2013 Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI
By Ian Lynas, 15th November 2012
Make no mistake: the Golf is the centre of the Volkswagen brand, one of the most successful cars of all time, a true icon and the seventh generation model is on the way.
The new model goes on sale in our market in January; but you could pop to your local dealer now and place an order.
In bringing the latest Golf to market, the order of the day was perfection and this newcomer bristles with quality, not only in terms of finish, but also in build quality and handling.
Frugal and fun to drive, the new Golf is lighter than the outgoing model and combined with the new range of petrol and diesel engines, this plays a major role in fuel saving.
I have had the chance to try one petrol version and one diesel. The petrol version the 1.4 TSI, with a power output of 122PS and 54.3mpg. Of course, diesels will be popular in the Northern Ireland market; so I tried the two litre 150PS coupled to the impressive DSG transmission. The petrol version featured a slick manual transmission.
For the first time there is a driver profile selection which allows you to choose from four modes, Eco; Sport; Normal and Individual.
UK buyers will be able to choose from a three or five-door bodystyle with a choice of three trim levels, S, SE and GT. Fans of the GTI must wait until later in 2013.
There is no doubt that many will want to get behind the wheel of the GTI, however I was surprised to find just how rapid the 150PS GT was - rest to 62mph arrived in under 9 seconds and it wasn't long ago that this used to be GTI territory.
Longer, wider, lower and with very high comfort levels, the new Golf deserves to be rated in the premium market with some of its fellow German competitors. I am ranking this new Golf with the likes of the new A3, the BMW 1 Series and the much awaited new A-Class.
We have many roles for our cars, so being practical is very important. The boot space has been increased by 30 litres while a low sill at 685mm makes loading much easier than ever. Travel safely is equally important - the body structure of this model is much stronger and there is a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems. A new multi-collision brake system is part of the package and a PreCrash system is also available.
The layout of the cabin is better than ever, it has been redesigned and includes a new generation of touch screen infotainment systems. For example there is DAB digital radio and Bluetooth preparation.
Also included is a universal phone holder with inductive aerial, which increases the signal strength and reduces battery drain.
Throughout its many guises, more than 29 million Golfs have been sold; no doubt the seventh generation model is aiming for the 30 million mark.
Entry to the range is at £16,330 rising to £24,625.