedding car you decorated hours earlier is a Mk7 GTI, and it is capable of zipping through traffic like a hot knife through butter, though there's not much traffic to speak of on a Sunday morning anyway, but you get my point.
I could start this review off by talking about how the car looks, describe to you readers about its storied heritage et al, but let's cut to the chase, and talk about things that truly make this car a great car. After all, what really counts is the EA888 heart in this car isn't it?
"With 220 bhp and 350 Nm worth of torque, this car goes from zero to 100 in just 6.5 seconds, and makes for a good graduation present or a wedding gift, if you know what I mean. In fact the engine code EA888 in Hokkien means He will prosper, prosper, prosper..." Yes, someone did actually say this as part of his wedding speech, and even offered it as a lucky draw prize to the guests, but I suspect that last bit was said as he was slightly inebriated, but other than that, the facts are real and the numbers don't lie. This review's introduction paragraph now makes sense doesn't it?
Cliche as it may sound, power is nothing without control, and if great handling is what you want, handling is what you get. Upon plonking yourself hurriedly in the driver's seat, and fretting about your future wives reaction, ooops a typo there, 'wife's' I mean (bit of a Freudian slip eh?) the first thing you’ll want to do is push the Start button, and with that, the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine burbles into life with a bassy note to boot. The next button you would want to push would be the 'Mode’ button next to the gear lever and select from the available settings of Comfort, Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. The changes affect the suspension, steering and throttle response of the car and in Sport, performance is aplenty as the car settings are adjusted to be more dynamic. In fact mashing the accelerator is a treat, as the car resonates with a rich burble and a near instant response that eggs you on to push it harder. And with the reworked and improved sport suspension, grippy Continental ContiSportContact 2 tyres and a steering wheel that offers great feedback, indulging in a bit of necessary spirited driving results in your best man going "Golly, that's insane!", which to be honest is a fun experience. In fact, I would want to do this over again (no, not the wedding part...).
In terms of aesthetics, the car is a masterclass, with great styling details that makes the car really standout, regardless of bridal adornments or not, especially the single red stripe that runs across the full length of the Mk7 Golf GTI’s grille and into the headlamps. Equally impressive is the immaculate fit and finish of the car's interior and the bells and whistles that come along with it, and with such a classy and soothing interior, any frazzled guy would immediately feel at ease when sitting inside the new Mk7 Golf GTI.
Once again, Volkswagen has outdone itself by creating the most complete hot hatch of its class. And with a car that has a more powerful new engine, sharper steering, increased refinement and a roomy new interior, one would be hard pressed to find something else that can match the well balanced offerings of this car.