I can’t conceal the fact that I’m an avid GTI fan. Having had three generations of Volkswagen’s hot-hatch in my family of cars I have become acquainted with them.
Mk5 GTI’s are becoming sound value on the second-hand market now, and one question any potential GTI purchaser will always ask me is “Should I buy one in manual or DSG?” The answer to this question for the last three years has been simple, DSG without any hesitation, that’s what I had and I rate it as one of the best gearboxes in the world. In comparison if you purchased a new Ferrari at the same time the GTI was launched with its DSG box, the Ferrari’s ‘flappy-paddle’ gearbox would induce you with a hefty helping of whiplash on the up-changes., whereas the GTI has seamless gear changes.
Having recently sold my GTI, I’ve been driving a manual Mk6 GTI for a couple of weeks. If you were to ask me the same question again I’d have to think for a few moments before replying. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s ‘horses for courses’. If your daily commute involves heavy traffic, then the DSG will suit your requirements best. If on the other hand you don’t have to be a part of the daily grind in stop-start traffic, opt for the manual. This is only my opinion and not gospel, both will adequately meet your requirements. Personally I prefer to have a more involving driving experience and will opt for a manual gearbox in my next car.
The manual gearbox fitted to the Mk6 has positive, smooth gear changes. Inside, you are treated to a superb induction roar and a vigorous rumble through the exhaust, which now exits at the rear on both sides. As a driver’s car it’s right up there with the best hot-hatches on sale currently.[table “35” not found /]