Best sports car under $50,000

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Just when you think the current Golf can’t be bettered, Volkswagen goes and releases a new generation – number seven.

The all-new 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol four-cylinder churns out an impressive 162kW and 350Nm – that’s an improvement of 7kW and 70Nm. The new model is also faster than the old but, importantly, it’s also more efficient. Official fuel consumption figures drop by a litre to 6.2 litres/100km for the six-speed manual.

On the open road, the engine delivers its best in effortless fashion, powering the GTI along at highway speeds without raising a sweat. Around town, the Golf is equally at home. Turbo lag is imperceptible, there’s no hesitation or jerkiness from the DSG, and the braking capability is way beyond what the average driver will ever need.

The suspension and handling have a real track-tuned feel, and ride can be a little harsh over really nasty surfaces, but that’s the trade off for such composure and balance when you up the ante.

Standard features and ergonomics scores are class leading. The cabin is – as expected –right up at the pointy end of the class, too. VW delivers that signature feeling of solidity and build quality with near faultless ergonomics and comfort.

View scoresheet​

Australia's Best Cars Best Sports Car under $50,000 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Indicative Drive Away Price: $46,092

Criteria out of 10 – Volkswagen Golf GTI


Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  2M
Depreciation  5L
Running Costs  4M
Fuel Consumption  7M
Warranty and dealer access   4H
Insurance  6L
Standard Features  8H

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety  7C
Environment  9C
Comfort  8H
Ergonomics  9H
Build and Finish  8H

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  8C
Ride  9M
Handling  8C
Braking  7C
Smoothness and Quietness   8L

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.