If you’re a fan of the Volkswagen brand, finding a diecast replica of one of the world’s best selling cars isn’t an easy task, since scaled replicas are few and far between. The car I’m talking about is the Volkswagen Golf. In some circles, mostly our North American friends, the car is sometimes referred to as the Rabbit. And usually whatever is released in scale, preferably 1:18, is inhaled by true enthusiasts of the brand upon sight. The model we have here today is the Welly/NEX 1:18 Volkswagen Golf MKI GTI. It is fully diecast with plastic parts and has full opening capabilities. The Golf GTI here in Canada retails for around $59.99, a real bargain at this price point.
The exterior lines of the model represent the 1:1 well, though the mid-rear half is a little longer than one would like. Paint is decent for a budget piece – there are areas of variable thickness, and the orange peel effect is in full force. The decal and pin-striping work is something special for the price point, really well done. Though there are a few areas the black paint is not executed cleanly – my model has an issue at the top of the passenger door and driver side rear widow.
Shutlines and panel gaps are very clean. The many photos here will provide you with a perfect view from multiple angles.
The GTI’s front is decent, though you are not going to find any perforated pieces here, just solid plastic. I like the included lower duck-bill chin spoiler and the addition of the traditional toe-hook (right side passenger). The material for the headlights is cheap and finish work is somewhat crude, but the end result of the package is very good, to say the least.
Moving to the rear we have full access to the interior storage. Nothing real special here, materials are all plastic; there is no flocking to be found. Props to Welly/NEX for actually including a functioning upper tray – the photos will show the open and closed position if interested. Headlight material is decent, though the traditional “Volkswagen” and “Golf GTI” badges are represented with decals, the original car would support 3D style emblems.
As we said earlier, the Golf GTI comes with opening parts, so access to the motor is available. I’ll give the team an A for effort as the work on the motor is more than average in detail, in some areas exceeding models 2-3 times in cost. The key here is a good mix of materials and colours giving an overall positive impression.
Back to the exterior, and the stance of the Golf GTI is good. This model features the special edition “Pirelli” wheels. I would rate the execution as decent, definitely below some of the greats from GT Spirit and AUTOart. There is also no supporting staff either, by which I mean no calipers or rotors behind the wheel. Not a big issue in this case, since the Pirelli wheels are bulky, and cover most, if not all, of the behind view.
The interior is definitely where the cost out of the model is, it is a truly basic affair with little depth. Everything is executed in black plastic, other than a few hints of colour for dash and shift knob, the model is sparse to say the least. On the flip side, the original is kinda raw too, and in all honestly the replica does check mark all the interior elements of the original, though maybe not to everyone’s preferred standards.
The Welly/NEX 1:18 Volkswagen Golf MKI GTI is a solid contender. For the price it is a very good buy. I can’t hide the fact it makes me feel that there is a good possibility you and I are getting hosed by the elite brands. This model wouldn’t be too far off an entry level AUTOart if the craftsmanship and proper materials would be used. Would that cost over $100 more, I highly doubt it. Also remember, the model exterior body is made of diecast, something many mainstream brands are moving away from. Enjoy the pics!