7. Volkswagen Golf GTI
2005. – 150.000 km – 7500 €
The Golf Mk5 was introduced in Europe in the autumn of 2003, reaching the UK market in early 2004. In North America, Volkswagen brought back the Rabbit nameplate when it introduced the vehicle in 2006. In Canada, the Golf is still the prevalent nameplate of the fifth generation (though Rabbit and Golf have both been used historically). The North American base model is powered by a 2.5 L five-cylinder engine, which produced 112 kW (150 hp) in 2006 and 2007, but was upped to 127 kW (170 hp) in the later models. A GTI version is powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.0 TFSI engine, producing 147 kW (200 PS).
The Golf GTI features a 2.0 litre turbocharged inline 4-cylinder petrol engine with Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) direct-injection technology, which produces 200PS (147 kW/197 bhp). It is available in both 3-door and 5-door hatchback body shapes, and comes with a choice of either 6-speed manual or a 6-speed Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) which greatly reduces shift time to only 8ms.
The concept GTI was first shown to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003. The first production model was initially unveiled at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris in September 2004, and went on sale around the world shortly thereafter. At the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006, the GTI made its long awaited North American debut in 3-door guise (a 5-door variant was eventually made available), where it is marketed solely under the ‘GTI’ moniker, with no reference to the Rabbit. The new GTI has a considerable price increase over the previous model, mainly due to the features mentioned above, and the fact that the exterior itself had not seen such a dramatic design change in years. The price is further raised because it is built in Germany, unlike the Mk4 some of which were built in Brazil. The innovative DSG transmission and the 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) TFSI engine all helped raise the retail price of the car. The Mk5 GTI was named 2007 Automobile of the Year by Automobile Magazine, in December 2006.
This generation marked the only generation in Canada to have the GTI as a separate nameplate rather than a trim of the Golf. When Volkswagen announced the revival of the Golf in the United States & Canada for the 2010 model year, Volkswagen reverted the GTI nameplate as a Golf trim, although the GTI remains a separate nameplate in the United States.