2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI Road Test AutoMiddleEast com

23 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI Road Test AutoMiddleEast com отключены
Volkswagen Golf GTE

Quick Review

Does the pioneer of hot hatches still deserve the crown?

The 2013 Golf GTI follows the evolutionary mantra when it comes to design

Having driven the entry level Golf last month, we were absolutely stoked when we had the 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI to ourselves over the weekend. The Golf GTI has always been an icon, a trendsetter for hot hatches, raising the bar with every new iteration and this year it is no different. However, for 2013, the Golf GTI does not purely focus on performance.

When the Volkswagen Golf GTI was launched in 1976, it was the first of its kind. Fast forward to 2013 and the market is now flooded with hot hatches from almost every single manufacturer making it an extremely competitive segment. The Wolfsburg based manufacturer has to really stand out in order to make it the preferred choice over its rivals.

The optional 19 rims on the GTI look smart.

As with the previous 6 iterations, there is very little deviation from the design making it seem very evolutionary. Don’t be fooled though. The real changes are under the skin. Sitting on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform, the 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI gets an updated 2.0 Litre turbo powerplant churning out 217 bhp and 258 lb-ft of torque while being miserly with fuel consumption. Also new for 2013 is a variable-ratio steering system.

And of course there is the excessive use of the red stripe. The trademark red stripe on the GTI grill now extends all the way into the headlight housings. There are GTI fender badges with a red backing. The door sills and door rests also come with an illuminated red stripe to remind you that you are in a GTI.

Yes, we get it.

The red stripe now runs through the headlight housings

The 1984cc, boosted 4 cylinder engine is absolutely fantastic. The upgraded power plant means it only takes 6.5 seconds to hit the 100kph marker from a standstill. Mated to a 6 speed DSG ‘box (VW speak for an automatic double clutch gearbox) gear changes are extremely quick and smooth.

Peak power arrives at 4400 rpm which is somewhere around the middle of the rev range but there is plenty torque available even at lower revs. Select ‘D’ and the car is in normal mode, preferring higher gears and lower revs. Drive with a light foot and the ride is extremely smooth with gear changes going unnoticed and an exhaust barely audible.

This obviously means good news in the fuel efficiency department, yielding 6.7L/100km. So far so good. Jab the gear lever downwards and the GTI is now in sport mode. Up shifts are held off till longer and the engine stays in the sweet spot giving you maximum power at all times. Mash the loud pedal and the 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI really comes alive.

The turbocharged engine is tuned to perfection not allowing even a hint of turbo lag to kick in making for a power delivery so linear it could almost pass off as a normally aspirated engine. Oh and expect to see your fuel consumption figures rise!

The brakes aren t too bad, but push the GTI and the brakes seem to be the weakest link.

Up front the GTI sits on MacPherson struts while the rears get a fully independent suspension that are tuned to give you enough grip on the tarmac that won’t run out too easily. The variable-ratio steering goes from lock to lock in just 2 turns making parking lot maneuvers easy on a light steering while at high speeds the steering is more heavy and responsive to even subtle inputs. I must admit I didn’t expect the variable ratio steering to be this good.

The only trade off with all of this is the numbness that gets introduced as there is very little feedback from the steering. Other than that, the steering system worked like a charm. What was totally bizarre was the complete lack of understeer in spite of this being a front wheel drive car.

In fact, drive it aggressively around a corner and you can be sure to kick the tail out a little bit before the electronic nannies shut you out.

As with every GTI, this one too sports dual exhausts that emit an awesome belch on aggressive gearshifts

Now some of you may be aware that our region does not get the performance pack that other regions get which means we miss out on an extra 10 bhp, uprated brakes and most importantly an electronically activated mechanical limited slip differential. Now this has put off a few buyers as they feel they are missing out. Yes, a mechanical LSD is excellent for a bit of hooning about and better brakes means more stopping power and late braking. Which is also a very good thing. However, this is hardly a deal breaker.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

There is plenty power as it is and a 10 bhp increase will hardly make a noticeable difference. As for the LSD, there is no doubt that will really shine and make your track day even more enjoyable. But, let s face it.

How many 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI owners are actually going to take their cars out for track days? And then, how often? To the few petrolheads that are avid track day enthusiasts, yes you will be missing out on a good bit of kit.

The flat bottomed steering wheel and dash that is angled towards the driver adds to the sporty feel

The interior is mostly made up of soft to touch materials and build quality is fantastic. Even the storage areas are lined with soft to touch material. The dash is slightly tilted towards the driver like sports cars in the early 90 s adding to the sporty feel. Room is adequate, with reasonable space even for the rear passengers, thanks to its high roofline. Our test model did not have navigation so we didn t get a chance to test it.

The infotainment however, did come with bluetooth and USB input and the speakers were fairly decent. The parking aids on the car are absolutely brilliant. With an auto park feature, reverse camera and sensors that detect obstacles all around the car, parking is child s play. It is a bit overkill for a car this compact, but hey! it is there if you want to use it. The sport seats with leather inserts are comfortable enough even for longer drives.

Our only gripe with the interior was with the amount of wind noise that seeps into the cabin at highway speeds. This was an issue with the 1.4 Golf that we tested earlier too and we suspect it is because of lesser sound deadening material thanks to weight savings. The B-pillar can get a bit obstructive at times but after a while you just get used to looking around it.

The hot hatch rules have been re-written by the 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI

So this brings us to our initial question, is the 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI still the kingpin of its clan? The short answer is yes. The long answer you ask?

The expectations of automobiles have evolved over the years and so has the hot hatch package. A hot hatch is no longer just about a compact light car with spartan interiors and an entertaining drivetrain. The ‘New GTI’ (excuse the marketing speak) really is an all-rounder.

It is a comfortable, sporty and practical. A well sorted hot hatch that is an absolute cracker to drive. Sure, the Focus ST may have more power or the Renault Megane may be more sporty meaning better lap times around the Dubai autodrome.

But as an everyday car, the GTI makes a very convincing case that is hard to beat.

Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volkswagen Golf GTE

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