This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Golf GTI (13-17) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The tartan seat trim on standard models harks back to the earliest versions of the GTI and is one of the feel-good elements of owning one. To distinguish it from the standard Golf there is also a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a sportier gear lever - although the distinctive 'golf ball' gear knob that featured on the previous GTI has gone. Elsewhere there's red stitching and unique dials, adding to the sporty trim.

Like the standard Golf, the finish and quality of materials used is first class and the cabin has a refined and sophisticated feel.

The GTI shares many of the strengths of the standard Golf with a roomy interior, excellent refinement and noise suppression, plus air conditioning as standard. At low speeds it's as docile and easy to drive as a standard Golf. The GTI is a refined motorway car too, but while there is very little noise intrusion, the exhaust has been tuned to give it a sporty sound which should appeal to owners.

The sports seats also offer good side support along with long distance comfort, while there's decent legroom for those travelling in the back.