Video: Radwood-Era Performance Car Showdown | BMW E30 318is vs. VW Rabbit GTI Mk1

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ozZNUMhC21g

Back in their day, the BMW E30 318is and the Volkswagen Rabbit GTI Mk1 represented inexpensive ways to go fast. Nowadays, either would fit in well on the Radwood showfield, but how do they stack up against each other as performance cars?

Since we have both in our stable, we drove them back to back to find out. Which one would you rather add to your garage? Presented by CRC Industries.

noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
3/29/21 3:54 p.m.

Yes.  Both of them.

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
3/30/21 11:03 a.m.

In reply to noddaz :

I would have to agree with you, both are really cool cars. Especially with the turbo kit on the GTI.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed UltraDork
3/31/21 6:28 a.m.

So close, so iconic. Slight nod to theE30 for RWD. Both awesome.

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/31/21 4:09 p.m.

I had a new '84 GTI.  It's hard to overstate how revolutionary that car was to a car guy like me.  A FWD car that could handle, brake and give 80's V8's a run for their money.  I loved it.  It gave its life to save my ex.  Loved it anyway.

DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT Dork
3/31/21 8:08 p.m.

Back in the day, no question I would have picked the BMW cuz RWD.  But now, the GTI is just so significant and so cool.  There are many other BMW alternatives to the 318is.  But there is nothing Mk I GTI.  Even without the turbo.  So today, no question, I would keep the GTI in my garage and sell the 318is.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
4/1/21 8:44 a.m.

Great comments and happy to see you guys digging some of these iconic cars. I am so blessed that they both live in my garage. Rather than opt for one or two expensive cars, I have gravitated to some of these cheaper cars that have defined my career here at GRM. 

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
4/1/21 8:57 a.m.

I think it is clear which one I would go with... laugh My first car was the 1991 318is on the right, currently laid up with a blown up engine. Bronzit '86 325es and the black '87 325is round out the collection.

 

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