Volkswagen Golf GTI Gen V - Starter Classics $15K or less

By: Cliff Chambers, Photography by: Unique Cars Archives

vw golf gti onroad vw golf gti onroad

The original hot hatch set a benchmark with the Gen-Five

Australia was for many years denied the chance to enjoy the car that revelled in its title of World’s Original Hot Hatch.

As 1970s fuel prices rose and were matched by taxes on bigger engines, Volkswagen kept faith with enthusiasts via its 1.6-litre GTi Golf.


Tartan seats set GTI apart 

Thirty years later, in Generation V form, the shape remained recognisably Golf but under the skin was a 2.0-litre turbo engine with a six-speed manual or auto transmission.

Completing the package was a range of goodies that ensured the GTi remained fun to drive and convenient to own. Fold the rear seats and you have loads of luggage space, or ample room for big, wet dogs.

| Read next: VW Golf GTI Mk7 review


Choosing a manual won’t cost any extra but avoids potential problems with the dual-clutch semi-auto.

Ignore cars with shabby leather and scuffed alloy wheels; signs of high kilometres and careless previous ownership.


From Unique Cars #472, Nov/Dec 2022

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