Volkswagen Golf GTI

THE temperature has been cranked up in the hot hatch sector this year, with a raft of rapid newcomers delivering driver thrills and practicality in one exciting package. 

However, none of these scorching models has managed to push the Golf GTI off the top of its high-performance podium. Last year, the MkVI secured the prize thanks to its high-octane excitement, mature refinement and everyday versatility – and 2010 is no different. There are rivals that are faster and more eye-catching, but few can match the Golf’s all-round ability and appeal. 

Its smooth 2.0-litre engine delivers perfectly judged performance, while its composed chassis mixes comfort and composure in equal measure. Plus, it comes in three and five-door bodystyles, and with manual and twin-clutch DSG transmissions.

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