Volkswagen GTI: When sport meets sensibility
Meet the underdog
The last time we sat in a Volkswagen Golf, it was the TSI. And it exemplified what practicality and performance looked like in the eyes of the German automaker. But being humans and constantly stuck in a limbo of discontentment, our wandering eyes have found the all-new Golf GTI — the sportier equivalent of the trusty TSI.
And despite what naysayers might allude to race car machines, the Golf GTI isn't a glamazon trophy wife that one purchases in hopes of boosting a certain social status. Its build is still essentially, one of a humble Golf. Evidently, since the only "sporty" design feature palpable is in its red trimmings running along the front grilles. In fact, we'd like to call this the perfect disguise. Blessed are the meek, indeed.
NEED FOR SPEED
The new and improved GTI now houses 230PS (power output). While that might mean squat as compared to what other GTIs claim to have on paper, you'll find that numbers are merely just numbers once you hit the accelerator. The build-up was breezy, and it took no more than a few seconds before my humble hatchback overtook the rest of the cars ahead of me.
THE SIZE IS RIGHT
So the size does matter, after all. But not in a way that you would expect it. With the GTI, you lose the extravagance of the exterior; in return, you win a functional body that swiftly cruises in and out of busy lanes while manoeuvring effortlessly around the devious bends in carparks. A mission that would be harder to accomplish if you had a wide sculptural booty to attend to. No fear, no hesitation. If anything, the GTI boosted the little confidence I had in my driving abilities.
You know things are getting fancy when you spot a Start/Stop engine button. The all-new Golf GTI definitely spared no expense when it came to its infotainment system and the main action at the driver's cockpit. It didn't just have a touchscreen, but a smart gesture control, which allows you to scroll through the screen with a simple handwave around it.
The entire system can also be customised according to the driver — with the car recognising your set of keys and firing up your ideal air-conditioning temperature and selected categories on the home screen. Your other half, for instance, might prefer a colder start to the day, but that's up to him to preset it on his own terms. Although if it was up to us, we wouldn't want to share this charming GTI with anyone else.