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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

VW Golf GTI: German performance at a nice price

Here's a nice short review of the VW Golf GTI
There are many things to love about German performance cars. The sounds, power, and handling sure play a part. There’s also that “German feel” that’s hard to quantify but easy to like. But price? Ouch! That can hurt. Entering Club Deutsch through BMW doors will cost a minimum of $31,500. Now, for 9 grand less, you can enjoy automotive Oktoberfest all year long. Volkswagen's GTI is fat fun for enthusiasts whose wallets are on the thinner side.

Realistically, most will compare this fifth-generation GTI to the Honda Civic Si, not the BMW 3 Series. The GTI feels more substantial than the Si (and is by over 400 pounds). The Vee Dub has more torque on tap in the low revs which may explain why its seven second 0-60 time is slightly quicker than the 197 horsepower Honda. Finally, while the Civic is fun and flingable, the VW feels more mature in its maneuverings. Maybe mature is a poor choice of words considering you’ll drive like a juvenile delinquent when nobody’s watching.

Fortunately you don't need any options. This car comes surprisingly well equipped since full airbag protection and climate control is standard. Frankly, all you need for a good time is an empty road and a base GTI. Practical performance lovers will want to wait until summer when the 4-door version shows up. Until then, know that an affordable German performance machine is now obtainable to the masses. Say auf Wiedersehen to dull driving.

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Source: KING 5


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