What is it?
That the latest iteration of the Volkswagen Golf is a very fine car is beyond question. It does everything you would expect of a modern day hatchback and more, offering a broad range of engine options, impressive degree of dynamic polish and excellent refinement characteristics while providing the solidity, finish and general quality usually associated with brands boasting a higher perceived positioning.
However, Volkswagen is clearly not content to rest on the laurels heaped on its perennial best seller. Following on from customary petrol and diesel as well as more recent petrol-electric hybrid and full electric models, there is now a new bivalent compressed natural gas-petrol powered variant of the seventh-generation Golf – the so-called TGI, as unveiled at the recent Geneva motor show.
It's not planned for UK sale anytime soon due to the lack of fuelling infrastructure for compressed natural gas (although VW UK is keen to talk up the possibilities of the fuel). The sister car to the recently unveiled Audi A3 G-Tron and Skoda Octavia G-Tec is aimed at taking advantage of growing sales of compressed natural gas cars in many of Europe’s more lucrative markets, offering prospective buyers running costs that make typical diesel rivals appear almost expensive by direct comparison.
Based on the current price of compressed natural gas in Germany, the new Golf sets you back around £5.00 for every 100 miles travelled based on its official fuel consumption figures. Its ability to run on either compressed natural gas or petrol also provides it with a theoretical range that beats the most economical of existing diesel powered Golf models, the 1.6 TDI Bluemotion.