Jaco Van Der Merwe
Head of Motoring
2 minute read
28 Dec 2021
7:22 am

Golf GTI smokes BMW 128ti – 2021 Motoring Newsmaker No 6

Jaco Van Der Merwe

Challenger puts up worthy fight, but eighth edition of popular Volkswagen keeps crown as SA's king of hot hatches.

The only time the BMW 128ti could get close to the Golf GTI was on the starting line.

Two-thousand-and-twenty-one was an interesting year for the South African motoring landscape.

Some things changed, like an acceleration towards greener cars, while others stayed the same like Toyota topping the monthly sales charts.

In this series of 2021 Motoring Newsmakers, The Citizen looks back at the top 20 most popular online stories of the year. The series is dominated by South Africa’s most popular body style, bakkies, while the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 was by far the most viewed single model on our website. Other local favourites in the form of hot hatches, fuel efficient hatchbacks, big, mean SUVs, compact SUVs, Mercedes-AMGs and BMW M cars also drew their fair share of attention.

BMW made its intentions to take on the Golf GTI clear early in the year with the introduction of the 128ti. The German carmaker was convinced that their front-wheel-driven 128ti that features unique styling was just the weapon to take on the Golf GTI in the ultimate hot hatch battle.

But we were made to wait a good couple of months for the battle to commence as the eight generation of the Golf GTI was delayed and only arrived locally in September.

But as things turned out, we had both the Golf 8 GTI and the BMW 128ti on test at the same time, so the ultimate drag strip shootout was imminent. The BMW 128ti put up a worthy fight, but the Golf GTI held onto its crown as the king of hot hatches with relative ease.

Click on the link below to see Road Test Editor Mark Jones’ full report and data from the hot hatch battle.

2021 MOTORING NEWSMAKER NO 6: Golf 8 GTI smokes BMW 128ti to stay hot hatch king

To see the rest of our 2021 Motoring Newsmakers, click on the links below.

No 7: Is 190 kW Amarok worth R1-million?

No 8: Toyota Starlet can run on fumes

No 9: This Isuzu bakkie has X-factor

No 10: Mercedes-AMG E63 S sledge hammer of a sedan

No 11: Land Cruiser: Which is better, petrol or diesel?

No 12: Kia cans bakkie plans

No 13: Mercedes A35 Sedan the thinking man’s AMG

No 14: Toyota Corolla Cross outsells Polo pair

No 15: BMW X5 M Competition pips Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

No 16: The Golf GTI for nerds

No 17: Never be late in a Merc GLS 580

No 18: Toyota HiAce 54 years young

No 19: New Ford Ranger revealed

No 20: Toyota Land Cruiser gets stuck the mud