Product Type: Volkswagen cars
Newest Review: ... I have had a few problems, common faults on Golfs are weak springs, i had a front spring snap on me, not too expensive but annoying, di... more
Golf GTi Edition 30 - A class act
VW Golf MK5
Member Name: andyb_lm
VW Golf MK5
Advantages: Refinement, style, power, smoothness, great gearbox, practicality
Disadvantages: some small occasional rattles, rear seats don't fold flat
We bought our Golf GTi Edition 30 two years ago, and have had about 23,000 miles of generally fault free driving (see minor niggles at the end). Our previous car was a Peugeot Gti-6, and the difference was profound. I've always been suspicious of the claims made about Golfs versus other competion, but it really seems to be true. The thing feels solid as a rock. The seats are absolutely superb, the driving position is perfect, visibility is good - you can see where the front of the car is (though the view out the back for reversing isn't as good as in the old peugeot - possibly the only negative comparison).
We opted for the DSG gearbox which has two clutches as we wanted a car to chew through mainly motorway and a-road miles or be happy in slow traffic, rather than a sports car where half the fun is trying to work your way through the gears on a twisty b road. It was a good choice. Travelling through cities is easy on the legs (no constant clutch pressing) and you are barely aware of gear changes most of the time (though there are situations where it isn't quite perfect). There are flappy pads to use if you like - I use them to change down if I'm approaching a hill as the car can't anticipate that sort of thing (maybe something for a future feature!). The engine is powerful as it is, and when you need to accelerate smoothly and quickly, this car just takes off - I have great fun waving goodbye to cars which probably are quicker in the right hands but are being driven by someone not too hot with the gear stick... that said, the car isn't really a 'boy racer' toy - it's far more refined than that. Smooth, reasonably quiet with little wind noise (though a bit of tyre roar on concrete).
The only downside to it has been that we've had a few occasional small rattles coming from what sounds like behind the stereo. It comes and goes so not really something we worry about too much, but I read that the new golfs have this sort of thing nailed. The peugeot was a nightmare in this respect, so we still feel happy about the car.
Practicality: We bought the 3 door version as we don't need to carry passengers often. There's loads of space for them when we do. The rear seats fold down - though not flat - to let you get more stuff in the boot. We manage to get two bicycles on top of the folded seats, leaving the boot space free for luggage - though you have to take the wheels of, of course! We've done a number of long trips with the car packed like this, and it's very practical - no need for bikes strapped to the roof, with extra fuel required or security issues.
One last thing: fuel economy. It can gobble the fuel if you're heavy footed, but we manage to get between 35 and 40mph on long runs if the traffic is between 60-70mph, which is up to 10mpg better than the peugeot (not bad for a car with so much more power). In town it usually is about 20-25mpg, but to get 25mpg you need to drive very smoothly (which I do).
Summary: A brilliant car - would buy another one tomorrow