Originally Posted by Auto Express
The new Golf is here at last – and it’s aiming to shoot straight in at the top of the hatchback leaderboard! Auto Express can bring you these exclusive official
pictures that we took of the all-new MkVI, which will go on sale in the UK in January.
The MkVI gets a completely new body, a totally updated interior along with fresh engines and a host of hi-tech gadgetry aimed at making it safer and better to drive. It is poised to give the recently facelifted Ford Focus some serious competition.
A crucially important car for the continued profitability of the German company, the new model also sets out to right some of the wrongs of its predecessor, which was criticised over its cabin quality standards as well as being notoriously costly and time-consuming to build. As you can see from our shots, designers have taken an evolutionary approach to the car’s looks. “The Golf is a true icon of the motoring world,” said VW design boss, Walter de’Silva. “It needs to be simple, timeless and instantly recognisable.”
So the MkVI refines the shape of the MkV, mixing it with elements that are classically Golf – such as the wide stance and chunky C-pillar. But at the same time it draws on new models like the Scirocco at the front, with a similar grille and headlight arrangement.
At the back, the new model features tail-lights inspired by the Touareg SUV. The look is simpler with no side rubbing strips, a sharp crease along the waistline, flush-fitting glass and a shorter front overhang. “It is more accentuated than its predecessor, with precisely defined lines and edges and finely proportioned flared surfaces and recesses,” continued de’Silva.
Dimensions are near identical to the outgoing model. The wheelbase is the same as the MkV’s, as is the roof height, while there’s only a small increase in width. Underneath the skin, the MkVI sits on the same platform, complete with a multi-link rear suspension set-up.
And VW has been able to cut manufacturing costs by greatly simplifying the way the doors are assembled, for example. Along with the windows, these are sealed in a new way, which also drastically reduces cabin noise. Inside, the company wanted to improve levels of quality. As a result, the feel of the switches has been upgraded, shutlines tightened up and high-grade materials used.
The dashboard design will be very familiar to current Golf owners, but the centre console is now angled more towards the driver, and the instrument binnacle features white backlit dials. There’s also liberal use of piano black and carbon fibre finishes, while the seats are trimmed in new fabric.
No information regarding boot space is available, but with the car sitting on the same wheelbase, the MkVI should have the same amount of luggage room as the MkV. Rear legroom will be similar, too.
The Golf is not lacking when it comes to hi-tech gadgetry, though. For the first time, it will be available with Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system, as seen on the Passat CC and the Scirocco.
This allows the driver to select Normal, Comfort or Sport modes, juggling the settings of the suspension, steering and throttle to best match driving conditions.
The Golf will also be offered with Automatic Distance Control, which monitors the area around the vehicle through a series of sensors. In extreme circumstances, this can bring the car to a complete stop to prevent a collision.
Other new safety items include knee airbags for the driver – bringing the total count to seven – a new head restraint system designed to reduce whiplash injuries, and a revised and improved ESP set-up.
Under the bonnet, the Golf will feature a wide range of engines. Diesels include an 89bhp 1.9-litre TDI and a 2.0-litre available in 108bhp, 138bhp and 168bhp form.
The 108bhp unit emits only 119g/km of CO2 and will cost £30 a year in road tax next year. Petrol powerplants will be available in 79bhp, 101bhp, 120bhp and 158bhp form, some of them TSI turbo units. And there’s a choice of six-speed manual and DSG gearboxes. Full details will be revealed later this year, but prices aren’t expected to rise greatly over the current car’s, so the range is likely to start at around £12,000.