PH Fleet: Golf GTI Edition 35

GTI now looks beefier on its 18s
GTI now looks beefier on its 18s
I've already rabbited on more or less incessantly, in both recent reports and to anyone who will listen in general, about the fact that I think 'my' PH Fleet Golf GTI is the 'Best Car In The World'.

The PH team have piled the miles on
The PH team have piled the miles on
I do of course say this with tongue wedged firmly in cheek, because that's a massive call to make without a thorough What Car?-style road test evaluation. And we're not about to start doing that sort of thing on PH. But the point is that I can rarely think of a car whose spread of talents more effectively suits my personal needs and desires, right now, on a more regular basis. So when I call it the 'Best Car In The World', I actually mean the 'Best Car In The World For Riggers, at this particular moment in time'. It's hyperbole, sure, but its does emphasise quite how much this car has got under my skin.

Even so, you're probably a bit bored of my eulogising, and of us going on about the difference between the car's 'all-weather' and 'summer' tyres (a comparison most eloquently made by editor Trent in his recent blog on the subject). So for this report I'm going to hand you over to the other members of the PH team, to give you the benefit of their opinions.

'all-weather' wheels consigned to storage
'all-weather' wheels consigned to storage
Though the very fact that the keys haven't been in my possession much over the past few weeks should tell you something about the car's popularity, in this office at least. But I digress, so over to my esteemed colleagues:

"In most respects I agree with Riggers, because the Golf GTI edition 35 is a great hot hatch. It's got enough power and grip (with its 'proper' tyres on) to move you along at a rapid pace, and it looks good inside and out without being overly ostentatious. And despite being a fan of manual gearboxes in general, I even don't mind the DSG transmission, as it's quick-witted enough to keep you amused and also fully able to play the full 'lazy auto' role when required.

"I do have an issue with the fuel consumption, though. I know it's not exactly an economy car, but we've barely been able to coax an average of 30mpg out of it. That figure can easily drop to the high teens in town, too. With the new 306hp BMW 335i we've been driving recently managing 28.6mpg overall with ease, the Golf could - and should - be doing better than that."

Hatchback practicality is a real boon
Hatchback practicality is a real boon
"I took the Golf up to Yorkshire the other weekend and found it to be an excellent long-distance tool. Dan might (quite rightly) complain about the fuel economy, but in comparison to my TVR or Lexus it's positively frugal, and I love the way it uncomplainingly eats away the miles. It also likes a properly fast cruise. I won't tell you exactly how fast, but all cars have a natural cruising 'gait' and the Edition 35 seems to find its natural pace somewhere north of that which Her Majesty's Constabulary approves."

Racing Pete:
"Having run the old PH Fleet Leon Cupra R, I was more than a little sceptical of Riggers's evangelising about the slower, more expensive Golf, but a few days behind the wheel made me realise just how polished a performer it is. Sure, my old Cupra was a lot faster, but it would get ragged over bumpy, twisty roads that the Golf just shrugs off. Funny how essentially the same set of ingredients can result in such different products."

Spotted the paddles, Phil?
Spotted the paddles, Phil?
Phil (Clever PH tech type):
"I reckon the Golf GTI makes a good sound, and it feels decently powerful. But the DSG gearbox took some getting used to. My time in the Edition 35 was my first encounter with the VW twin-clutch system and I have to admit I didn't even notice the tiny steering wheel-mounted paddles until the end of my run. That also highlighted the fact that the stubby gear lever, which you push for an upchange and pull for downchange, just doesn't feel natural."


So there you go: the rest of the PH team's view on the PH Fleet Golf GTI. They clearly like it, just not as much as I do. Which is fine, because I'll be trying to hold on to the keys for more of the time from now on...

Car: 2011 VW Golf GTI Edition 35
Run by: Riggers
On fleet since: December 2011
Mileage: 9950 miles
List price new: £31,030 (inc. £1770 infotainment pack and £440 for parking sensors front and rear)
Last month at a glance: Winter tyres go south; the Golf proves a popular choice at PH HQ

Previous reports:
Paris road trip proves GTI's impeccable cruising credentials
Golf GTI Edition 35 arrives, complete with wintry rubber


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Comments (76) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ktm301p 20 Feb 2012

    As good as the Golf may be - I think £30,000 is an excessive amount of money for a Golf, or any equivalent hatchback for that matter.

  • tbc 20 Feb 2012

    does it come with a free mental assessment

    anyone that spends 30k needs a check up

  • jamesghwilson 20 Feb 2012

    It is a bit rich for my liking too - however I have no doubt it is a great car, and supremely built. But then again I would always buy a 3 year old used M3 or alike with that amount of money, you could probably throw an aftermarket warrantee in with it for 30 grand.

  • kambites 20 Feb 2012

    Why on earth have they put the gear lever that way around? I thought pull to change up was pretty standard?

  • George H 20 Feb 2012

    kambites said:
    Why on earth have they put the gear lever that way around? I thought pull to change up was pretty standard?
    No idea, it really winds me up in my Polo. I always use the paddles instead, but they could do with being a touch bigger too.

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