Many will remember how good the fifth-generation of the popular Golf is, but as with technology nowadays, a sixth-edition was inevitable.
And here it is, and what a great looking car. It generally sells at a premium over its hatchback rivals and the key ingredient here is making the buying public still want o have one, despite it costing more.
So what have Volkswagen done then? Well, for a starter there is a new interior, some new engine tweaks and some technological enhancements along the way, yet retaining the underpinnings from the Golf Mark 5.
You have a choice here of both petrol units and diesel ones, starting with a standard 1.2-litre unit with 84 horsepower, then a 1.4-litre that has 121 horsepower, plus another with 160 horsepower and the powerful TFSI 2.0-litre GTI that has a turbo and churns out 210 horsepower. If you’re a diesel lover then you could opt for the standard 1.6-litre unit (there are two options here) with 90 horsepower, the other with 105 horsepower; then we have a couple of 2.0-litre common-rail units where power gets serious and so does the torque figure. The lower-powered option still has 140 horsepower, the more powerful (the GTD) version a meaty 170 horsepower. Either way, you will not be disappointed in any way with either of these engines.
Trim levels remain constant with entry level ‘S’, through ‘Match’, GT, GTD, GTI and R (this one has nearly 270 horsepower) but you do have the (excellent) choice of BlueMotion models should you want to do your bit for the environment.
All are available in three or five-door variants and naturally the Golf Plus is available, as is the estate version.
A few options can be had on the Golf for the first time, like Volkswagen’s adaptive Chassis Control which allows the driver to select from normal, comfort or sports settings to define the desired suspension settings whatever you may be doing or going. You also have Park Assist, which effectively takes over steering inputs to facilitate parallel parking.
The Golf VI now has a wider grille to the front of the car, that merges wonderfully well with the headlamps to form a seamless integration looking like a single stripe or band across its nose; down the side the profile is now much sleeker than before and at the back the relatively large rear tail light clusters wrap around the sides of the car to give it a wider, more squatter stance.
It’s the interior that really scores well here, mind. Quality plastics are used and seem better than before, and just about every switch, dial or button gets a neat circle of chrome surrounding it – makes it feel classy. The dash is similar in shape to the Mark V, but the dials don’t glow an eerie blue anymore, instead they’ve gone for the traditional and classy white.
It’s now much quieter inside also, thanks due to new door and window seals that really do make a difference. Inside, you will not be disappointed.
Cost-wise then, the fun starts from £16,425 which will buy you the 3-door 1.2-litre petrol; cheapest diesel is the 17,840 1.6-litre ‘S’ version, but expect to pay well into the twenties should you want one of the 2.0-litre variants.
But don’t worry, they’re worth every penny. And now a seventh-generation has been spawned…