This is the poor man’s GTX. It had a 1.3 litre four cylinder engine producing 55 hp.
The 5 had five-speeds and disc/drum brakes. It’s a kind of warmish hatch with go-faster front seats from the hotter cars and the same super-plasticky dashboard as the other 5’s. The dash theme is a smaller-scale version of the one found in the R25 which wasn’t a lot better but certainly wider and deeper: Tokyo by night, as “Car” described it.
Here’s the front, with the asymmetrical badge as used on the early R25’s and 21’s. Citroen did this with the XM in 1988. The small asymmetry fad went away thereafter as people expect bilateral symmetry in their cars.
And here’s the back. They missed a trick by not running the lights all the way up the C-pillar.
It’s pretty neat ID. Very product-design in its rigour. It isn’t only VW that did deadly serious. The Clio came next and Renault reverted to bland convention, losing the chance to stabilise the look of their most important car, as Golf did: every generation identifiably Golfy. Since the Clio they’ve altered the style of the cars with each model so the Clio doesn’t really mean more than a size and price point.