On my personal opinion, I’ve always fancied hatchbacks as my choice of car to be daily driven, be it casual or spirited. This is simply because of it’s size that made it easy to move around. Not just for parking into tight spaces but also for zig zagging around the city.
Technically it’s also because it has shorter rear and front overhangs, a tentalizing recipe that makes it a better handling car because the wheels are placed right at it’s four corners. And of course by now, you know that I have the Volkswagen Golf to thank for my love of hatchbacks from all these years.
Although this is coming a little late for us to review, since most has already read or seen it in the web on youtube; heck many have even driven it… so i thought I’ll just give you my full frontal opinion. Better late than never.
I have driven a fully restored generation one before, three, five and also the sixth and every time I get behind the wheel of these forefathers, it proves that it does get better every time. And to compare with this MK7, the Golf GTI has shed a 100kg from its predecessor, the Mk6. That makes a lot of difference seeing that you get a similar power output, yet with less weight.
The Mk7 has a bigger body and you’ll notice it when you sit in the cabin. More room for the shoulder and legs for all the passengers and not to forget a bigger boot for added practicality. Even from the exterior, the sleeker aerodynamics stretched the car to look longer and giving it a sleeker profile than its predecessor. VW said this has improved it’s drag coefficient on at speeds, thus ensuring a more promising performance and efficiency.
Handling has never been an issue for the Golf too. Personally, I think it needs a grippier set of tyres as it does tend to sway a bit on hard cornering but to those who likes to switch off the traction control and play around a bit, the Golf is a heaven sent. Going three wheeling on bends and sliding on corners is awesomely controllable. But if you prefer the assurance of grip, better leave on that traction control as it is. Or better, maybe the Golf R with the all wheel drive is the car for you. Till we get our hands on that one, lets just stick to this GTI for now.
And you gotta love the Start Stop technology that it has. It does save fuel. The fuel that you need when the car next to you is looking at you and starts revving his car. But if you have the need to launch the car at the traffic lights, you got to have the engine readily running. Luckily you can switch off that start stop function. Another reason to hoon in your own make shift circuit is that the Golf has a Lap Timer. You can keep track of your lap times which indirectly, let you sharpen your skills in driving fast lap after lap. Oh, and i use this to time myself from point A to B through the massive KL jam. Most of the time. Crawling. Comfortably.
The Golf being German, it has full options for safety as well such as the Collision Avoidance System, Lane Keeping Assistant, Driver Fatigue Detection and many more depending on the trim levels you are buying. Although these are pretty much essentials when buying a car, but for most Golf fans who bought the car generation after generation would buy it just for the fun of its character.
The Golf or Rabbit if you are in Obamaland, is known for it’s capability in speed and handling that can rival some expensive sports car. This particular make comes in 217 horses and torque as much as 350Nm. That is good enough for hooning in the city with almost any car you can find for the challenge.
First, it is nimble to begin with and it’s not huge or wide so you can just sneak and tuck between cars and launch away at any space you deem fit in front of you and leave the competition behind. Of course, do drive responsible and only piss off the car you are racing with. Yeah, I am being a Rabbit here.
Another thing that is so cool about the Golf of any generation, especially the new ones like the Mk7 or 8 or 9 and so on in the future is that it has endless modding potential. And when a car is modded to such a degree, it is going to be awesome in all of its department. All the kits and paint jobs, wheels and low-rides, decals and wraps, tuning and racing and many more, existed to boost its street credit unlike any other car in the automotive culture. It is proven when you see a car model like the Golf that has its own glossy magazines, events and its own line of merchandise. VW also has patented it’s Tartan material that was used in the interiors since MK1. Some might like it, some might hate it but a true Golf fan will always love it to bits. Maybe it could be VW’s own secret social experiments when dealing with customers, who knows.
To sum up this great car is to say that it would be the car to have if you want to have a fast stock car straight from the factory. It would be the car to have for the missus to use grocery shopping in the day and you racing it in the night. It would be the car to have if you are into modding it into a monster. And it would even be the car to have if you want something in between. In short, this is a perfect car to play with as your daily Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kinda ride. Fast hatchbacks, you gotta love ‘em.
Photos: Qhalis Najmi