Read all about the new VW Golf in our full report

This is the new, sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf. It's ready to go on sale in the UK next January after an unveiling at the Paris motor show in October.

A deep reskin of the current Volkswagen Golf Mk5, the new Mk6 retains the old model's key underpinnings but offers a Scirocco-inspired nose and a higher-quality interior.

"We've gone for a back-to-basics approach that will set the tone for a whole new generation of Volkswagen models," said VW chairman Martin Winterkorn.

The Golf's front strut/independent rear suspension and platform is carried over, while powertrains will be extensive and feature new common-rail diesels, a four-wheel drive transmission and a hybrid.

Styling

The most striking change is the new horizontal grille, which VW design boss Claus Bischoff has said will be the new look for all future Volkswagens. Consisting of two horizontal slats set between the headlamps and intersected by a new bevelled badge, it provides the sixth Golf with an appealingly clean and uncluttered look.

>> See exclusive pics of the VW Golf Mk6

>> Read the technical story on the VW Golf Mk6

"We wanted to re-establish the unadorned look evident on the fourth-gen model," said Bischoff. So the body boasts tauter surfacing and a slightly edgier look, with a more heavily contoured bonnet giving a touch more aggression at the front three-quarter and a distinctive swage line providing a more distinctive shoulder than any previous Golf. "The Golf is considered classless and we have tried to capture that in the new look," said Bischoff.

The rear hatch is now more upright and supports distinctive tail lights that spread across the rear haunch; it's meant to make the Golf look wider than before.

Variants

The three and five-door Golfs due to be unveiled at the Paris show in October are just the beginning of a wide range. They will be followed by a new GTI (early 2009), Golf Plus (early 2009), Golf estate (mid-2009), R version (late 2009) and Golf cabriolet (mid-2010).

Greg Kable

Our Verdict

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf, Europe's best selling car that's now in its seventh generation?

Join the debate

Comments
19

6 August 2008

Looks alot better when it is n't silver.

6 August 2008

Yes - this is a more flattering colour for the Golf. It's certainly growing on me - and those rear lights look at least a little teeny bit LED-ish.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

6 August 2008

why why why have they dropped the blue dashboard backlighting??? This was one of VW's most distinctive innovations - and was really cool but cosy. They appear to have gone for white in the New Golf. It's the little details that count.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

6 August 2008

So what we have here is essentially a Mk6 Golf in as much as the Mk3 Focus was a Mk2 underbody with a rejigged exterior.

When is a new model not a new model? When it's a facelift. Wake me up when the Mk7 somes out in a few years.

6 August 2008

[quote hurricaneone]Mk3 Focus was a Mk2 underbody with a rejigged exterior[/quote]

There's no such thing as a mk3 Focus, yet. Only a mk2 with a slight makeover.

The Golf may be based on the same platform as the mk5, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not a new car. See the Toyota Auris for a good example of "old platform - new car".

6 August 2008

Blue displays are not usually tough on the eyes. Same goes for Orange, which is usually the most 'eye friendly' display colour. But blue and red together on the same instrument or display are supposed to be more difficult to look at. It did look hightech but was not ergonomically sound. I notice a trend towards moving back to white displays from a number of manufacturers lately...

6 August 2008

More a Golf V.V (did the Romans do decimals?)

Like most upgrades, software for example, it's usually good advice to ignore the even numbered versions in the sequence.

6 August 2008

Back to basics? What is he talking about? Is it an admission that VW has gotten too big for its boots and had completely lost sight of what it is? For the past few years VW has seemingly been on an ever more ridiculous quest to scalp what I believe it perceived as its nearest rival. Audi. Why has VW spent so much time and money on trying to emulate what its stablemate is doing only to turn around and then tell us its going back to basics? They really do seem like a company that has lost their way.

I'm thinking its still very predictable. The taillights look a little more interesting when illuminated, but too much like the Touareg. The Golf traditionally had its own look within the VW range and didnt really borrow so much from other models. Suddenly its got Scirocco headlamps, an Eos/Scirocco interior and Touareg taillights. Why? Have VW began to imagine that their super successful hatch is a little dull compared to the competition? Think Honda Civic / Seat Leon / Fiat Bravo / Lancia Delta / Ford Focus / GM Astra and you begin to see why they might think so.

I think the front end could grow on me as it does look wider and meaner than the current car which looks a little awkward, tall and narrow from some angles and especially in poverty spec. The recently adopted VW corporate grille has never really worked on any of their cars... GTi excepted. The horizontal slats in this new grille grille mean more to someone who remembers the original Golf model than the current bling-bling generation Audi-wannabe-grille. The chromed version of that in particular looking more than a litte offensive. I can see why Winterkorn wanted rid of that. So perhaps this was a well advised move.... but I wonder how the Passat CC / Passat / Eos etc, will wear it?

I also do agree the interior looks better than the last model, which always reminded me of the interior of those Mercedes Vito/Sprinter Vans. Check out that Alfa/Mazda style cowling around the main instruments... and the metal accents. It lifts what could be an otherwise dreary place to sit. I wonder will it look as interesting in the standard issue black/grey.

Overall, and in profile especially, this is a pretty weak design.

6 August 2008

I have a Mk5 Golf (1.6) that serves extremely well as an airport car, carriage of large goods and fun drive (on slim wheels): this is the fourth I've had (each one a different mark) and yes cabin quality has dropped on every version, but if they want to address the key failings of the Mk5 I would have started with weight reduction.. I'm guessing that the Mk6 is the same weight as there has been no mention in any of the statements I've read.

6 August 2008

[quote Mini1]why why why have they dropped the blue dashboard backlighting??? [/quote]

The instruments are still blue. They are just a bit whiter and brighter.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week