fresh Mini Cooper S versus used Volkswagen Golf GTI – comparison
Source : fresh Mini Cooper S versus used Volkswagen Golf GTI – comparison
Can the decision on which hot hatchback to buy actually so clear cut? We line up two of the best to find out
Twenty grand for a hot hatch. Easy decision, no? Buy a Ford Fiesta ST as well as also also pocket some change. although there’s something the Blue Oval can’t deliver, as well as also also of which’s premium appeal.
‘Premium’ may be a winceworthy word around these parts, although few are totally immune to its lure. So in a bid to have our cake as well as also also eat the idea, we’ve chosen two rapid hatches of which add a layer of gloss to their go.
as well as also also the idea’s a story of little(ish) as well as also also large. Today’s Mini can be far coming from petite, although our Volcanic Orange Cooper S can be still a full 418mm shorter than the used Volkswagen Golf GTI against which the idea can be pitched here. With three doors, the 189bhp Mini retails at £18,840.
Our specced-up example costs £24,415, although choose the favorite Chili Pack (highlights: 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone air-con, half-leather seats, switchable driving modes) instead of our car’s optional extras as well as also also the cost comes to £20,740.
For £20,799, you can buy an early (read 2013) Mk7 Golf GTI with 15,000 miles on the clock – comfortably within its three-year, 60,000-mile warranty. With two more doors than the Mini. as well as also also a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, adaptive damping, parking sensors as well as also also 18in wheels. Not to mention the Performance Pack of which adds 10bhp for a 227bhp total, an electronically activated limited-slip differential as well as also also uprated brakes.
Our Mini does have adaptive damping (a £375 option), although still, little David had better bring his slingshot because of This kind of battle.
Inside, they take wildly different approaches to ‘premium’, the Golf’s trademark understatement clashing with the Mini’s barmy architecture. Personal preference wins here, although for what the idea’s worth, the Mini’s set-up tries far too hard by my reckoning.
The Wurlitzer-style coloured lighting arc around the 8.8in multimedia screen, relaying the likes of driving mode, revs or parking distance, can be a case in point. although the gap in quality isn’t huge.
Both feel solid, with just a few more sections of hard plastic to be found inside the Cooper S. The Mini has the firmer seats as well as also also more under-thigh support, although both are comfortable, as well as also also the VW’s tartan upholstery as well as also also slightly lower seating position work in its favour.
With four 6ft 2in occupants, both cars accommodate rear passengers without interference (although the Golf offers a couple of inches more legroom), although only the VW will seat a fifth. If the wriggle needed to access the Mini’s rear seats poses a problem, £0 buys two more doors, although there’s no avoiding the fact of which its boot can be just over half the capacity of the VW’s, whether the 60/40-splitting seats are folded or not.
The Cooper S’s outdoor could need to wear wing-mounted water pistols to match its Indoor lunacy, although the idea still looks fairly outrageous next to the consistently restrained Golf.
Effort has clearly been made to harden the traditionally cute Mini’s look, resulting in some heavy-handed touches such as the pair of gobby low-level brake ducts. Still, on looks alone, you’d assume the idea was the quicker car.
of which’s not the case: the Golf reaches 60mph 0.4sec sooner, in 6.5sec. although the gap can be less than you might expect, given the (admittedly 170kg heavier) VW’s 20% power advantage. The Golf’s 2.0-litre turbo four needs to be worked although, past 3000rpm, momentum builds strongly all the way to the 6750rpm limiter. There’s a fair amount of lag, though, as well as also also you couldn’t call the noise the idea makes anything more than slightly sporty.
Shirking pocket rocket conventions of low capacity as well as also also high revs, the Mini has the same engine size as well as also also configuration as the VW, although the idea employs them altogether differently. the idea pulls well coming from a mere 1750rpm as well as also also yields a tasty sweet spot at 4000-5000rpm before tailing off at higher revs. There’s less lag as well as also also a louder, racier sound. Both engines are quiet at a cruise – a state into which each car settles nicely.
The gearboxes on offer are, of course, chalk as well as also also cheese. VW’s six-speed DSG can be, as always, blindingly slick, whether moping around town, chasing auto shifts up the rev range or overriding with the paddle shifts.
inside the drivetrain’s Sport mode, the otherwise clinical operation of the gearbox gains a little fun, with blarting upshifts as well as also also blipped downshifts. The latter also feature inside the Mini’s rev-matching six-speed manual gearbox, whose shifts feel slightly synthetic although can be executed quickly.
Both cars skip a bit over low-speed lateral ridges (even with dampers in Comfort mode) although the idea’s the Golf of which gains more pliancy with pace. The Mini’s ride becomes a bit reactive as speeds climb, although not unsettlingly so as well as also also far less than its bouncing predecessor.
This kind of means of which you can comfortably goad the engine along B-roads, where the steering – overly light in Normal mode although artificially heavy in Sport – tightens at the top of second as well as also also third to reassure you of which you’re at the helm of a little front-drive nutter. Its turn-in can be marginally the sharper of the pair, as well as also also although the idea leans a bit through corners, the idea feels utterly stable in doing so, the front wheels gripping gamely.
On the same roads, the Golf’s steering can be nicely weighted in Sport mode (which, unlike inside the Mini, can be fully separable coming from drivetrain as well as also also chassis settings), although you feel quite isolated coming from the speeds you’re generating.
Yes, the GTI can be rapid across country, although the engine as well as also also gearbox – as well as also also the fancy diff of which seems to unprogressively chime into action during cornering – leaves me a little cold next to the more visceral, gung-ho, have at ’em Cooper S. as well as also also of which’s just the spirit of which we want – nay, need – coming from our hot hatches.
Your sensible hat says the boot can be too little as well as also also shies away coming from the over-egged styling, although the fresh, larger Mini can be a respectably practical car, as well as also also shouldn’t a hot hatch look a bit rowdy?
You can pick up a three-door manual GTI without the performance extras coming from about £18,000. of which could be a closer call. although I’d still take the Mini.
Mini Cooper S 3dr
cost today £18,840; cost when fresh £18,840; Engine 4 cyls, 1998cc, turbo, petrol; Power 189bhp at 4700-6000rpm; Torque 206b ft at 1250-4750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1235kg; 0-60mph 6.9sec; Top speed 146mph; Economy 49.6mph; CO2/tax band 133g/km / 21%
Volkswagen Golf GTI DSG 5dr (2013)
cost today £20,799; cost when fresh £28,895; Engine 4 cyls, 1984cc, turbo, petrol; Power 258lb ft at 1500-4600rpm; Torque 227bhp at 4700-6200rpm; Gearbox 6-spd dual-clutch auto; Kerb weight 1405kg; 0-60mph 6.5sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 44.1mpg; CO2/tax band 149g/km / 24%
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