My thoughts of my old GTI vs my new VXR
Only had the VXR a few days, but these are my initial impressions, obviously they are subject to change without notice!!
You really notice the difference between the rounded GTI and the more angular VXR. I expected the VXR to be a bit more in the face than it is, but it isn't a subtle as the GTI.
The GTI has a nicer steering wheel and gearknob. The VXR's gearknob should be in a truck and the stitching feels like it could cut you. The plastic and feel of the steering wheel are also cheap. Both cars feel very solidly built, even if the Golf has less material (55kg lighter than the VXR). My daughter has already complained about the weight of the doors. Seat wise, the VXR stuffs the GTI. My leather Recaro's are superb and hold you in a lot better than the GTI. Not a lot of difference in the quality of the stereo. Not sure than people over 6ft will fit in the VXR well, my hair seems to touch the roof!!
I'd also like to change the dials in the VXR for the GTI's, the VXR's feel a touch Max Power unlike the classy GTI ones.
The VXR's engine is actually smoother at lower revs than the GTI's. At medium velocity (as far as I've got so far), the VXR can splutter a little, it has certainly not displayed the all or nothing reported by magazines.
Steering and Suspension
The GTI rides SLIGHTLY better, but the VXR does a good job. The VXR is a lot more pointy than the GTI, had to be careful not to turn in too aggressively.
The GTI certainly delivers its power in a less aggressive manner; it's more progressive and predictable. You seem to be able to sense the limits better than in the VXR.
I cant decide which car has less steering wheel feel, I'd say the VXR, but the difference is very small. What is beyond dispute is the fact that the VXR is harder to drive smoothly in a mediumly aggressive manner. You need to change gear a little slowly and feed in the clutch more than the GTI.
The GTI inspires confidence, it doesn't take much to drive it quickly and is as obedient as Dennis Thatcher, the VXR more like Wayne Rooney.
Smile factor. I've taken the VXR out for a drive for no reason already, where the GTI stayed on the drive. Isn't that the point of a hot hatch and all for £3,000 less?