Car ReviewsBahrainMotors

Bahrain: The VW Golf GTI (Mk8) is in a League of its Own

Gulf Insider drives the car that, since its launch nearly 50 years ago, sets the standard for ‘hot hatches’.

By Charlie Cooksey

From picking up the kids, to carting around boxes, to driving just for the sheer fun of it… the Golf GTI is considered the daddy of hot hatches – a fast and practical car that will do just about anything you need.

Now in its eighth generation (Mk8), a new 2-litre turbo four-cylinder engine provides 245 horsepower and a substantial 273 pound-feet of torque. Choose Sport mode and the car instantly becomes stiffer.

An ultra-responsive throttle gets this car from zero to 100 kph in 6.4 seconds.

VW has reworked the suspension for better performance and the steering feels good. Understeer is usually a let-down in front-wheel-drive cars, but the GTI is in another league.

Further noticeable changes from the previous model include new rear hatch and taillight designs, a greater sloping bonnet, and full-width running lights below the bumper.

Inside, a big difference from the previous model is the fully digital cockpit making the interior clean and uncluttered. There are no knobs and few buttons on the dash – whether this is a good thing or not is subjective. A 10.3-inch screen displays virtual gauges, navigation, music, a trip computer, and more.

A cool feature of the start button is that it pulses red until the engine is started. It is located on the centre console near a short, stubby gear lever and an electronic parking brake.

This is an impressive driver’s car and is brilliant at everything it does. Interestingly, motoring journalists around the world seem to agree that this is by far the best driving GTI to date.

Prices start from 16,595 with 7 years service package, 5 years extended warranty, and 3 years roadside assistance (for a limited time period).

To arrange your own test drive in Bahrain call 1745 9977 or visit


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