When MOTOR SPORT has space to publish a reader's letter complaining about a squeak in his five-year-old MG I feel all must be well in the motor industry. So I thought you might like to hear about my experience with that wonder of German technology. the GTi Golf.
Strongly influenced by your review I took delivery of a new 5-speed model in August last year. It's a delightful carte drive with an excellent combination of acceleration, roadholding and accurate steering. Butts not immune to niggles — window winder fell off in the first week, the plastic dashboard vibrates, the scat belt boxes rattle — and it's let me down more times than any previous car. bar one. The major disorder was total clutch failure at 12,000 miles. Although within the warranty period. VW pointed to the clause excluding brake linings and the clutch ii.om their warranty and refused to put Inc penny towards their dealer's bill of £140.00. %AI, also refused to enter Mto correspondence, referring me via a duplicated letter to my dealer who. naturally, is not authorised to make warranty decisions. I had written explaining the circumstances and pointing out that the car had not been rallied or used for towing and that in 20 years driving in vintage and modern cars and motorcycles, often doing 40-50,000 miles a year, I had never experienced clutch problems. A telephone call to the VW Customer Relations Department still did not elicit a confirmation or denial of the unusualness of such an early failure, but brought forth the comment that "the GTi has a very powerful little engine". Hoot ought to have a very powerful little clutch, but it doesn't. Two VW dealers have confirmed that the life of the GTi clutch is only around 15,000 miles. So caveat emptor! The tither disappointment is the I uel
consumption. Driven over the same combination deity country routes as a 3-litre Capri in which I did 55,000 miles, often as fast as the car would go and averaged 23 m.p.g.„ the GTi averages 25 m.p.g. but is driven more moderately and within the prevailing speed limits. London CHARLES HOBBS