The Golf GTI’s list price undercuts models such as the BMW M140i and Seat Leon Cupra, while the three-door model comes in at just a few hundred pounds more than the five-door Ford Focus ST. It’s worth noting that if you’re buying on PCP finance, then the GTI’s monthly payments are a fair bit pricier than a Focus ST’s, and if you really want a Golf, for just a few pounds more per month, you could have the more expensive and faster Golf R instead.
If you’re in the lucky position to be offered a hot hatch through work, the GTI makes a good case for itself with lower CO2 emissions than a Ford Focus ST so company car tax is more palatable, while slightly better claimed average fuel consumption than the Ford should appeal to all buyers.
Resale values after three years are strong. The GTI should retain as much of its value as the equally depreciation-busting Focus ST, but the GTI is cheaper to service over the same period than the ST.
Equipment levels are also pretty high, with cruise control, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, heated sports-style seats, a configurable 12.3in digital instrument screen, an 8.0in infotainment screen with sat-nav, a DAB radio and Bluetooth all standard. You also get the 18in alloy wheels, sports suspension, GTI body styling with twin exhaust tailpipes, more aggressive-looking bumpers and a rear diffuser.
Every GTI comes with a three-year warranty, but Volkswagen didn’t perform brilliantly in the latest round of reliability surveys. The Golf did attain a full five stars in its Euro NCAP safety crash testing, though, and security firm Thatcham rate it very highly for its ability to keep thieves locked out and from driving it away.
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