Three bear money alternatives are highlighted, with their pros and cons taken into consideration. The first is a Golf 2 GTI 16V, built between 1986 and 1992. We know Jonny Smith, co-host of the show, loves them to bits and collected quite a few.
This car's agile and honest history is a real high-point in automotive history. Parts aren't that difficult to source, and there are entire communities dedicated to keeping them on the road.
Like all old cars, the Mk2 GTI rusts away, but it can also develop breaking problems. Twice as much cash buys you an unsung hero, the Lupo GTI, made between 2000 and 2005. When thinking of hot hatchbacks from that era, most people gravitate towards the Citroen C2 VTS. But the little Lupo looks cool on those massive wheels, right?
These old cars have kept their value quite well, partly because there weren't a lot, to begin with. We found some mint-looking examples in Germany for around €4,500.
The final old Vdub being proposed is the first Golf R32, based on the Mk4 chassis. It's got a thumping 3.2-liter V6 that sounds ballistic and produces more power even than the current GTI.
But for most people, the best cheapskate alternative to a new GTI is the old Mk5 model, the first one to get the 2-liter turbo engine. You can find hundreds of those in good condition for about the same money as this older R32 model.