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Jr. Member
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Aug 6, 2012
167 posts
60 upvotes

Kona or Golf?

Current lease of GTI coming to an end, wondering what to get next. What I disliked about the GTI is the less than ideal comfort for passengers (great fun for the driver though) and the sporty chair (high raised side of the chair cushion), but I like the size in general. Thinking of maybe either getting the highline golf for softer suspension, and by the looks of it MK7.5 seems superior in quality than MK8.

Kona also looks really nice though, loaded features, lots of horsepower for its size. Downside is the overwhelming hard plastic interior - golf certainly seems more refined.
37 replies
Sr. Member
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Nov 15, 2017
710 posts
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There's the upcoming Kona N you could consider Neutral Face
I'd stick with the Golf for better refinement. The Kona doesn't have much useable space.
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Dec 21, 2013
1551 posts
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GTA
Can't seriously see anyone enjoying the move from a Golf to a Kona.

Hyundai/Kia are famous for packing in the tech but making extremely soulless cars to drive save for the Stinger, Veloster N etc.
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
2544 posts
1806 upvotes
Markham
enivree wrote: Kona also looks really nice though, loaded features, lots of horsepower for its size. Downside is the overwhelming hard plastic interior - golf certainly seems more refined.
Kona only has decent speed if you get the turbo car, if you go with the 2.0L its pretty slow. Its pretty boring to drive too and its not that practical...although the CH-R takes the cake for sacrificing utility...for nothing in return. Also these tiny CUVs, I never get anywhere close to their suggested fuel economy numbers, although I'd probably do better with the turbo if I have time to track it this time, but the 2.0L absolutely not. I'm lucky to do a 12L/100km in this class of vehicle. I didn't care much for its comfort either, the Kona rides stiffer than I expected. Honestly, the cheaper Venue is actually way more space efficient and actually handles better than the Kona but I think its front is pretty ugly and its slow although not much slower than a 2.0L Kona and no AWD if you wanted that.

Contrast to the Golf, I actually think the Golf Sportwagen in particular was one of the best normal cars I've ever driven. I can't fault it for almost anything. Comfortable, the 1.8 TSI engine actually felt enough, the AWD is fine, the utility was excellent for its size, decent interior quality, decent build quality, it handles very good for a normal car and the fuel economy was also good. The only thing I didn't like was not the vehicle itself but VW imposed...I still hate the stop start system, if I can permanently disable it, then I struggle to come up with a negative...and that's rare. I have the exact same sentiment about the regular Golf but just its less utility. Genuinely if these cars had a badge everyone trusts as long lasting, I'd recommend them every time because I can't come up with a family vehicle that does so many things well with seemingly no drawbacks.
Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2006
564 posts
334 upvotes
what about the corolla hatch?
Jr. Member
May 3, 2010
154 posts
52 upvotes
Brampton
Volkswagen Taos is coming soon. If you can wait for VW Taos, then why not. Otherwise, get Tiguan or Passat since they are built prior to soft ride. Or golf for the familiarity except the engine choice is 1.4 tsi which may not be enough for you coming from gli.

If you want comfort and soft ride, Tiguan 4motion is the one if you can afford it. Or Nissan Qashqai if you plan to lease and want bit sportier handling while softer ride, the engine is extremely slow and gas guzzler.
Jr. Member
Dec 1, 2014
173 posts
154 upvotes
Burlington, ON
Driving dynamics of Kona will be completely different than a Golf GTI. I prefer a bit more of an enthusiasts car (Golf GTI, Golf R) over a Kona any day.

The question to ask yourself, how important is the driving experience to you vs getting from point A to B?
Newbie
Nov 8, 2010
43 posts
47 upvotes
Toronto
I test drove a Kona (I was intrigued in basically all the pros you listed) when it was time for me to replace my regular MK6 Golf, and I couldn't even pull the trigger, let alone you going from a GTI. You'll really be kicking yourself for the significant downgrade in driving experience. I don't know your situation, but you will be driving in it every time vs passengers won't always be in the car every time, I valued my own time in the car much, much more. And Golf/GTI I find still more practical than any of the Kona and competitors, to be honest.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 4, 2008
6547 posts
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Richmond Hill
Turbo mazda 3?
When given enough time, all threads on RFD can and will go off on a tangent.
Jr. Member
May 2, 2020
115 posts
111 upvotes
Toronto
MalikBrother wrote: Volkswagen Taos is coming soon. If you can wait for VW Taos, then why not. Otherwise, get Tiguan or Passat since they are built prior to soft ride. Or golf for the familiarity except the engine choice is 1.4 tsi which may not be enough for you coming from gli.

If you want comfort and soft ride, Tiguan 4motion is the one if you can afford it. Or Nissan Qashqai if you plan to lease and want bit sportier handling while softer ride, the engine is extremely slow and gas guzzler.

That is going to come with a whole new plethora of issues seeing how VW is using a whole new engine platform in that lineup. Would wait a good 2-3 years before even considering that car. Unless you like having your car live at the dealership more than your own garage.
Too many people in the world today that speak liberal but vote conservative.
Sr. Member
Jan 28, 2017
596 posts
643 upvotes
Markham
Can't you just buyout your GTI lease? That's probably the cheapest solution. You enjoy the drive (who cares about the passengers LOL) and you know your car's history. All these CUVs in this price range, epsecially Hyundai/Kia are full of cheap plastics. Doesn't feel refined in the interior and the powertrain is crap, unless you upgrade to the turbo.

Or if you really need the space, consider getting a 7.5 Sportwagen or Alltrak? Might be a few new 2019's kicking around at steep discounts cause no one likes wagons now. That probably offers the best compromise out there.

Mazda 3 turbo would be a good consideration too, but I think the cargo room is not as practical as the Golf.
Sr. Member
Jan 28, 2017
596 posts
643 upvotes
Markham
Azmosis30 wrote: That is going to come with a whole new plethora of issues seeing how VW is using a whole new engine platform in that lineup. Would wait a good 2-3 years before even considering that car. Unless you like having your car live at the dealership more than your own garage.
Yup, stick with the current 2L in the GTI or the 1.8T. They've been around forever.

I wish NA got the T Roc R, that would be the ultimate CUV...
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
3758 posts
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The main reason why you'd stick with VW is because of their corrosion protection. Audi runs the INKA test, and VW runs this https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/ ... -mode-6278

If you're not keeping a car for >4 or 5 years then who cares? But if your intent is to drive it into the ground, then VW 4 bangers are generally pretty damn reliable as well.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
Sr. Member
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Nov 15, 2017
710 posts
508 upvotes
Neither the Corolla Hatchback nor Mazda 3 Hatchback have adequate cargo/passenger space, if the GTI is already too small for you.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 10, 2008
6896 posts
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Kitchener
JeganV wrote: Kona only has decent speed if you get the turbo car, if you go with the 2.0L its pretty slow. Its pretty boring to drive too and its not that practical
The Kona Electric is the quickest trim, has a lot of power at any speed (actually too much power off the line for FWD IMO as it roasts the tires if you get on it too hard). Cost is typically under $1.50/100km to charge the batteries at home with the only real maintenance costs being washer fluid top-ups and new tires every couple of years.

I didn't really love driving such a powerful FWD (with an inadequate traction control system) as I'm used to RWD that can put the power to the pavement a lot better (tires only spin when applying the accelerator around the corners).
Deal Fanatic
May 1, 2012
9590 posts
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Markham
If you like the GTI handling, power, DSG, interior feel, and interior space, you're not going to find a better hatch out there.
Deal Addict
Jul 15, 2006
3564 posts
492 upvotes
I drove a Kona 2.0L AWD for a while, you only go for it if you completely consider the car an appliance and absolutely have no intent to enjoy any sort of driving experience. Space at the back is worse than in an Elantra, trunk space is also limited. If you carry tall people around, you may come up short on space. Excellent appliance but definitely not what I would look at for thrills.
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
2812 posts
2653 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
They're kinda apples and oranges. If you like the sporty aspects of the GTI you're going to be bored in a Kona.

I think you need to just check out a bunch of different dealerships and sit in cars to see what you like, and then test drives the ones you find comfy. Your negative comment about the passenger space in a Golf doesn't make sense, as it's very spacious for 4 adults. I'm 6'2" and I fit comfortably behind myself in my Golf without adjusting the front seat, which wasn't common for me when I was looking at difference cars.

Did you have a budget in mind?
Jr. Member
May 3, 2010
154 posts
52 upvotes
Brampton
Azmosis30 wrote: That is going to come with a whole new plethora of issues seeing how VW is using a whole new engine platform in that lineup. Would wait a good 2-3 years before even considering that car. Unless you like having your car live at the dealership more than your own garage.
1.5 Tsi has been available for more than 2 years now in Europe and earlier issues on new 1.5 tsi has been almost sorted out regarding kangaroo effects which is only on manual transmission. It is not entirely new engine since most of components are from 1.4 tsi which is proven reliable and miller cycle technology from Tiguan to optimize the fuel efficiency and emission.

That being said, it is new engine for North America. It’s all wheel drive aka 4motion comes with 7 speed dsg which has mixed reputation as well. However, I am keen to upgrade from Jetta to Taos. If I had taken people’s opinion seriously given majority of them are negative, then I wouldn’t own Jetta and put 93000 kms so far trouble-free, Alhamdulillah.

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