Best Sports Car Under $50,000

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen’s Golf GTI records back-to-back wins in this category, admirably fulfilling the sports car mantra. It’s all about mechanical refinement and how well the GTI’s capabilities in each area are distilled into a focused, yet totally accessible, driver’s car.

Performance-orientated Golf models, including the GTI, employ Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. While requiring 98 premium fuel, they’re tuned to deliver superior power and torque outputs. Peak readings for the GTI are 162kW at 4500rpm, yet more significantly, 350Nm starts at just 1500rpm and is maintained right through to 4400rpm, giving the car sublime driving flexibility.

This willing performance is delivered via a strong, yet silken, clutch to the rifle-bolt precision of the six-speed manual gearbox. Zero to 100km/h times of 7.3 seconds can be recorded consistently and with absolute ease, while powerful four wheel disc brakes haul the GTI from 80km/h to rest in less than 23 metres.

With the same body architecture, cabin space and versatility as the regular Golf, one of the nicest aspects of this sports car is that it rides well over all surfaces and is just as enjoyable for day-to-day commuting or touring. 

Indicative Drive Away Price: $46,719

View scoresheet

Criteria out of 10 – Volkswagen Golf GTi

Value for Money  Rating
Pricing  3M
Depreciation  3L
Running and Repair Costs  2M
Fuel Consumption  7L
Warranty and Dealer Access  4M
Insurance  2L
Standard Features  9M

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

On the Road  Rating
Performance  9C
Ride  8M
Handling  8C
Braking  6C
Smoothness and Quietness  6L

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

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