The last Volkswagen Golf GTI was always going to be a hard act to follow, but if you are hoping the new one will make your life easier in every area, from its running costs to its ride and refinement, it will delight; this GTI feels more substantial, mature and easy to live with than ever.

We welcome that and regard the Mk6 GTI as a fine product and nothing less than the most capable Golf yet. But we cannot sign off without registering slight disappointment that it’s not a bit more fun.

While we’d rather own a Mk6, we’d still rather drive a Mk5

The Golf GTI legend was created by a car that appealed equally to the head and heart, and the magic of the Mk5 was that it struck this balance perfectly.

But now we feel the balance has swung back just one notch in the sensible direction; it’s technically more capable but a shade less loveable. In short, while we’d rather own a Mk6, we’d still rather drive the old Mk5.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week