Price from: £9,000
Our pick: GTI three-door manual, 51,000 miles £11,980
The previous-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI is a tempting choice, with prices starting to fall since the arrival of the Mk7 model. It’s a development of the Mk5 GTI, which reinstated VW’s pioneering performance car as a force to be reckoned with in the hot hatch class.
The punchy 2.0-litre TSI petrol turbo was treated to a power boost of 10bhp, taking the total to 207bhp. Plus there’s plenty of mid-range torque, making the GTI great for overtaking. Furthermore, the agile chassis ensures it’s entertaining through corners.
Revisions to the suspension meant that the larger 18-inch alloy wheel options on the sixth-generation car delivered a better ride than with its predecessor – which is a bonus, as they look better than the standard 17s.
You can pick up a Mk6 Golf GTI for as little as £9,000, for a well kept car with fewer than 100,000 miles on the clock. Spend a little more, and there are some excellent models to choose from. Pick from three or five doors and six-speed manual or DSG gearboxes, while later examples from 2012 onwards featured leather trim as standard and the LED tail-lights from the Golf R. We’d also choose white or red paint to help the GTI stand out from the rest of the Golf range.
Around £12,000 is enough for an average-mileage three-door manual example. Add another £2,000, and you can get your hands on a limited-run Edition 35 anniversary model with exclusive wheels and extra kit.
The Mk6 Golf GTI is an evolution of the Mk5, and while it’s not quite as sharp as the latest Mk7, it’s still an entertaining family car that delivers sporty handling and hatchback practicality in a tempting package. The three-door looks more sporty, and the DSG auto takes the strain out of everyday use, but the manual car is more involving to drive.
A blend of open-top thrills and a sharp, involving chassis means the Boxster can’t help but put a smile on your face. Prices start from £9,000 for high-mileage models; double your money, and you can easily buy something with less than 20,000 miles.