By James Wong

And (gasp!) it has happened – the Golf GTI in our staff car fleet has found itself in the hands of a new owner.

It all started when a Subaru S204 suddenly appeared in the advertisements while I was browsing SGCM in London. One thing led to another and, while the VW has already been advertised twice before – I thought I was third time lucky. So there it went again, on the classifieds.

Although the first week was quiet, it quickly caught on that I had only 1-2 genuine buyers who wanted to do a deal. So I negotiated – and one of them got smitten by the car. I have to admit – after giving it a good wash, the car looked great with its Detroits and never drove more beautifully with its Stage 2 MTM tune and APs with fat pads. I almost stopped short of selling the car.

But the natural process got moving and eventually everything clicked. I guess I’d like to call it God’s will.

So after the first viewing of the S204, I went for a second. Knowing that I have paid quite a high price for the car, I consciously went for it anyway. It is a limited edition model, and I want it. The alternatives were tempting – the Evo 9, S2000 – particularly the latter. But I still wanted a four door as a daily. Plus, I’ve always wanted to own either an Evo or a WRX STI. Rally-bred AWD monsters for the road for at least once in my life. When is a better time than now? The S2000 will still be readily available 3 years later. The S204 may not be. The Evo 9s are already nearing their deaths come 2015. I had to do it. Anyway, that’s another story for the new staffer. Back to the Golf GTI…

You can’t quite not give up anything when you sell a GTI, innit? It’s been a magnificent car in every conceivable way. In fact, I already miss its low-end immediacy of torque. And the relatively fuss-free nature of going rapid. But I guess, there are plenty of opportunities for that in almost any modern car today. Point proven: driving the Touran today instantly brought me back to the VAG familiarity which isn’t so far away from my reach after all.

4.5 years, 3 of which I spent only a couple of months with the car. Sometimes I wonder why I even switch cars at all. The GTI would still be in my garage as a daily if I had a choice. But alas, finances mean I can only keep one at any time.

So goodbye to familiarity. And the tried-and-tested DSG + TFSI combination that’s now just about everywhere. And back to the old school three pedals and big turbo…

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Statistics

Average consumption: 8.6 km/l

Mileage covered: 70,000 km

Depreciation: $6,000/year

Maintenance cost: On average, about $2,000 per year

Best drive: Heading up Genting Highlands into the cool clouds with a FD2R and a LP550-2

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