VW Golf GTI (Mk7) | Spotted
Three-door GTIs are done, manuals go soon, then engines entirely – time to recall the (recent) glory days
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, 21 November 2023 / Loading comments
A few spy shots have emerged recently showing what many are suggesting will be the final VW Golf GTI with an engine – a Mk8 facelift that signs off a legend in style before an all-electric ID Golf follows up for the ninth generation. While it isn’t clear yet exactly how the timeline will evolve over the coming years, progress is inevitable: already the three-door Golf GTI is gone, we’ve seen what a small EV GTI will look like, and a manual Mk8 GTI has been absent from the configurator for months now. It is unlikely to come back.
And why would it? Though it can be hard to concede sometimes, the Golf GTI that was (and remains) most popular with buyers is the five-door DSG – so that’s what VW made. Hardly a recent phenomenon, either; there are 200 Mk7 GTIs for sale on PH right now. Filter those results down to the three-door manuals, and you’re left with just ten per cent.
Of those 20, three are the super special Clubsport S, one is a late Mk6, one has 145,000 miles… it’s very hard to track one down in the spec that ought to be most desirable to enthusiasts. We’re an even smaller portion of the buying public than might be predicted.
This one is especially interesting as a Performance-spec GTI, the option pack that introduced another 10hp, bigger brakes (marked out with red calipers), and the VAQ locking ‘diff’ that worked wonders for traction. It’s well worth seeking out if it’s a Golf GTI Mk7 you’re after, the best the model can be before getting into the more powerful, more expensive Clubsport models. The tartan upholstery gets a thumbs-up here, too.
Like so many ICE cars that are now nearing the end of their lives, it’s easy to remember certain cars more fondly when they’re gone. The Mk7 Golf GTI was never an outright thriller of a hot hatch, but it encapsulated what the genre should be about perhaps better than any other: fast, stylish, high quality and refined, but also proper fun to drive when the opportunity presented itself. It probably hasn’t been acknowledged widely enough that the Mk8 is a sharper steer, but as an overall package the Mk7 still takes some beating. It’s why we’re still so fond of them.
Though the black wheels and smoked lights of this one might not be ideal options, they’re easily addressed. Otherwise, the overall condition looks good; the interior needs a dust but nothing more, and the wheels only look to need to respray rather than a total refurb. A service history is promised, and its MOT runs until June – there hasn’t been an advisory in the past four tests. As a relatively recent but distinctly old school representation of the Golf GTI at its best, this looks a good’n. Take it from us, they’re not that easy to find.
SPECIFICATION | VW GOLF GTI PERFORMANCE (MK7)
Engine: 1,984cc, four-cyl turbo
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 230@5,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@1,500-4,400rpm
MPG: 47.1 (NEDC)
Year registered: 2015
Recorded mileage: 76,295
Price new: £27,480 (2013, before options)
Yours for: £13,000
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