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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Golf - 77TDI 5-dr hatch

Launch Story

17 Nov 2009

VOLKSWAGEN’S just-released Golf 77TDI will remain the most economical Golf in Australia for the time being, as a decision on the introduction of a special eco Bluemotion model remains in limbo.

VW head office in Germany regards Australia as an unsuitable environment for some of the advanced fuel-saving and emissions measures of the Golf Bluemotion, which was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

However, this attitude might come under pressure as rival manufacturers such as Volvo – with the C30 DRIVe – and Ford – with the Fiesta ECOnetic – trailblaze eco-branding in this country.

In July, Volkswagen told GoAuto that it would like to be given the Golf Bluemotion green light for Australia.

“We are still very keen on getting the car here,” Volkswagen Australia's general manager press and PR, Karl Gehling, said at the time.

The Golf Bluemotion employs a variation of the 77TDI’s 77kW/250Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel to achieve 3.9 litres per 100 kilometres and 99 grams/km of carbon dioxide emissions.

This contrasts to the just-released Golf 77TDI’s 4.9L/100km and 129g/km figures – the result of it not using the myriad Bluemotion eco measures such as different gearing, improved aerodynamics, low rolling-resistance tyres, idle-stop engine technology and an alternator that powers down under acceleration.

Its 1598cc four-cylinder turbo-diesel with common-rail and particulate filter technology is closely related to the 103TDI 2.0-litre model already found in other Golf 6s.

Producing 77kW of power at 4400rpm and 250Nm of toque from 1500 to 2500rpm, the 77TDI delivers drive to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

Customers can also fork out another $2500 for the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox, which is the same wet-clutch system as found in the Golf 1.4 TSI models.

While power and torque outputs are the same as the previous-generation Golf V’s 1.9-litre TDI ‘Pumpe Dusse’ unit sold in Australia for almost five years from 2004, the 77TDI engine is about 300cc smaller and significantly more frugal.

The 4.9L/100km figure is a 0.9L/100km improvement, as is the 129g/km CO2 figure (against 157g/km). The 77TDI DSG uses 0.2L/100km and 4g/km more than its manual counterpart.

Everything else is standard Golf 6, which means a five-door hatchback only availability (GTI excepted), MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear suspension design, an electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering set-up and a host of standard active and passive safety systems including anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, and seven airbags.

Like the 90TSI, the smaller of the diesel Golf engines on offer only comes in Trendline guise.

The ‘Comfort Pack’ adds another $2200 to proceedings, and includes cruise control, auto-on/off headlights, rain-sensing wipers, alloy wheels and a more comprehensive instrumentation pack.

Volkswagen would not reveal sales forecasts for the 77TDI’s sales, but it indicated that strong customer demand might speed the case for a Bluemotion debut.

“The new Golf 77TDI is the most economical VW we offer at the moment,” Mr Gehling said at its media launch earlier this month.

“It’s a new benchmark for us – and particularly for the Golf.

“It is indicative of the direction the brand is going with all of its new product.”

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