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12 used Volkswagen Golf GTI cars for sale

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What is the Volkswagen Golf GTI?

Having a long and esteemed history within the automotive industry, the VW Golf GTI is one of the manufacturer’s most iconic models. The GTIs first appearance was in 1976 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It continues to be one of the most popular hot hatches in the UK today. The model is a favourite among enthusiasts, professionals and families; thanks to the versatility, style and driving experience it offers. The GTI is available in hatchback, estate and convertible body types.

GTI stands for ‘Grand Tourer Injection’ and refers to the direct fuel injection systems used in the engine of a VW Golf GTI. This efficient engine technology enhances; fuel economy, power and performance, and contributes to cleaner emissions. The VW Golf GTI faces competition from other performance-focussed cars such as the Ford Focus ST, the Honda Civic Type R and the Renault Megane R.S.


VW Golf GTI History

The Mk1 VW Golf’s introduction to the market was in May 1974. It was a replacement for the ever-popular VW Beetle. The idea for the VW Golf GTI came from two Volkswagen colleagues: Anton Konrad who was the head of Volkswagen’s press office, and Alfons Löwenberg, a Volkswagen test engineer.

The idea behind the GTI was to take a family car – the hatchback – and add a performance engine with sports styling on the exterior. This idea would go on to become the hot hatch VW Golf GTI that we know today.

Mk1 (1976 - 1984)

The Mk1 edition of the VW Golf GTI saw production between 1976 and 1984. At launch, only 5,000 units went to market. The iconic GTI badging, tartan upholstery and red-striped radiator grille were to prove popular. The Mk1 was also capable of 0-62mph in 10 seconds, with top speeds of 113mph. This was ground-breaking during that time. By 1983, the Mk1 VW Golf GTI had sold 456,690 units.

Mk2 (1984 - 1991)

The GTI Mk2 came to market in 1984 and produced until 1991. A rear spoiler, dual headlights, a four-cylinder engine and more were additions to the Mk2. This provided the model a fresh look and feel. The Mk2 was also faster, going from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and reaching top speeds of 130mph.

Mk2 (1991 - 1997)

In 1991, the Mk3 was introduced. This model had an engine upgrade in 1992 to improve performance as some GTI owners felt the Mk3 was too heavy and offered acceleration. After the engine upgrade, the Mk3 reached a top speed of 134mph and went from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds. The production of the Mk3 ended in December 1997.

Mk4 (1997 - 2003)

The VW Golf GTI was first established as a trim level, rather than a separate model in the Volkswagen line up, in 1997 with the introduction of the Mk4.

Mk5 (2003 - 2008)

Followed by the introduction of the esteemed Mk5 which was debuted at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in 2003. The Mk5 saw the return of classic design elements that had been introduced in the Mk1. This was also the first time a honey-comb grille had featured on the exterior. The Mk5 has a 0-62mph time of 7.2 seconds. Production of this model ended in 2008.

Mk6 (2008 - 2012)

In 2009, the sixth generation GTI was launched. Reaching top speeds of almost 150mph and going from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds. The Mk6 also brought with it a convertible version for the first time ever in 2011. Volkswagen stopped producing the Mk6 in 2012.

Mk7 (2013 - 2020)

Followed by the Mk7 in 2013 which brought the introduction of the Golf GTI Performance, the Golf GTI Clubsport and the Golf GTI Clubsport S. The VW Golf GTI Performance was the first model in the line-up to exceed a top speed of 150mph.

Mk8 (2020 - onwards)

Introducing a new look, but still taking that iconic GTI design inspiration from its predecessors. The Mk8 is the only GTI model available as a four-door model, previous MKs were two-door.


Where does the VW Golf GTI sit in the range?

1997 was the first time the GTI became a trim-level. It was the flagship trim of the lineup until 2002. This was when the faster VW Golf R was released. The GTI is still one of Volkswagen’s top-of-the-range trim levels due to its high-performance engines, upgraded suspension and iconic GTI interior and exterior design features.


What features and equipment does the GTI have?

From the design to performance and drive, the VW Golf GTI has a range of features and equipment which have contributed to the model’s continued success within the industry. Accredited for the GTI’s iconic tartan upholstery and the famous GTI golf ball-shaped gear knob was VW’s first woman designer – Gunhild Liljequist. The original, red-striped grille, spoiler and wheel well extensions were thanks to the brand’s head designer, Herbert Schäfer. These celebrated design features have remained present in the GTI even today, making the model instantly recognisable on our roads.

The turbocharged, direct fuel injection engines are also iconic of the GTI range. Over the last forty years, the GTI has evolved from a four-speed manual transmission to a seven-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) transmission. From the Mk1 to the Mk8, the model has doubled its weight, whilst almost halving its 0-62mph time. Horsepower is also nearly three times more than what it was when the GTI was first introduced, going from 110bhp on the Mk1 to 300bhp on the Mk8 VW Golf GTI Clubsport 45.

The extent of the model’s technological advancement is evident with the Mk8 VW Golf GTI. The Mk8 uses a Vehicle Dynamics Manager which enhances road handling and performance. The system does this by coordinating all the running gear functions and adjusting these up to 200 times per second. Since its launch and with every generation of the GTI that is released, the model’s technology, equipment and performance have only increased and improved. The VW Golf GTI has always and will likely always be one of the UK’s best-selling hot hatches.


Whether you’re looking to finance a VW Golf GTI or purchase one, we have a wide range of used Volkswagen Golf GTI cars available to buy online safely with Click & Collect and home delivery options available.

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Representative example
Monthly Payment £430.55
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 48
Cash Price £25498
Credit Amount £25249.0
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £33,647
Fixed Interest Rate 5.6%
Representative APR 10.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.