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Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review #1625341
24/09/2018 19:38
24/09/2018 19:38
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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I bought a MK5 Golf GTI in July. Having lived with it for a couple of months, I thought Iíd share my thoughts. The Coupe was starting to worry me a bit. I would happily have driven a Fiat Coupe until I could no longer drive, if I had any mechanical knowledge, or money set aside for the usual maintenance. Unfortunately I have neither. With my dad sadly passing away a couple of years back, Iíve become my mumís taxi service. The sounds she emitted trying to exit a Plus Recaro next to a high kerb could only be ignored by the worldís worst masochist. Factor in having to put the seat forward and install my six year old for school every day, and I didnít really have a choice. The Coupe had to go cry

What to replace it with? I had a budget of 5k. I toyed with the idea of a loan and something bonkers like an RS4, but the upkeep and mpg meant the kid would have probably had a Halfords oil and filter service voucher for christmas. It was a bit self indulgent. In the end the head ruled the heart and I went for a MK5 GTI. I looked at the MK6, the ones in my price range were ropey high milers and I preferred the more rounded look of the MK5. You can pick them up for about 3k for an Ď05 with high mileage but I wanted something that was immaculate and a bit newer for a couple of grand more.

After viewing about 15 cars from North Wales to Leeds, I realised it wasnít an easy task! They were pretty much all rough as a badgerís backside! Most had rust issues, ripped tartan check seats or sounded like a diesel. I was giving up hope, until I saw this one:

My car

Full VW Main dealer history, one owner, it was like new. One trip to Devon later and I was a Golf Owner. Full leather, manual gears. Nothing against the DSG, I just like to swap cogs myself.

What I like:

The handling. Itís quite a comfy thing, the seats give good support and trundling along you could be in any cooking Golf. It rides well. It takes all the imperfections that is the potholed hell hole I call home. When you want to have fun though, it really grips. Stock vs stock on a twisty road, a coupe wouldnít see where the Golf went. You can just throw it about on a B road and really grab it by the scruff of the neck and drive like you just TWOCíd it, then go back to driving miss daisy. VW are the best at blending good fun with everyday comfort.

The practicality. Itís a four door, itís not low to the ground, I can get my mini me in and out with ease, itís not like the Coupe where I had to sort of fall in! Massive boot and the rear passengers can be over 5Ē tall laugh Itís a nice place to be. Itís got airbags everywhere and a 5* safety rating.

The unassuming nature. Sure, it has big wheels and a red grille, but essentially itís just a golf. I have no qualms parking anywhere.

The amount of cheap parts and mods/tuning stuff. The interwebs and FB groups are awash with exhausts, filters, bigger turboís and basically anything you care for. Itís all cheap as chips. A lot of boy racers can afford this model now and Iíve managed to pick up a £250 intake for £80 and a 3Ē downpipe into decat was £100 brand new. Thereís plenty of parts, again thanks to young men driving them into trees. VW sold them in all parts of the globe. You can also fit later variants bits and pieces as they are usually backwards compatible. I picked up an Apple Car Play head unit out of a Mk6 Jetta for £140 off ebay. It mirrors my iPhone on the big touch screen and I canuse my spotify without careering off the road. Took me 30 mins to fit with no messing about. I love it!

Head Unit

What I donít love

The exclusivity of the coupe. How many do you see on the road nowadays? I havenít seen one for months. They only made one model! Ok there is the 16vt/20vt and the rarer editions but itís essentially the same car. They never made a Mk2, 3, 4 etc. I always felt like I was in a little secret coupe bubble before. Oh thereís a Ferrari! Well thatís nice, but itís not a coupe! In the Golf every other carís a Golf. Oh thereís a Mk7. Itís as common as having a sphincter.

The engine sound. God I miss the five pot burble. I miss the TISCH! Every gear change. My golf sounds like a peed off sewing machine. The intake has given a bit of turbo woosh and a bit of lift-off wastegate flutter, but itís just another AIDS ridden 4-pot (TM Dan Barltett 2006).

The power. This can and will be rectified with a trip to Flea in the future, about 270 horses is possible on a standard engine with breathing mods. My car is currently stock bar an intake and it feels S-L-O-W. Itís not of course, when I drive my girlfriends Corsa I realise that, but the step down from the Coupeís turbo punch was hard to take. Itís just an even spread of torque throughout the rev range. Iíll comment on this again when sheís mapped.

The plastic. This applies to nearly all modern cars. Things have changed since the 90ís, and not always for the better. Boring black/grey plastic everywhere. The engine is a big plastic cover! Gimme metal! Gimme visible oily bits and aluminium!

The forum. Itís not Fccuk, Ďnuff said!

So Iím just another guy with a golf. Do I miss the Plus? Absolutely! But I donít regret changing strangely. The coupe is a hands down a more rewarding experience, with a soul and personality that is lacking in my current steed. However, Iím enjoying the ownership. Itís a fun, cheap car that ticks all the boxes for practicality, modern equipment and just the right amount of fun. Iíd recommend it as a car for all people. Iím looking forward to tinkering with it some more, and I do fancy a trackday soon, without the kid in the back and the big momma riding shotgun of course laugh

Sick bruv

Matt

Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1625345
24/09/2018 20:42
24/09/2018 20:42
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,998
Glos
Brilly1uk Offline
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Nice one Matt - I agree they have a lot going for them and the Mk5 was a return to form.

My youngest has rushed in a little quicker than ideal and purchased a Mk5 Golf GTi recently. His has a few mods (and in my opinion a few issues), but it is a good drive and certainly on first impressions, is as quick as the Coupe! blush

It does though sound like a diesel on tick over???!!! ooo


Fiat Coupe 20VT
Alfa Romeo Spider 939
BMW X1 XLine
VW Golf GT
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: Brilly1uk] #1625346
24/09/2018 20:45
24/09/2018 20:45
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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pinin_prestatyn  Offline OP
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North wales
Absolutely it does! Some of the cars I viewed sounded like a tractor. You couldnít really hear it on mine until I removed the engine cover, now itís got the classic mk5 tick. Itís the cam tensioner chain. You can replace them and it quietens down, a little laugh Just a quirk of the car. I just keep it at redline at all times, you canít hear it then tongue



Coopless!
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1625352
25/09/2018 04:06
25/09/2018 04:06
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,322
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline
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Nice write up, Matt. Neatly captures the bittersweet feeling of swapping the extraordinary for the almost ordinary.


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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1625372
25/09/2018 10:18
25/09/2018 10:18
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,877
2011 and 2015 FCCUK F1 Champ.
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bezzer Offline
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Nice one Matt.



......My Boy...... (PB #7)
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1625385
25/09/2018 18:40
25/09/2018 18:40
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,998
Glos
Brilly1uk Offline
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Originally Posted By pinin_prestatyn
You can replace them and it quietens down, a little laugh Just a quirk of the car. I just keep it at redline at all times, you canít hear it then tongue


Perhaps the last bit Matt, is not advice I plan to share with my son! rolleyes


Fiat Coupe 20VT
Alfa Romeo Spider 939
BMW X1 XLine
VW Golf GT
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1625617
01/10/2018 15:39
01/10/2018 15:39
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,695
burning oil in the alfa
whatmoretyres Offline
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burning oil in the alfa
Hows your Willy!


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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: whatmoretyres] #1625621
01/10/2018 18:08
01/10/2018 18:08
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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I donít know frown He was living with a divorcee in Ellesmere port last time I heard. I do miss his furry lil tail and stuff! What are you driving these days Watmo?



Coopless!
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1625626
01/10/2018 18:27
01/10/2018 18:27
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,169
Southsea
Gunzi Offline
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Gunzi  Offline
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Fantastic write up Matt. I love the use of old forum language and I've not read TWOC'd for years!

I now drive a ridden 4 pot and absolutely miss the sound of the 5 pot warble.

Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: Gunzi] #1625629
01/10/2018 19:21
01/10/2018 19:21
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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(Bows) thank you, Gunzi-San! At least you have a FIAT, kinda! I donít know if Iíll ever have a FIAT again. The MX5 based one looks OK, but the Mazda version is meant to be better. I hope I have a pristine Plus/LE when Iím about 97. I can see myself now wearing a flat cap, Rockports and smoking some super duper vape cigar that tastes of Gliptone or something! Well, one can dream.



Coopless!
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1625646
02/10/2018 07:42
02/10/2018 07:42
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,169
Southsea
Gunzi Offline
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Gunzi  Offline
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My 5 year old calls the 124's a 'flat Abarth'. I do like the look of them but 2 seaters isn't ideal for family use.

The 595 is a right hoot the wife loves it, honestly I think it sounds better than my Focus.

I think we will always have an Italian car in the family, there's just something about them. It's a shame they didn't make the 500X Abarth, we'd have snapped one of them up over the 595.

I read a great article on Modern Classics ont eh mik5 GTi a few months back, they really rated it as a genuinely good everyday car with decent handling. I am sure you made the right choice thumb

Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1626000
14/10/2018 17:26
14/10/2018 17:26
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,695
burning oil in the alfa
whatmoretyres Offline
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Originally Posted By pinin_prestatyn
I donít know frown He was living with a divorcee in Ellesmere port last time I heard. I do miss his furry lil tail and stuff! What are you driving these days Watmo?


STILL an Alfa GT, only do 3k a year so no point changing it, mrs wmt is a mini driver mainly which is pretty fun if not that fast


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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: whatmoretyres] #1626032
15/10/2018 10:31
15/10/2018 10:31
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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Thatís not a bad stable really! You do less mileage than me. I bet you donít say ĎWhat, more tyresí as often as you used to Lols!



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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1627248
23/11/2018 18:55
23/11/2018 18:55
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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Quick update, the car doesnít have a Ďdump valveí like the coupe. It has a diverter valve. They are a known weak point on the car. The diaphragm fails after a while and causes a significant loss of boost and power. I got round to changing it last week. It had never been changed. It was completely split shocked

Good job it wasnít a Durex

Itís a different car now. It was like a mini remap! I have also deleted the PCV system (Positive Crank case Ventilation) as the diaphragm had failed on that once I had fixed the Diverter valve. I had no idea about this sort of thing before. What does/how does the coupe deal with blow-by pressure?



Coopless!
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1627249
23/11/2018 19:21
23/11/2018 19:21
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 996
norwich, norfolk
adam16vt Offline
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norwich, norfolk
I had an edition 30 very briefly so am familiar with this engine

Did you fit the latest G revision for the dump valve?

The stat on mine was sticking and I changed it and it unlocked about 10% more power Iím sure, apparently they donít run at full boost until the needle is dead on 90. So if yourd moves slightly when driving around get it changed

Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: adam16vt] #1627253
23/11/2018 20:23
23/11/2018 20:23
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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Thanks Adam. Yes I fitted the latest revision G. It was a G that I removed also. The ceiling for tuning the ED 30 / Pirelli is so much higher with the K04. I havenít looked at the temp gauge, this is the first Iíve heard of that issue. Cheers!
Just need a 3Ē downpipe now and I can remap cool



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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1627266
24/11/2018 08:29
24/11/2018 08:29
Joined: Apr 2010
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norwich, norfolk
adam16vt Offline
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Mine was running 311 bhp, and that was after a remap and exhaust, thatís literally it!

Was dsg as well so just put your foot down and go, I loved it for the brief time I had it

Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: adam16vt] #1630533
10/03/2019 19:33
10/03/2019 19:33
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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A quick update - The 3Ē downpipe is on there. Took it for a remap. revo stage 2. Very pleased! Itís around 280 (ish) BHP and 300 lb/ft torque. It feels quicker than my Coupe! With no slippy diff, the traction control is busier than a one-legged man at an arse-kicking competition if the road isnít bone dry.
The decat has given her a louder exhaust note, itís nothing like a 5 pot warble mind. Iím happy with the car now. Itís jist what I needed, a comfy, fast car that can raise a smile. I think thatís all for now with regards to tuning. I need to change the (awful) ditch finder tyres for some decent rubber. If anyone has recommendations, Iím all ears.

Attached Files


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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1630548
11/03/2019 12:43
11/03/2019 12:43
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,099
S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Gripped Offline
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Good review Matt. I'm in a similar position to you. Fiat getting long in the tooth, and me wanting something quicker (mine's an NA), but equally, I know that the Coupe is something special.

As for tyre recommendations, we've been impressed with the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric, which we put on Anna's Giulietta which has a performance set up, so possibly a good comparison to your GTI. The grip and feel are excellent, both wet and dry.

They are not silly money either. About £80 to £90 for 18" wheels. Which for a premium performance tyre is excellent in my book. The other reason we got them is they have a thicker rim protector than most. The Giuliettas 18"s are terrible kerb magnets.

I'm currently being tempted by a Nissan 350z. Question is, what do I do with the Coupe?




Last edited by Gripped; 11/03/2019 12:45.

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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: Gripped] #1630615
13/03/2019 08:28
13/03/2019 08:28
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,771
Haslemere, Surrey
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Mark_S Offline
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Used to have Goodyear Eagle F1s (Asymmetrics I think) on the Coupe. Good tyres these.


997 C4S
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: Mark_S] #1630619
13/03/2019 09:56
13/03/2019 09:56
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,908
North wales
pinin_prestatyn Offline OP
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Thanks guys. Thereís lots of good feedback on the Goodyears and they are a good price. I can get four in 225/45/17 for £260 so this is what Iíll be going for.



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Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: Gripped] #1630656
14/03/2019 13:42
14/03/2019 13:42
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Posts: 812
Germany
neil_r Offline
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Originally Posted by Gripped
I'm currently being tempted by a Nissan 350z. Question is, what do I do with the Coupe?


Same boat - and eventually gave my Coupe to my son who damaged it soon after. It is just too nice to dump it so we have decided to get the rusty parts cut out and have it restored. Just waiting for our slot.

Even though 3 of our our other cars are faster and even the Mazda 2 "GT" is not far off, the 20V is fast enough for modern traffic levels, looks good, sounds good and the handling feels lively and true at any speed.

Another vote for Goodyear Eagles - good all rounders.

Last edited by neil_r; 14/03/2019 13:51.

1997 20V
2000 V6 manual S-Type and 2011 5.0 XKR
2016 Tucson 1.6T AWD
2018 Mazda2 GT
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1630678
14/03/2019 18:56
14/03/2019 18:56
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Posts: 1,998
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Brilly1uk Offline
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Currently have Goodyear Eagles on my Coupe having fitted ran them on our mk6 Golf and Saab 9-3 prior to that.
As others have said, they seem a good all round tyre in terms of wear, feel and grip.


Fiat Coupe 20VT
Alfa Romeo Spider 939
BMW X1 XLine
VW Golf GT
Re: Mk5 Golf GTI - An honest review [Re: pinin_prestatyn] #1630696
14/03/2019 21:35
14/03/2019 21:35
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Jim_Clennell Offline
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Nice review, Matt. Feeling comfortable with a car can compensate for a lot in terms of ultimate performance.


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