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205 GTi 1.9 or mk2 Golf GTi 16v?

205 GTi 1.9 or mk2 Golf GTi 16v?

Author
Discussion

white_goodman

Original Poster:

2,303 posts

97 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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My wife and I have just had a baby and have decided to keep my Impreza WRX Wagon as the family car for my wife to use (nothing better quite frankly for the money) which leaves me with my wife's Fiat 500. A great little car but not really my style!

I'm a big hot hatch fan - fast, light, cheap(ish) to run yet practical, yet I haven't owned a proper hot hatch for about 10 years (my last and only hot hatch being a laser green 205 1.6 GTi). I keep trying to persuade myself that for my budget (2000-3000 pounds) that I would be better off with a more modern Clio 172/182 or 306 Rallye/GTi or something retro but more grown-up like an E30 318iS or a Saab 900 Turbo but I keep coming back to a 205 1.9 or a big-bumper Golf GTi 16v (two cars that I have dreamt of owning since I was a boy).

I'm a bit of a perfectionist and want something cosmetically and mechanically tidy and I like everything to work if possible. I know from my previous ownership experience that this would be unreasonable on a 205 and probably any car of this age. The 205 was such a blast to drive though and I definitely want the 1.9 this time for the wheels, part-leather interior and big engine in a small car experience. However, I remember the heater being a bit crap and it being difficult to drive smoothly in traffic. However, 205s seem to resist rust really well which is a positive, as it would be kept outside.

I have owned a Golf GTi but it was a mk4 2.0, so not really a proper one. The Golf has a nice look and feel about it and I would expect it would be the easier car to live with and also a bit more substantial. I wrote off my 205 in a 20mph shunt! My only experience of a mk2 Golf GTi was a short drive in a late 8 valver. It was nice enough but to be honest felt a bit slow and unresponsive compared to my 1.6 GTi. Is the 16v noticeably quicker? Also, I have heard reports of 28mpg being typical. It's not a biggie, as my daily commute isn't that far but this seems low for a NA 1.8. I'm sure I used to regularly get 35-40mpg out of my 205.

So which would make the nicest daily driver, the 205 or the Golf?

Aphex

1,437 posts

106 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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used to get 44 mpg out of my old 16v when trying.

i'm a big fan of them both but seeing as though I've owned a few mk2 golfs now, I'd be looking at a 205.

if i was in your shoes I'd get myself a mk2 golf, decide whether or not its for me and then either sell it for a 205 or keep it. Its a minefield out there though so happy hunting

Hoygo

725 posts

67 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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Id say Golf is the best for daily driving,owning 2 they really were brilliant,but based on peoples experiences the 1.9 205 was the better drivers car by a margin.

SWoll

5,424 posts

164 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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The Golf.

The 16v engine is a lot better than the 8v and the build quality is light years ahead of the Pug.

Had a 205 1.6 GTi followed my a Mk2 16v back in my youth and although the Pug was more fun, as an overall package it cant compete with the Golf.

Hoygo said:
Id say Golf is the best for daily driving,owning 2 they really were brilliant,but based on peoples experiences the 1.9 205 was the better drivers car by a margin.
I didn't think the gap was that huge personally. Now the MK3 GTi was another story...

And if you do go for the Pug the 1.6 is still the better of the 2 IMO.

Edited by SWoll on Friday 13th July 16:38

Cheib

10,603 posts

81 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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Both great cars. For that budget I think I'd go with the Golf, build quality has got to be a consideration with 20 year old cars!


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SWoll

5,424 posts

164 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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Cheib said:
Both great cars. For that budget I think I'd go with the Golf, build quality has got to be a consideration with 20 year old cars!
My thoughts exactly. My 205 was only 5 years old when I bought it and in the 2 years I had it it was and already falling apart/rattling/bubbling with rust on arches etc. Hate to think how bad one would be nowadays.

gforceg

2,333 posts

85 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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As a daily driver and weekend fun car combined I'd go for another Golf. No question.

I love the 205 too but I wouldn't hang my hat on it the way I will with Golfs.

mr hat

71 posts

79 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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id go for the 205, i love them, and one day i would like to own one, they just look great even today and even though iv never driven one or even been in one the hype cant all be wrong can it. my friend owns a mk2 golf 16v, really nice cars with a cracking engine, his ran 147bhp on a recent rr day with a panel filter and a magnex system and its on 130k so strong engines. i just prefer the looks and lightweight nature of the pug.

Garvin

1,481 posts

83 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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For driving, the Pug without a shadow of a doubt - more smiles per mile and all that. 8V Golfs feel a bit pedestrian along side and a 16Ver would be the way to go. However, you describe yourself as a bit of a perfectionist - this really doesn't equate with the Pug - the interior falls to bits whilst you drive along!

AClownsPocket

645 posts

65 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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Golf every time. I had an 8V and loved it. Drove a 16V too and it was quicker, but the 8V was so easy to work on. Probably one of only 2 cars I've owned I was truly gutted at selling. Just loved driving it.

  • *sigh***

Mouse1903

802 posts

59 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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Both cars I'd love to own or drive. The Golf is better built and slightly more practical but I suspect the 205 is a little more fun, and it also doesn't look too dated inside considering its age

TROOPER88

1,258 posts

85 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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Have owned a few of both.
Very, very different cars. The Golf is a million times more refined but I think feels a lot more slugish.

The 205 is like a rally car, every journey is like a stage, noisy with rattles.

As an every day car I would get the Golf; as a weekend toy definately the 205 1.9 GTi in Sorento Green.

Motorrad

5,988 posts

93 months

Friday 13th July 2012
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I'd go for whichever was in the best condition at the price point given the age of the cars we're talking about.

The 205 is the better drivers car.


white_goodman

Original Poster:

2,303 posts

97 months

Saturday 14th July 2012
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SWoll said:
My thoughts exactly. My 205 was only 5 years old when I bought it and in the 2 years I had it it was and already falling apart/rattling/bubbling with rust on arches etc. Hate to think how bad one would be nowadays.
You must have been unlucky. My 205 was over 10 years old when I got it and had no rust whatsoever. 205s don't seem to rust much, I believe the body design doesn't have many (if any) rust traps.
Saturday
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205 gtis don't rust because there galvanised body's. Even tho the 205 1.9 gti is in the top 30 cars you should drive before you die for your budget you'd get a better 205! There so basic there easy to work on and unless you modify really badly or crash it you won't lose out when you decide to sell! 205 over golf all day!

MRobbins1987

122 posts

36 months

Saturday
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I would go for the 205 but I dont have any experience with the golf, I ran a 205 daily for six months and it was utterly superb, comfortable for a hot hatch, reliable apart from one episode of overheating when stuck in traffic on a hot summers day and I doubt much can touch it in terms of steering feel at this price point. You should still get a good one for 3k but there are a lot of dreamers about at the moment asking good money for stters.

tomsugden

1,100 posts

134 months

Saturday
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Having owned both, I'd go for the Golf for looks and build quality, and the 205 for driving experience.

hass12

4 posts

1 month

Saturday
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4 year old thread but;
I've just got a mk2 golf gti 8v and I love it. I've driven a 205 1.6 and and the steering feel was a lot better but the golf still manages to feel very chuck able and is very comfortable and usable. In my view the golf is a much better all rounder in terms of looks, build quality, comfort and also there seems to be more about at reasonable prices. I would have a 205 tomorrow but a golf just pips it for me.

rb5er

7,726 posts

78 months

Saturday
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1.9 205 without question. The Golf is average.

meehaja

59 posts

14 months

Saturday
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205 is the better car, but that was a long time ago, parts and maintenance gets expensive. Golf is a very adequate car, parts and maintenance availability high, lots to chose from, more options.