- Japanese import in a spec not offered in Europe/UK
- Brimming with optional extras, including ‘Highline’ body kit
- Under 50,000 miles (80,000km) from new
Normally when one thinks of Japanese imports, they think of the Gran Turismo hero cars that were created by the nation’s own manufacturers, but there is more to the Japanese market than just that scene. Many fans of ‘JDM’ cars joke (or lament) that “Japan keeps the best versions for itself,” and sometimes there are even European-brand cars being offered over there in unique, curious and desirable configurations. This Golf GT is one such car.
The mk.IV Golf is a smart piece of industrial design that helped VW reaffirm its reputation for solidity and understated quality. The estate model you see here adds serious load capacity for a compact car, but the uniqueness is in its mechanical and interior specification. The GT model you see here combines the 1.8 Turbo engine from the GTI with a 5-speed automatic gearbox and quite possibly every optional extra it’s possible for a Golf IV to have, inside and out. This makes for an uncommonly well-equipped and luxurious daily runabout with a usefully modest footprint on the street and a decent turn of pace to be had if required.
The History and Paperwork
- Imported by the seller, first UK-registered in November 2021
- V5 present, fresh MOT will be done before auction’s end
- Original Japanese service book, handbook and user manuals
- Just under 80,000km on the odometer
- Original premium leather upholstery throughout
- Front centre armrest with storage, plus extra cupholder and storage unit in rear
- Dog net and removable parcel shelf present in the boot
- Electric mirrors, multifunction steering wheel, headlamp washers
The interior of this car has a charming ‘Germany by Japan’ flavour to its specification, combining dual-zone climate control, cruise control and adjustably heated leather seats with a factory Minidisc player, Carrozzeria radio/MP3/CD player, plus an LED road flare in the passenger foot well. There is a small amount of contact wear on the door grab handles, steering wheel and transmission lever, while the door-side bolsters of the seats show some charismatic wrinkles, but the condition inside is otherwise superb – right down to the chequered and branded VW floor mats looking almost new. Furthermore, the remarkably comprehensive spare wheel box under the boot floor in this Golf is utterly immaculate.
- Complete ‘Highline’ body kit on front, sides and rear
- JDM OEM window deflectors on front and rear doors
- Factory privacy glass as per GT specification
The metallic black paintwork presents exceedingly well from front to rear, as do the diamond cut 17” alloy wheels of this GT model that really set off the whole look on the outside to give the Golf some subtle presence. There are a couple of clues for those in the know as to this car’s country of origin, such as the narrow number plates, ‘Shaken’ sticker on the top of the windscreen and the window-mounted wind deflectors that are so popular in Japan. Otherwise, this is a totally standard yet high-spec Golf that presents smartly from every angle while letting you fly under the radar.
- Unmodified, all original, full Japanese service history
- 1.8T petrol engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, FWD
- Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres fitted all around
The seller didn’t report any issues with start-up or how the car runs, saying that the car drives well and has a great feeling of solidity on the move. The odometer on the metric dials shows a smidgeon under 80,000km (49,700 miles), which for a 17-year-old estate is remarkably little work to have done on the daily grind – just under 3000 miles per year on average. With a full service history intact, this all points towards a Golf with minimal wear and tear to speak of mechanically. As if to continue the pattern, the seller admits that they have only done a couple of hundred miles themselves over the past year and a half that it’s been registered over here.
Furthermore, to complete the parallels with this car’s life in Japan, VW’s 1.8T engines generally take rather well to being tuned. This particular unit was also offered in a 180hp specification in the GTI, meaning there is an extra 30hp to be liberated from this car’s ‘AUM’ engine just by swapping OEM parts around. Go aftermarket and it can be chipped past 200 horsepower in a flash. How far down the rabbit hole you go from there is your choice…
One of the more niche parts of Germany’s contributions to the automotive world is the high-speed estate car – think Audi’s S and RS Avants, for instance – and while this isn’t on the performance level of an S4 (as standard), it’s not as exclusive price-wise either. Nowhere near, in fact. If you want your daily driver to be something a little bit special without drawing unwanted attention to yourself, this is a very accessible and usable way into the world of the ‘sleeper’. If pace is of secondary importance to you, then focus on this being a Golf with the equipment levels of a large executive car but without the costs of one. Either way, you should be onto a winner here.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
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