Volkswagen Golf and its variants is the second most successful model in the world in terms of production, with over 29 million produced by the end of 2012. The name “Golf” is derived from the German word for “Gulf Stream”. Now that the Golf is on its “7th Generation”, starting way back in 1974, it has defined and re-define the term “hot hatch” and created a cult following. What we have here are two 5th generations.
VW R32 vs GTI
Arnab : Both of you have bought a brand that re-invented the term “Hot hatch”. What made you choose the VW GTI and the R32 and how has your experience been so far?
Bijith : I wanted a car that was not too large in size, but peppy enough to keep the adrenalin rush high. A manual shifter was a must-have ingredient while I preferred four doors, considering using this as a daily runner to my office and back. This car has served me well from 0 kms to 170,000 kms with no regrets and it still puts a smile on my face after the each day’s drive.
Midhun : Well, I came across the ‘hot hatch’ quite accidentally. I had the privilege to drive a friends Mark 6 VW Golf GTI. I was blown away with the way the car made me feel. The moment I kept my hands on the steering wheel, I knew this was something I wanted. But since I was on a budget, I had to step down to a Mark 5. But that became an added bonus, because that meant I could go for a V6 AWD R32 variant. And with that lovely crisp exhaust note, daaaaaayyyymmm.. That’s the best decision I have ever made in my life.
Arnab : It’s fun and zippy around traffic, I would say an ideal car for the UAE. Would you agree?
Bijith : It is an ideal car for any part of the world since the size is optimal to drive around in the city, comfortable and stable on the highways. The fuel economy is decent, if you are not always lead footed always and the interiors are neutral to keep you off boredom.
Midhun : Yes, it’s absolutely fun. In fact you just can’t stop smiling the moment you hit the roads. Other motorists, when they see your face, might think you might have gone bonkers. Who cares!! You are just having your share of fun.
Arnab : How about the Golf GTI club, are you guys taking advantage of group meets and discussing all things GTI or the R32?
Bijith : I am not into any Golf GTI club yet but do follow few forums to see other’s opinions and views.
Midhun : Nope…Not me. Frankly speaking, I don’t have the time and my off days are usually not on weekends. But yes, I do try to catch up with my buddies, who are into performance cars, as much as I can.
Arnab : There are many forums in the US dedicated to these cars and lots of goodies out there to make the cars that bit special, have you done anything? The cars do look stock to me.
Bijith : I have been part of GTI forums but my car is still all stock.
Midhun : Yes, my car is absolutely stock. And I’m just starting to do up the car with such goodies. I just invested in a carbon fiber trim for DSG gear stick panel and ultra high performance tires “NITTO INVO”.
Arnab : What are the future plans?
Bijith : I don’t know yet. I had plans to do few modifications but I still haven’t decided where to start from or do any changes at all as this is my primary mode of transport as well. I am not looking at any major performance upgrade as I am not after beating speed and handling records on the crowded public roads and I haven’t tried it on the track yet. I foresee the car to be bone stock all its life with me.
Midhun : Well, one good thing about such cars is that you’ve endless options to tweak its performance and cosmetic add ons. I am sure we all have seen quite a few of them on Dubai roads already. I am planning to do an ECU + DSG stage 1 mod in February next year.