VW Golf GTI Performance Pack – Less Can Be More In Car Design


After yesterday’s minor whinge about the seat cloth in the GTI you might expect a rant about the rest of the interior. Not a bit of it – the Golf is a benchmark.

I’m sat in the driver’s seat right now. There is something oddly retro about the dashboard design and layout but quite simply, it works. You will find other hot hatchbacks with more buttons and dials but sometimes in car design, less is more.

Top feature is the large screen infotainment unit that dominates the centre console. It’s so simple to use you are unlikely to read a handbook again. As your finger moves towards the screen, a sensor detects the motion and brightens the target area. Brilliant.

Best of all is the driving position. Sit in the Golf driver’s seat and you feel instantly at home. All you need is a TV remote control and your favourite tipple…

VW Golf Performance Pack – Power Isn’t Always Everything (and it’s better than a Vauxhall Astra VXR)


Women don’t bother – so why do blokes always check the 0-60mph time before they rate a car? The GTI is a modest 6.4 seconds in Performance Pack guise but it’s way slower than the competition.

The Focus ST is 0.2 seconds quicker, while the Astra VXR a full half second – but I think what really matters is the manner in which you get there. The Golf’s sublime DSG six-speed gearbox is so slick, delivering the power in a smooth curve.

Neither of the two rivals mentioned here come anywhere near and, although they cost less to buy, the Ford and Vauxhall depreciate a lot faster too. I might be a badge snob but I also know which car I feel better driving.

If you like shine shoes and personalised number plates, please advance to the nearest Ford and Vauxhall dealerships. The VW is a much classier package all round.