Performance & Running Costs
First things first. Is it as fun as a GTI? Yes, and even more so. Not just because it’s quicker and more powerful, but because that four wheel drive power gives you the type of confidence and control in every twist and bend, in every weather situation, that just makes you want to drive it hard and fast, all the time. And it sounds phenomenal.
As for the handling, the suspension is of course a bit stiffer than a normal Golf, which is what you want in hot hatch – but not ridiculously so, and it does still manage to stay reasonably comfortable on the B-roads. Even on the optional larger 19 inch wheels on our test car, it never felt too harsh.
The steering is quick and responsive, offering great feedback, and those sports seats really hug your body when you’re going into those bends.
To cover off the not so fun stuff – the official claimed fuel economy is 6.6l per 100km but you won’t get anywhere close to that unless you drive it like a normal Golf, and what would be the point of that?
In saying that, you actually can do just that when you want to and that’s important to know too. It’s still a Golf at the end of the day and so can be kept relatively under control around town and on the daily grind, especially when you put it into the very sensible Eco mode which calms everything down nicely.