VW to follow new Golf hatchback with fresh takes on popular range
ONE of the most important new models of the year has arrived in UK showrooms and the seventh-generation Volks-wagen Golf hatchback remains a car against which so many others will be judged.
This is a model that's lighter, safer, more advanced, more spacious, more efficient and better equipped than previous generations of Europe's best-seller.
What's more it's even more stylish and remains a sturdy compact hatchback.
More than 29 million Golfs have been sold over the years and its clear the seventh- generation range is going to be well received.
I'm told the new Golf family is going to extend to more derivatives than ever.
Don't be surprised to see a four-door Golf coupé and a crossover version of the model as well as the Touran and Tiguan vehicles based on the popular hatchback.
A new Golf estate is not far off launch. We will also see the latest-generation Golf GTi hatchbacks within a matter of months. Later there will be new cabriolet and Plus versions of the model and a new-generation Jetta.
Specification levels are generous across the range with all new Golfs featuring a new Composition Media System compromising a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio receiver, a multi-device interface and eight speakers.
All versions also have an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, an XDS electronic differential lock, manual air conditioning, a multifunction computer, an electronic tyre pressure monitoring system and Stop/Start Technology.
All models also feature Bluetooth telephone connectivity for compatible mobile phones.
The engine choice includes the all-new 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS petrol power plant with Active Cylinder Technology that helps make it extremely efficient.
VW says the engine is capable of 60.1mpg (combined cycle) and 110g/km (when fitted with a seven-speed DSG gearbox), thanks to the ability to deactivate the central two cylinders under light loads.
Other petrol engines offered in the model include a four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI unit produces 85 and 105 PS plus a 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS motor.
Diesel alternatives at launch are 1.6 and 2.0-litre power plants producing 105 and 150 PS. Both feature the latest common rail diesel technology for maximum efficiency.
The standard fitment of an energy-saving Stop/Start system is complemented by battery regeneration.
Gearboxes are a mixture of five- and six-speed manuals, and six- and seven-speed DSG units, depending on engine power and torque output.
The model was voted All the car you'll ever need Car of the Year in the TopGear Magazine Awards 2012.
Summing up the judges' views, TopGear's consultant editor, Paul Horrell, said: "Stopped or on the move, it feels like it's made of stronger materials than the hatches of other nations. Top and bottom: a Golf is no more car than you need, yet it can be all the car you want."
The seventh-generation model was unveiled last September, 38 years and 29 million units after the original Golf redefined the small family car.
It's available in the UK in three trim levels: S, SE and GT and starting in price at £16,330.
It is introduced with some attractive rates for drivers using the Motability scheme.
Take for example the Golf S 1.2-litre TSI 85PS with five-speed manual gearbox (three-and five-door) which emits just 113 g/km of CO2 and can achieve up to 57.6mpg on the combined cycle.This is available on the Motability scheme for an £99 Advance Payment.