Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Mk7 Golf GTI: still lukewarm about them

Collapse
X
Collapse
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Mk7 Golf GTI: still lukewarm about them

    Years and years ago on here I wrote a post about taking a Mk6 GTI on a test drive and finding it...good. Just good. Not awesome like owners and reviews have you believe.

    Over the weekend I had a Mk7 GTI rental, because it was the most interesting thing available that wasn't silly money. This time it was a DSG, which I was keen to try as I hadn't driven any sort of dual clutch transmission.

    After a weekend punting around in it, I'm still not on board with the Golf GTI thing. It was a good car, sure. It wasn't a great car, or an exciting one, or one that I would want to spend the asking price ($47k!) on.

    I know the reviews tend to focus on its all-round competence which I suppose was true. It didn't do anything really badly (other than behave itself in low-speed traffic...more later) but who goes to buy a hot hatch looking for all round competence rather than excitement?

    Anyway. The good bits - the engine was good. Very little lag, lots of power. It was certainly fast enough. The DSG transmission did a good job of picking the right gear most of the time and the changes were smooth and fast. I got over the novelty of the shift paddles pretty soon but they also did a good job of letting you manually grab a gear very quickly. It's obvious why cars with these sorts of transmissions are much faster than manuals these days. Handling was fine, not much body roll or understeer but there was a fair bit of torque steer going on.

    The seats were pretty comfortable, although I found (like in many recent cars) that I can't get the front of the seat cushion to go low enough so I end up feeling a bit "knees-up" a lot of the time. Driving position was okay, although I would have liked to have been able to get the steering wheel lower without blocking my view of the instruments. Again, this is a problem in many modern FWD cars because the dash is so tall - thanks to high bonnet lines - so if you want to sit low, you're going to have a lot of dashboard in your view. The interior was generally pretty nice - again, not amazing and certainly not amazing for the price but nice enough.

    The bad bits: that gearbox is clueless in slow speed traffic and when parking etc. Combined with the auto-stop system, I'd find that once the lights went green it would struggle to quickly start itself and then thump into gear so that you could get going. Even when I tried to anticipate lights going green and get it to restart, it would still shunt into first as you tried to get away. I also found the lack of 'creep' strange. I know that's just part of how these things work, but I do wonder about that given these are used in place of a conventional automatic.

    The steering was pretty vague and had that classic feeling of overassisted electric power steering. The steering in my VF2 Redline is better, and the 86 is on a whole other level. It also seemed to struggle to get power down - torque steer and traction problems were often evident. In fairness though, I did check out what tyres were on it and the fronts had been replaced with some Yum Cha cheapies, so I wonder how much better it would have been with the Bridgestones it still had on the rear. The downside of those Bridgestones is that there was a hell of a lot of tyre noise from the rear.

    There were also some bits of equipment missing that I would have expected - such as no warning of traffic in the adjacent lane, and no head up display. I was surprised given the price.

    So on the whole, I'm still "meh" about the whole thing. Maybe hot hatches just aren't for me - they never seem to really engage me.


    #2
    IMHO the issue is the $47k … you won't find anything any more interesting & with as touchy-feely-quality an interior for that money, unless I've forgotten something!

    You've not mentioned the interior quality? I had a lower-spec 1.4L one for a rental (I think it was a luxury-spec so probably has almost as many gizmos), and the interior was a real pleasure. Proper feel to buttons, plastics felt luxo, everything was simple to use (eg. changing the menus/dash back to English from Portuguese was simplicity).
    Radar Cruise rocks!

    Surprised it didn't have faux-auto-creep, I'm not going to say I'm 100% sure that rental had it, but I'm … say, 66% sure.
    Mind you the rental I had may have been a Mk7.5 - which might make a difference?
    HUD isn't a universal thing yet - I don't know why not - I guess 'til you're used to using it you don't realise how useful it is, especially in a regime that's particularly excited about extracting $$$ from you for slightly exceeding the posted speed-limit.
    Last edited by Captiva Fan; 14-10-19, 10:32 AM.
    Soft roaders represent an excellent compromise between the needs of the hardcore 4x4 user and the convenience of a city hatchback. Its clear to see why they have become so popular in todays society.

    Comment


      #3
      No, you're right - they pretty much define 'meh'.

      I had an Octavia RS for three years and while completely capable, comfortable and fast enough having all your torque available from 1500rpm, an engine with the character of a vacuum cleaner and the rest of the car clearly being pieced together from the VW parts bin makes them all a bit underwhelming to be honest.

      Part of the issue is that VW uses that engine in absolutely everything too - if you want a fast VW you get an EA888. Having already owned one I can't really get excited about another one, however much faster they make them.

      The steering issue is universal. I go from my 1973 Mini to my M140i and think 'what's wrong with the steering' every time I get in. Steering feel is just not a thing that happens these days - 86 and MX5 excepted.

      Comment


        #4
        Summed it up, competent. Decent daily hack. We have the 1.4 trendline and I could write a book on all the non-drivetrain related nuances of this car. Most are electronic control units related to start/stop, autopark control/detection. I would be surprised if they're different control units between the platform(s) this car is built on. I use this thing for lugging around bulky crap since it's a hatch, grocery runs because I don't care about dings, and long distance trips since it's supposed to be good on fuel when it actually isn't. ACC, weird/odd stalk function, untuitive dash menu navigation are some of it's worst experiences to date. The novelty of radar cruise is very short-lived on this thing. You can't disable it and just continue with good ol' cruise. Maybe that's a safety "feature" or extra star on some rating standard for idiots that we share the road with. The distance control for the ACC doesn't tell actually you the distance as you adjust it between 4-5 bars on the diagram. Really informative. The stalk is like nothing before, not even old VAG models - took me a lot of fidgeting to figure out 1km/h increments as opposed to 10km/h.

        It actually embodies what is mostly wrong to me about modern cars. Put aside steering and drivetrain fundamentals. Manufacturers are happy to sell half-assed fridges on wheels with really really really poor programming and calibrations. The Jones' think it's shit hot because euro, and willingly hand over the coin. As long as people put up with this trash, it won't change. Most people don't care, so it likely wont.

        But yes, in true VW fashion the column barely makes a noise when adjusted and door has a solid thunk. - Every "review" out there.
        Last edited by gmx; 14-10-19, 11:55 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by gmx View Post
          Unintuitive dash menu navigation are some of it's worst experiences to date. The novelty of radar cruise is very short-lived on this thing. You can't disable it and just continue with good ol' cruise. Maybe that's a safety "feature" or extra star on some rating standard for idiots that we share the road with.
          Maybe this is something for Australian market dummies? Or yours is a Mk7.5 & the rental I had was a Mk7?
          I found all the controls really intuitive, including the SatNav; on crazy UK roundabouts where you have to be in the correct lane (out of 5) to use the exit you want , it was really great & useful.
          I was able to turn the radar thingy off on the cruise, too, not that I wanted to once I'd worked-out what it was going to do (basically wouldn't accelerate hard enough for my needs if I was ducking into the fast lane so I'd give it a go-pedal prod doing that - but was very happy with it otherwise & think it's a brilliant thing - every car needs Radar Cruise and HUD!).
          Soft roaders represent an excellent compromise between the needs of the hardcore 4x4 user and the convenience of a city hatchback. Its clear to see why they have become so popular in todays society.

          Comment


            #6
            We sell them in our motor group - I like the Golf R Grid especially in wagon form - Golf GTI is good but I miss no DAB Radio and the interior is excellent other than the steering column it feels cheap

            Comment


              #7
              They are a great appliance full of German logic that isn't necessarily logical in other parts of the world.

              Hard to find something else as comfy, punchy, economic, roomy and with a touch of luxury at that price point.

              I'd still go a Skoda over one.
              Originally posted by brasher
              TJ is 99% African American.

              Comment


                #8
                Who buys a performance hatch for “all around” - hmm, I did. And would do it again. It’s not a Porsche. But it’s way better than a commodore/falcon/Camry in my book.

                Tyres I expect make quite a bit of difference. Stock is either Pzero or some kind of continental. I doubt the noisy Bridgestones were standard. First GTI I drove had shit tyres on it and the Pzeros are night and day.

                “creep” it’s a button near the hand brake to turn on/off. But the way you have described the gear box operating sounds like it has been flogged (it is a rental afterall)

                auto stop start. Again a button but it auto defaults on with restart. Unless you ask it to be turned off via your mechanic (or have the VAG device yourself)

                lane change etc etc are all options. Complain it’s a boring car and not a performance one and then *want* that stuff? That’s confusing. Again, it’s a rental. Hertz/Avis etc would turn off applecarplay too if they could so aren’t going to pay for options.

                you also probably drove one with an open Diff. The tricky dicky diff in the performance pack and others is a good thing.

                they are far from the be all and end all - but they do many jobs very well.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Captiva Fan View Post
                  You've not mentioned the interior quality?
                  I did, briefly, in what I wrote. Again, it was nice enough without being amazing, but in fairness none of it felt cheap and nasty in the way many small cars do so there's points for that. The switchgear and so on all felt pretty good.

                  I checked out the new Mazda 3 a few months back and I was more impressed with that interior than I was the Golf, but that's a six year newer design so that should be expected.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Cplus View Post
                    “creep” it’s a button near the hand brake to turn on/off. But the way you have described the gear box operating sounds like it has been flogged (it is a rental afterall)

                    auto stop start. Again a button but it auto defaults on with restart. Unless you ask it to be turned off via your mechanic (or have the VAG device yourself)

                    lane change etc etc are all options. Complain it’s a boring car and not a performance one and then *want* that stuff? That’s confusing. Again, it’s a rental. Hertz/Avis etc would turn off applecarplay too if they could so aren’t going to pay for options.

                    you also probably drove one with an open Diff. The tricky dicky diff in the performance pack and others is a good thing.
                    There were buttons by the park brake for auto-stop on/off and for hill hold - is the hill hold one the one that deals with "creep"? I didn't change the setting on that. It could well have been flogged as you say - it was a rental and had about 38k on it.

                    I don't think being a performance car and having stuff like the lane change alert are mutually exclusive things. Those things are good safety/convenience features to have, and don't impact on your driving enjoyment.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I was beginning to think I was going mad, with most people around me falling in love with the GTI over the last handful of years, and me just not understanding it.

                      They really are "meh". They don't do anything for me, but I don't hate them. Certainly wouldn't spend $47k on one, either.
                      What they have become is the car you buy when you think you know a little something about cars (and then go on to talk shit about everything else that everyone else drives, and how your stock standard Golf will supposedly eat it for breakfast).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Cplus covered most of my thoughts with what can be turned on and off etc.

                        Would be interested how old/flogged the car you drove was. Yum Cha tyres definitely wouldn't have helped the experience. DSG settles down with the same driver over time as it learns, and the driver also learns how to drive it (i.e. no creeping in traffic).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Cplus View Post
                          Who buys a performance hatch for “all around” - hmm, I did. And would do it again. It’s not a Porsche. But it’s way better than a commodore/falcon/Camry in my book.

                          Tyres I expect make quite a bit of difference. Stock is either Pzero or some kind of continental. I doubt the noisy Bridgestones were standard. First GTI I drove had shit tyres on it and the Pzeros are night and day.

                          “creep” it’s a button near the hand brake to turn on/off. But the way you have described the gear box operating sounds like it has been flogged (it is a rental afterall)

                          auto stop start. Again a button but it auto defaults on with restart. Unless you ask it to be turned off via your mechanic (or have the VAG device yourself)

                          lane change etc etc are all options. Complain it’s a boring car and not a performance one and then *want* that stuff? That’s confusing. Again, it’s a rental. Hertz/Avis etc would turn off applecarplay too if they could so aren’t going to pay for options.

                          you also probably drove one with an open Diff. The tricky dicky diff in the performance pack and others is a good thing.

                          they are far from the be all and end all - but they do many jobs very well.
                          +1

                          Cant complain here.. My R doesnt have any of these issues.. Stop start works flawlessly, DSG doesnt clunk into first, it just pulls away like a conventional auto..
                          I use the auto park brake, works great, only time I don't use it is getting in or out of my driveway and thats just in an effort to go extra slow so i don't leave the front splitter behind... once im on the road.. its just a simple push of a button and its back on.. if i want to turn it off... same process again from the centre console.

                          Mine is a 7.5 so no idea if any thing you experienced was something which VW fine tuned with the 7.5.. I suspect given its a rental it would have had the shit flogged out of it from day 1
                          /csh Racing

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Captain_Slow View Post

                            There were buttons by the park brake for auto-stop on/off and for hill hold - is the hill hold one the one that deals with "creep"? I didn't change the setting on that. It could well have been flogged as you say - it was a rental and had about 38k on it.

                            I don't think being a performance car and having stuff like the lane change alert are mutually exclusive things. Those things are good safety/convenience features to have, and don't impact on your driving enjoyment.
                            bottom button will allow the car to creep if you get off the brakes.

                            Click image for larger version

Name:	MY17-golf_safety_electromechanical-parking-brake-2.jpg
Views:	313
Size:	192.0 KB
ID:	7082319
                            /csh Racing

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Says more about the lack of other quality options at that price point. What else do you buy for $47k?
                              "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

                              "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
                              (TM - AVENGE)

                              "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
                              Juha Kankkunen - Rally of Argentina '02

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X