Speed Week: The Hot Hatches
Aspirational, affordable, and with blistering performance. And perfect for the school run. What more could you possibly want?
Posted: 28 Jul 2014
That makes it the fastest Golf ever, and - frankly - a proper bargain at under £30,000 for the basest version. In other words, it's just as fast as a Porsche Cayman GTS, for £25k less. So it's extremely rapid, yet utterly flattering at the same time. It goes where you point it and stays there. Some might say that such unfaltering obedience makes for a dumbed-down driving experience, that its performance is a little too businesslike. But when you're hanging onto the tail of a Porsche 911 Turbo on a greasy country lane, you probably won't feel that way.
Should you feel really adventurous, you could disengage the traction control completely, which is a first for any Golf. Fine. But you'll likely be more interested in the new Hero mode, otherwise known as ESC Sport. If it thinks you're in control, it leaves you alone and allows a bit of slip and slide... then when you misjudge your angles or get too excited with the throttle, it'll brake a wheel or power an appropriate one to coax you back into shape. It works off-throttle too, helping to cure lift-off oversteer.