Golf Plus 2008-2014

The new Golf Plus went on sale in the UK on 1 April 2009, offering more space, style and value for money than the previous model.  The Golf Plus first went on sale in the UK on 1 June 2005, fitting into the Volkswagen line-up between the Golf hatchback and Touran compact MPV.

However, the Golf Plus is closer in concept to the Golf than the Touran, the latter model being a larger vehicle offered with seven seats.  Where the Touran appeals directly to buyers with families who are primarily concerned with practicality and space, the Golf Plus is likely to attract those without families – or with a small family – but who require more room and flexibility than the traditional hatchback can offer.

The similarities between the new Golf Plus and the Golf hatchback are no coincidence – the two models are very similar underneath, sharing, for example, the same wheelbase and major mechanical components.  However, thanks to its increased height (raised by 113 mm to 1,592 mm), the new Golf Plus offers more interior space.  This means more flexibility for the customer, thanks to more stowage areas and loadspace, more leg room for all occupants, and a more flexible rear seat arrangement.  These seats can be shifted lengthways by 160 mm and folded via a new system, which means they are lowered automatically when folded down, resulting in an almost level luggage space.  They can also split 60/40, with the middle seat doubling as a fold-down drinks table.  Furthermore, a double height boot floor (depending on trim level) allows more adaptable stowage and a maximum capacity of 505 litres with the rear seats in place.

Despite this increased space, the Golf Plus retains the Golf hatchback’s essential qualities which include award-winning driving dynamics, value for money and a high level of safety equipment.  Its styling is also closely linked to that of the hatch, particularly in key areas such as the bonnet, C-pillar and grille. 

Exterior styling revisions over the previous generation model include a lower profile, fully colour-coded and redesigned bumpers and revised ‘cherry red’ rear lights, incorporating LED technology.  Inside the cabin of the new Golf Plus, further improvements have been made, reaching new levels of quality while continuing to be one of the most versatile vehicles in it class.

The new Golf Plus is available with a range of two petrol and three diesel engines: 1.4-litre 80 PS, 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS, two highly efficient 1.6-litre common rail TDI units with 90 or 110 PS, and a 2.0-litre common rail TDI with 140 PS.   

Just two trim levels are offered – S and SE – and both offer a comprehensive list of standard equipment.  As you would expect from any car in the Golf family, the new Golf Plus also has an extensive list of safety features including ABS, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), driver and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints and six airbags, including deactivation switch for front passenger airbag.

SUMMARY

  • Unveiled at the Bologna Motor Show in December 2008
  • On sale in UK from 1 April 2009
  • An extension of the Golf range.  A five-seat hatchback, it fits into the Volkswagen line-up between the standard Golf hatchback and the Touran compact MPV, but is much closer in size and concept to the Golf, and shares
    a near identical ‘footprint’
  • Offers more headroom and more interior space than the already capacious Golf hatchback
  • Shares Golf’s multi-link rear suspension and resulting class-leading driving dynamics and comfort
  • New Golf Plus stands 113 mm taller than Golf hatchback at 1.59 m; front seat position raised by 75 mm for enhanced visibility and access
  • Features include a lengthways adjustable split rear seat with folding system; bootspace that can be increased from 395 to 505 litres and then to 1450 with the rear seats folded
  • Standard safety equipment includes ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme); driver, front passenger, front side and curtain airbags; fast-response rear LED lights; active front headrests; Isofix child seat mountings
  • On SE models, and standard for the first time on any car in the Volkswagen range, is the latest generation of Park Assist.  This option also adds parking sensors, and using a series of these located at the front, rear and side of the car, plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space either to the right or left of the vehicle
  • Styled to look like the Golf hatchback
  • Simplified range from previous generation with two trim levels: S and SE
  • ·         Five engines available: two petrol units comprising a 1.4-litre 80 PS and 1.4-litre TSI 122; plus 1.6-litre TDI CR with 90 or 110 PS and a 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS diesel optionss 
  • Six-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) is offered with 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS engine.  New seven-speed DSG is offered with 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS

Market information

  • Designed to appeal to those customers who need more space and flexibility than traditional hatchbacks offer, but do not like the idea of owning an MPV and with a similar footprint to a hatchback and key word is for audience is ‘comfort’
  • Main competitors include Ford Focus C-Max; Citroën C4 Picasso; Renault Scenic; Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  • Volkswagen plans to sell around 1,750 new Golf Plus models in the UK in 2009, rising to 3,150 in a full year
  • The most popular trim level will be the SE, accounting for 60% of sales
  • Over 70 per cent of Golf Plus models will be sold with a diesel engine
  • Fleet buyers will account for 40 per cent of sales; the majority of fleet vehicles will be ordered in S specification

Production

The Golf Plus is built exclusively at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory in Germany   State of the art production systems and assembly technologies are employed to ensure the Golf Plus maintains the highest quality levels.  

Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than six square kilometres.  The 1.6 sq km taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 75 km long, while the plant’s rail network totals 70 km, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The Wolfsburg factory has a production capacity of about 4,000 vehicles per day; these include the Golf, Golf Plus and within the Auto 5000 GmbH subsidiary, the Touran and Tiguan models are built.  In addition to passenger car production, the manufacture of components is a further important activity.  Of all the components produced here, which include drive shafts and injection mouldings, some are installed on site while others are transported to other Volkswagen Group plants around the world.  The Wolfsburg plant (excluding Auto 5000) employs around 43,500 people.

Every day around 120 double-decked railcars together with 160 car transporters leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg carrying 2,500 vehicles.  At the same time some 1,900 companies daily deliver their products – raw materials, parts or system groups – to the factory in approximately 150 railcars and 600 trucks.  The two on-site power stations in Wolfsburg provide not only energy for the factory, but also supply power and heat to the town of Wolfsburg.  Both power stations have an installed electrical power output of 442 megawatts.  

DESIGN

The Golf Plus is unmistakably based on the Golf, sharing engines, chassis and many other technical components.  However, the body and interior have been totally redesigned, giving the newcomer a unique and individual identity.  The Golf Plus is taller than the hatchback by 95 mm, features higher seats – 75 mm higher in the front and 85 mm in the back – and enjoys increased luggage space with a capacity ranging from 395 to 1,450 litres.  These increased dimensions offer the occupants more space, whilst increasing versatility and functionality. 

Comparison of Golf, Golf Plus and Touran:            

  Golf Mk VI Golf Plus Difference Touran
length, mm 4199 4204 +5 4407
width, w/out door mirrors, mm 1786 1759 -27 1794
height, mm 1479 1592 +113 1635
wheelbase, mm 2578 2578 0 2678
maximum luggage capacity        
w/out rear seat folded, litres 350 395 +45 695
with rear seat folded, litres 1305 1450 +145 1989

Exterior

The overall appearance of the Golf Plus – in particular the grille and C-pillars – were inspired by the look inherited from over three decades of Golf evolution.  However, while the Golf Plus is obviously a Golf, it is also immediately apparent that it is a new model.

The horizontally aligned band of the radiator grille, two high gloss black cross-bars and integrated Volkswagen roundel emulate that of the new Golf hatchback.  While, as with the model it replaces, the line of the bonnet becomes more vertical as it meets the windscreen.  In this respect, the Golf Plus follows the design set by both the Touran and the Touareg, meeting the demands of a comparably tall vehicle, as in this case the bonnet must form a more homogeneous shape with the windscreen.

The revised headlights, with their three round integrated elements (indicator, low beam and high beam), are large and distinctive.  These extend, as with the Touareg, far into each front wing. 

At the rear, the bold trapezoid tail lights lend a high quality appearance to the Golf Plus.  Using bright LED components for the tail lights, brake lights and indicators, they follow the style set by the Phaeton.  In contrast to conventional light bulbs, LED lights have a far faster response time and tend to have a longer life.  The inner parts of the lighting unit, featuring the fog lights and reverse lamps, are fitted with conventional light bulbs as they are used less often than the main lights.

Aerodynamics

The aerodynamics of the Golf Plus were carefully considered in the early design stages of the new model.  Before a scale model of the Golf Plus was even built, engineers carried out an analysis of flow behaviour on the body.  Using CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology, the design model was tested aerodynamically in a virtual environment.

These balanced aerodynamic properties not only lead to improved performance and fuel consumption but also to better driving dynamics, safety and stability at speed and in cross winds.  The new Golf Plus has an improved drag coefficient of 0.31 Cd.

The interior: seats

Compared with the Golf, all seats in the Golf Plus are positioned higher, for an even better view.  The position of the steering column and the angle of the accelerator pedal have been ergonomically adjusted to the higher seating position.

On every Golf Plus, the rear seat bench can be split 60/40, while the seat backs can be folded down in a split of approximately 40/20/40.  The seats can also be moved independently from one another up to 160 mm laterally.  Adjustment is performed easily using the lever under each seat section.  The angle of the back rests in the rear can also be adjusted in multiple settings, which helps when catering for a child seat. 

The seat backs are easy to fold down by pulling on a loop to release the catch.  When the rear seats are lowered, the mechanism automatically lowers the seat, to provide an almost level load space.

The centre rear seat back in the Golf Plus can be folded down for extra storage.  Usually, the back becomes a table with integrated cup holders, but a pad can also be used to transform it into a comfortable centre armrest.  In addition, a large, multifunctional compartment with integrated cup holders is available as an option.

Stowage space

The boot floor is variable with different height settings.  The dual position floor tray may be set at two different heights.  The lower position provides maximum space and the upper position gives a flat floor and hidden stowage for sports gear or a folding pushchair.

Up to 1,450 litres of storage capacity is available if the backs of the rear seats are lowered completely. 

Park Assist, parking sensors and rear-view camera

On SE models, and standard for the first time on any car in the Volkswagen range, is the latest generation of Park Assist.  This also adds parking sensors, and using a series of these located at the front, rear and side of the car, plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space either to the right or left of the vehicle.  Unlike the Park Assist system which has been available for a while now, this version requires a parking space 20 per cent smaller than previously: this means it requires the size of the car plus 1.1 metres rather than the car plus 1.4 metres. 

When driving at speeds of up to 19 mph, an ultrasonic sensor system detects all parallel parking spaces to the right or left of the vehicle.  A control unit then notifies the driver that an appropriate space has been found and calculates the ideal parking path.  Once in the recommended ‘start’ position, the driver engages reverse gear.  During the parking process the driver has no steering input, but is in control of the throttle and brake.

Even if Park Assist is not being used, when reverse gear is engaged, the driver benefits from the parking sensors which allow objects and vehicles behind the car to be pinpointed.  The system produces an audible warning signal to guide the driver up to a safe distance to any objects behind.  Not only does this help to avoid car park knocks, it could also prevent accidents, for example, if a child runs out who may not have been seen.

One option which can be specified alongside Park Assist on the new Golf Plus is a rear-view camera.  This is located behind the rear badge – so the lens is always clean – and transmits a real-time, distortion-free image of what is behind the car to the screen in the central display.  This allows the driver to see and recognise obstacles behind the car, and manoeuvre into the tightest parking spaces.  While moving, the screen marks out the car’s steering movements with coloured orientation lines.  This facility can also be extremely useful when hooking up to a tow hitch.   

Climate control

The new Golf Plus comes as standard with a semi-automatic climate control system known as Climatic.  To keep the cabin fresh and well ventilated there is a good flow of air to front and rear passengers, as well as a pollen filter which operates in both fresh-air and recirculating-air modes.  Using a simple dial control, the Climatic system maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

As an option, SE customers can specify fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control (Climatronic) air conditioning.  This two-zone device allows driver and front-seat passenger to adjust their own climates individually and independently.  Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.  The Climatronic’s intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetration into the cabin, and makes separate calculations to compensate for it on both the driver and passenger sides.

As an example of further attention to detail, the system switches automatically to recirculating-air mode when reversing and when the windscreen washer sprays are used; the fresh air supply is momentarily cut to prevent smells – of exhaust and windscreen wash – from entering.

 

ENGINES

The new Golf Plus is available with five engines: 1.4-litre 80 PS and 1.4-litre TSI 122 petrol units; plus a 1.6-litre common rail TDI with 90 or 105 PS and a 2.0-litre 140 PS common rail diesel unit.  The technically advanced designs of both the TSI and TDI power units result in class-leading efficiency and therefore lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. 

Petrol engines

1.4-litre, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 80 PS

The entry-level engine in the Golf Plus range is the proven 16-valve 1.4-litre unit featured in the Golf.  Maximum power output is 80 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 97 lbs ft (123 Nm) is delivered at 3,800 rpm.  This engine drives through a five-speed manual gearbox and returns 42.8 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 154 g/km of carbon dioxide.

TSI technology

The TSI name represents all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These engines produce high levels of power with low emissions from a relatively small capacity. 

TSI technology has received international acclaim.  After being recognised in the International Engine of the Year Awards since 2006 when it was named Best New Engine, in 2009 TSI technology won a trio of awards: the overall accolade of Best International Engine of the Year, Best Green Engine and Best Engine in the 1.0- to 1.4-litre category.  

1.4-litre, 1390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 122 PS

This turbocharged unit produces peak power of 122 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 148 lbs ft (200 Nm) from 1,500 up to 4,000 rpm.  It is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  Zero to 62 mph takes just 10.2 seconds and top speed is 121 mph.  Yet despite this performance and thanks in part to its small capacity it returns a healthy combined economy of 43.5 mpg (44.8 DSG) and CO2 emissions are 152 g/km (146 DSG).

Like all engines on the new Golf Plus, this TSI also fulfils the Euro 5 standard.  With this new standard in mind, the emissions system of the 122 PS TSI was also equipped with a modified composition for the catalytic converter’s noble metal lining.  The turbocharger in this engine is designed to be compact and lightweight, giving good performance with low consumption and emissions.  It is thanks to the very quick response of the turbocharger and the low-profile design of intake and exhaust cams together with variable inlet valve timing, that 80 per cent of the maximum torque is already available at 1,250 rpm.

Another notable aspect of the 122 PS TSI is its water-cooled intercooler located directly in the induction pipe.  It is part of a low-temperature coolant loop that is independent of the engine coolant system.  The advantage of this is that the inlet system can have a smaller volume than where a conventional air-to-air intercooler is used, and this in turn considerably shortens the time required to reach a charge pressure of 1,800 millibar in the induction system.  As a result this engine suffers little so-called ‘turbo lag’.

Diesel engines

All three diesel units used in the Golf Plus line-up use the latest in common rail technology for maximum refinement and economy with low emissions.  All diesel engines have a standard DPF (diesel particulate filter) to reduce particulate emissions to zero. 

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS

This new common rail engine provides an excellent combination of economy and performance.  It produces 90 PS at 4,200 rpm and 169 lbs ft (230 Nm) of torque at just 1,500 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes 13.5 seconds with a top speed of 108 mph.  This car’s fuel economy is its biggest appeal: combined consumption is 60.1 mpg with CO2 emissions of just 125 g/km.  It is available in base S trim only and with a standard five-speed manual gearbox.

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS

For those looking for a diesel engine with enhanced performance over the entry-level model, Volkswagen offers the same 1.6-litre common rail TDI unit modified to produce 105 PS.  Maximum torque is increased to 185 lbs ft (250 Nm) at 1,500 rpm; 0 to 62 mph takes 12.1 seconds (12 secs DSG) and top speed is 114 mph.  Combined consumption for this Golf Plus is an impressive 58.9 mpg (57.6 DSG) with CO2 emissions of just 126 g/km (129 DSG).  This engine is available in combination with both S and SE trims and with a five-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.       

2.0-litre TDI CR, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS

Fuel injection for the new Golf Plus’s 1,968 cc diesel engine is handled by the latest generation common rail system, with up to 1,800 bar injection pressure and special injection nozzles delivering especially fine atomisation of the fuel. 

Control of the eight-hole injection nozzles is achieved by the latest generation of piezo in-line injectors.  Electrically-controlled piezo crystals, assisted by a hydraulic element, inject the right amount of fuel in just fractions of a second. 

Compared with conventional solenoid valves, piezo technology enables more flexible injection processes with smaller and more precisely metered fuel volumes.  This leads to a very quiet and smooth running engine and exceptionally quick throttle response with low fuel consumption and emissions.

In the Golf Plus, with a standard six-speed manual gearbox, the 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS unit delivers 140 PS at 4,200 rpm and maximum torque of 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm.  Despite its lively nature, the engine returns impressive fuel economy of 64.2 mpg, and complies with the Euro 5 emissions standard.  Carbon dioxide emissions are 135 g/km.  This engine is also available with a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  In this case fuel consumption is 50.4 mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of 146 g/km.    

Gearboxes

Five-speed manual

This transmission is fitted as standard to the 1.4-litre 80 PS petrol and the 1.6-litre TDI 90 and 105 PS common rail diesel units.

Six-speed manual

The Golf Plus 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS models are equipped as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox featuring a magnesium selector housing and very short lever movements.  Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action.  Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption.

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox

The Golf Plus SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS can be combined with the six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG).  DSG is a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the agility and economy of a manual unit. 

The six-speed, transversely mounted DSG has two wet clutches (offering a higher thermal load tolerance than dry clutches) with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this new clutch management system, the breaks in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.

Seven-speed DSG

The 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS and 1.6-litre TDI CR 105 PS Golf Plus models are available with a seven-speed DSG transmission.  This, another world-first for Volkswagen, uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact. 

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels. 

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7-litres in the new seven-speed system.

It should be noted that both DSG gearboxes are application specific.  The six-speed version can be paired with high torque engines (up to 350 Nm) while the seven-speed variant is more effective in combination with smaller engines with torque outputs of up to 250 Nm.

Servicing
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf Plus.  They can choose Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its use. 

Time and Distance Servicing is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

LongLife Servicing is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the LongLife system, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due. 

RUNNING GEAR

A new era for Volkswagen suspension design was ushered in with the arrival of the Mk V Golf back in 2004.  The latest model, and consequently the latest Golf Plus, retains the key characteristics of this successful and award-winning set-up, namely strut-type front and four-link rear suspension.

Front axle
At the front the Golf Plus uses proven strut-type front suspension to offer direct steering feedback, strong axle rigidity under cornering loads and minimal body roll.  Ride and handling benefit from the car’s clever mounting concept for the lower wishbone, with separate mountings for spring and damper on the suspension strut tower, a lightweight twin-sleeve damper unit and optimised spring rates.

Multi-link rear axle
The Golf Mk V’s completely new four-link rear suspension system was a major stride forwards for this market segment in terms of providing the optimum combination of handling dynamics and ride comfort.

The compact four-link layout features three lateral control arms – the spring mounting, the track rod and the upper control arm – and a trailing link at each wheel.  Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle subframe and, as at the front, rubber-and-metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to ensure that the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively.  This combines accurate handling with good ride and low road noise levels.

The spring and damper on each side are located separately; the spring bears directly on the trailing link and the damper unit is attached to the wheel hub assembly.  The suspension geometry on the compression stroke generates a toe steering effect that maintains neutral behaviour or slight understeer in all driving and load-carrying situations.

Among the benefits of the almost neutral layout are excellent straight-running stability characteristics on highly uneven road surfaces and minimised tyre wear.

Electro-mechanical power steering
The Golf Plus uses a third generation electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.  Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Braking system
The Golf Plus features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) as standard across the range.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, measuring 288 mm in diameter, with solid discs of 253 mm on the rear axle.  The latest-generation ESP system developed for the Golf Plus has a range of features designed to have a direct effect on active safety.  

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

The latest generation of ESP fitted to the Golf Plus has a finer response, counter-steering recommendation and offers trailer stabilisation. 

This function can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer when a Volkswagen-approved towbar is fitted.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESP purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors. 

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESP control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle/trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

Hydraulic Brake Assist
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Auto hold function
All Golf Plus models with a DSG gearbox feature an auto hold function as standard, and this can be specified on manual models for a small premium.  The system is useful when the car stops for short periods (such as in heavy town traffic).  The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.  This function comes into its own when crawling along in heavy traffic on long inclines. 

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Golf Plus is available in two trim levels: S and SE.

S 1.4-litre 80 PS

S 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS

S 1.6-litre TDI 90 and 105 PS

All the above models feature the following standard features:

  • ABS anti-lock brakes with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (traction control)
  • driver and front passenger airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch
  • curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers, including front side impact airbags
  • rear lights incorporating LED technology
  • three-point seatbelts for all rear passengers
  • driver and front passenger’s active head restraints
  • Isofix child seat preparation for two outer rear seats
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning with glovebox cooler
  • remote control central locking
  • front and rear electric windows
  • electrically adjustable and heated body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • body-coloured bump and side strips
  • RCD210 radio / MP3 compatible CD player and four speakers
  • height and reach adjustable steering column; driver’s seat height adjustment
  • steel wheels with full size wheel trims, 6J x 15 with 195/65 R15 tyres

SE 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS          

SE 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS

SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS

Among a number of additional features, the SE adds the following equipment:

  • alarm with interior protection
  • RCD310 radio / MP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers and AUX-in socket
  • Park Assist and parking sensors, front and rear
  • multifunction computer
  • front comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • driver’s and front passenger’s under seat drawer
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • front seat back storage pockets; front seat back tables
  • cruise control
  • variable boot floor
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • dusk sensor, automatic driving lights
  • automatic coming/leaving home lighting function
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • 6½J x 16 ‘Atlanta’ alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Golf Plus, allowing buyers to customise further their vehicles.  These include an electric tilt/slide glass sunroof, a variety of alloy wheels, redesigned and fully integrated roof rails, a DVD touchscreen satellite navigation system and rear view camera.  An air conditioning upgrade is also optional, as is leather upholstery.

DVD touchscreen navigation/radio system

The new Golf Plus SE is offered with the option of a factory-fit touch-screen DVD navigation and entertainment system.  This installation features a large touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  

As well as playing CDs in the usual manner, favourite tracks can also be stored onto the internal, 30 GB hard-drive via an SD card slot in the front of the unit.  The hard-drive can also be used to store navigation mapping.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.  

For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

The driver or passenger can use the screen to pinpoint where the car is on a moving map display.  A traffic jam avoidance facility will be able to calculate alternative routes and the radio can memorise the latest traffic information bulletin even when switched off.

In-car entertainment

The Golf Plus is sold with Volkswagen-designed stereo equipment.  This is integrated with the vehicle and ergonomically designed for ease and safety of operation and maximum security.  On S models, the in-car entertainment system has four speakers, but this system can be upgraded to eight as an option. 

All new Golf Plus models have a dash-mounted CD player as standard.  This can be upgraded to an armrest-mounted six-disc CD autochanger for a small premium.

Luxury pack

Available across the range, this pack offers a variety of features designed to give maximum convenience to driver and passengers.  The pack comprises surrounding area lighting and electrically-foldable door mirrors, the mirrors also adjust automatically to provide a kerb-view on the passenger side when reverse gear is selected.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The high levels of body rigidity brought about by the advanced construction techniques employed in the new Golf Plus make it safe, thanks to the strength inherent in the body.  Key to this is the employment of laser seam welding in the construction of the new Golf Plus.

Offset collision

In the event of a high-speed offset accident, an extremely strong front cross-member ensures that energy is efficiently absorbed even on the side of the car furthest from the impact.  The side members have been adapted to meet this requirement by means of ‘Tailored Blank’ technology: a maximum amount of energy is absorbed in the front section of the car and only then does the rear side member section deform, thus reducing footwell intrusion.

Further protection of the footwell is achieved by the use of a cross-member to distribute longitudinal forces to the sill, the underfloor side-member and a stiffened transmission tunnel.  COF, or Crash-Optimised Foot controls, retract forwards in a crash to reduce the risk of foot injury.

Side impact

The Golf Plus features high levels of passenger protection against side impacts due to the use of high-strength body panels and a three-layer B-pillar structure.  Impact loads are spread more uniformly as a result, preventing localised overloading.  High-strength side reinforcements are employed in the doors.

Rear-end collision

The latest safety standard requirements were taken into consideration in the design of the rear protection systems in the Golf Plus.  These new regulations require that, when the rear is struck by a deformable barrier at 50 mph, the fuel tank system must develop no leaks.  Thus the tank filler neck and associated pipework is located ahead of the rear wheel, outside the crumple zone.

A high-strength bumper cross-member ensures that impact loads are distributed as evenly as possible to both sides of the car.

For active safety measures, please see Braking section.

Passenger safety

The Golf name has always been synonymous with safety, and in the new Golf Plus, the well-being of all occupants is paramount.  All models feature:

  • twin front airbags
  • passenger airbag which can be deactivated using the ignition key so a rear-facing child seat can be safely installed in the front
  • driver and front passenger side airbags
  • curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers
  • active front head restraints to protect against whiplash injury
  • three rear head restraints and three rear three-point seat belts
  • Isofix child seat preparation for the two outer rear seats
  • Seat belt system

In the event of an accident, the Golf Plus belt tensioners are electrically triggered by a central control unit.  Belt tensioning ensures the best performance, with energy being absorbed over a longer period of time with more moderate deceleration values.  Both front and rear seat belt systems are fitted with force limiters which prevent excessive pressure being applied to the chest in the event of an accident; while newly-designed inertia-reel seat belts ensure excellent passenger comfort.

Front airbags

The front restraint system of the Golf Plus consists of a driver’s airbag with a volume of 60 litres and a front passenger airbag of 120 litres.  A further feature is the steering column, which has a highly engineered clamp for longitudinal and vertical adjustment.  This clamp helps prevent the steering wheel moving upwards in the event of a crash.  The underside of the steering column is also covered with an energy-absorbing trim to reduce knee and thigh forces, while a rigid footwell with forward-retracting brake and clutch pedals reduce loads on the feet.

Side airbags

The side airbags of the Golf Plus are integrated in the front seat backrests.  They protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and suit the car’s rigid side structure, while an innovative sensor concept means even faster triggering times.  Integrating the side airbags in the backrests ensures optimum positioning of the driver and front passenger with respect to the airbags.

Curtain airbag system

The Golf Plus has especially large curtain airbags which cover the side window areas from the A- to the C-pillar and from the headlining down to over the doorsill.  The result of this feature is that maximum protection is afforded to all outer seat positions regardless of passenger body size.  The fact that these airbags cover such a large area prevents the head from swinging out, and keeps limbs inside the vehicle.  They also prevent objects from penetrating the interior even in the event of the car rolling over.

Child seat

An Isofix child seat has been developed for very small passengers in the Golf Plus, with a target age group between eight months and four years (or 9 to 18 kgs).  It fits into the Isofix fixtures, which are standard in the two outer rear seats.  This type of fitting ensures that the seat is secured in place to optimum effect. 

Insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the new Golf Plus has secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers):

S

1.4-litre 80 PS              4

1.4-litre TSI 122 PS     7

1.6-litre TDI 90 PS       5

1.6-litre TDI 105 PS     6

SE

1.4-litre TSI 122 PS     7

1.6-litre TDI 105 PS    6

2.0-litre TDI 140 PS     8

WARRANTIES

The Golf Plus has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance for UK and European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

The new Golf Plus went on sale in the UK on 1 April 2009, offering more space, style and value for money than the previous model.  The Golf Plus first went on sale in the UK on 1 June 2005, fitting into the Volkswagen line-up between the Golf hatchback and Touran compact MPV.

However, the Golf Plus is closer in concept to the Golf than the Touran, the latter model being a larger vehicle offered with seven seats.  Where the Touran appeals directly to buyers with families who are primarily concerned with practicality and space, the Golf Plus is likely to attract those without families – or with a small family – but who require more room and flexibility than the traditional hatchback can offer.

The similarities between the new Golf Plus and the Golf hatchback are no coincidence – the two models are very similar underneath, sharing, for example, the same wheelbase and major mechanical components.  However, thanks to its increased height (raised by 113 mm to 1,592 mm), the new Golf Plus offers more interior space.  This means more flexibility for the customer, thanks to more stowage areas and loadspace, more leg room for all occupants, and a more flexible rear seat arrangement.  These seats can be shifted lengthways by 160 mm and folded via a new system, which means they are lowered automatically when folded down, resulting in an almost level luggage space.  They can also split 60/40, with the middle seat doubling as a fold-down drinks table.  Furthermore, a double height boot floor (depending on trim level) allows more adaptable stowage and a maximum capacity of 505 litres with the rear seats in place.

Despite this increased space, the Golf Plus retains the Golf hatchback’s essential qualities which include award-winning driving dynamics, value for money and a high level of safety equipment.  Its styling is also closely linked to that of the hatch, particularly in key areas such as the bonnet, C-pillar and grille. 

Exterior styling revisions over the previous generation model include a lower profile, fully colour-coded and redesigned bumpers and revised ‘cherry red’ rear lights, incorporating LED technology.  Inside the cabin of the new Golf Plus, further improvements have been made, reaching new levels of quality while continuing to be one of the most versatile vehicles in it class.

The new Golf Plus is available with a range of two petrol and three diesel engines: 1.4-litre 80 PS, 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS, two highly efficient 1.6-litre common rail TDI units with 90 or 110 PS, and a 2.0-litre common rail TDI with 140 PS.   

Just two trim levels are offered – S and SE – and both offer a comprehensive list of standard equipment.  As you would expect from any car in the Golf family, the new Golf Plus also has an extensive list of safety features including ABS, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), driver and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints and six airbags, including deactivation switch for front passenger airbag.

SUMMARY

  • Unveiled at the Bologna Motor Show in December 2008
  • On sale in UK from 1 April 2009
  • An extension of the Golf range.  A five-seat hatchback, it fits into the Volkswagen line-up between the standard Golf hatchback and the Touran compact MPV, but is much closer in size and concept to the Golf, and shares
    a near identical ‘footprint’
  • Offers more headroom and more interior space than the already capacious Golf hatchback
  • Shares Golf’s multi-link rear suspension and resulting class-leading driving dynamics and comfort
  • New Golf Plus stands 113 mm taller than Golf hatchback at 1.59 m; front seat position raised by 75 mm for enhanced visibility and access
  • Features include a lengthways adjustable split rear seat with folding system; bootspace that can be increased from 395 to 505 litres and then to 1450 with the rear seats folded
  • Standard safety equipment includes ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme); driver, front passenger, front side and curtain airbags; fast-response rear LED lights; active front headrests; Isofix child seat mountings
  • On SE models, and standard for the first time on any car in the Volkswagen range, is the latest generation of Park Assist.  This option also adds parking sensors, and using a series of these located at the front, rear and side of the car, plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space either to the right or left of the vehicle
  • Styled to look like the Golf hatchback
  • Simplified range from previous generation with two trim levels: S and SE
  • ·         Five engines available: two petrol units comprising a 1.4-litre 80 PS and 1.4-litre TSI 122; plus 1.6-litre TDI CR with 90 or 110 PS and a 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS diesel optionss 
  • Six-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) is offered with 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS engine.  New seven-speed DSG is offered with 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS

Market information

  • Designed to appeal to those customers who need more space and flexibility than traditional hatchbacks offer, but do not like the idea of owning an MPV and with a similar footprint to a hatchback and key word is for audience is ‘comfort’
  • Main competitors include Ford Focus C-Max; Citroën C4 Picasso; Renault Scenic; Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  • Volkswagen plans to sell around 1,750 new Golf Plus models in the UK in 2009, rising to 3,150 in a full year
  • The most popular trim level will be the SE, accounting for 60% of sales
  • Over 70 per cent of Golf Plus models will be sold with a diesel engine
  • Fleet buyers will account for 40 per cent of sales; the majority of fleet vehicles will be ordered in S specification

Production

The Golf Plus is built exclusively at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory in Germany   State of the art production systems and assembly technologies are employed to ensure the Golf Plus maintains the highest quality levels.  

Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than six square kilometres.  The 1.6 sq km taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 75 km long, while the plant’s rail network totals 70 km, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The Wolfsburg factory has a production capacity of about 4,000 vehicles per day; these include the Golf, Golf Plus and within the Auto 5000 GmbH subsidiary, the Touran and Tiguan models are built.  In addition to passenger car production, the manufacture of components is a further important activity.  Of all the components produced here, which include drive shafts and injection mouldings, some are installed on site while others are transported to other Volkswagen Group plants around the world.  The Wolfsburg plant (excluding Auto 5000) employs around 43,500 people.

Every day around 120 double-decked railcars together with 160 car transporters leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg carrying 2,500 vehicles.  At the same time some 1,900 companies daily deliver their products – raw materials, parts or system groups – to the factory in approximately 150 railcars and 600 trucks.  The two on-site power stations in Wolfsburg provide not only energy for the factory, but also supply power and heat to the town of Wolfsburg.  Both power stations have an installed electrical power output of 442 megawatts.  

DESIGN

The Golf Plus is unmistakably based on the Golf, sharing engines, chassis and many other technical components.  However, the body and interior have been totally redesigned, giving the newcomer a unique and individual identity.  The Golf Plus is taller than the hatchback by 95 mm, features higher seats – 75 mm higher in the front and 85 mm in the back – and enjoys increased luggage space with a capacity ranging from 395 to 1,450 litres.  These increased dimensions offer the occupants more space, whilst increasing versatility and functionality. 

Comparison of Golf, Golf Plus and Touran:            

  Golf Mk VI Golf Plus Difference Touran
length, mm 4199 4204 +5 4407
width, w/out door mirrors, mm 1786 1759 -27 1794
height, mm 1479 1592 +113 1635
wheelbase, mm 2578 2578 0 2678
maximum luggage capacity        
w/out rear seat folded, litres 350 395 +45 695
with rear seat folded, litres 1305 1450 +145 1989

Exterior

The overall appearance of the Golf Plus – in particular the grille and C-pillars – were inspired by the look inherited from over three decades of Golf evolution.  However, while the Golf Plus is obviously a Golf, it is also immediately apparent that it is a new model.

The horizontally aligned band of the radiator grille, two high gloss black cross-bars and integrated Volkswagen roundel emulate that of the new Golf hatchback.  While, as with the model it replaces, the line of the bonnet becomes more vertical as it meets the windscreen.  In this respect, the Golf Plus follows the design set by both the Touran and the Touareg, meeting the demands of a comparably tall vehicle, as in this case the bonnet must form a more homogeneous shape with the windscreen.

The revised headlights, with their three round integrated elements (indicator, low beam and high beam), are large and distinctive.  These extend, as with the Touareg, far into each front wing. 

At the rear, the bold trapezoid tail lights lend a high quality appearance to the Golf Plus.  Using bright LED components for the tail lights, brake lights and indicators, they follow the style set by the Phaeton.  In contrast to conventional light bulbs, LED lights have a far faster response time and tend to have a longer life.  The inner parts of the lighting unit, featuring the fog lights and reverse lamps, are fitted with conventional light bulbs as they are used less often than the main lights.

Aerodynamics

The aerodynamics of the Golf Plus were carefully considered in the early design stages of the new model.  Before a scale model of the Golf Plus was even built, engineers carried out an analysis of flow behaviour on the body.  Using CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology, the design model was tested aerodynamically in a virtual environment.

These balanced aerodynamic properties not only lead to improved performance and fuel consumption but also to better driving dynamics, safety and stability at speed and in cross winds.  The new Golf Plus has an improved drag coefficient of 0.31 Cd.

The interior: seats

Compared with the Golf, all seats in the Golf Plus are positioned higher, for an even better view.  The position of the steering column and the angle of the accelerator pedal have been ergonomically adjusted to the higher seating position.

On every Golf Plus, the rear seat bench can be split 60/40, while the seat backs can be folded down in a split of approximately 40/20/40.  The seats can also be moved independently from one another up to 160 mm laterally.  Adjustment is performed easily using the lever under each seat section.  The angle of the back rests in the rear can also be adjusted in multiple settings, which helps when catering for a child seat. 

The seat backs are easy to fold down by pulling on a loop to release the catch.  When the rear seats are lowered, the mechanism automatically lowers the seat, to provide an almost level load space.

The centre rear seat back in the Golf Plus can be folded down for extra storage.  Usually, the back becomes a table with integrated cup holders, but a pad can also be used to transform it into a comfortable centre armrest.  In addition, a large, multifunctional compartment with integrated cup holders is available as an option.

Stowage space

The boot floor is variable with different height settings.  The dual position floor tray may be set at two different heights.  The lower position provides maximum space and the upper position gives a flat floor and hidden stowage for sports gear or a folding pushchair.

Up to 1,450 litres of storage capacity is available if the backs of the rear seats are lowered completely. 

Park Assist, parking sensors and rear-view camera

On SE models, and standard for the first time on any car in the Volkswagen range, is the latest generation of Park Assist.  This also adds parking sensors, and using a series of these located at the front, rear and side of the car, plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space either to the right or left of the vehicle.  Unlike the Park Assist system which has been available for a while now, this version requires a parking space 20 per cent smaller than previously: this means it requires the size of the car plus 1.1 metres rather than the car plus 1.4 metres. 

When driving at speeds of up to 19 mph, an ultrasonic sensor system detects all parallel parking spaces to the right or left of the vehicle.  A control unit then notifies the driver that an appropriate space has been found and calculates the ideal parking path.  Once in the recommended ‘start’ position, the driver engages reverse gear.  During the parking process the driver has no steering input, but is in control of the throttle and brake.

Even if Park Assist is not being used, when reverse gear is engaged, the driver benefits from the parking sensors which allow objects and vehicles behind the car to be pinpointed.  The system produces an audible warning signal to guide the driver up to a safe distance to any objects behind.  Not only does this help to avoid car park knocks, it could also prevent accidents, for example, if a child runs out who may not have been seen.

One option which can be specified alongside Park Assist on the new Golf Plus is a rear-view camera.  This is located behind the rear badge – so the lens is always clean – and transmits a real-time, distortion-free image of what is behind the car to the screen in the central display.  This allows the driver to see and recognise obstacles behind the car, and manoeuvre into the tightest parking spaces.  While moving, the screen marks out the car’s steering movements with coloured orientation lines.  This facility can also be extremely useful when hooking up to a tow hitch.   

Climate control

The new Golf Plus comes as standard with a semi-automatic climate control system known as Climatic.  To keep the cabin fresh and well ventilated there is a good flow of air to front and rear passengers, as well as a pollen filter which operates in both fresh-air and recirculating-air modes.  Using a simple dial control, the Climatic system maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

As an option, SE customers can specify fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control (Climatronic) air conditioning.  This two-zone device allows driver and front-seat passenger to adjust their own climates individually and independently.  Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.  The Climatronic’s intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetration into the cabin, and makes separate calculations to compensate for it on both the driver and passenger sides.

As an example of further attention to detail, the system switches automatically to recirculating-air mode when reversing and when the windscreen washer sprays are used; the fresh air supply is momentarily cut to prevent smells – of exhaust and windscreen wash – from entering.

 

ENGINES

The new Golf Plus is available with five engines: 1.4-litre 80 PS and 1.4-litre TSI 122 petrol units; plus a 1.6-litre common rail TDI with 90 or 105 PS and a 2.0-litre 140 PS common rail diesel unit.  The technically advanced designs of both the TSI and TDI power units result in class-leading efficiency and therefore lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. 

Petrol engines

1.4-litre, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 80 PS

The entry-level engine in the Golf Plus range is the proven 16-valve 1.4-litre unit featured in the Golf.  Maximum power output is 80 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 97 lbs ft (123 Nm) is delivered at 3,800 rpm.  This engine drives through a five-speed manual gearbox and returns 42.8 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 154 g/km of carbon dioxide.

TSI technology

The TSI name represents all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These engines produce high levels of power with low emissions from a relatively small capacity. 

TSI technology has received international acclaim.  After being recognised in the International Engine of the Year Awards since 2006 when it was named Best New Engine, in 2009 TSI technology won a trio of awards: the overall accolade of Best International Engine of the Year, Best Green Engine and Best Engine in the 1.0- to 1.4-litre category.  

1.4-litre, 1390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 122 PS

This turbocharged unit produces peak power of 122 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 148 lbs ft (200 Nm) from 1,500 up to 4,000 rpm.  It is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  Zero to 62 mph takes just 10.2 seconds and top speed is 121 mph.  Yet despite this performance and thanks in part to its small capacity it returns a healthy combined economy of 43.5 mpg (44.8 DSG) and CO2 emissions are 152 g/km (146 DSG).

Like all engines on the new Golf Plus, this TSI also fulfils the Euro 5 standard.  With this new standard in mind, the emissions system of the 122 PS TSI was also equipped with a modified composition for the catalytic converter’s noble metal lining.  The turbocharger in this engine is designed to be compact and lightweight, giving good performance with low consumption and emissions.  It is thanks to the very quick response of the turbocharger and the low-profile design of intake and exhaust cams together with variable inlet valve timing, that 80 per cent of the maximum torque is already available at 1,250 rpm.

Another notable aspect of the 122 PS TSI is its water-cooled intercooler located directly in the induction pipe.  It is part of a low-temperature coolant loop that is independent of the engine coolant system.  The advantage of this is that the inlet system can have a smaller volume than where a conventional air-to-air intercooler is used, and this in turn considerably shortens the time required to reach a charge pressure of 1,800 millibar in the induction system.  As a result this engine suffers little so-called ‘turbo lag’.

Diesel engines

All three diesel units used in the Golf Plus line-up use the latest in common rail technology for maximum refinement and economy with low emissions.  All diesel engines have a standard DPF (diesel particulate filter) to reduce particulate emissions to zero. 

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS

This new common rail engine provides an excellent combination of economy and performance.  It produces 90 PS at 4,200 rpm and 169 lbs ft (230 Nm) of torque at just 1,500 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes 13.5 seconds with a top speed of 108 mph.  This car’s fuel economy is its biggest appeal: combined consumption is 60.1 mpg with CO2 emissions of just 125 g/km.  It is available in base S trim only and with a standard five-speed manual gearbox.

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS

For those looking for a diesel engine with enhanced performance over the entry-level model, Volkswagen offers the same 1.6-litre common rail TDI unit modified to produce 105 PS.  Maximum torque is increased to 185 lbs ft (250 Nm) at 1,500 rpm; 0 to 62 mph takes 12.1 seconds (12 secs DSG) and top speed is 114 mph.  Combined consumption for this Golf Plus is an impressive 58.9 mpg (57.6 DSG) with CO2 emissions of just 126 g/km (129 DSG).  This engine is available in combination with both S and SE trims and with a five-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.       

2.0-litre TDI CR, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS

Fuel injection for the new Golf Plus’s 1,968 cc diesel engine is handled by the latest generation common rail system, with up to 1,800 bar injection pressure and special injection nozzles delivering especially fine atomisation of the fuel. 

Control of the eight-hole injection nozzles is achieved by the latest generation of piezo in-line injectors.  Electrically-controlled piezo crystals, assisted by a hydraulic element, inject the right amount of fuel in just fractions of a second. 

Compared with conventional solenoid valves, piezo technology enables more flexible injection processes with smaller and more precisely metered fuel volumes.  This leads to a very quiet and smooth running engine and exceptionally quick throttle response with low fuel consumption and emissions.

In the Golf Plus, with a standard six-speed manual gearbox, the 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS unit delivers 140 PS at 4,200 rpm and maximum torque of 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm.  Despite its lively nature, the engine returns impressive fuel economy of 64.2 mpg, and complies with the Euro 5 emissions standard.  Carbon dioxide emissions are 135 g/km.  This engine is also available with a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  In this case fuel consumption is 50.4 mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of 146 g/km.    

Gearboxes

Five-speed manual

This transmission is fitted as standard to the 1.4-litre 80 PS petrol and the 1.6-litre TDI 90 and 105 PS common rail diesel units.

Six-speed manual

The Golf Plus 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS models are equipped as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox featuring a magnesium selector housing and very short lever movements.  Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action.  Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption.

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox

The Golf Plus SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS can be combined with the six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG).  DSG is a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the agility and economy of a manual unit. 

The six-speed, transversely mounted DSG has two wet clutches (offering a higher thermal load tolerance than dry clutches) with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this new clutch management system, the breaks in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.

Seven-speed DSG

The 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS and 1.6-litre TDI CR 105 PS Golf Plus models are available with a seven-speed DSG transmission.  This, another world-first for Volkswagen, uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact. 

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels. 

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7-litres in the new seven-speed system.

It should be noted that both DSG gearboxes are application specific.  The six-speed version can be paired with high torque engines (up to 350 Nm) while the seven-speed variant is more effective in combination with smaller engines with torque outputs of up to 250 Nm.

Servicing
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf Plus.  They can choose Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its use. 

Time and Distance Servicing is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

LongLife Servicing is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the LongLife system, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due. 

RUNNING GEAR

A new era for Volkswagen suspension design was ushered in with the arrival of the Mk V Golf back in 2004.  The latest model, and consequently the latest Golf Plus, retains the key characteristics of this successful and award-winning set-up, namely strut-type front and four-link rear suspension.

Front axle
At the front the Golf Plus uses proven strut-type front suspension to offer direct steering feedback, strong axle rigidity under cornering loads and minimal body roll.  Ride and handling benefit from the car’s clever mounting concept for the lower wishbone, with separate mountings for spring and damper on the suspension strut tower, a lightweight twin-sleeve damper unit and optimised spring rates.

Multi-link rear axle
The Golf Mk V’s completely new four-link rear suspension system was a major stride forwards for this market segment in terms of providing the optimum combination of handling dynamics and ride comfort.

The compact four-link layout features three lateral control arms – the spring mounting, the track rod and the upper control arm – and a trailing link at each wheel.  Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle subframe and, as at the front, rubber-and-metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to ensure that the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively.  This combines accurate handling with good ride and low road noise levels.

The spring and damper on each side are located separately; the spring bears directly on the trailing link and the damper unit is attached to the wheel hub assembly.  The suspension geometry on the compression stroke generates a toe steering effect that maintains neutral behaviour or slight understeer in all driving and load-carrying situations.

Among the benefits of the almost neutral layout are excellent straight-running stability characteristics on highly uneven road surfaces and minimised tyre wear.

Electro-mechanical power steering
The Golf Plus uses a third generation electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.  Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Braking system
The Golf Plus features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) as standard across the range.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, measuring 288 mm in diameter, with solid discs of 253 mm on the rear axle.  The latest-generation ESP system developed for the Golf Plus has a range of features designed to have a direct effect on active safety.  

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

The latest generation of ESP fitted to the Golf Plus has a finer response, counter-steering recommendation and offers trailer stabilisation. 

This function can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer when a Volkswagen-approved towbar is fitted.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESP purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors. 

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESP control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle/trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

Hydraulic Brake Assist
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Auto hold function
All Golf Plus models with a DSG gearbox feature an auto hold function as standard, and this can be specified on manual models for a small premium.  The system is useful when the car stops for short periods (such as in heavy town traffic).  The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.  This function comes into its own when crawling along in heavy traffic on long inclines. 

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Golf Plus is available in two trim levels: S and SE.

S 1.4-litre 80 PS

S 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS

S 1.6-litre TDI 90 and 105 PS

All the above models feature the following standard features:

  • ABS anti-lock brakes with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (traction control)
  • driver and front passenger airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch
  • curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers, including front side impact airbags
  • rear lights incorporating LED technology
  • three-point seatbelts for all rear passengers
  • driver and front passenger’s active head restraints
  • Isofix child seat preparation for two outer rear seats
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning with glovebox cooler
  • remote control central locking
  • front and rear electric windows
  • electrically adjustable and heated body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • body-coloured bump and side strips
  • RCD210 radio / MP3 compatible CD player and four speakers
  • height and reach adjustable steering column; driver’s seat height adjustment
  • steel wheels with full size wheel trims, 6J x 15 with 195/65 R15 tyres

SE 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS          

SE 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS

SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS

Among a number of additional features, the SE adds the following equipment:

  • alarm with interior protection
  • RCD310 radio / MP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers and AUX-in socket
  • Park Assist and parking sensors, front and rear
  • multifunction computer
  • front comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • driver’s and front passenger’s under seat drawer
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • front seat back storage pockets; front seat back tables
  • cruise control
  • variable boot floor
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • dusk sensor, automatic driving lights
  • automatic coming/leaving home lighting function
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • 6½J x 16 ‘Atlanta’ alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Golf Plus, allowing buyers to customise further their vehicles.  These include an electric tilt/slide glass sunroof, a variety of alloy wheels, redesigned and fully integrated roof rails, a DVD touchscreen satellite navigation system and rear view camera.  An air conditioning upgrade is also optional, as is leather upholstery.

DVD touchscreen navigation/radio system

The new Golf Plus SE is offered with the option of a factory-fit touch-screen DVD navigation and entertainment system.  This installation features a large touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  

As well as playing CDs in the usual manner, favourite tracks can also be stored onto the internal, 30 GB hard-drive via an SD card slot in the front of the unit.  The hard-drive can also be used to store navigation mapping.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.  

For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

The driver or passenger can use the screen to pinpoint where the car is on a moving map display.  A traffic jam avoidance facility will be able to calculate alternative routes and the radio can memorise the latest traffic information bulletin even when switched off.

In-car entertainment

The Golf Plus is sold with Volkswagen-designed stereo equipment.  This is integrated with the vehicle and ergonomically designed for ease and safety of operation and maximum security.  On S models, the in-car entertainment system has four speakers, but this system can be upgraded to eight as an option. 

All new Golf Plus models have a dash-mounted CD player as standard.  This can be upgraded to an armrest-mounted six-disc CD autochanger for a small premium.

Luxury pack

Available across the range, this pack offers a variety of features designed to give maximum convenience to driver and passengers.  The pack comprises surrounding area lighting and electrically-foldable door mirrors, the mirrors also adjust automatically to provide a kerb-view on the passenger side when reverse gear is selected.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The high levels of body rigidity brought about by the advanced construction techniques employed in the new Golf Plus make it safe, thanks to the strength inherent in the body.  Key to this is the employment of laser seam welding in the construction of the new Golf Plus.

Offset collision

In the event of a high-speed offset accident, an extremely strong front cross-member ensures that energy is efficiently absorbed even on the side of the car furthest from the impact.  The side members have been adapted to meet this requirement by means of ‘Tailored Blank’ technology: a maximum amount of energy is absorbed in the front section of the car and only then does the rear side member section deform, thus reducing footwell intrusion.

Further protection of the footwell is achieved by the use of a cross-member to distribute longitudinal forces to the sill, the underfloor side-member and a stiffened transmission tunnel.  COF, or Crash-Optimised Foot controls, retract forwards in a crash to reduce the risk of foot injury.

Side impact

The Golf Plus features high levels of passenger protection against side impacts due to the use of high-strength body panels and a three-layer B-pillar structure.  Impact loads are spread more uniformly as a result, preventing localised overloading.  High-strength side reinforcements are employed in the doors.

Rear-end collision

The latest safety standard requirements were taken into consideration in the design of the rear protection systems in the Golf Plus.  These new regulations require that, when the rear is struck by a deformable barrier at 50 mph, the fuel tank system must develop no leaks.  Thus the tank filler neck and associated pipework is located ahead of the rear wheel, outside the crumple zone.

A high-strength bumper cross-member ensures that impact loads are distributed as evenly as possible to both sides of the car.

For active safety measures, please see Braking section.

Passenger safety

The Golf name has always been synonymous with safety, and in the new Golf Plus, the well-being of all occupants is paramount.  All models feature:

  • twin front airbags
  • passenger airbag which can be deactivated using the ignition key so a rear-facing child seat can be safely installed in the front
  • driver and front passenger side airbags
  • curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers
  • active front head restraints to protect against whiplash injury
  • three rear head restraints and three rear three-point seat belts
  • Isofix child seat preparation for the two outer rear seats
  • Seat belt system

In the event of an accident, the Golf Plus belt tensioners are electrically triggered by a central control unit.  Belt tensioning ensures the best performance, with energy being absorbed over a longer period of time with more moderate deceleration values.  Both front and rear seat belt systems are fitted with force limiters which prevent excessive pressure being applied to the chest in the event of an accident; while newly-designed inertia-reel seat belts ensure excellent passenger comfort.

Front airbags

The front restraint system of the Golf Plus consists of a driver’s airbag with a volume of 60 litres and a front passenger airbag of 120 litres.  A further feature is the steering column, which has a highly engineered clamp for longitudinal and vertical adjustment.  This clamp helps prevent the steering wheel moving upwards in the event of a crash.  The underside of the steering column is also covered with an energy-absorbing trim to reduce knee and thigh forces, while a rigid footwell with forward-retracting brake and clutch pedals reduce loads on the feet.

Side airbags

The side airbags of the Golf Plus are integrated in the front seat backrests.  They protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and suit the car’s rigid side structure, while an innovative sensor concept means even faster triggering times.  Integrating the side airbags in the backrests ensures optimum positioning of the driver and front passenger with respect to the airbags.

Curtain airbag system

The Golf Plus has especially large curtain airbags which cover the side window areas from the A- to the C-pillar and from the headlining down to over the doorsill.  The result of this feature is that maximum protection is afforded to all outer seat positions regardless of passenger body size.  The fact that these airbags cover such a large area prevents the head from swinging out, and keeps limbs inside the vehicle.  They also prevent objects from penetrating the interior even in the event of the car rolling over.

Child seat

An Isofix child seat has been developed for very small passengers in the Golf Plus, with a target age group between eight months and four years (or 9 to 18 kgs).  It fits into the Isofix fixtures, which are standard in the two outer rear seats.  This type of fitting ensures that the seat is secured in place to optimum effect. 

Insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the new Golf Plus has secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers):

S

1.4-litre 80 PS              4

1.4-litre TSI 122 PS     7

1.6-litre TDI 90 PS       5

1.6-litre TDI 105 PS     6

SE

1.4-litre TSI 122 PS     7

1.6-litre TDI 105 PS    6

2.0-litre TDI 140 PS     8

WARRANTIES

The Golf Plus has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance for UK and European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

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