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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Golf - 5-dr hatch range


Volkwagen's new sixth-generation Golf is a return to the Golf golden days

2 Mar 2009

HERE’S the bad news first: the so-called “all-new” Golf VI is really a re-bodied and re-engineered Golf V, with new petrol engines that require 98 RON super-premium unleaded fuel, no standard cruise control and seen-it-all-before styling. But the really great news is that no Golf has been as complete to own or drive since the seminal Mk1 of 1976, with ample performance on tap, matched to incredibly impressive fuel economy gains, low emissions and a fabulous driving ability. Throw in keen pricing and higher equipment levels, and the new 90TSI, 118TSI and 103TDI Golfs are formidable small-car contenders in the way that the old model generally could not hope to be.
Model release date: 1 February 2009 to 1 March 2013

Previous model

Golf V

Released: August 2004
Ended: February 2009
Family Tree: Golf

WE really have to thank the first-generation Focus of 1998 for the 2004 Golf V’s marvellous dynamic capabilities, since it forced the Germans to adopt the expensive multi-link suspension layout to match the Ford. But in many other areas such as cabin presentation and engine choice, the Golf V is a modern classic, restoring a sense of quality that – ironically, considering how well presented the cabin was – vanished in the Golf IV. Launched in the latter half of 2004, the range introduced diesel power – 77kW/250Nm 1.9-litre TDI and 103kW/320Nm 2.0-litre TDI – to join the rather lame 75kW/148Nm 1.6-litre petrol and sweet 110kW/200Nm 2.0 FSI petrol four-cylinder units. But the five-speed or six-speed manual gearbox choices, as well as the petrol units’ six-speed Tiptronic auto, were overshadowed by the introduction of VW’s fine dual-clutch DSG transmission, combining super-fast gear changes with high efficiency operation. Allied to the highly popular 147kW/280Nm 2.0 TFSI turbo GTI model that marked a return of real dynamism and performance to the legendary nameplate, the Golf’s position as the premium small car contender remained unassailable in Australia. The cheaper, more useable Golf GTI even overshadowed the flagship 184kW/320Nm R32 all-wheel drive model in the hearts of hot-hatch lovers, and deservedly so.

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