So the time has finally come. It’s been the better part of 12 months since I waved goodbye to my beloved daily driver. The big black Mercedes W124 500E was a trooper of a car and I honestly questioned why I was getting rid of it. But I did, and to say the time since has been fraught with indecision would be an understatement.
What I was after was a useable, exciting and good-looking daily driver with all the benefits of reliable modern motoring, but with something for dessert. An easy choice you might think, but when you throw a budget cap into the equation along with the fact the car must be new, difficult times come swinging your way.
I’m a VAG kinda guy and always have been. My first car was a Beetle, a raft of air-cooled cars than passed through my hands along with the beginnings of the inspiration that lead to the decision you see before you. My first experience of a Golf GTI was a great one. A limited edition run out model of the now legendary mk2 GTI spent many a year with me during my formative years. Hideous amounts of fun, usable and not precious in the slightest. Perfect – a Golf GTI it is.
Or maybe a Golf R? Or a Scirocco R? But what about the gorgeous Audi A5 Sportback? And what of this new Toyota 86? This was the forever-twisting predicement. Having the cars float through the evo Fast Fleet (86 aside) during the decision process helped and hindered in equal measure, but when it came to crunch time, the GTI stood tall. It sat perfectly on budget, had a full complement of useable seats, a great boot, a peach of a powertrain and a three-year warranty and service pack. Sold.