The Volkswagen Golf GTI joins a growing list of attractive (and zippy) hot hatches in the country, with the German carmaker launching the car in the Philippines just last week. For the majority, it doesn't sound like big news. But for those who know their wheels and gears, the entry of the high-performance Golf GTI—a multi-awarded model since the line's introduction in the '70s—there is much reason to rejoice.
We're here to lay out the reasons why.
1) If you're going after a Golf hatchback, this is the trim to own.
The long-running Volkswagen Golf has been in production since 1974. In 1976, the German brand produced a Golf on steroids and called it the Golf GTI. Now in its seventh generation, the Golf GTI finally (and officially) makes it to our shores to show us just why it's not your workday hatch.
2) The awards tell you the story.
Don't take our word for it when we tell you that this car is beasting. The Golf GTI has been a motoring darling the past few years having won the 2013 European Car of the Year (an award which it also won in 1992), the 2013 World Car of the Year, and the 2013-2014 Car of the Year - Japan, making it the first non-Japanese car to snag the trophy.
Now, the Philippines gets to experience what the whole world has been fussing about.
3) It's a legit sportscar that's faster than most in its price range
The Volkswagen Golf GTI packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine that produces 220 hp and 350Nm of torque, which allows it to go from zero to 100 in just 6.7 seconds. The standard Golf, for comparison, has a 1.8-liter engine that pumps out 170 horses.
For further comparison, the mean-looking Toyota 86 only has 200 hp.
To complete the deal, the Golf GTI is equipped with a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and sports suspension.
4) They spared no expense in the digital-thingamajig department.
The car has a grocery list of electronic and safety doo-dads. Witness: Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) with XDS plus technology, engine drag torque control (MSR), electronic parking brake with auto hold, rear assist rear view camera with 8-channel park distance control, driver alert system, airbags (driver, passenger, driver knee, front side and curtain).
Yes, we'll take 'em all.
5) The devil is in the details
To the untrained eye, the Golf GTI might look like just another hatch. But upon closer inspection, you'll understand why it isn't. It boasts dual tailpipes, Bi-Xenon headlamps with daytime running lights (DRL) and dynamic headlamp controls, and 18-inch allow wheels that look like a propeller in motion. The lamps are very sleek and sharp-looking.
It's just as snazzy inside, with GTI premium sport seats, GTI steering wheel with paddle shifts, GTI shift knob, and stainless steel pedals. For convenience, it has keyless-go entry/exit with push start, interior ambient lighting and a climatronic 2-zone air-conditioning system.
In spite of its sportiness, it's quite plush inside. A legitimate sportscar with a taste for luxury is what the Golf GTI is.
It's somewhat more expensive than most hatches as the Golf GTI is priced at P2,290,000. But the performance, the luxury trim and all the extras justify the price tag. It's available in five colors (Oryx White Pearl, Tornado Red, Night Blue, Limestone Grey, and Deep Black Pearl) and is now on display at Volkswagen dealerships.
For more information on the Golf GTI and other VW models, or to request a test drive, visit www.volkswagen.com.ph or drop by one of the dealerships/satellite offices located at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig; Quezon Avenue in Quezon City; Sheridan Street in Mandaluyong City; Molito Lifestyle Building in Alabang, Muntinlupa; and North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.