This week, we’ve received yet another sign that three-door hatchbacks are on their way out. Having already displayed a particular keenness purge its ranks of these less practical but much more handsome machines, it’s now looking like VW Group won’t bother making anything other than a five-door Golf when the next version arrives.
Rather than blubbing in the corner, however, we’ll do exactly what we did to console ourselves last time another batch of three-door deaths were reported: pluck something out of the classifieds.
Last time we took a closer look at a three-door, previous-generation Audi S3. Since this latest news concerns the Golf, a GTI makes perfect sense upon this occasion, doesn’t it? Specifically, a Mk6.
The fifth-generation car this hot hatch replaced is widely accepted to be the point at which the Golf GTI sorted itself out following the iffy Mk3 and Mk4 cars. It’s perhaps for this reason that VW didn’t fiddle with the recipe all that much - it’s powerful but not as pokey as some rivals, fun to drive yet not the last word in driving excitement. Power did increase, but only by a mere 10bhp.
That said, there were plenty of new bits and pieces to enjoy. Firstly, that engine - the 207bhp 2.0-litre inline-four turbo was an all-new design which debuted in the Scirocco. The hot sixth-gen Golf also pinched a set of adaptive dampers from its curvaceous cousin, and it was the first GTI to be given VW’s ‘XDS’ electronic differential.
With the oldest models now getting on for 10 years old, you don’t need a huge amount of money to buy one. Examples with galactic mileage start at as little as £6000, and if you up that budget by a grand or so, you’ll have plenty of choice.
This one weighs in at £6995, and while it’s leggier than we’d ideally like with 109,000 miles on the clock, it does tick a lot of boxes. It’s a three-door, it’s in Tornado Red, and it has a six-speed manual gearbox. It has a full leather interior rather than the legendary tartan ‘Clark Plaid’ fabric, but hey, you can’t have everything.
It has a full service history and only two previous owners. Tempted?