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How much? £22,995
On sale in the UK: 22 May 2009
Engine: 1984cc 16v turbocharged four-cylinder, 207bhp @ 5300rpm, 207lb ft @ 1700rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 7.2sec 0-62mph, 148mph, 38.7mpg, 170g/km
How heavy / made of? 1318kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4213/1779/1469
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CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54


Rated 5 out of 55


Rated 4 out of 54


Rated 5 out of 55

Feelgood factor

Rated 5 out of 55

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

VW Golf GTI Mk6 (2009) new CAR review

By Ben Barry

First Drives

07 April 2009 10:39

The old Mk5 GTI might have had its thunder stolen by the Focus RS, Megane R26R and perhaps even the Civic Type R, but it was still the best all-round hot hatch you could buy when it recently went off sale. And that – combined with the fact that the new Mk6 is essentially a very thoroughly facelifted Mk5 – goes a long way to explaining why the Mk6 feels so familiar. Volkswagen simply doesn’t want to mess with such a successful recipe.

Enlighten me. What are the differences on the new Golf GTI Mk6?

The headline stuff is the new Klaus Bischoff makeover (subtle but pretty successful, I’d say), together with the direct-injection EA888 2.0-litre turbo four Scirocco engine that ups power from 197bhp to 207bhp, while torque stays pinned at 207lb ft from a happily low 1700rpm.

Also new is the XDS electronic differential, three-stage ACC adjustable dampers and an interior that’s sprinkled with higher-grade materials and more dynamic lines.

Can you tell the difference on the road?

Yes you can. The Mk6 Golf GTI's engine feels a little keener down low (the stats say max torque is available 100rpm lower, but it feels more noticeable than that), and it’s smoother and more refined too.

And because all Mk6s are better insulated from road and wind noise, the exhaust is more dominant without ever sounding intrusive. You won’t immediately notice that the GTI’s 3mpg more frugal and – thanks to a dip in CO2 – £40 cheaper to tax each year, but your pocket will.

>> There's a glitch with our page-turning software. Click here for the second page of our VW Golf GTI Mk6 drive review


Performance Car of the Year 2009 VW Golf GTI - time trial; VW Sharan scoop video; David Coulthard lapping Goodwood in a VW van; CAR's tests Volkswagen's self-park system while reading the newspaper; does it work; tiguan;; Volkswagen's new Scirocco caught testing at the Nurburgring; autos; cars; Iroc; Scirocco; secret new cars; spy shots; spy video; volkswagen; Volkswagen Scirocco; CAR's team presents its guide to the 2008 Geneva Motor Show; VW videos

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Average rating: Rated 3 out of 53 (165 votes)

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VW Golf GTI Mk6 (2009) new CAR review


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Supersteve says

RE: VW Golf GTI Mk6 (2009) new CAR review

As usual, sightly more power, slightly better handling, I'm just worried the Volkswagen might make it a little too refined and take all the fun out of the GTI completely. I know the GTI is meant to be the most grown up of the hot hatch brigade, but it still needs an element of hooligan in there somewhere.


As for the criticism that the MK6 is just a heavily facelifted Mk5, then of course it is, that's what happens if you update a model after 4 years rather than the usual 7-8. Manufacturing costs and production times were too high on the VW Golf mk5, and that needed changing, we would normally just have a mild facelift after 4 years with a change of bumper & interior if we were lucky.

05 June 2009 16:32



reward badgemoderatorstaff

ga41 says

RE: VW Golf GTI Mk6 (2009) new CAR review

Poor porcupines..

27 April 2009 07:20



reward badgemoderatorstaff

Batty says

RE: VW Golf GTI Mk6 (2009) new CAR review

Ho Ho, Father Christmas buys a watch.

It doesn't keep time.

Golf is neither new nor worthy

And in summer eat your porcupine.


27 April 2009 07:02



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imdabestdude says

RE: VW Golf GTI Mk6 (2009) new CAR review

Where is the Audi-like mouth? After the facelift the luxury look is gone and it looks like a golf rather than GTi.

12 April 2009 23:45



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Tailpipe says

RE: VW Golf GTI Mk6 (2009) new CAR review

 A word of warning to buyers. The incredibly cool looking xenon lights shown in most publicity shots are an option, not a standard feature. But they will not be available until June. So, if you order a new GTI now don't expect it to have them. Another reason to wait before buying is the possibility of a Government-backed tax incentive to trade in old cars for new. Once the novelty factor wears off a bit, and people get used to the idea that the new Golf is just a very good facelift rather than an all new model, dealers may also begin to offer discounts.  

All in all, I have to say that this is THE performance car to get at the moment. I agree that it strikes a perfect balance between fun and practical, sporty and economical. If you can't wait, useful discounts are possible through various brokers like Autobytel.


09 April 2009 13:57

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