PH BLOG: HEART VERSUS HEAD
Why the BMW 125i M Sport beats the Golf GTI in a very subjective game of Riggers Top Trumps
Indeed, that's rather the point - from an objective point of view the Golf GTI Edition 35 and the 125i are hard to separate. Both are more or less identical on price once you add a couple of options. Both are near-as-dammit equal on power and performance (218hp, 228lb ft and 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds in the BMW plays 235hp, 221lb ft and 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds in the Golf). Both fit four passengers and luggage (five at a pinch). And both will satisfy the enthusiast in you while returning 30mpg-plus if you're careful, though the 1 Series has a clear edge on the Golf in economy.
This is where objectivity has to go hang, because the things that make it the car I would choose over the GTI are subjective. The way it smells inside. The slightly pointier, but less surefooted handling. The way it could actually be mistaken for a 116d if it weren't for the M Sport bodykit. The simple fact that I would call myself a 'BMW man', though not a fanboy.
The funny thing is it's these last points, the seemingly inconsequential matters of personal taste, that would be the clincher for me. And probably are in the vast majority of car-buying decisions for the likes of us. Care to share yours?