Read all about the new VW Golf in our full report
6 June 2008

The engineering focus for the new Volkswagen Golf has been on improving production efficiency to cut costs and boost profits, while allowing VW to peg prices close to those of today's model.

Platform/Chassis

The Volkswagen Golf retains the floorpan and MacPherson strut (front) and four-link (rear) suspension of its predecessor. It also carries over the same 2580mm wheelbase, with 1540mm/1520mm front/rear tracks.

Interior and equipment

The Golf Mk5 took a retrograde step in interior quality, a problem that VW has strived to address with Mk6. The new interior certainly looks and feels a step up from the fifth-generation model, with additional soft-touch surfaces, classy chrome-rimmed instruments and reworked switchgear.

A strange change is the dropping of the instrument pack's distinctive blue backlighting for a clearer white colour.

Overall accommodation remains very much on par with the old Golf. "We've added greater longitudinal adjustment to the front seats, which should satisfy taller occupants," said VW design boss Claus Bischoff, "but in nearly all aspects the space is the same as before."

>> See exclusive pics of the VW Golf Mk6

>> Get all the details on the VW Golf Mk6

Extra safety kit includes a new knee airbag mounted below the dash, anti-whiplash headrests and more advanced ESP software.

Refinement is improved with new door and window seals, new windscreen support and revised engine mountings. "We're convinced it will be the quietest car in its class," said Bischoff.

Engines/Gearboxes

The Mk6 VW Golf gets downsized petrol engines - 80bhp 1.4-litre and 105bhp 1.6- litre units - are the key changes. Next in line are a 122bhp turbo 1.4 and a 1.8 turbo with 160bhp, plus 1.4 supercharged and turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI units with 140bhp and 170bhp.VW's new common-rail diesels will form the majority of sales in the UK.

The new range includes a base 90bhp 1.6-litre unit along with 110bhp, 140bhp and 170bhp versions of the existing 2.0-litre motor. The 110bhp engine is said to return 62.7mpg and CO2 emissions of just 119g/km.

Also planned, but not unlikely to launch until 2010, is a resurrection of the Golf GTD, a diesel alternative to the GTI. Sources suggest that it will feature a new twin-turbo 2.0 TDI engine with 204bhp.

Environmental pressures have fast-tracked plans for a Golf hybrid, being developed under the codename Leonardo. It is expected to pair a 102bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine with an electric motor driving the rear wheels.

All engines will be offered as standard with a six-speed manual or optional seven-speed DSG transmission.

Innovations

The Golf is getting several high-end options for the first time, many of which are not yet available on the more expensive Passat.

Adaptive damping provides the driver with the choice of three different levels of stiffness while altering the steering and throttle response. Swivelling xenon headlamps, intelligent cruise control and an automatic parking system will also be available.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

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Comments
8

6 August 2008

2.0 GTD twin turbo common rail diesel with 204 BHP. Hmm tasty. I wonder how this will compare to the petrol powered GTI version. To save weight (which is nowadays one of the biggist issues blunting performance) i wonder whether or not VW will use an uprated version of the 1.4 unit pumping out in excess of 200bhp.

They also need to bin the pointless 2.7 V6 TDI that they use in the A4 and A6 as the GTD will make it redundant. Plus the fact that they are using common rail as opposed to the PD will boost refinement significantly. I like the way the technical innovations are leading ......shame about the styling.

7 August 2008

[quote Autocar]...classy chrome-rimmed instruments [/quote]

Pedantic, I know, but the v5 Golf had instruments with chrome surrounds.

10 August 2008

Even more pedantic but surely 'classy chrome-rimmed instruments' is an oxymoron?

11 August 2008

I thought the Golf was meant to be classless.

Where has all Japanese design went to?

14 August 2008

Based on initial accounts, i am very excited by the prospect of a new Golf. The mark 6 certainly seems as if it improves on the current version, but I'll reserve final judgement until i see it in the flesh and road tests confirm that it is indeed a step-up from the existing model. Given that the mark 6 is not much more than a Golf mark 5 that's been re-skinned, I find the criticism aimed at the mark 5 somewhat unfair. The previous head of VW, Bernd Pischestreider, ordered that the R&D budget be focused on ride and handling more than on interior quality. So the result was a much better driver's car and - significantly - a car that was the equal if not better than the Ford Focus which had outpointed the Golf mark 4 in many areas. If anything, and despite its build quality, the mark 4 Golf was the weakest link in the Golf's lineage. In my humble opinion, it's bland if not ugly styling has aged less well than that of the previous mark 3 which in itself was nowhere near as taught as the original mark 1. I thought the styling of the mark 5 was a stunning return to form in the styling department. Similarly the mark 6 is equally attractive - I certainly like the new front-end treatment. So the VW Golf mark 6 seems as if it will give us the best of both worlds: the mark 4's quality and and the mark 5's ride and handling. The engines also seem to combine better performance with increased frugality. With a wide array of optional equipment, I see no case for buying an Audi A3 over a VW Golf anymore. This is good news. I am particularly looking forward to the prospect of the GTi version of the mark 6, which will have an extra 11 bhp versus the current model. With 211 bhp, a 7-speed DSG gearbox, environmentally acceptable fuel consumption and emissions, and five-door hatchback practicality, I think the choice between a Golf and a Scirocco is going to be a tough one. When everything is said and done, however, the cynic in me feels bound to point out that all the fancy packaging of the Golf mark 6 is hogwash designed to disguise the real reason behind its sooner than expected arrival: the real story is how the redesign will make the Golf easier and less expensive to produce. That won't make it cheaper to buy, but Volkswagen more profitable. So long as it doesn't cost more than it already does, i'm a buyer.

18 August 2008

[quote Zeddy]

I thought the Golf was meant to be classless.

[/quote]

Not classless, just dull.

23 August 2008

Yet again Autocar are providing the general public with inaccuate technical information. The N/A 1.4 unit is brought over from the MK5 and the 1.6 is merely the old SR 1.6 16v from late MK4 Golfs. The 1.8 TSI will not make an apperance in the mk6 Golf, nor will the 140 and 170 bhp 1.4 units, instead there will just be a single 160bhp 1.4 TSI. With the diesels the 90 bhp 1.6 dosent exist although a GTD Golf is likely with a twin turbocharged 2.0 tdi producing arround 200bhp.

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