VW Golf GTI MkV Inverness
VW Golf GTI MkV
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the best-loved hot hatches ever built. It’s now into its sixth generation, but as our 16-page pull-out special in Issue 1,047 revealed, some versions are more desirable than others – and the MkV is one of the best.
This model brought the GTI right back to the top of the class, and as it has recently been replaced, second-hand examples are more tempting than ever. Our guide shows you how to pick out a good one.
VW’S fifth-generation Golf GTI was introduced in 2004. Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine delivering an impressive 197bhp to the front wheels, it received rave reviews across the board.
In November 2006, the standard car was joined by the Edition 30 anniversary variant, with 227bhp. Another limited-run version, the Pirelli, followed in May 2008. All models came as a three or five-door, with manual or twin-clutch DSG gearboxes.
What to look for
The GTI’s relatively high price new means most are driven by older professionals – unlike many hot hatches, you don’t need to worry about boy racers! It’s still worth checking for poorly repaired accident damage and kerbed alloys, though. Be wary of models with 18-inch wheels; they are easy to scuff and give a far harder ride than the 17-inch rims that came as standard.
Ford's Focus ST is the GTI’s closest rival in terms of price, size and dynamic ability – and with a turbocharged 2.5-litre engine, it’s a blast to drive, if thirsty. Vauxhall’s Astra VXR is worth a close look for its pace, affordability and styling. Also consider Honda’s Civic Type R, although the normally aspirated Japanese offering has a more manic character than the VW.
Although some diesel versions of the Golf MkV have been subject to a number of recalls since 2005, the petrol-engined editions (which include the GTI) have so far been unaffected by any such manufacturing problems. That means you can focus on finding an example with a complete service history and blemish-free bodywork.
Edition 30 has a firmer ride, which some find uncomfortable. Check you can live with this.
Tail-light lens seals are known to fail, allowing unsightly water to get inside the plastic.
Air-con components can be troublesome, but should have been replaced under warranty.
you can get the keys to a MkV Golf GTI from around £10,000 – that buys a 60,000-mile three-door. A five-door will be around £200 more. For £13,450 you can bag a 55,000-mile 56-plater, while an extra £2,000 gets a 25,000-mile 57-reg example. These prices are for a six-speed manual; add £600-£1,500 for DSG, depending on the age – the newer the car, the greater the difference. Also, the limited-run Pirelli fetches £21,000-£23,000, while Edition 30s are worth £17,000-£21,000.
Model / 58-2008 / 57-2007 / 56-2006 / 55-2005 / 54-2004
GTI 3dr / £18,595 / £15,450 / £13,450 / £11,795 / £10,695
GTI 3dr DSG / £20,095 / £16,750 / £14,450 / £12,550 / £11,250
GTI 5dr / £18,495 / £15,295 / £13,395 / £11,895 / £10,895
GTI 5dr DSG / £19,995 / £16,595 / £14,395 / £12,650 / £11,450
GTI buyers were offered the choice of fixed or variable servicing packages by Volkswagen dealers. The former means the car will have had attention every 12 months or 10,000 miles, while the latter can stretch this to two years/20,000 miles. A logbook featuring a dealer stamp every 12,000-14,000 miles is typical.
Services range from £140 and £320 – the biggest bill being for the 60,000-mile check-up. A fresh cambelt is needed after 80,000 miles or four years (£380); the air-con should be recharged every two years (£65) and the coolant should be renewed every three (£72). The brake fluid needs replacing every 24 months, at a cost of £72.
Model / Insurance group / Pence per mile / % price retained after 3 years / Annual road fund licence
GTI 3dr / 17 / 48 / 47 / £215
GTI 3dr DSG / 17 / 49 / 47 / £215
GTI 5dr / 17 / 49 / 47 / £215
GTI 5dr DSG / 17 / 50 / 47 / £215
Part / Dealer price / Independent price
Front brake pads (axle set) / £60.95 / £38.95
Brake disc (pair) / £119.60 / £85.95
Door mirror glass (electric) / £32.54 / £34.99
Radiator / £147 / £53.95