2009 Volkswagen Golf VI Test Drive Euro Star Evolves With 40MPG Promise… — Volkswagen Golf VI

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Volkswagen Golf VI

2009 Volkswagen Golf VI Drive: Euro Star With 40-MPG Promise of an Diesel?

September 10, 2008 AM Text Size: A. A. A


REYKJAVIK, #151; While folks in the United States have content these past few scooting their hip little around the city#151;and praying the new Jetta diesel crosses the has been banking on its five of the flagship Golf here in to the tune of 26 million units And while gas-gouged Americans dropping their jaws week at the unveiling of the VW Golf its claimed 62 mpg from the 1.6-liter TDI were busy driving the version of the sixth-gen Golf on of the wettest and roughest Nordic imaginable.

So whaddaya mean it like the old Golf? With all the VW has had thanks to Giorgetto Giugiaro#146;s for a small and perfectly formed replacement, the Mk6 version attempts to some of the criticisms of its predecessor#151;without loyalists. #147;We just the old car, said Ulrich VW#146;s board member for development. #147;It sounds but you have to work very to do it. Volkswagen design boss de Silva told us he even the mighty Golf production in Wolfsburg, Germany, for two weeks he stroked his beard over the of design changes.

But will those picked-over cues and just two U.S. offer enough to fend off TDI-craving Americans when the arrives stateside next If anything was going to stop us finding out, it certainly going to be everything that Nature and the North Atlantic throw at us.

The Specs

Under the the Mark VI Golf is essentially a V mirror, so it#146;s the design that make a difference. The for one, shows enormous Surfaces are softer and easier on the and the build quality is simply out of world. The door pockets as if they could stop a the interior lamps have a of art to them, and the seat-adjusting mechanisms are delights.

At 165 in. long, the new Golf isn#146;t the B-segment family hatchback in but VW makes clever use of the interior Two six-footers can sit behind one another in comfort with simple and storage bins throughout the while the trunk is large and uncluttered by the rear-wheel arches. The are hard but comfortable, although the items don#146;t grip torso brilliantly#151;if you want to go round corners, you need the sport seats. Other that, however, the driving is spot-on, and the large reach-and-rake on the steering column allows the and smallest alike to drive

And for its class, the Golf has an eye-popping kit, too. Rain-sensing dark-sensing headlamps, intelligent control, rear parking reverse parking programs work the pedals, it does the and adaptive chassis control are all for which it#146;s well forking over the extra

Come January, Europeans get their pick of five at four cylinders apiece#151;1.4-, and 2.0-liter versions of the 1.4-liter TSI engines, plus the latest fuel-injected 2.0-liter turbodiesel, is already used in the Skoda and Audi A4. Certainly the latter become the UK#146;s most option, what with its 236 lb.-ft. of torque and top speed of while hitting 48 mpg.

In the meanwhile, the U.S. will get the 2.5-liter, 170-hp five-cylinder as to the Jetta, as well as the 200-hp, FSI mill from the GTI model and the diesel to boot. The latter is already fitted to the Jetta in the and is going like gangbusters.

Volkswagen Golf VI

The

While you#146;re sure the has started at the turn of the key, struggle to know this new is a diesel. The sound insulation is exemplary, with a fully firewall, double-skinned insulated and sound-deadening layer in the laminated As project leader Hubertus says, #147;Handling needs are according to different drivers, but needs a quieter car. As a Golf now sets the class in cabin refinement, beating its Audi A3 sister. At speed, a little rustling around the mirrors, perhaps, but then you down and realize that, to the quietness of the ride, you#146;re well over 100 mph.

Matched to the six-speed DSG, transmission, the diesel unit is powerful and well mannered. just under 2000 the surge is strong and keeps all the way to the 5000-rpm redline.

Ford#146;s Focus still wins the argument, but the gap has closed considerably. The weight transfer that to affect the old Golf has lessened, and the rear end occasionally heaves long-wave bumps, the car refuses to unsettled, no matter what the and driver throw at it. All-round brakes are very powerful a linear pedal action and a pedal feel. The steering is also improved, partly to body-shell stiffening. That for a first-class ride, especially on the roads.

The U.S. however, won#146;t immediately from the effervescent 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine, and a darn shame. This turbocharged and supercharged engine out a scarcely believable 160 hp and 177 lb.-ft. of while offering a smooth delivery sans attitude. with a seven-speed DSG gearbox, or manual, this top-model TSI has a top of 136 mph, pulls 0 to 62 mph in 8 seconds and a pristine 39.2 mpg.

The Line

#147;We can deliver engine in the U.S. if we have to, promises of the 1.4-liter TSI. are keeping a constant surveillance for demands for it. So keep up your and in the meantime rest assured VW has smartly relaunched what had something of a flawed predecessor to the iteration of the Golf. The style is, um, Golf, but that#146;s the whole The audience for this popular car doesn#146;t want it to change its every year#151;they like reliability and unobtrusiveness. And the fact their favorite is now a whole lot to drive is a bonus with they#146;re happy to live.

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