Very few cars survive the test of time and demand production over decades. But when they do, they tend to morph into something sublime as has our car of the month for August — the VW Golf GTI Mark VII. Mark VII in this case, indicates that this is the seventh generation of the Golf. Or in other words, this is the seventh time VW pretty much started over with a blank sheet of paper and built the car from scratch. It’s no easy feat to maintain the “best hot-hatch” status for nearly four decades but VW managed to pull it off once again. And in case you’re wondering, the GTI is not a diesel — let’s just get that out of the way.
One could argue that the GTI isn’t the fastest, cheapest, or most stylish hot-hatch you could get your hands on, but it gives you more car for your money than any competitor. It is a LOT of car considering it starts at $25,000 and the next car you can get with a turbo, dual-clutch gearbox and paddles will probably be close to twice as much. Where the GTI really shines is in its capacity to be an all-arounder. You could use it as a daily driver to take your kids to school, fold down the rear seats and go camping or to the beach, or help someone move homes. Or you can use it as a weekend toy! This car can do pretty much anything without burning a hole in your pocket.
The Golf managed to win the coveted World Car of the Year for the Mark VI and VII generations and will remind you what a great driver’s car should feel like. Try one out on your next road trip!