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Friday 4th May 2012

PH Fleet: Golf GTI Edition 35

It's a visit back home for the trusty PH Golf GTI. And the opportunity to play 'beat the nav'



Everybody plays the game of 'beat the sat-nav', right? At least those with a GPS navigation system of some sort. You know what I mean: you set your destination, check the ETA, and proceed to do your darnedest to make sure you beat it.

Playing 'beat the nav' is tricky in the Golf
Playing 'beat the nav' is tricky in the Golf
Now, I'm not sure how the various systems work out their ETAs (though I imagine it's down to a combination of an assumed average speed, combined with traffic info for TMC-equipped cars), but I do know they vary hugely in how easy they are to beat. BMW navs, for example, are super-conservative; I can only assume they work out journey times based on the average speed of a mobility scooter. The system on the PH Fleet Golf, on the other hand, seems to be eerily, unnervingly accurate.

Maybe it's just luck that my driving and routes have so far generally chimed-in with what the sat-nav feels we ought to achieve together, but sometimes I swear the thing knows where I should be and when better than I do!

Taking a quick autobahn breather
Taking a quick autobahn breather
The setting
Which brings us to a Travel Prison in Kent, a 5am start, and a requirement to be in Wolfsburg (some 500 miles away) for a factory tour at 2.30pm (1.30pm UK time). The golf said it would take me until precisely 1:02pm UK time. Given the imponderables of a Chunnel crossing, 250 miles in France, Belgium and Holland, and 250 miles on largely derestricted autobahn, I reckoned I could knock a bit off that, morning rush hour traffic notwithstanding.

Turns out not. I timed my stops as precisely I could and, with 15 minutes for a bite to eat, 10 minutes for fuel, and a 5-minute 'comfort break', I rolled up to my Wolfsburg hotel at 1:32 UK time. Exactly when the GTI said I should. Impressive, if frustrating when you're trying to play 'beat the nav'.

Stuff like this makes you feel slow...
Stuff like this makes you feel slow...
The result
It was at least instructive (and fun) trying to 'make progress' on the quieter sections of autobahn east of Dortmund. Suddenly the tendency of German cars to feel stable at high speeds but stodgy at low ones makes sense - you trade agility for high-speed solidity only when there's actually a chance of making the best use of it.

On the other hand, I also realised that the Golf, although a genuinely rapid-feeling car in the UK (though probably not as fast as the Golf A59 we 'nearly' drove), merely feels adequately fast above three figures. Although it's actually best to use the car's torque and keep the DSG in manual mode so that it doesn't kick down every time you want to accelerate.

Golf, with flies, rests on return leg
Golf, with flies, rests on return leg
The pointlessness of pub bragging
I also discovered the folly of all that down-the-pub bragging about 0-62mph times, top speeds and hp figures if you own a hot hatch. Because when you're in the outside lane of the autobahn you'd be amazed at how little advantage you have over 'normal' traffic - the Focus diesel estate that I could only keep up with by wringing every ounce out of the Golf stands as testament to that. In fact, unless you've got plenty of capacity, cylinders and horsepower under your belt (we're talking AMGs and Ms here, or the Veyron Supersport I spotted) you just need to accept the fact that you're not at the top of the tree.

Fortunately this is all irrelevant in the UK, because we have a 70mph limit on our motorways. Which we would never, of course, exceed...

 


FACT SHEET
Car:
 2011 VW Golf GTI Edition 35
Run by: Riggers
On fleet since: December 2011
Mileage: 14,750 miles
List price new: £31,030 (inc. £1,770 infotainment pack and £440 for parking sensors front and rear)
Last month at a glance: To Wolfsburg, to Hockenheim, too many miles, too little time!

Previous reports:
Low-ish fuel economy's been bugging us, so we decide to try out the GTI's diesel cousin
Paris road trip proves GTI's impeccable cruising credentials
Golf GTI Edition 35 arrives, complete with wintry rubber
Winter tyres go south; the Golf proves a popular choice at PH HQ

Riggers
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Author Discussion

Stew2000

Original Poster:

2,763 posts

63 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Slow news day? Bring out the Golf!

nickfrog

3,495 posts

102 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
LOL !

Contigo

2,669 posts

94 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
said:
I also discovered the folly of all that down-the-pub bragging about 0-62mph times, top speeds and hp figures if you own a hot hatch. Because when you're in the outside lane of the autobahn you'd be amazed at how little advantage you have over 'normal' traffic - the Focus diesel estate that I could only keep up with by wringing every ounce out of the Golf stands as testament to that. In fact, unless you've got plenty of capacity, cylinders and horsepower under your belt (we're talking AMGs and Ms here, or the Veyron Supersport I spotted) you just need to accept the fact that you're not at the top of the tree.
This is very true. Even hot hatches these days are simply not hot anymore when compared to the likes of even standard diesels and that has killed the point of having a hot hatch for me. It was always to be quicker and more nimble than the average entry level car. I realise that the Golf GTI 35 is great fun on the track and would leave even the likes of a Focus TDCI in the twisties but how often do we get the pleasure of seeing that race combination?

Thank God I've got the M5 on the drive!

BigTom85

944 posts

56 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Stew2000 said:
Slow news day? Bring out the Golf!
rofl

Also, how much for a Golf?!! wink

HBFS

694 posts

76 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Que £30K for a Golf?! Comments...
Advertisement

va1o

13,577 posts

92 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
I still really like it, and the article just makes me want one more!

Contigo

2,669 posts

94 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
HBFS said:
Que £30K for a Golf?! Comments...
Ltd Edition. Same really for the M3 GTS (obv less number for GTS) but still that was way overprice too.

I think you need to be careful though, go to VW site, take a standard Golf GTi and add what you would want/need on it and I bet it's over the 30K mark.


nickfrog

3,495 posts

102 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Contigo said:
I realise that the Golf GTI 35 is great fun on the track
Not exactly a track car, is it ? Couple of hot laps and cooked brakes.

tr7v8

4,660 posts

113 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
What is it about this lardy, over priced white turd... It is a hatch that looks like every other hatch on the roads. There must be better stuff to read about here than a shopping hatchback grumpy

Motorrad

5,086 posts

72 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Ignore the haters, it's a tool, it does a job and better than many.


That said 15 minutes for comfort breaks?

You're a man- act like one- take a piss at the roadside.

St John Smythe

4,470 posts

102 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Well I like it. I think it's good to report on cars that are attainable for the masses. Lambo buying guides, etc are all well and good but the majority of us will never be in a position to afford one smile

Contigo

2,669 posts

94 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
nickfrog said:
Not exactly a track car, is it ? Couple of hot laps and cooked brakes.
Did I say it was a track car? I said on the track it's fun and would leave a focus TDci in a few laps but the point is that people are saying it's expensive. It is, but then all Golf GTi's are.


Basil Hume

318 posts

137 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
said:
I also discovered the folly of all that down-the-pub bragging about 0-62mph times, top speeds and hp figures if you own a hot hatch. Because when you're in the outside lane of the autobahn you'd be amazed at how little advantage you have over 'normal' traffic - the Focus diesel estate that I could only keep up with by wringing every ounce out of the Golf stands as testament to that. In fact, unless you've got plenty of capacity, cylinders and horsepower under your belt (we're talking AMGs and Ms here, or the Veyron Supersport I spotted) you just need to accept the fact that you're not at the top of the tree.
Another in agreement. You have to be running a lot more power to convincingly pull away from things at high speeds.

That said, I can't imagine how an Ed35 would be troubled by a Focus diesel estate that would usually be running about between half and two thirds of its power...

Dave Hedgehog

7,136 posts

89 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
i want a golf even more now biggrin

Snowlife

70 posts

39 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
When it comes to "beating the nav" in a VW, in the Navigation settings you can change the time estimation between "Slower", "Average" & "Faster", of course to use Slower would be cheating. & Faster is almost impossible unless you have the road to yourself & have a death-wish!

tommy vercetti

7,914 posts

48 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Stew2000 said:
Slow news day? Bring out the Golf!
lol

BlueEyedBoy

1,625 posts

81 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
My best ever beat the sat nav was coming home from the West Country when the A303 was closed. Ended up on some b roads between somewhere and Salisbury. I took 30 mins off the time in about 30 mins, only issue was the fact the bike rack and 3 bikes I had on board rubbed a bit of the paint away. Tbh it was worth it though to see the time tick off every mile. Amazing the progress you can make in the dead of night on country lanes smile

Jimmy No Hands

2,532 posts

41 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
I just can't imagine having 31k in my pocket and buying a hot shopping trolley over a V8 Vantage.


What were MK5 ED30's new? Similar?

thewheelman

2,194 posts

58 months

[news] 
Friday 4th May 2012 quote quote all
tr7v8 said:
What is it about this lardy, over priced white turd... It is a hatch that looks like every other hatch on the roads. There must be better stuff to read about here than a shopping hatchback grumpy
Yet it'd leave your 944 for dead on most roads hehe

tr7v8

4,660 posts

113 months

[news] 
Friday 4th May 2012 quote quote all
thewheelman said:
tr7v8 said:
What is it about this lardy, over priced white turd... It is a hatch that looks like every other hatch on the roads. There must be better stuff to read about here than a shopping hatchback grumpy
Yet it'd leave your 944 for dead on most roads hehe
Err I don't care, the 944 is about different things as well as being 25 years older. I don't do the VAG hype anyway, at the end of the day if you go to Germany they regard VW as being equivalent to a Ford or a Vauxhall. Only here is it held as a paragon of reliability & better.
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