Prices have been announced for the sixth generation Golf and customers can now place an order for the new model in a Volkswagen Retailer ahead of the cars arriving in the UK in January. Starting from 13,150 `on the road' RRP for the entry-level S three-door model with a 1.4-litre 80 PS engine, prices rise to 20,980 for the range-topping GT five-door with 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and six-speed DSG gearbox.
The new Golf is available in three trim levels - S, SE and GT - and all boast a high level of standard specification. S has, among a number of features, ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilization Program), seven airbags including a new driver's knee airbag, remote central locking, Climatic air conditioning, CD/radio, plus body-colored bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors.
Moving to SE trim adds an uprated stereo with eight speakers and an MDI (multi-device interface) for connection to external multimedia sources such as an iPod, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and coming/leaving home lighting function as well as rain and dusk sensors. At the top of the range, GT buyers will benefit from sports suspension (lowered by around 15 mm), sports seats with Alcantara trim, front fog lights and a multifunction steering wheel plus 17-inch alloys.
Under the bonnet, customers have a choice of four petrol and two diesel engines. Petrol units are a 1.4-litre 80 PS or 1.6-litre 102 PS, plus 1.4-litre TSI powerplants with 122 or 160 PS; 2.0-litre common rail diesels offer power outputs of 110 or 140 PS.
A number of options are available on the Golf for the first time, including Volkswagen's Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) which allows the driver to select from normal, comfort or sport modes to define the desired suspension, steering and accelerator response settings for any particular journey. ParkAssist, which takes over steering inputs to facilitate parallel parking maneuvers, is also available as an option.
Instantly apparent in the new Golf is a sharply defined look that draws on the design direction established by the Scirocco. What can't be seen are the changes that have gone into making this car the most refined Golf yet. These include advances made in reducing wind noise, a completely new design of door and window seals, a new damping film that supports the windscreen and a new engine mounting system.
Inside, the adoption of materials and equipment usually associated with a vehicle in a higher class give a high quality feel, enhanced by new soft touch plastics and tasteful aluminum and chrome highlights.
Few cars have a history like that of the Volkswagen Golf, yet with global sales now topping 26 million, and in its sixth generation, the latest Golf continues to offer buyers a car which sets benchmarks in quality, style, safety and refinement.