What is it?
This is the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the latest interpretation of a model that was launched 34 years ago and has sold 26 million units world wide. It’s also probably the first Golf that does not mark a complete break from it’s predecessor.
Underneath, the Mk6 Golf uses the same platform as the Mk5, with various engineering upgrades including a further increase in stiffness and more advanced ESP system. In the flesh the styling hasn’t been moved on that far either, despite all the external panels (aside from the roof) being new.
The all-important styling was led by VW Group design boss Walter de Silva and VW styling chief Klaus Bischoff. They claiming they were inspired by the Mk1 and Mk4 Golfs. The main external distinction is the ‘tornado line’ ridge which runs down the side elevation. Otherwise de Silva and Bischoff’s machine has a Touareg-alike tail and a nose that, despite the glassy new headlamps, is not so far removed from the Mk5 VW Golf.
The interior is also newly minted (with noticeably better surface quality), but has a dashboard that is very similar to the current Golf, though the door skins are characterfully new. The Mk6 is neat and Golf-tidy but it looks more like a Mk5.5 than a model worthy of new generation billing.
VW’s chief designers also made great play of the attention to detail that had gone into the interior fit and finish and tight fit of the exterior panels. ´Precision’ was the key word at the press conference.
Aside from the handy 120bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the MK6 VW Golf introduces other engines including a new 108bhp and 138bhp 2.0TDI common-rail diesels. All diesel engines get a particulate filter as standard and there’s a choice of five or six-speed manuals and six or seven-speed DSGs boxes.
Standard Golf kit includes air conditioning, seven airbags (including a knee bag), ESP and body-coloured trim. Prices will kick off in the UK at around £13,000 for the S trim up to £21,000 for the GT models.
What's it like?
It’s quiet - exceptionally quiet, in fact. VW engineers have been through the old Mk5 Golf design aiming to make a major leap forward in refinement. There’s no doubt that they’ve succeeded. Iceland has some of the noisiest roads in the world (worse even than South Africa and the UK said a VW engineer) but the cabin of our 2.0 TDI DSG model was uncannily unruffled. Even the engine was a distant companion.