Volkswagen Golf GTI

by Stephen Walker

Port Macquarie 
Mt Isa 


The Top Drive For '05

Click the image for a larger view

See the
"Top Drive
For 2006"

30th December, 2005

After a year of driving approximately 70 new cars, it is now time to announce the "Top Drive of Zero Five".

But firstly some background. The Next Car automotive news website is now 2 years old. Using the last three months statistics, I can advise that our website has grown from no hits to 1.3 million hits per month (on average). Thousands of folks visit our website every day. But the best is yet to come, as we have plans to expand our website in coming years. Our growth rate is very pleasing. We are now one of the nation's leading automotive news journals.

There are many reasons for our success. Our readers often commend us for the easy navigation, clarity of coverage, neat page lay-out, our correct spelling, our decent language, providing links that work, using images that load and our accurate reporting. We are pleased our high standards meet our readers expectations. You can be sure that the standard will be maintained as we move towards the new year.

Our expectations are that 2006 will be an even busier year than 2005!

Our readers have sent countless e-mails covering a wide variety of subjects which relate to motoring. We have happily recommended numerous cars to readers who have sought our advice.

But it is now time to make a public recommendation. Reader feedback suggests we should increase the volume of automotive stories from our perspective. On that basis, we decided some months ago, we will review all our drives in the year '05 and name just one car which provided immense enjoyment from the driver's point of view.

This year has seen the introduction of many new cars. Some of the best are Suzuki Swift, Mitsubishi 380, Audi A4, Suzuki Grand Vitara (automatic) and the new Volkswagen Golf.

In coming weeks we'll publish road tests on some of these new models and some others too.

But which car wins?

For 2005, Volkswagen re-introduced the Golf GTI. On paper it looks exciting, on the road it feels rewarding and in hindsight you remember its compelling nature!

Therefore, we announce the Volkswagen Golf GTI as our "Top Drive of 2005".

The Top Drive For '05

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Tell me more about the Golf GTI!

The Golf GTI has two versions, a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic (DSG). Both transmissions offer a rewarding driving experience. The engine is an award winning 2-litre turbocharged unit, with particularly pleasing qualities.

With torque rated at 280 Nm @ 1,800 to 5,000 rpm and power rated at 147 KW @ 5,100 rpm it is easy to imagine that this engine will power the Golf remarkably well. And that is just the way it is. The available power is perfect for easy cruising and easy commuting. But for spirited driving, it has it's own 'personality'. This engine, although docile when required, is a performance engine that shows both sides of it's nature at the drop of an accelerator pedal!

The engine is delightful. That was demonstrated when we drove the Audi A4 fitted with this engine. You can read our road test on the Audi A4 2.0 turbo here.

Either gearbox is perfect for the GTI. The manual is particularly good, with excellent ratios and with so much torque available, gearshifts can be minimalised in commuting situations. But the real delight is the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). This 6-speeder takes easy motoring to a new standard. You can switch to a conventional manual shifter or you can use the steering wheel mounted 'paddles'. In manual mode, I prefer the conventional shifter rather than the paddles.

Fuel consumption is outstanding. You get as much performance as you want, but fuel consumption is rated at around 8 litres per 100 kms. How good is that?

Brakes are big, suspension is good, ride is just what you want in a car of this calibre.

Check out the equipment levels. Standard equipment is just right for this class of car. Best of all, 6 airbags are standard.

Although a 5-seater, there is only adequate room for 4 adults if you're travelling any distance.


RRP manual $39,990
RRP auto     $42,290


  • Metallic/Pearl effect paint $690
  • Glass electric sunroof $1,890
  • Parking distance sensors $790
  • Satellite navigation $2,990
  • Bi-xenon headlights $1,890
  • Leather trim $2,990

The leather trim is a worthwhile option as it includes, not only the well presented comfortable leather faced seats but, also, heating for both front seats.

The satellite navigation is also a good option. If the Golf GTI has a weak point, it is the navigation system. The system itself is user friendly and quite a breeze to operate, but the supplier hasn't updated the system to include country areas. Around Sydney and Newcastle the system is fine, but the system is lacking in the country.


The Golf GTI is priced just right. Be prepared for a six month wait though, because buyers are queuing for this wonderful car. The choice of 5 attractive colours makes for an easy selection process. The on-road composure and driving dynamics of this ESP equipped car makes every drive an enjoyable experience. The standard safety equipment and the excellent fuel consumption makes the car a re-assuring acquisition.

But the excellent engine and gearbox (either manual or auto) make the Golf GTI a stand-out winner in any company!

Driving a car like the Golf GTI is just what an enthusiastic driver requires. It is, simply, so satisfying I don't want to give the test cars back! The easy driving mannerisms and the performance on offer make this comfortable sporting car an easy choice for the 'Top Drive of 05'!

The Top Drive For '05

Click the image for a larger view

Photographic location: Kiama NSW

More images of the Volkswagen Golf GTI (between Wollongong and Kiama)

I     2     3     4     5     6    

Other news:

VW Golf GTI Wins
25th November, 2005
On the back of what has been a very successful period since the launch in May of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, it has been awarded Australia's Best Car in the category of Best Sports Car Under $57,000 ..... more

Twenty Four Million Golfs
9th November, 2005
The world’s 24 millionth Golf was produced yesterday at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg. The anniversary model is a 2.0 litre TDI, 103 kW Golf Comfortline in tornado red ..... more

Volkswagen's Latest Hot Hatch
21st October, 2005
Volkswagen Group Australia introduces the latest "Hot Hatch" to the Volkswagen range and confirms that Australia will be the first country in the world to sell the new Polo GTI ..... more

New Volkswagen Polo GTI To Debut In Tokyo
12th October, 2005
VW will introduce the Polo GTI during a world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show next week. With 110 kW/150 hp it is the strongest Polo since the series was first introduced 30 years ago ..... more

Volkswagen Golf GTI road test

Volkswagen Golf GTI

This car excites and delights on every outing!
12th September, 2005
Larger image

Volkswagen Golf GT debuts the 'Twincharger'
30th August, 2005
At the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Volkswagen is presenting a ground-breaking innovation in the development of direct injection petrol engines: The world’s first twin-turbocharged FSI engine – the “Twincharger” ..... more

First Details Of Next Generation VW Golf R32
10th August, 2005
Now comes a new R32 based on the Golf V generation. This time it packs 184 kW (250 bhp) under the bonnet ..... more

New Volkswagen Golf Concept Cars
20th July, 2005
Trainees of Volkswagen Coaching GmbH have turned two Golfs into exciting concept cars. The especially enhanced models boast a range of components from within the Group and have paintwork finishes that are normally the preserve of Lamborghini ..... more

Golf GTI Engine Awarded Engine of the Year
24th June, 2005
Volkswagen's 2.0 FSI Turbo engine, the power behind the Golf GTI, has been awarded engine of the year in the 1.8 to 2.0 class at the International Engine Of The Year Awards ..... more

Brett Lee Chooses Golf GTI
10th June, 2005
The equal fastest bowler in World Cricket today, Brett Lee, now drives Volkswagen’s hottest and latest offering, the Golf GTI ..... more

New Release

On Friday 6th May I took great delight in driving 130 kms around the ACT. The delight was because the car was the new Volkswagen Golf GTI. Make no mistake, this car is not your ordinary small hatchback. This new model is a standout driver's car. It is docile for the daily commuting chores and exciting on the hills and mountains. Outstanding satisfaction ..... guaranteed! Read the story on the day I drove four examples of the new Golf GTI here.

Stephen Walker
13th May, 2005

Volkswagen Golf GTI
2005 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Click the image for our story
on our first drive of the new GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI
9th May, 2005
The new GTI arrives with a real blast and it is priced from just $39,990 (RRP) ..... more

All New Volkswagen Golf GTI
3rd March, 2005
The 'Red Hot' new Volkswagen Golf GTI has made its Australian debut at the Melbourne International Motor Show 2005 after already showing unprecedented sales success in both Europe and Great Britain ..... more

Volkswagen Golf GTI for 2005
2nd September, 2004
The Golf GTI remains in the news with the announcement of the 5th generation GTI's pending appearance at the Paris Motor Show. It'll be in Australia mid-2005. As expected, we publish the first images in Australia, ahead of major media players ..... more

Volkswagen Golf GTI
1st September, 2004
A British car magazine has proclaimed the original VW Golf GTI as the greatest car of all time! Meanwhile, expect to see the 5th generation Golf GTI appear at this months Paris Motor Show. This new model will be available in Australia mid-2005 ...... more

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