Hot Hatch

Harris Prefers Beard Over Golf GTI

Is the new GTI still the hot-hatch daddy? Chris Harris investigates.

The new GTI was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, bigger, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. 220 horsepower is the standard output of the 2.0-liter turbo-four, which is the spec a very bearded Chris Harris takes for a test to see if it still lives up to its reputation as being the benchmark hot-hatch and ultimate daily driver. Everything about the car is to the British auto scribes liking. The suspension set up, manual gearbox and performance all get gold stars. The only problem is that for the same money as a Golf GTI you can get a BMW M135i, which comes with a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbo.

Furthermore, if you’re into hot hatches isn’t there more fun to be had for less money elsewhere? Say with the Polo GTI or Renault Clio RS. Simply put, gone are the days when the GTI was the obvious choice for a daily hot-hatch. But it's still a very competent, albeit pricey, contender.

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