It’s sad when a performance car comes only with an auto to change gears.

So it is with the iconic VW Golf GTI, available in just the one spec these days, with five doors and a twin clutch tranny.

Granted they sold mostly autos before the manual was dropped, but anyone who fancies themselves as a driver wants to change gears manually — just like an adult.

It’s all part of the fun.

Even though the twin clutch produces faster acceleration times and better fuel economy figures, the fact is there’s nothing quite like the act of braking hard into a corner and working the clutch and gears, before catapulting out the other side.

It’s sublime, so more involving and so much more satisfying than an auto — paddles or no paddles.

Yeah, that’s how F1 drivers change gear, but that’s another planet and it is populated by an entirely different race.

Despite this, VW continues to dumb down the GTI, driven my market considerations.

If you want a manual, you’re directed to the more expensive Golf R, which is heavier and some would say less agile.

The latest GTI is available only as a five-door with a 7-speed twin clutch box and paddle shifts, priced from $47,990 driveaway.

If you still fancy one, you have until March 31 to take advantage of the driveaway offer.

The five door MY19 Golf GTI comes with the output and drivetrain of 2017’s limited run, THREE-door Golf GTI Performance Edition 1.

This includes the same 180kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol four, 7-speed wet-clutch DSG, electro-mechanical front differential lock, with the ventilated front and rear disc brake package from the Golf R.

The MY19 Golf GTI also gets the Active Info dashboard readout in addition to the Driver Assistance Pack, with the safety features listed below.

Key features include:

  • 180kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine
  • 7-speed wet-clutch DSG
  • Front differential lock
  • Golf R brake package
  • Active Info Display
  • Front Assist with City Emergency Brake (City EB) and Pedestrian Monitoring
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Assist with adaptive lane guidance
  • Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert
  • 18-inch alloy wheels and adaptive chassis control
  • GTI body styling
  • 8.0-inch satellite navigation system with App-Connect
  • LED headlights and Light Assist
  • Leather sports multi-function steering wheel
  • ‘Clark’ sport cloth seat upholstery
  • Electrically foldable exterior mirrors
  • Rear View Camera (RVC) and Park Assist with manoeuvre braking
  • Keyless Access, keyless entry and starting system

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.