VW Golf GTI is The Best Car in The World

Ofer Levin GTI
4 min readMay 21, 2019

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How One Car Changed The Auto World Forever

Known as the “original hot hatch”, the VW Golf GTI is a legendary car that has revolutionized the automotive industry across the globe. The “hot hatch” was conceived when car manufacturers came to the conclusion that the next evolution in car making is putting a big engine into a compact, practical car. The idea was to build a car that offers the best of both worlds — a high-performance vehicle that does everything an ordinary family car can do. Over 40 years later, the formula still works and the brand has more and more followers every day.

The Hot Hatch Debate — Let’s Get This Out Of The Way First

Some of you petrol heads out there will argue that the Golf GTI was not the first “hot hatch” in the world, and so it can’t be called the “original hot hatch” as it is by so many, and I’ve just done. It’s true that before Golf brought out the GTI there were two other cars that could be considered as “hot hatches”. First came the Simca 1100TI, complete with two Weber carburetors, and then the Renault 5 Gordini (also known as the Alpine in the UK) just a few months before the Golf GTI. But neither was as successful as the GTI, and for good reason. One of the keys to the Golf GTI’s celebrated success is the ‘I’ in GTI — it was fuel-injected. It was also economical, reliable, you could fit a medium-sized sheep in the boot and it sold in huge numbers.
VW’s initial plan was to sell 5,000 cars. Now, over four decades later, the GTI is still in production and has sold well over two million units worldwide. Besides that, everybody knows the Golf GTI and only die-hard car enthusiasts have heard of the Simca and that type of Renault.

From Modest Beginnings Come Great Things

Originally released in the mid-1970s, the VW Golf was VW’s next evolutionary step after the legendary Beetle, the sporty Karmann Ghia and the iconic VW type II Van. The Golf was stylish, compact and modern, and would achieve great success on its own in coming years. But this was not enough for VW. Shortly after releasing the Golf, they decided to jazz it up by adding a high-performance version of it at a slightly higher, yet still reasonably affordable price — and so the Golf GTI Mk1 came into existence. The GTI was the ultimate all-rounder and simply did everything really well, but with a little more flair than the average car. This kicked off the “hot hatch movement” of the 1970s and 1980s and unleashed a brand new era in automotive history. From this day on, every modern “hot hatch” was developed around the basics of the GTI.

The Second Wave of Mk Magic

Then, in 1983, along came the Golf GTI Mk2 — a bigger and better version of an already excellent car. Of course, Mk3 and Mk4 followed in the 1990's, but they were a little on the soft side, and not quite as popular as their predecessors. Some thought that this was the end of the line for the GTI. Maybe VW thought so too because they then released a range of more powerful incarnations like the VR6 and R32. Both took off as the GTI faded from glory into still-celebrated obscurity. Thankfully, they came to their senses in 2005 and finally released the Mk5. GTI’s glory was restored! This was followed by the Mk6 and Mk7, both strengthening GTI’s already impeccable reputation as the finest, reasonably priced performance car on the market.

Why Buy a Golf GTI?

When it comes to anything in life, it’s usually not a good idea to go for the biggest or the fastest. Why? Because you will inevitably have to compromise in some other area. You could have the most technologically advanced car in the world, but it probably also comes with the biggest price tag in terms of cost and maintenance. The most comfortable car available is likely not very fast or powerful, and if you do decide to buy the fastest car, chances are you’ll need another car for shopping or to carry more than one passenger at a time.

Although it’s not the fastest car, the GTI is super quick and super powerful. Looks-wise the GTI may not be the fanciest looking car but rather has an understated but attractive style. And you can always make it flashy with alloys and low-profile tires if that’s your kind of thing. So the question should rather be, “Why NOT buy a Golf GTI?” No matter what you want from a car, the GTI probably offers it, and more. It is practical, fast and reliable. It also looks good and is excellent value for money. Yes, you will find cars that are more practical or faster or better than the GTI in some way. But overall, the GTI is the only car on the market that covers all the bases.

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Ofer Levin GTI

Ofer Levin GTI — Experiencing Cars and Engines. Welcome! I am Ofer Levin (aka GTI), and this is where you can read about things that matter to me.