New crossover takes aim at Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008
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The Top Gear car review:Volkswagen Golf GTI/R
For:Quality, all-round professionalism, ownership experience
Against:Not as exciting to drive as some rivals
What is it?
You need to ask? This is the definitive hot hatch, the template, the absolute guv’nor. Having mislaid its mojo down the back of the sofa for much of the ’90s, the Golf GTI has been on a roll since 2005’s fantastic MkV iteration, and reaches new levels of sophistication a decade later in this MkVII form. ‘The Golf GTI is a car that everyone, regardless of their ability, should be able to drive to maybe 90 per cent of its maximum within a few minutes,’ VW’s chassis boss says.
It’s as crisply styled as ever and the ‘want one’ factor remains sky high. For those who don’t, VW also offers the R ‘superhatch’, with 296bhp, four-wheel drive and a more premium appearance.