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Volkswagen GTI is a lovely hot hatchback

December 25, 2017 15:56 IST
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The car promises to offer oodles of performance and fun, but at a price. Is it worth all that money? Indian automobile website MotorBeam finds out.

Volkswagen is one such car manufacturer who's been catering to the needs of performance enthusiasts in India.

They gave us the Polo GT TSI and TDI, budget performance hatchbacks.

But this time around, the German automaker has brought in the GTI as a CBU from Germany.


The car promises to offer oodles of performance and fun, but at a price. Is it worth all that money?

Park the GTI and a Polo next to each other and stare at them, only then will you be able to tell the differences.

Otherwise, for a layman, the GTI will pass off as a Polo.

The front grille is a honeycomb unit and gets a red strip which merges into the LED headlamps.

The grille also houses the GTI badge and you also get a sharply styled bumper with larger air intakes.

The side profile is clean with larger doors (since this is a 2-door car) and sportier-looking 16-inch Salvador alloy wheels.

The rear is similar to the regular to Polo but there are differences.

Tail-lights are similar looking to the ones on the Polo but the GTI's units get LEDs with a lot more detailing and you also get dual exhaust pipes.

While the overall dashboard layout is similar to the Polo, you get a new 3-spoke steering wheel with GTI badge and a larger touchscreen infotainment system.

The twin-pod instrument cluster is all new and gets a sizeable MID display.

Above the infotainment system, you get controls for traction control and park distance control.

The all-black cabin theme is complemented by the red stitching on the seats, gear lever, handbrake and the steering wheel.

The touchscreen is easy to use and comes paired with a 4-speaker audio system which churns out good sound quality too.

The sport seats offer good support and comfort but are manually adjustable.

Rear seats can be accessed by folding the front seats but there is only average space for 2 passengers.

The cabin boasts of superior quality materials but you do find some features missing such as a reverse camera and push-button start.

The Volkswagen GTI gets the familiar 1.8 TSI petrol motor that is offered in some Skoda and Audi cars.

Mated to a slick 7-speed DSG gearbox, the engine belts out 189 HP of power and 250 Nm of torque.

The engine starts responding immediately off the line and there is nice shove of torque available across the rev range.

0-100 km/hr comes up in just 7.2 seconds.

The powertrain is a free-revving unit and works in tandem with the gearbox.

Mid-range is very strong but when cruising at normal speeds, the gearbox tends to upshift quickly.

However, you have the S mode for that which holds on to the cogs till the redline.

You also get a manual tiptronic mode along with paddle-shifters for a more enthusiastic drive.

On a light-foot the car manages to give a fuel efficiency of 12-14 km/l but it drops to 6-7 km/l when you drive the car the way it is meant to be driven.

Though the car has a precise steering, feedback is slightly less.

That said, the ride quality is comfortable with the car staying glued at high speeds.

However, the GTI does not like bad

roads as the suspension is stiffly set.

Braking power is amazing, thanks to all 4 disc brakes and so is the grip from the 215-section tyres.

Volkswagen is offering safety features like 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, ASR, EDL, EDTC, electronic differential lock, Hill Start Assist and wheel locks with anti-theft protection.

The German automaker has a wide reach across the country and after-sales service is quite good.

The Volkswagen GTI is one lovely hot hatchback because the kind of performance it offers will satisfy enthusiasts very much.

However, the vehicle is priced at a high premium since it is a CBU and that opens up a lot of equally powerful options that are available in the same price bracket.

Nonetheless, the GTI is one car that a person would buy with his heart and not with his mind.

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