Overview of MK7 GTI
Since the mid-70s, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has been the prototypical hot hatch. It is one of the most elegant and attractive automobiles among the same cars included in its class. It comes loaded with outclass handling. As interesting as it sounds, the concept of this car was initially thought of by just 6 individuals. More interestingly, the company decided to manufacture about 5,000 models. But by the end of the first year, Volkswagen was selling about 6 times more than they initially planned on.
Now, the year is 2021, roughly forty-five years later, the company has sold about 2-million Golf GTIs. Volkswagen is all revved up to introduce the medium hybrid powertrain along with the touch screen oriented 8th generation signature Golf GTI. But this blog is not about MK8 GTI, it is about the MK7 GTI and perhaps the reason why you shouldn’t perceive that the MK7 GTI is going to fade away once the MK8 hits the road.
So, where to start? Well, initially the MK7 GTI was first introduced in the year 2014, and in 2017 an upgrade of the same model followed. For those of you wondering, yes, the new Golf is based exactly on a similar MQB objective, just like the Audi and Skoda.
So, at the start of it all, when people used to go and buy the GTIs, they had a couple of choices. They could choose whether to buy the standard one or being a gearhead they could buy the performance-oriented version that would fulfill their speed thrill thirst. Now, the times have changed, the standard has become performance and the performance has become the hardcore TCR. So if you want to go ahead and get yourself a faster GTI, you will need to get it upgraded marginally to TCR.
Also, if you are trying to find a new GTI with a manual transmission, stop, because you ain’t going to find one. Why? Well, remember when the WLTP emissions got introduced? After their arrival, the manual transmission faded away, so you will only find the GTI with DSG only. Before heading to the next part, you all should know that the Golf GTI’s 3-door variant is gone, now, you’ll get the 5-door version only.
The drive feels of MK7 GTI
For starters, VW Golf MK7 GTI comes loaded with the classic 2.0-liter petrol engine. It is the same engine that comes under the hood of every Golf. The same engine can be found under the hood of other whips like Audi S3 and the SQ2, Skoda Octavia v-RS, Leon, and Ateca Cupra. The interesting fact is that when the engine performs under the hood of GTI, it gives out about 242-BHP, on the other hand, if you put it under the hood of Cupra, it will easily give out a good 345-BHP.
If you decide to take a test drive of MK7 GTI, you will certainly notice that it has become a little underpowered as compared to its predecessors, going from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.2 seconds and with a highest speed top-up of 155 mph (still fast enough though). But, yes it is true that the MK7 GTI produces less power when compared to its rivals like Hyundai i30N, Renault Megane RS, and 270bhp-odd Ford Focus ST.
The engine being underpowered would not get noticed by those of you who have not driven the Cupra or perhaps the Golf R. But, for those who have, they will instantly notice the potential that the engine has yet to cover.
You all must be wondering why the MK7 GTI is not as powerful as its rivals? The main reason behind it is that the other cars are 4-wheel drive machines. The power gets distributed in all 4 wheels equally. On the other hand, MK7 GTI is a 2-wheel system, which means that the power is equally distributed to the front wheels of the car. Moreover, the MK7 GTI has a total of 7 gears (DSG gearbox). Moreover, the differential is the new intelligent electro-hydraulic one, meaning that the grip of the car has improved now. The car can easily handle your fancy 19-inch rims too.
Let’s discuss why VW MK7 GTI is so desirable. Well, firstly the car is classy! It gives you a feeling of sophistication and everyday comfort. Yes, it is true that it lacks behind a little bit when it comes to power. It is also a bit less responsive on the road. But, the quality, the grip, and the feel of the car are amazing.
How can you not have fun with your hot hatchback?
Being subtle while having fun is very interesting but hard to perform. With the MK7 GTI, you can get both! Firstly, the exhaust tip is attached on the side which is somewhat starchy and it produces the bass hardcore sound; enough to be a head-turner but not too much loud that your neighbors get annoyed whenever you pull up. The 242 horsepower engine produces more than enough power that in turn produces enough acceleration for you to flex around in the traffic or perhaps at the traffic signal when the light goes green! The MK7 GTI makes sure that the driver never feels overwhelmed while driving the car. The car’s engine generates a whopping 258 pound-feet torque which helps the car to shoot away with immense speed, enough to put a smile on your face.
The MK7 GTI generates a force that advances toward the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. The activity between the transmission is a bit rough, however, it’s not loose and tolerates gear-shifts if they show up with speed or not. The clutch of the car offers barely sufficient nibble guide input towards making a comfortable pace. However, the choke control in any vehicle mode is adequate to guarantee the RPM coordinated downshifts that can be run through without disturbing everybody sitting inside. The car gives you direct steering, it does feel a little light but it is smoothly aligned with the rest of the car.
When it comes to the MK7 GTI, the car gives you 2 driving modes. The normal one and of course, the sports one. When driving the car in normal mode, you’ll notice that the suspension will give you a lot of comforts. If the road is messed up, the suspension will provide help in bearing the ups and downs of the road. The summer tires provide additional comfort to the automobile too. However, if you switch to the sports mode, you will observe that the drive gets somewhat stiff. It is not bad though, because it is supposed to be that way. Remember, whenever you opt for the sports mode, you will need to give away the comfort.
Lastly, the fuel consumption depends upon your way of throttling. If you throttle up with a heavy foot, the MK7 GTI will give you at least 20 to 24 miles per gallon. And, if you throttle up with a lighter foot, you will be able to get a good 35 miles per gallon.
Let’s talk interior
Now here’s the thing, the new MK8 is going to hit the roads with its fancy-looking touch screen buttons. It doesn’t matter if you want to open up the sunroof or your headlights, you will need to do so with the touch-sensitive controls or the infotainment system that is integrated into the car. The Volkswagen might have made the MK8’s interior futuristic and sleek but, the Volkswagen’s classic swag is gone now, also the touch-sensitive controls are not easy to use while driving. As for the MK7 GTI, the classic switchgear interior controls are there to give you that aesthetic feel. Hence, it depends upon the taste, but for us, the MK7’s interior is better than the MK8’s.
The only discomfort that we found was the gear-lever not being the classic golf-ball one (because sadly the manual transmission has faded away). Apart from this, the quality of the interior was found to be exceptionally perfect! For instance, the steering wheel feels so good that it gives the nostalgic feeling of the early 2000s. The seats of the MK7 GTI are trimmed in the traditional tartan upholstery style.
The 2017 version of the Volkswagen has the addition of an infotainment system. Yes, it has the typical volume dimmer/knob that we all love, it also provides you with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Also, the car has a decent leg space, so decent that 2 fully grown adults can easily sit in the back.
Easy to use technology
The GTI MK series comes equipped with the VW’s MIB-II infotainment system. The 6.5-inch touchscreen is available with the standard. The special edition variant has a fancier 8-inch touchscreen which is covered with glass. While the graphics of the system may feel old to some people but, it surely gets the job done. Tasks like entering the destination on the navigation are easy to learn.
If you are about to go and buy the MK7 GTI, remember, you can get 5 years of Volkswagen’s Car-Net remote access connected car tech free of cost. Through this remote access, you can connect your mobile phone to your car’s system via a mobile app. Doing so will let you control your MK’s door locks, headlights, and in some models, it can also let you start the engine remotely. You can also enable the WIFI service in your car by simply buying a prepaid plan (available from 20 bucks per month).
For all the GTI variants, Volkswagen provides the following systems as a standard-issue feature:
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Automatic emergency braking
- Forward collision warning
- Blind-spot monitoring
- adaptive cruise control
- lane-keeping assist
- parking sensors
The MK7 GTI’s lane-keeping assistance system works pretty well too! The fact that you actually get a lane assist with the standard model which actually is not annoying is a really good pro that this car has. Moreover, the lane assist actually can change the lanes very subtly while driving.
Reliability and cost?
So, we all know that Volkswagen’s MK7 GTI has a new model now that goes by the name of MK8 GTI. It means that soon Volkswagen is certainly going to pull MK7 GTI off from the dealerships and that is going to be an end of a volk-swagy era. So, now is your time to get yourself the MK7 if you are planning to do so.
The MK7 GTI comes with a hefty price tag of $33,180. This price tag is for the performance pack though. The base S-trim variant will easily cost you about $28,695. If you want the midlevel special edition, it is available for about $32,665. Moreover, the Autobahn variant comes with a price tag of $36,945.
The price tag actually makes the Volkswagen Golf series the most expensive among the hatchback market. Other compact hatchbacks like Renault’s Megane RS, Ford’s Focus, and Hyundai’s i30N all come under the $30,000 cap.
But, do you all know what the good thing is? If you go for the MK7 Golf GTI, you won’t have to spend an additional amount of money for the additional options. Why? Because all the systems are provided on a standard-issue basis. Features like the adaptive cruise control, infotainment system, collision warning sensors, etc. all are initially factory-fitted. But, for the sake of your comfort and safety, it is suggested that you get the dynamic chassis control installed in your car, which will certainly cost you about $875 or so. But, it would be useful for you in the long run.
Talking about the mileage of the car, Volkswagen claims that the car will give you 37.7 miles in one gallon. This of course is true but it depends upon your driving style. It also depends upon the roads. If you are driving on a highway, surely you will get good mileage. And, if you are driving downtown, you will clearly get a low mileage.
Talking about the warranty offers, like all the warranties that you get when you go and purchase a new car, Volkswagen offers a total of a 3-year warranty. Out of these 3 years, the first 2 years will cover your car with an unlimited mileage warranty while in the 3rd year there is a set limit of 60,000 miles.
The warranty of 3 years will expire after the three years or if you have driven the car to more than 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. You also have an option to extend your car’s warranty even if the period of three years has ended.
The other bits and units of the car also come with a warranty of about six months or 6500 miles. These components include things like batteries for key fobs and alarms, brake linings and disc pads, clutch pressure plates and center plates, clutch release bearings, floor covering, light bulbs, seat and backrest covers, shock absorbers, spark plugs, tires, and wiper blades.
Moreover, this warranty is transferable to multiple owners. So, if you are about to sell your vehicle, it will be a huge plus point that your car is on warranty.
Three-year paint warranty
Volkswagen also provides you with a warranty for your car’s paint for about 3 years. This warranty will save you from the paint defects cost, but there are obviously some preconditions like for instance if you find any flaw in the body paintwork of your car, the first thing you need to do is report it to the nearest Volkswagen authorized mechanic. Also, the flaw that you reported should not be caused due to external factors.
By now, we all know that the Volkswagen MK Golf GTI series is the favorite one for most people who like compact hatchbacks. It is true that the car is expensive in comparison to the other rivals but, those rivals can never even match the quality, comfort, and desirability that this car offers to its drivers.
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