Golf Mk VI

Few cars have a history like that of the Volkswagen Golf, yet with global sales now topping 26 million, and in its sixth generation, the latest Golf continues to offer buyers a car which sets benchmarks in quality, style, safety and refinement.

Styling of the sixth generation Golf represents the evolution necessary to create a modern Golf, but not so much that it will either date rapidly or drive away the many customers who make the Golf Europe’s most successful car.  The model is the safest, most technically advanced and most dynamic iteration yet.  In describing the latest Golf, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen AG, commented: ‘This sixth generation of Golf cars will completely redefine the quality and comfort level of its class over broad categories.’

Instantly apparent in the sixth generation Golf is a sharply defined look that draws on the new design direction established by the Scirocco.  Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen brand led the team responsible for the shape of the car, overseen by the Volkswagen Group’s Head of Design, Walter de Silva.  The latest look aims to combine the elements that define the Golf across five generations while bringing them up to date.  The result is a clean, elegant design that’s easily recognisable as a Golf yet remains an all-new shape.

The same elements of simplicity and attention to detail were applied to the vehicle’s interior.  A new level of quality was established in the Golf with the adoption of materials and equipment usually associated with a vehicle in a higher segment.  High quality, soft touch plastics are integrated with tasteful aluminium and chrome highlights.  The new look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seal, a new sound-damping inter-layer within the laminated windscreen and a new engine mounting system.  The result is new levels of acoustic damping to make the Golf the quietest yet.

Aiding this refinement are advanced petrol and common rail diesel engines.  Petrol units comprise a 1.2-litre TSI with 85 or 105 PS, and a 1.4-litre TSI with 122 or 160 PS.  Three diesel units are available in the standard Golf: a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 105 PS and a 2.0-litre TDI producing 140 PS.  Other variants are also available: a BlueMotion model with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km and a combined economy figure of 74.3 mpg; a GTD high performance diesel with a 2.0-litre 170 PS engine; a 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS petrol-powered GTI; and the range-topping Golf R with 270 PS and four-wheel drive.  Detailed information on each of these models can be found in the appropriate press pack.

Three specification levels are offered in the standard Golf: S, Match and GT.  Within the Match and GT ranges, buyers can also opt for BlueMotion Technology models which offer enhanced fuel economy and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

For the first time, Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) is offered on the Golf, allowing the driver to select from normal, comfort or sport modes to define the desired suspension, steering and accelerator response settings for any particular journey.

Building on the technical advances are high levels of safety equipment including the addition of a knee airbag for the driver to bring the total number of airbags fitted as standard to seven.  A new head restraint system designed to reduce whiplash injuries and optional rear seatbelt detection sensors are joined by advanced Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) software.

SUMMARY

  • Sixth generation of the iconic Golf – launched 34 years after the original first arrived in the UK; Golf has accounted for over 26 million sales worldwide since 1974
  • Vehicle opened for ordering in the UK on 17 October 2008; first customer deliveries in January 2009
  • The new Golf sets new benchmarks in its class for safety, dynamic ability, quality and refinement
  • Styled by a team led by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen and overseen by Walter de Silva, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Group.  Defines the Volkswagen design direction established by the new Scirocco, yet draws inspiration from five previous generations of Golf
  • Elegant interior establishes new standards for quality, adopting new materials and finishes usually associated with vehicles from a higher class.  White, backlit dials housed in deep cowls are joined by aluminium highlights and a new range of steering wheels
  • The latest Golf is the most refined iteration thanks to the use of innovative noise suppression systems.  These include reduced wind noise thanks to a new inter-layer within the laminated windscreen, new door seals, thicker side window glass, refined aerodynamics and the placement of redesigned sound-proofing materials around the bulkhead, transmission tunnel and body panel mounting points 
  • For the first time seven airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver, are fitted as standard on the Golf.  In addition a further two rear head airbags are offered
  • The latest generation of Volkswagen’s Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System (WOKS) also debuts on the Golf with the aim of reducing the likelihood of neck injuries in a crash.  The new Golf is also fitted with the latest evolution of Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP)
  • Rear ‘belt-up’ reminders are also optional on the new model
  • Five petrol and three common rail diesel engines are offered in standard Golf line-up.  BlueMotion, GTD, GTI and R models are also available
  • Every diesel engine is fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) as standard
  • Three trim levels are available in the standard Golf range: S, Match and GT
  • Standard equipment on every Golf includes air conditioning, a CD stereo system and body-coloured exterior trim
  • Volkswagen’s innovative Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC) is available for the first time on a Golf; as is Park Assist which has the ability to operate the steering automatically during reverse parallel parking manoeuvres
  • In 2009, Volkswagen sold over 53,000 Golfs in the UK

Market information
The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased. 

The fleet market accounts for around half of all Golfs sold, while over 57 per cent are diesel-powered.  The Match and limited edition Twist high value products account for the majority of Golf volume.  Over 80 per cent of new Golfs sold in the UK have five doors.  In 2009, just under 50,500 sixth generation Golfs were sold in the UK.

Production
The Golf is produced at Volkswagen’s plants in Wolfsburg and Zwickau.  State of the art production systems and assembly technologies are employed to ensure the Golf maintains the highest quality levels.

Wolfsburg
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.

Zwickau
Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH comprises two parts: vehicle production in Zwickau and engine production in Chemnitz.  The Zwickau site extends over a surface of 1,800,000 square metres; the Chemnitz site over 213,000 square metres.  Both sites employ a quality-management system certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2000 / VDA 6.1 and a validated environmental-management system, and are entered in the EMAS register.  In 2007, a total of around 277,000 vehicles were manufactured.

Together, the Zwickau and Chemnitz plants employ around 7,200 people of which 6,300 work in Zwickau.  Some 98 per cent of the highly qualified workforce have either completed vocational training in a specialised field, are certified master craftsmen, or possess a college or university degree.

Vehicle production at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH uses an award-winning modular just-in-time system.  Forty module suppliers located within close proximity to the plant provide 29 modules for the Golf and Passat, with deliveries scheduled to coincide with assembly phasing, in other words, just in time for direct incorporation into the production process with no form of temporary storage.  

DESIGN

DimensionsThe Mk VI Golf is slightly shorter and lower than its predecessor, but it is wider giving it a more dynamic stance – akin to that of the Scirocco coupé.  In front, the body overhang was shortened from 880 to 868 mm, while at the rear the overhang was lengthened by 7 mm to 753 mm.  The Golf’s wheelbase remains as before at 2,578 mm.  The new dimensions mean there is more room for five adults inside the Golf thanks to the additional width.  Headroom remains the same as before, as does luggage space.  The new Golf is available in three- and five-door hatchback bodystyles.

Comparison of Golfs Mk VI and V:

  Golf Mk VI Golf Mk V Difference
length, mm 4199 4204 -5
width, w/out door mirrors, mm 1786 1759 +27
height, mm 1479 1513 -34
wheelbase, mm 2578 2578 0
maximum luggage capacity      
w/out rear seat folded, litres 350 350 0
with rear seat folded, litres 1305 1305 0

Exterior
The sixth generation of the Golf establishes an elegant new design direction in the evolution of the iconic model.  Led by the three-strong team of Walter de Silva (Head of Design, Volkswagen Group), Klaus Bischoff (Head of Design for the Volkswagen brand) and Marc Lichte (Head of Exterior Design) the styling of the new Golf draws on the design language – and new Volkswagen family look – first established by the Scirocco.

On unveiling the new Golf, Walter de Silva commented: ‘The Golf is the global icon of carmaking so the architecture and styling of the new model are also absolutely clear and unique.’

Clean, minimalist lines are mixed with sharp, intricate detailing to create a look inspired by all five previous generations of Golf yet which remains fresh and contemporary.  ‘Every detail is uncompromisingly aimed at improving value,’ explains Klaus Bischoff.

The nose of the new Golf marks a departure from the vertical lines of the Mk V and replaces them with horizontal elements – most apparent in the grille between the headlights and the air dam mounted in the front bumper.  This use of horizontal lines lends the new Golf a stance that appears lower and wider than the vehicle it replaces yet in terms of dimensions the two are very similar. 

Framing the new horizontal, gloss black grille is a set of new headlights, housed behind a translucent cover.  The headlights are beautifully crafted and, for those with a keen eye, even feature a small Volkswagen badge mounted on the leading edge of the dipped beam unit.

Extending back, the new wing mirrors feature integrated, high level indicators.  Even here attention to detail is apparent.  The wing mirror casings feature a small groove running their length to channel rain water and assure that the mirror remains clean regardless of conditions.

In profile a sharp crease, briefly interrupted by the front wheel arch, runs the length of the car into the rear lights to lend the new Golf an imposing stance.  As with the front of the new Golf, the rear end also marks a new styling direction.  The rear window is now larger and extends lower to improve visibility.  Below the window is a pair of elegant light units drawing a family resemblance with the Touareg off-roader, inset into which are four individual lenses intersected by a white panel for the indicators and reversing lights.  Between the rear lights is the Volkswagen badge which, as with the outgoing car, swivels to act as a boot release and also, if specified, houses the rear-view camera.

Finally a new Golf badge, in italics, is mounted on the bootlid.

Interior
In conceiving the interior for the new Golf, Volkswagen’s designers unashamedly set themselves the target of defining new benchmarks in quality in this class.  This goal extends to all aspects, from ergonomics, through the feel and look of the materials used to the overall refinement within the cabin. 

After sitting for just a few moments in the Golf’s cabin, it becomes clear that all functional components are easy and instinctive to operate.  These include the controls for the air conditioning system which mirror those of the Passat CC, as well as the switches for the electric windows and wing mirrors which now sit further forward in the driver’s door panel, making them easier to reach.  To make further progress in the area of intuitive controls, designers use the RAMSIS 3D computer-human simulation model which enables checking of all possible person-constituent combinations.  

Also of note is the new adjustment handle for the steering wheel.  Rather than being in the centre, and effectively between the driver’s knees, the lever is now offset to the left hand side where it is easier to reach and use.

Further examples of attention to detail in the Golf’s cabin include a new type of leather if this upholstery is specified.  Being more robust than the previous style it eliminates dye transfer, for example, from jeans to the leather and reduces wear and tear meaning the interior feels newer for longer.  In the boot, the Golf now has two hooks to enable shopping bags and other items to be safely stowed. 

The Golf’s instrument panel has been completely redesigned for the sixth generation.  Clearly defined dials sit in recessed, individual cowls behind a three-spoke steering wheel with the option of controls for entertainment and communications functions.  High quality, soft touch plastics are integrated with tasteful aluminium and chrome highlights.  Volkswagen’s traditional blue back-lighting makes way for white backlit dials which are illuminated regardless of whether the car’s exterior lights are on.  Complementing the chrome bezels, the upper and lower instrument controls are separated by accents in chrome or gloss black, depending on trim level. 

The programme engineers also completely redesigned the new Golf’s door trim panels to improve ergonomics and incorporate higher quality materials, once again giving the feeling that you are sitting in a car from a higher class, such as the Passat CC.  The mirror and window switches have moved closer to the driver, while in higher specification models, they are also enhanced with chrome touches.  All Golfs now have accents in the door trim that extend the use of chrome from the door handles.  

Stowage space
There are plenty of useful stowage areas within the Golf’s cabin.  In addition to the lockable and cooled glovebox there is a driver’s side cubby which can accommodate a drinks can and generous door bins.  A new addition is the space in the driver’s door designed to house a high visibility vest which is compulsory in some countries.

Depending on specification, there is a further large storage area between the front seats complete with two cup holders.  The overhead console, which houses the front interior lights and their controls, also has a sunglasses compartment.  In the rear seating compartment there are useful storage pockets for smaller items.

Showing attention to detail, almost every cubby hole in the Golf has a purpose.  One example – depending on specification – is the bottle opener, which fits into the small gap between the cup holders in the space next to the handbrake lever. 

Refinement
The new interior look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seals, a new sound-damping inter-layer within the laminated windscreen and a new engine mounting system.  The result is the quietest Golf yet produced.  Yet it should be noted that in any alterations to sound-deadening, weight was always taken into consideration and heavy noise-damping materials have been systematically replaced with new, lighter materials wherever possible. 

Damping technologies and materials were redesigned in the areas of the mounting points for the body panels, engine firewall, foot pedals, centre tunnel, around the air conditioning and heating system and in the cargo area.  This was following ultrasonic measurements and so-called ‘near-field holography’ which analysed the key areas in which noise could be reduced.

In addition, many secondary noises were eliminated or reduced at source, for example in all belt drives, the turbocharger and charge air distribution as well as in the heating and cooling blower.  Usually reserved for cars of the luxury class, the windows of the Golf were also addressed by noise control measures.  A highly effective noise-damping film is used in the windscreen that eliminates nearly all high-frequency noise in the three kHz frequency range, a sound particularly associated with diesel engines.  At the same time, the thickness of the front side windows was increased by ten per cent. 

Development engineers also came up with a new sealing concept for the doors with new dual-lip window guide seals, for example, giving a quiet interior.

One exterior change which benefits occupants and improves refinement is the Golf’s wing mirror design.  Based on the mirrors fitted to the Passat CC, these have better aerodynamic properties, reduce wind noise and minimise dirt sticking to the mirrors in poor weather conditions.  Also in the area of aerodynamics are the Golf’s newly designed rain channels at the A-pillars which cut wind noise.  A new range of more refined common rail TDI and TSI engines is also part of the Golf’s noise reduction armoury.

As a result of the aerodynamic changes, the new Golf has a Cd value of 0.31, a reduction over the Golf V’s 0.32 and in fact the same as the Golf V BlueMotion.  Not only does this mean better refinement and reduced noise, it also of course leads to lower fuel consumption and emissions.  The new Golf also maintains the high quality production benefits of its predecessor, including for example laser welding which leads to smaller panel gaps and in turn by design makes the car more comfortable, more refined and safer to drive.

Climate control
The Golf is available 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, Match and GT customers can specify fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control.  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 standard Golf is offered with a choice of three petrol and three common rail diesel engines: 1.2-litre TSI 85 and 105 PS; and 1.4-litre TSI with 122 or 160 PS; plus 1.6-litre TDI 90 and 105 PS; and a 2.0-litre TDI CR with 140 PS.   

Petrol engines

TSI petrol engine technology
The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity.  Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply supercharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute.  This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds.  As an additional bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

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, it has subsequently won a number of high profile accolades.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS
Despite its small cubic capacity – and hence thanks to TSI technology, this turbocharged unit produces peak power of 85 PS at 4,800 rpm and maximum torque of 160 Nm (118 lbs ft) from 1,500 up to 3,500 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes just 12.3 seconds and top speed is 111 mph.  It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.  Combined economy is an impressive 51.4 mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of 129 g/km.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS
Moving up the range this 1.2-litre unit uses turbocharging to generate 105 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 175 Nm (129 lbs ft) from 1,550 up to 4,100 rpm.  The sprint to 62 mph takes just 10.6 seconds and top speed is 118 mph.  It is available with the choice of a six speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission. 

This engine features four valves per cylinder, operated by low-friction roller-rockers and extensive use of lightweight materials including plastics.  This results in high fuel efficiency and a weight of just 94 kg (per DIN70020-GZ).  Economy and carbon dioxide emissions for the manual are 49.6 mpg and 134 g/km; for the DSG these figures are 48.7 mpg and 134 g/km.

1.4-litre, 1,390 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 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) 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 9.5 seconds and top speed is 124 mph.  Yet despite this performance and thanks in part to its small capacity it returns a healthy combined economy of 45.6 mpg (47.1 with seven-speed DSG) and CO2emissions are 144 g/km (138 DSG).

Like all engines on the new Golf, 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’.

1.4-litre, 1,390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 160 PS
This 1.4-litre TSI unit uses supercharging and turbocharging to produce an impressive 160 PS at 5,800 and 240 Nm (177 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm.  Like the 122 PS engine it is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  This Golf completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.0 seconds and has a top speed of 137 mph.  Combined economy is 44.8 mpg (47.1 DSG) while CO2 emissions are 145 g/km (139 DSG). 

Advanced development was needed to integrate this engine into the Golf.  A newly designed induction system made it possible to simplify the inlet tract while optimising the torque curve in the lower and middle engine speed range.  Furthermore, this engine uses a new generation of high-pressure injectors, which, thanks to better atomisation of the fuel, leads to improved homogenisation and lower emissions.  Compared to the 170 PS variant of this unit which was available in the previous generation Golf, the new TSI has a modified lubrication system, a more efficient oil pump and reduced bearing wear on the camshafts and crankshaft, as well as optimised piston and cylinder bore surfaces.

Diesel engines
All the Golf’s diesel engines used common rail technology, comply with Euro5 emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which reduces particulate emissions to below five mg/km.  All are refined, economical and clean as well as good to drive.

Using a common rail system, the diesel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to 1,600 bar.  Piezo actuators control multiple injections with highly precise fuel quantities and timing.  In an effort to reduce internal engine friction, crankshaft, valve and oil pump drives were optimised, while a square bore/stroke ratio minimises friction losses at the cylinder liners.  Losses were also reduced in oil and coolant circuits as well as the air induction system. 

Playing their part in making the sixth generation Golf the quietest yet, all the new TDI engines distinguish themselves with good low-noise properties.  In engines with 140 PS or more, two balancer shafts help put an end to undesirable vibrations, while on all models a newly designed engine mounting system ensures that the powerplants are better isolated from the body.  Also aiding acoustics is the maintenance-free toothed-belt camshaft drive.

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS
This is the entry-level diesel unit and has a power output of 90 PS at 4,200 rpm with maximum torque of 230 Nm (170 lbs ft) from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm.  It can reach 62 mph from standstill in 12.9 seconds and has a top speed of 111 mph.  Frugality is its key appeal with a combined consumption of 62.8 mpg and CO2 emissions of 118 g/km.  It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox only.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS
The 105 PS version produces not only more power but also more torque: 250 Nm (185 lbs ft) from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm.  Top speed rises to 117 mph and the zero to 62 mph sprint time is 11.3 seconds (11.2 DSG).  This engine is available with a five-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  Combined economy is 62.8 mpg (60.1 DSG) while carbon dioxide emissions are 119 g/km (123 DSG). 

A BlueMotion Technology variant is also offered with this engine, which is capable of returning 68.9 mpg (67.3 DSG) on the combined cycle while emitting 107 g/km of carbon dioxide (109 DSG).  Thanks to the added efficiency measures, top speed here rises to 118 mph.  More details on the BlueMotion Technology modifications can be found in the separate section.  A ‘full’ BlueMotion model is also available returning 74.3 mpg and emitting just 99 g/km of carbon dioxide.  Full details on this model can be found in the separate BlueMotion press pack.

2.0-litre, 1968 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS
The highest powered diesel in the standard Golf (the GTD model features a 2.0-litre TDI with 170 PS) is a 2.0-litre TDI CR which produces 140 PS at 4,200 rpm and 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm; it is available with a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.  In turn this means a 0 to 62 mph time of 9.3 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph (129 DSG).  Fuel consumption remains competitive with a combined figure of 58.9 (53.3 DSG) and CO2 emissions of 126 g/km (138 DSG). 

This engine can also be specified in BlueMotion Technology form – with a six-speed manual gearbox only.  In this case the combined economy rises to 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions fall to 114 g/km.  Vehicle performance is not adversely affected by the BlueMotion Technology modifications.

BlueMotion Technology 
A range of vehicles has been developed by Volkswagen that strikes a balance between the highly focussed BlueMotion vehicles and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying the ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badge, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

The Golf offers customers a choice of models with BlueMotion Technology enhancements: the 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS, in both Match and GT trim.  

All these models are badged ‘BlueMotion Technology’ and feature alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres to enhance economy, as well as a multifunction computer which includes visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption.  In addition they have Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  

The Golf’s automatic Stop/Start system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start / Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.  With the DSG gearbox, the Stop/Start system is activated through the brake pedal.

A battery regeneration system helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

Gearboxes

Five- and six-speed manual
The 1.2-litre 85 PS TSI and 1.6-litre TDI Golf models come with a standard five-speed manual gearbox.  Other manual Golfs have a six-speed gearbox featuring a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with 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.

All gearboxes in the Golf are filled with lifetime oil and require no routine maintenance.

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox
First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.

The six-speed, transversely mounted DSG unit has two wet 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 clutch management system, the interruptions 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.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection. 

Seven-speed DSG
The new Golf is also available in some engine combinations 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.  Engine and gearbox combinations are detailed in the individual engine descriptions in this document. 

Servicing
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf.  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 general 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 the following way:

  • 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 previous generation Golf and the latest model retains the key characteristics of this successful and award-winning set-up, namely strut-type front and four-link rear suspension.

New for the latest generation is the option of Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC) which was first seen on the Passat CC and is standard on the Scirocco.  Naturally the Golf also features ABS with the latest incarnation of ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) to ensure safe handling and deceleration where necessary.

Front axle
At the front the Golf 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 previous generation’s Golf’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 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 features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) as standard across the range.

Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, ranging in diameter from 280 mm to 312 mm depending on power output, with solid discs of 253 mm on the rear axle.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
The latest-generation ESP system developed for the new Golf has a range of features designed to have a direct and positive effect on active safety.  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 new Golf 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.

Adaptive Chassis Control – ACC
Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce a chassis that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  This has been achieved for the Golf, which can be specified with an Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system.  Here not only can the suspension’s damping characteristics be controlled at the touch of a button, but the electro-mechanical power steering and accelerator response are also modified at the same time.

ACC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the steering assistance is reduced, the damping is hardened and the throttle responses are sharpened as the mapping changes.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened and the steering assistance is increased to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving. 

Hill hold function
All Golf models have a hill hold function as standard.  The system is useful when the car stops for short periods such as in heavy town traffic or on a long incline.  The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards for around two seconds. 

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Golf is available in three standard trim levels: S, Match and GT.

S 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS
S 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS
S 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS
S 1.6-litre TDI 90 PS
S 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS

All the above models, available in either three of five-door bodystyles (DSG with five-door only), feature the following standard features:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control)
  • automatic hazard lights activation under emergency braking
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch
  • curtain airbag system, for front and rear passengers
  • front seat side impact airbags
  • driver’s knee airbag
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints
  • warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • automatic door locking, speed related, can be switched off
  • remote central locking with two remote folding keys
  • hill hold function
  • driver’s seat height adjustment
  • easy entry sliding seats (for access to rear seats – three-door only)
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40
  • multifunction computer 
  • RCD 210 radio/MP3 compatible CD player with four speakers
  • front electric windows
  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • heat insulating green tinted glass
  • illuminated, cooled and lockable glovebox
  • four load lashing points in luggage compartment
  • body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • 6J x 15 steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres

Match 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS
Match 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS (plus BlueMotion Technology model)
Match 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS (plus BlueMotion Technology model)

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match gains the following:

  • chrome trimmed radiator grille louvres
  • leather-trimmed three spoke multifunction steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • alarm with interior protection
  • automatic coming and leaving home lighting function, plus dusk sensor and automatic driving lights
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror
  • dusk sensor, automatic driving lights
  • cruise control
  • parking sensors, front and rear – with audible alarm and optical parking display via audio system screen
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface) with USB and iPod connection cables
  • RCD 510 touchscreen DAB digital radio / dash-mountedMP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers, SD card reader and AUX-in socket for connection to external multimedia source (e.g. iPod and MP3 player)
  • multifunction computer with (manual versions only) visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • chrome-plated light switch  
  • rear electric windows (five-door only)
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • front seat back storage pockets
  • luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision
  • front comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • front footwell illumination
  • 6½J x 16 ‘Croft’ alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

GT 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS
GT 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS (plus BlueMotion Technology model)

In addition to or different to the Match model, GT adds the following:

  • sports suspension (lowered by approx 15 mm)
  • tyre pressure indicator
  • RCD 310 radio / MP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external media source (eg iPod and MP3 player)
  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • cherry red rear light clusters
  • rear tinted windows from B-pillar back
  • full black Vienna leather upholstery with heated front sports seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • Bluetooth phone preparation
  • chrome trim on electric window and door mirror switches
  • 7J x 17 ‘Porto’ alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts

BlueMotion Technology models

In addition to the standard Match or GT trim, BlueMotion technology models feature:

  • alloy wheels (Match:16-inch ‘Croft’ / GT: 16-inch ‘Cleveland’) with low rolling resistance tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • battery regeneration
  • Stop/Start system
  • BlueMotion Technology badging

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Golf, allowing buyers further to customise their vehicles.  These include a wide variety of alloy wheels, an electric tilt/slide sunroof, a satellite navigation system, Bluetooth telephone preparation, 2Zone air conditioning and stereo system upgrades, leather upholstery, a DAB digital radio, and parking assistance systems.  Some features are combined into packs making it easier for the customer to select; for example Volkswagen offers a Convenience Pack, a Luxury Pack and a Winter Pack on the Golf.  For full details on option availability see the latest price list.

Self-dimming rear-view mirror and rain sensor
Standard on Match and GT and optional on S is a ‘thinking’ rear-view mirror.  It uses LCD technology to sense when the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver.  The mirror reacts by dimming automatically, in a similar way to light-sensitive sunglasses.  Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and readjust when appropriate. 

In conjunction with this are automatic windscreen wipers.  A rain sensor positioned behind the interior rear-view mirror on the windscreen activates the wiper system as required.  An infrared beam is reflected in different ways according to the pattern of moisture landing on a windscreen sensor.  Signals from the sensor are used to control the wipers.  When the wiper control is set to the normal ‘Intermittent’ position the wipers are automatically controlled from ‘off’ when the screen is dry through different delay intervals of intermittent wipe and on to two speeds of continuous operation.

Park Assist, parking sensors and rear-view camera
Useful for tight manoeuvres is the option of Volkswagen’s Park Assist system.  This option also adds parking sensors, and using a series of these located at the front, rear and side of the Golf, plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space either to the right or left of the vehicle.

When driving at speeds of under around 18 mph, an ultrasonic sensor system detects all parallel parking spaces to the right or left with a total space of 1.4 metres more than 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 Golf 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 with or without Park Assist on the Golf 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. 

DVD touchscreen navigation/radio system
Volkswagen’s latest RNS 510 touchscreen DVD navigation and entertainment system is offered with the Golf.  The installation uses a touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  

With this system, 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 system can also be used to play DVDs when the car is stationary.  The hard-drive can also be used to store navigation mapping, freeing up the CD/DVD drive.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.  This can be particularly useful in off-road situations and regions for which digital mapping does not exist.   

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.

Dynaudio sound system
A 300 watt premium entertainment system from Danish hi-fi specialist Dynaudio provides exceptional sound quality especially compared with other systems in the Golf’s market sector.  The eight-channel system delivering up to a true 300 watts RMS without generating unwanted vibrations in the vehicle structure sets a new standard in this class. 

SAFETY

As well as making this latest generation the quietest Golf, designers and developers were also set the task of making this the safest Golf yet.

That’s why the Golf is offered with a seamless package of standard safety features.  On the passive side, there is a further perfected safety body (including additional reinforcement in the door area and optimised pedestrian protection), seven airbags including a knee airbag on the driver’s side and a patented head restraint system for driver and front passenger (WOKS).  The Golf was the first Volkswagen to have a rear ‘belt-up request’ system; this is included when a customer specifies the option of rear side airbags.  Furthermore, a new sensor concept for crash detection was also introduced on the Golf.

New sensor concept for crash detection
The sixth generation of the Golf is equipped with an award-winning sensor concept for detecting crash intensity and correspondingly influencing airbag ignition.  This involves the electronics, which are located centrally in the passenger compartment, evaluating the ‘felt’ low-frequency deceleration signals.  At the same time, specially tuned accelerometers measure the frequency components in the mid or ‘audible’ range.  These signal components are generated as a body wave when load-bearing structures in the front car area rapidly deform.  They propagate at high speed throughout the vehicle structure and supply precise and quickly available information about the severity of the crash.

By intelligently linking ‘felt’ and ‘audible’ signal components, it is possible to obtain a faster and at the same time more reliable impression of the crash from the airbag sensors.  That enables better adaptation of airbags and seatbelt tensioners to the crash situation, to protect passengers in the most appropriate way.  

Knee airbag
Standard equipment on the Golf includes two front airbags, two side airbags and two head airbags.  For the first time in this generation, the Golf also has a knee airbag system on the driver’s side.  The special mounting location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle in the resulting, gently introduced upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Front, side and head airbags
The driver and front passenger airbags together with the knee airbag and seatbelt system, form a precisely co-ordinated front restraint system on the Golf.

The side airbags are integrated in the seatbacks of the front seats, which ensures they are always in the best position to protect the driver and front passenger.  These protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and have been optimally tuned to the car’s more rigid lateral structure.  The same is true of the optional rear side airbags in the five-door version.

Furthermore, Volkswagen has introduced standard head airbags that help to prevent high biomechanical loads on the head.  Specifically, these airbags cover the side window area from the A- to the C-pillar and from the roofliner to the door window sill.  This means maximum protection at all seating positions regardless of body size because protection over a large area prevents the head and extremities from swinging out and prevents objects from penetrating the car’s interior.  Due to the long holding time of the head airbags, they remain largely effective even in secondary collisions such as those occurring in the event of a rollover.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System: WOKS
Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the cervical spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  The latest generation of WOKS is now implemented as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Seatbelt fastening detection for the rear
Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during the drive.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled person); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results
The Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency.

It achieved 36 out of a possible 37 points for occupant protection leading to a five-star award.  In the area of child safety the Golf scored four stars; a further three stars were awarded for pedestrian safety.  This makes it one of the safest cars available in this segment.

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

S  
1.2-litre TSI 85 PS 11E
1.2-litre TSI 105 PS  13E
1.4-litre TSI 122 PS  16E
1.6-litre TDI 90 PS 13E
1.6-litre TDI 105 PS   15E
   
Match  
1.4-litre TSI 122 PS   16E
1.6-litre TDI 105 PS 15E
1.6-litre TDI 105 PS BM Tech 18E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and BM Tech 24E
   
GT  
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS  30E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and BM Tech 24E

In December 2009, the insurance industry switched from a 1-20 rating system to a 1-50 system.  New ratings are shown here.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

WARRANTIES

The Golf has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) / 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12 year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer. 

HISTORY OF THE GOLF

Mk I (1974 until 1983)

The Golf Mk I was launched in 1974 and is still produced today – albeit extensively modified – as an economically priced entry-level model in South Africa parallel to the current model range.  Over 6.8 million units have been produced so far.

1974: Debut of the first Golf
1976: 500,000th Golf in March
  1,000,000th Golf in October
  First Golf GTI
  First Golf with diesel engine
1978: 2,000,000th Golf in June
  Debut of the US version Rabbit in July
1979: 3,000,000th Golf in September
  First Golf Cabriolet
  Minor facelift
1982: 5,000,000th Golf in February
  First Golf with turbodiesel engine

 

Mk II (1984 until 1992)

The Golf Mk II followed in 1983, and in the UK the following year.  Over 6.3 million units of this generation were produced in ten years – on average approximately 630,000 units per year.

1983: Debut of the second Golf
1984: Debut of the second Golf GTI
1985: 7,000,000th Golf in March
1986: First Golf (GTI) with 16-valve petrol engine
1987: ABS available for all GT and GTI models
  Minor facelift
1988: Debut of the Rallye Golf G60 – some LHD examples imported to UK
  10,000,000th Golf in June
1989: 11,000,000th Golf in October
1990: All Golf petrol models available with closed-loop catalytic converters from February
  1,000,000th Golf GTI in November
  12,000,000th Golf in November

Mk III (1992 until 1998)

The Golf Mk III, of which 4.8 million units were built, was launched on to the UK market in 1992.

1991: Debut of the third Golf
  First Golf diesel with oxidation catalytic converter
  First Golf with six-cylinder engine (VR6); simultaneously the first model in the lower mid-range with a six-cylinder engine
1992: 13,000,000th Golf in February
  Driver and front passenger airbag available from August
1993: First Golf with turbodiesel direct injection (TDI) engine
  Debut of the second Golf Cabriolet
  First Golf Estate
  14,000,000th Golf in March
1994: 15,000,000th Golf in May
1995: First Golf with naturally aspirated diesel direct injection (SDI) engine
1996: 20th anniversary of the Golf GTI / anniversary model of the Golf GTI
  First Golf GTI with turbodiesel engine
  17,000,000th Golf in November

 

Mk IV (1998 until 2004)

The Golf Mk IV debuted in 1997, and was launched in the UK in 1998.  Over the last seven years until 2003, 4.3 million units of the best-seller were produced and, on average, approximately 614,000 units were sold per year.

1997: Debut of the first Golf with fully galvanised body
  First Golf with five-cylinder engine (V5)
1998: Debut of the new Golf Cabriolet
  First Golf 4MOTION with Haldex viscous coupling
  Introduction of optional ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme)
1999: Second Golf Estate launched
  First TDI engines with Pumpe Düse unit-injector technology in the Golf
  19,000,000th Golf in June
2002: Golf GTI 180 PS launched as special edition marking the 25th anniversary  of the Golf GTI in the UK
  Production of the Golf overtakes the Beetle; at 21,517,415 units it becomes the most-produced Volkswagen model to date
  Debut of the Golf R32, the most powerful in production Golf ever with 241 PS
  2002 becomes the Golf’s best year in the UK to date, with 72,362 units sold, while it also finishes the year as the country’s best-selling diesel car
2003: End of year: phase-out of the fourth generation Golf after sales of more than 4.3 million units

 

Mk V (2004 until 2008)

The Golf Mk V made its international debut in 2003, and was launched in the UK in 2004.

2003: September – world premiere at Frankfurt Motor Show
2004: January 30 – UK launch
  August – Sport added to model line-up
2005: January – GTI launched in the UK
  November – R32 on sale in the UK
2006: October – Match replaces SE trim level
2006: October – Match replaces SE trim level
2007: March – 25 millionth Golf is produced
  May – GT Sport replaces GT and Sport trim levels

 

Mk VI (2009)

2008: October – world premiere at the Paris Motor Show
  On sale in European markets
  October – car available for ordering at Volkswagen Retailers
2009: January 6 – car on sale in UK

(ends)

Golf 1110/KT

Few cars have a history like that of the Volkswagen Golf, yet with global sales now topping 26 million, and in its sixth generation, the latest Golf continues to offer buyers a car which sets benchmarks in quality, style, safety and refinement.

Styling of the sixth generation Golf represents the evolution necessary to create a modern Golf, but not so much that it will either date rapidly or drive away the many customers who make the Golf Europe’s most successful car.  The model is the safest, most technically advanced and most dynamic iteration yet.  In describing the latest Golf, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen AG, commented: ‘This sixth generation of Golf cars will completely redefine the quality and comfort level of its class over broad categories.’

Instantly apparent in the sixth generation Golf is a sharply defined look that draws on the new design direction established by the Scirocco.  Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen brand led the team responsible for the shape of the car, overseen by the Volkswagen Group’s Head of Design, Walter de Silva.  The latest look aims to combine the elements that define the Golf across five generations while bringing them up to date.  The result is a clean, elegant design that’s easily recognisable as a Golf yet remains an all-new shape.

The same elements of simplicity and attention to detail were applied to the vehicle’s interior.  A new level of quality was established in the Golf with the adoption of materials and equipment usually associated with a vehicle in a higher segment.  High quality, soft touch plastics are integrated with tasteful aluminium and chrome highlights.  The new look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seal, a new sound-damping inter-layer within the laminated windscreen and a new engine mounting system.  The result is new levels of acoustic damping to make the Golf the quietest yet.

Aiding this refinement are advanced petrol and common rail diesel engines.  Petrol units comprise a 1.2-litre TSI with 85 or 105 PS, and a 1.4-litre TSI with 122 or 160 PS.  Three diesel units are available in the standard Golf: a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 105 PS and a 2.0-litre TDI producing 140 PS.  Other variants are also available: a BlueMotion model with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km and a combined economy figure of 74.3 mpg; a GTD high performance diesel with a 2.0-litre 170 PS engine; a 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS petrol-powered GTI; and the range-topping Golf R with 270 PS and four-wheel drive.  Detailed information on each of these models can be found in the appropriate press pack.

Three specification levels are offered in the standard Golf: S, Match and GT.  Within the Match and GT ranges, buyers can also opt for BlueMotion Technology models which offer enhanced fuel economy and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

For the first time, Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) is offered on the Golf, allowing the driver to select from normal, comfort or sport modes to define the desired suspension, steering and accelerator response settings for any particular journey.

Building on the technical advances are high levels of safety equipment including the addition of a knee airbag for the driver to bring the total number of airbags fitted as standard to seven.  A new head restraint system designed to reduce whiplash injuries and optional rear seatbelt detection sensors are joined by advanced Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) software.

SUMMARY

  • Sixth generation of the iconic Golf – launched 34 years after the original first arrived in the UK; Golf has accounted for over 26 million sales worldwide since 1974
  • Vehicle opened for ordering in the UK on 17 October 2008; first customer deliveries in January 2009
  • The new Golf sets new benchmarks in its class for safety, dynamic ability, quality and refinement
  • Styled by a team led by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen and overseen by Walter de Silva, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Group.  Defines the Volkswagen design direction established by the new Scirocco, yet draws inspiration from five previous generations of Golf
  • Elegant interior establishes new standards for quality, adopting new materials and finishes usually associated with vehicles from a higher class.  White, backlit dials housed in deep cowls are joined by aluminium highlights and a new range of steering wheels
  • The latest Golf is the most refined iteration thanks to the use of innovative noise suppression systems.  These include reduced wind noise thanks to a new inter-layer within the laminated windscreen, new door seals, thicker side window glass, refined aerodynamics and the placement of redesigned sound-proofing materials around the bulkhead, transmission tunnel and body panel mounting points 
  • For the first time seven airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver, are fitted as standard on the Golf.  In addition a further two rear head airbags are offered
  • The latest generation of Volkswagen’s Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System (WOKS) also debuts on the Golf with the aim of reducing the likelihood of neck injuries in a crash.  The new Golf is also fitted with the latest evolution of Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP)
  • Rear ‘belt-up’ reminders are also optional on the new model
  • Five petrol and three common rail diesel engines are offered in standard Golf line-up.  BlueMotion, GTD, GTI and R models are also available
  • Every diesel engine is fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) as standard
  • Three trim levels are available in the standard Golf range: S, Match and GT
  • Standard equipment on every Golf includes air conditioning, a CD stereo system and body-coloured exterior trim
  • Volkswagen’s innovative Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC) is available for the first time on a Golf; as is Park Assist which has the ability to operate the steering automatically during reverse parallel parking manoeuvres
  • In 2009, Volkswagen sold over 53,000 Golfs in the UK

Market information
The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased. 

The fleet market accounts for around half of all Golfs sold, while over 57 per cent are diesel-powered.  The Match and limited edition Twist high value products account for the majority of Golf volume.  Over 80 per cent of new Golfs sold in the UK have five doors.  In 2009, just under 50,500 sixth generation Golfs were sold in the UK.

Production
The Golf is produced at Volkswagen’s plants in Wolfsburg and Zwickau.  State of the art production systems and assembly technologies are employed to ensure the Golf maintains the highest quality levels.

Wolfsburg
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.

Zwickau
Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH comprises two parts: vehicle production in Zwickau and engine production in Chemnitz.  The Zwickau site extends over a surface of 1,800,000 square metres; the Chemnitz site over 213,000 square metres.  Both sites employ a quality-management system certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2000 / VDA 6.1 and a validated environmental-management system, and are entered in the EMAS register.  In 2007, a total of around 277,000 vehicles were manufactured.

Together, the Zwickau and Chemnitz plants employ around 7,200 people of which 6,300 work in Zwickau.  Some 98 per cent of the highly qualified workforce have either completed vocational training in a specialised field, are certified master craftsmen, or possess a college or university degree.

Vehicle production at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH uses an award-winning modular just-in-time system.  Forty module suppliers located within close proximity to the plant provide 29 modules for the Golf and Passat, with deliveries scheduled to coincide with assembly phasing, in other words, just in time for direct incorporation into the production process with no form of temporary storage.  

DESIGN

DimensionsThe Mk VI Golf is slightly shorter and lower than its predecessor, but it is wider giving it a more dynamic stance – akin to that of the Scirocco coupé.  In front, the body overhang was shortened from 880 to 868 mm, while at the rear the overhang was lengthened by 7 mm to 753 mm.  The Golf’s wheelbase remains as before at 2,578 mm.  The new dimensions mean there is more room for five adults inside the Golf thanks to the additional width.  Headroom remains the same as before, as does luggage space.  The new Golf is available in three- and five-door hatchback bodystyles.

Comparison of Golfs Mk VI and V:

  Golf Mk VI Golf Mk V Difference
length, mm 4199 4204 -5
width, w/out door mirrors, mm 1786 1759 +27
height, mm 1479 1513 -34
wheelbase, mm 2578 2578 0
maximum luggage capacity      
w/out rear seat folded, litres 350 350 0
with rear seat folded, litres 1305 1305 0

Exterior
The sixth generation of the Golf establishes an elegant new design direction in the evolution of the iconic model.  Led by the three-strong team of Walter de Silva (Head of Design, Volkswagen Group), Klaus Bischoff (Head of Design for the Volkswagen brand) and Marc Lichte (Head of Exterior Design) the styling of the new Golf draws on the design language – and new Volkswagen family look – first established by the Scirocco.

On unveiling the new Golf, Walter de Silva commented: ‘The Golf is the global icon of carmaking so the architecture and styling of the new model are also absolutely clear and unique.’

Clean, minimalist lines are mixed with sharp, intricate detailing to create a look inspired by all five previous generations of Golf yet which remains fresh and contemporary.  ‘Every detail is uncompromisingly aimed at improving value,’ explains Klaus Bischoff.

The nose of the new Golf marks a departure from the vertical lines of the Mk V and replaces them with horizontal elements – most apparent in the grille between the headlights and the air dam mounted in the front bumper.  This use of horizontal lines lends the new Golf a stance that appears lower and wider than the vehicle it replaces yet in terms of dimensions the two are very similar. 

Framing the new horizontal, gloss black grille is a set of new headlights, housed behind a translucent cover.  The headlights are beautifully crafted and, for those with a keen eye, even feature a small Volkswagen badge mounted on the leading edge of the dipped beam unit.

Extending back, the new wing mirrors feature integrated, high level indicators.  Even here attention to detail is apparent.  The wing mirror casings feature a small groove running their length to channel rain water and assure that the mirror remains clean regardless of conditions.

In profile a sharp crease, briefly interrupted by the front wheel arch, runs the length of the car into the rear lights to lend the new Golf an imposing stance.  As with the front of the new Golf, the rear end also marks a new styling direction.  The rear window is now larger and extends lower to improve visibility.  Below the window is a pair of elegant light units drawing a family resemblance with the Touareg off-roader, inset into which are four individual lenses intersected by a white panel for the indicators and reversing lights.  Between the rear lights is the Volkswagen badge which, as with the outgoing car, swivels to act as a boot release and also, if specified, houses the rear-view camera.

Finally a new Golf badge, in italics, is mounted on the bootlid.

Interior
In conceiving the interior for the new Golf, Volkswagen’s designers unashamedly set themselves the target of defining new benchmarks in quality in this class.  This goal extends to all aspects, from ergonomics, through the feel and look of the materials used to the overall refinement within the cabin. 

After sitting for just a few moments in the Golf’s cabin, it becomes clear that all functional components are easy and instinctive to operate.  These include the controls for the air conditioning system which mirror those of the Passat CC, as well as the switches for the electric windows and wing mirrors which now sit further forward in the driver’s door panel, making them easier to reach.  To make further progress in the area of intuitive controls, designers use the RAMSIS 3D computer-human simulation model which enables checking of all possible person-constituent combinations.  

Also of note is the new adjustment handle for the steering wheel.  Rather than being in the centre, and effectively between the driver’s knees, the lever is now offset to the left hand side where it is easier to reach and use.

Further examples of attention to detail in the Golf’s cabin include a new type of leather if this upholstery is specified.  Being more robust than the previous style it eliminates dye transfer, for example, from jeans to the leather and reduces wear and tear meaning the interior feels newer for longer.  In the boot, the Golf now has two hooks to enable shopping bags and other items to be safely stowed. 

The Golf’s instrument panel has been completely redesigned for the sixth generation.  Clearly defined dials sit in recessed, individual cowls behind a three-spoke steering wheel with the option of controls for entertainment and communications functions.  High quality, soft touch plastics are integrated with tasteful aluminium and chrome highlights.  Volkswagen’s traditional blue back-lighting makes way for white backlit dials which are illuminated regardless of whether the car’s exterior lights are on.  Complementing the chrome bezels, the upper and lower instrument controls are separated by accents in chrome or gloss black, depending on trim level. 

The programme engineers also completely redesigned the new Golf’s door trim panels to improve ergonomics and incorporate higher quality materials, once again giving the feeling that you are sitting in a car from a higher class, such as the Passat CC.  The mirror and window switches have moved closer to the driver, while in higher specification models, they are also enhanced with chrome touches.  All Golfs now have accents in the door trim that extend the use of chrome from the door handles.  

Stowage space
There are plenty of useful stowage areas within the Golf’s cabin.  In addition to the lockable and cooled glovebox there is a driver’s side cubby which can accommodate a drinks can and generous door bins.  A new addition is the space in the driver’s door designed to house a high visibility vest which is compulsory in some countries.

Depending on specification, there is a further large storage area between the front seats complete with two cup holders.  The overhead console, which houses the front interior lights and their controls, also has a sunglasses compartment.  In the rear seating compartment there are useful storage pockets for smaller items.

Showing attention to detail, almost every cubby hole in the Golf has a purpose.  One example – depending on specification – is the bottle opener, which fits into the small gap between the cup holders in the space next to the handbrake lever. 

Refinement
The new interior look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seals, a new sound-damping inter-layer within the laminated windscreen and a new engine mounting system.  The result is the quietest Golf yet produced.  Yet it should be noted that in any alterations to sound-deadening, weight was always taken into consideration and heavy noise-damping materials have been systematically replaced with new, lighter materials wherever possible. 

Damping technologies and materials were redesigned in the areas of the mounting points for the body panels, engine firewall, foot pedals, centre tunnel, around the air conditioning and heating system and in the cargo area.  This was following ultrasonic measurements and so-called ‘near-field holography’ which analysed the key areas in which noise could be reduced.

In addition, many secondary noises were eliminated or reduced at source, for example in all belt drives, the turbocharger and charge air distribution as well as in the heating and cooling blower.  Usually reserved for cars of the luxury class, the windows of the Golf were also addressed by noise control measures.  A highly effective noise-damping film is used in the windscreen that eliminates nearly all high-frequency noise in the three kHz frequency range, a sound particularly associated with diesel engines.  At the same time, the thickness of the front side windows was increased by ten per cent. 

Development engineers also came up with a new sealing concept for the doors with new dual-lip window guide seals, for example, giving a quiet interior.

One exterior change which benefits occupants and improves refinement is the Golf’s wing mirror design.  Based on the mirrors fitted to the Passat CC, these have better aerodynamic properties, reduce wind noise and minimise dirt sticking to the mirrors in poor weather conditions.  Also in the area of aerodynamics are the Golf’s newly designed rain channels at the A-pillars which cut wind noise.  A new range of more refined common rail TDI and TSI engines is also part of the Golf’s noise reduction armoury.

As a result of the aerodynamic changes, the new Golf has a Cd value of 0.31, a reduction over the Golf V’s 0.32 and in fact the same as the Golf V BlueMotion.  Not only does this mean better refinement and reduced noise, it also of course leads to lower fuel consumption and emissions.  The new Golf also maintains the high quality production benefits of its predecessor, including for example laser welding which leads to smaller panel gaps and in turn by design makes the car more comfortable, more refined and safer to drive.

Climate control
The Golf is available 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, Match and GT customers can specify fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control.  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 standard Golf is offered with a choice of three petrol and three common rail diesel engines: 1.2-litre TSI 85 and 105 PS; and 1.4-litre TSI with 122 or 160 PS; plus 1.6-litre TDI 90 and 105 PS; and a 2.0-litre TDI CR with 140 PS.   

Petrol engines

TSI petrol engine technology
The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity.  Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply supercharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute.  This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds.  As an additional bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

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, it has subsequently won a number of high profile accolades.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS
Despite its small cubic capacity – and hence thanks to TSI technology, this turbocharged unit produces peak power of 85 PS at 4,800 rpm and maximum torque of 160 Nm (118 lbs ft) from 1,500 up to 3,500 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes just 12.3 seconds and top speed is 111 mph.  It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.  Combined economy is an impressive 51.4 mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of 129 g/km.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS
Moving up the range this 1.2-litre unit uses turbocharging to generate 105 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 175 Nm (129 lbs ft) from 1,550 up to 4,100 rpm.  The sprint to 62 mph takes just 10.6 seconds and top speed is 118 mph.  It is available with the choice of a six speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission. 

This engine features four valves per cylinder, operated by low-friction roller-rockers and extensive use of lightweight materials including plastics.  This results in high fuel efficiency and a weight of just 94 kg (per DIN70020-GZ).  Economy and carbon dioxide emissions for the manual are 49.6 mpg and 134 g/km; for the DSG these figures are 48.7 mpg and 134 g/km.

1.4-litre, 1,390 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 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) 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 9.5 seconds and top speed is 124 mph.  Yet despite this performance and thanks in part to its small capacity it returns a healthy combined economy of 45.6 mpg (47.1 with seven-speed DSG) and CO2emissions are 144 g/km (138 DSG).

Like all engines on the new Golf, 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’.

1.4-litre, 1,390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 160 PS
This 1.4-litre TSI unit uses supercharging and turbocharging to produce an impressive 160 PS at 5,800 and 240 Nm (177 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm.  Like the 122 PS engine it is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  This Golf completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.0 seconds and has a top speed of 137 mph.  Combined economy is 44.8 mpg (47.1 DSG) while CO2 emissions are 145 g/km (139 DSG). 

Advanced development was needed to integrate this engine into the Golf.  A newly designed induction system made it possible to simplify the inlet tract while optimising the torque curve in the lower and middle engine speed range.  Furthermore, this engine uses a new generation of high-pressure injectors, which, thanks to better atomisation of the fuel, leads to improved homogenisation and lower emissions.  Compared to the 170 PS variant of this unit which was available in the previous generation Golf, the new TSI has a modified lubrication system, a more efficient oil pump and reduced bearing wear on the camshafts and crankshaft, as well as optimised piston and cylinder bore surfaces.

Diesel engines
All the Golf’s diesel engines used common rail technology, comply with Euro5 emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which reduces particulate emissions to below five mg/km.  All are refined, economical and clean as well as good to drive.

Using a common rail system, the diesel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to 1,600 bar.  Piezo actuators control multiple injections with highly precise fuel quantities and timing.  In an effort to reduce internal engine friction, crankshaft, valve and oil pump drives were optimised, while a square bore/stroke ratio minimises friction losses at the cylinder liners.  Losses were also reduced in oil and coolant circuits as well as the air induction system. 

Playing their part in making the sixth generation Golf the quietest yet, all the new TDI engines distinguish themselves with good low-noise properties.  In engines with 140 PS or more, two balancer shafts help put an end to undesirable vibrations, while on all models a newly designed engine mounting system ensures that the powerplants are better isolated from the body.  Also aiding acoustics is the maintenance-free toothed-belt camshaft drive.

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS
This is the entry-level diesel unit and has a power output of 90 PS at 4,200 rpm with maximum torque of 230 Nm (170 lbs ft) from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm.  It can reach 62 mph from standstill in 12.9 seconds and has a top speed of 111 mph.  Frugality is its key appeal with a combined consumption of 62.8 mpg and CO2 emissions of 118 g/km.  It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox only.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS
The 105 PS version produces not only more power but also more torque: 250 Nm (185 lbs ft) from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm.  Top speed rises to 117 mph and the zero to 62 mph sprint time is 11.3 seconds (11.2 DSG).  This engine is available with a five-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  Combined economy is 62.8 mpg (60.1 DSG) while carbon dioxide emissions are 119 g/km (123 DSG). 

A BlueMotion Technology variant is also offered with this engine, which is capable of returning 68.9 mpg (67.3 DSG) on the combined cycle while emitting 107 g/km of carbon dioxide (109 DSG).  Thanks to the added efficiency measures, top speed here rises to 118 mph.  More details on the BlueMotion Technology modifications can be found in the separate section.  A ‘full’ BlueMotion model is also available returning 74.3 mpg and emitting just 99 g/km of carbon dioxide.  Full details on this model can be found in the separate BlueMotion press pack.

2.0-litre, 1968 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS
The highest powered diesel in the standard Golf (the GTD model features a 2.0-litre TDI with 170 PS) is a 2.0-litre TDI CR which produces 140 PS at 4,200 rpm and 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm; it is available with a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.  In turn this means a 0 to 62 mph time of 9.3 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph (129 DSG).  Fuel consumption remains competitive with a combined figure of 58.9 (53.3 DSG) and CO2 emissions of 126 g/km (138 DSG). 

This engine can also be specified in BlueMotion Technology form – with a six-speed manual gearbox only.  In this case the combined economy rises to 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions fall to 114 g/km.  Vehicle performance is not adversely affected by the BlueMotion Technology modifications.

BlueMotion Technology 
A range of vehicles has been developed by Volkswagen that strikes a balance between the highly focussed BlueMotion vehicles and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying the ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badge, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

The Golf offers customers a choice of models with BlueMotion Technology enhancements: the 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS, in both Match and GT trim.  

All these models are badged ‘BlueMotion Technology’ and feature alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres to enhance economy, as well as a multifunction computer which includes visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption.  In addition they have Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  

The Golf’s automatic Stop/Start system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start / Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.  With the DSG gearbox, the Stop/Start system is activated through the brake pedal.

A battery regeneration system helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

Gearboxes

Five- and six-speed manual
The 1.2-litre 85 PS TSI and 1.6-litre TDI Golf models come with a standard five-speed manual gearbox.  Other manual Golfs have a six-speed gearbox featuring a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with 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.

All gearboxes in the Golf are filled with lifetime oil and require no routine maintenance.

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox
First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.

The six-speed, transversely mounted DSG unit has two wet 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 clutch management system, the interruptions 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.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection. 

Seven-speed DSG
The new Golf is also available in some engine combinations 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.  Engine and gearbox combinations are detailed in the individual engine descriptions in this document. 

Servicing
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf.  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 general 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 the following way:

  • 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 previous generation Golf and the latest model retains the key characteristics of this successful and award-winning set-up, namely strut-type front and four-link rear suspension.

New for the latest generation is the option of Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC) which was first seen on the Passat CC and is standard on the Scirocco.  Naturally the Golf also features ABS with the latest incarnation of ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) to ensure safe handling and deceleration where necessary.

Front axle
At the front the Golf 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 previous generation’s Golf’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 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 features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) as standard across the range.

Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, ranging in diameter from 280 mm to 312 mm depending on power output, with solid discs of 253 mm on the rear axle.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
The latest-generation ESP system developed for the new Golf has a range of features designed to have a direct and positive effect on active safety.  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 new Golf 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.

Adaptive Chassis Control – ACC
Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce a chassis that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  This has been achieved for the Golf, which can be specified with an Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system.  Here not only can the suspension’s damping characteristics be controlled at the touch of a button, but the electro-mechanical power steering and accelerator response are also modified at the same time.

ACC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the steering assistance is reduced, the damping is hardened and the throttle responses are sharpened as the mapping changes.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened and the steering assistance is increased to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving. 

Hill hold function
All Golf models have a hill hold function as standard.  The system is useful when the car stops for short periods such as in heavy town traffic or on a long incline.  The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards for around two seconds. 

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Golf is available in three standard trim levels: S, Match and GT.

S 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS
S 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS
S 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS
S 1.6-litre TDI 90 PS
S 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS

All the above models, available in either three of five-door bodystyles (DSG with five-door only), feature the following standard features:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control)
  • automatic hazard lights activation under emergency braking
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch
  • curtain airbag system, for front and rear passengers
  • front seat side impact airbags
  • driver’s knee airbag
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints
  • warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • automatic door locking, speed related, can be switched off
  • remote central locking with two remote folding keys
  • hill hold function
  • driver’s seat height adjustment
  • easy entry sliding seats (for access to rear seats – three-door only)
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40
  • multifunction computer 
  • RCD 210 radio/MP3 compatible CD player with four speakers
  • front electric windows
  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • heat insulating green tinted glass
  • illuminated, cooled and lockable glovebox
  • four load lashing points in luggage compartment
  • body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • 6J x 15 steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres

Match 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS
Match 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS (plus BlueMotion Technology model)
Match 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS (plus BlueMotion Technology model)

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match gains the following:

  • chrome trimmed radiator grille louvres
  • leather-trimmed three spoke multifunction steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • alarm with interior protection
  • automatic coming and leaving home lighting function, plus dusk sensor and automatic driving lights
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror
  • dusk sensor, automatic driving lights
  • cruise control
  • parking sensors, front and rear – with audible alarm and optical parking display via audio system screen
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface) with USB and iPod connection cables
  • RCD 510 touchscreen DAB digital radio / dash-mountedMP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers, SD card reader and AUX-in socket for connection to external multimedia source (e.g. iPod and MP3 player)
  • multifunction computer with (manual versions only) visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • chrome-plated light switch  
  • rear electric windows (five-door only)
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • front seat back storage pockets
  • luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision
  • front comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • front footwell illumination
  • 6½J x 16 ‘Croft’ alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

GT 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS
GT 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS (plus BlueMotion Technology model)

In addition to or different to the Match model, GT adds the following:

  • sports suspension (lowered by approx 15 mm)
  • tyre pressure indicator
  • RCD 310 radio / MP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external media source (eg iPod and MP3 player)
  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • cherry red rear light clusters
  • rear tinted windows from B-pillar back
  • full black Vienna leather upholstery with heated front sports seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • Bluetooth phone preparation
  • chrome trim on electric window and door mirror switches
  • 7J x 17 ‘Porto’ alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts

BlueMotion Technology models

In addition to the standard Match or GT trim, BlueMotion technology models feature:

  • alloy wheels (Match:16-inch ‘Croft’ / GT: 16-inch ‘Cleveland’) with low rolling resistance tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • battery regeneration
  • Stop/Start system
  • BlueMotion Technology badging

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Golf, allowing buyers further to customise their vehicles.  These include a wide variety of alloy wheels, an electric tilt/slide sunroof, a satellite navigation system, Bluetooth telephone preparation, 2Zone air conditioning and stereo system upgrades, leather upholstery, a DAB digital radio, and parking assistance systems.  Some features are combined into packs making it easier for the customer to select; for example Volkswagen offers a Convenience Pack, a Luxury Pack and a Winter Pack on the Golf.  For full details on option availability see the latest price list.

Self-dimming rear-view mirror and rain sensor
Standard on Match and GT and optional on S is a ‘thinking’ rear-view mirror.  It uses LCD technology to sense when the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver.  The mirror reacts by dimming automatically, in a similar way to light-sensitive sunglasses.  Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and readjust when appropriate. 

In conjunction with this are automatic windscreen wipers.  A rain sensor positioned behind the interior rear-view mirror on the windscreen activates the wiper system as required.  An infrared beam is reflected in different ways according to the pattern of moisture landing on a windscreen sensor.  Signals from the sensor are used to control the wipers.  When the wiper control is set to the normal ‘Intermittent’ position the wipers are automatically controlled from ‘off’ when the screen is dry through different delay intervals of intermittent wipe and on to two speeds of continuous operation.

Park Assist, parking sensors and rear-view camera
Useful for tight manoeuvres is the option of Volkswagen’s Park Assist system.  This option also adds parking sensors, and using a series of these located at the front, rear and side of the Golf, plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space either to the right or left of the vehicle.

When driving at speeds of under around 18 mph, an ultrasonic sensor system detects all parallel parking spaces to the right or left with a total space of 1.4 metres more than 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 Golf 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 with or without Park Assist on the Golf 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. 

DVD touchscreen navigation/radio system
Volkswagen’s latest RNS 510 touchscreen DVD navigation and entertainment system is offered with the Golf.  The installation uses a touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  

With this system, 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 system can also be used to play DVDs when the car is stationary.  The hard-drive can also be used to store navigation mapping, freeing up the CD/DVD drive.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.  This can be particularly useful in off-road situations and regions for which digital mapping does not exist.   

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.

Dynaudio sound system
A 300 watt premium entertainment system from Danish hi-fi specialist Dynaudio provides exceptional sound quality especially compared with other systems in the Golf’s market sector.  The eight-channel system delivering up to a true 300 watts RMS without generating unwanted vibrations in the vehicle structure sets a new standard in this class. 

SAFETY

As well as making this latest generation the quietest Golf, designers and developers were also set the task of making this the safest Golf yet.

That’s why the Golf is offered with a seamless package of standard safety features.  On the passive side, there is a further perfected safety body (including additional reinforcement in the door area and optimised pedestrian protection), seven airbags including a knee airbag on the driver’s side and a patented head restraint system for driver and front passenger (WOKS).  The Golf was the first Volkswagen to have a rear ‘belt-up request’ system; this is included when a customer specifies the option of rear side airbags.  Furthermore, a new sensor concept for crash detection was also introduced on the Golf.

New sensor concept for crash detection
The sixth generation of the Golf is equipped with an award-winning sensor concept for detecting crash intensity and correspondingly influencing airbag ignition.  This involves the electronics, which are located centrally in the passenger compartment, evaluating the ‘felt’ low-frequency deceleration signals.  At the same time, specially tuned accelerometers measure the frequency components in the mid or ‘audible’ range.  These signal components are generated as a body wave when load-bearing structures in the front car area rapidly deform.  They propagate at high speed throughout the vehicle structure and supply precise and quickly available information about the severity of the crash.

By intelligently linking ‘felt’ and ‘audible’ signal components, it is possible to obtain a faster and at the same time more reliable impression of the crash from the airbag sensors.  That enables better adaptation of airbags and seatbelt tensioners to the crash situation, to protect passengers in the most appropriate way.  

Knee airbag
Standard equipment on the Golf includes two front airbags, two side airbags and two head airbags.  For the first time in this generation, the Golf also has a knee airbag system on the driver’s side.  The special mounting location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle in the resulting, gently introduced upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Front, side and head airbags
The driver and front passenger airbags together with the knee airbag and seatbelt system, form a precisely co-ordinated front restraint system on the Golf.

The side airbags are integrated in the seatbacks of the front seats, which ensures they are always in the best position to protect the driver and front passenger.  These protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and have been optimally tuned to the car’s more rigid lateral structure.  The same is true of the optional rear side airbags in the five-door version.

Furthermore, Volkswagen has introduced standard head airbags that help to prevent high biomechanical loads on the head.  Specifically, these airbags cover the side window area from the A- to the C-pillar and from the roofliner to the door window sill.  This means maximum protection at all seating positions regardless of body size because protection over a large area prevents the head and extremities from swinging out and prevents objects from penetrating the car’s interior.  Due to the long holding time of the head airbags, they remain largely effective even in secondary collisions such as those occurring in the event of a rollover.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System: WOKS
Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the cervical spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  The latest generation of WOKS is now implemented as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Seatbelt fastening detection for the rear
Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during the drive.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled person); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results
The Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency.

It achieved 36 out of a possible 37 points for occupant protection leading to a five-star award.  In the area of child safety the Golf scored four stars; a further three stars were awarded for pedestrian safety.  This makes it one of the safest cars available in this segment.

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

S  
1.2-litre TSI 85 PS 11E
1.2-litre TSI 105 PS  13E
1.4-litre TSI 122 PS  16E
1.6-litre TDI 90 PS 13E
1.6-litre TDI 105 PS   15E
   
Match  
1.4-litre TSI 122 PS   16E
1.6-litre TDI 105 PS 15E
1.6-litre TDI 105 PS BM Tech 18E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and BM Tech 24E
   
GT  
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS  30E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and BM Tech 24E

In December 2009, the insurance industry switched from a 1-20 rating system to a 1-50 system.  New ratings are shown here.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

WARRANTIES

The Golf has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) / 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12 year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer. 

HISTORY OF THE GOLF

Mk I (1974 until 1983)

The Golf Mk I was launched in 1974 and is still produced today – albeit extensively modified – as an economically priced entry-level model in South Africa parallel to the current model range.  Over 6.8 million units have been produced so far.

1974: Debut of the first Golf
1976: 500,000th Golf in March
  1,000,000th Golf in October
  First Golf GTI
  First Golf with diesel engine
1978: 2,000,000th Golf in June
  Debut of the US version Rabbit in July
1979: 3,000,000th Golf in September
  First Golf Cabriolet
  Minor facelift
1982: 5,000,000th Golf in February
  First Golf with turbodiesel engine

 

Mk II (1984 until 1992)

The Golf Mk II followed in 1983, and in the UK the following year.  Over 6.3 million units of this generation were produced in ten years – on average approximately 630,000 units per year.

1983: Debut of the second Golf
1984: Debut of the second Golf GTI
1985: 7,000,000th Golf in March
1986: First Golf (GTI) with 16-valve petrol engine
1987: ABS available for all GT and GTI models
  Minor facelift
1988: Debut of the Rallye Golf G60 – some LHD examples imported to UK
  10,000,000th Golf in June
1989: 11,000,000th Golf in October
1990: All Golf petrol models available with closed-loop catalytic converters from February
  1,000,000th Golf GTI in November
  12,000,000th Golf in November

Mk III (1992 until 1998)

The Golf Mk III, of which 4.8 million units were built, was launched on to the UK market in 1992.

1991: Debut of the third Golf
  First Golf diesel with oxidation catalytic converter
  First Golf with six-cylinder engine (VR6); simultaneously the first model in the lower mid-range with a six-cylinder engine
1992: 13,000,000th Golf in February
  Driver and front passenger airbag available from August
1993: First Golf with turbodiesel direct injection (TDI) engine
  Debut of the second Golf Cabriolet
  First Golf Estate
  14,000,000th Golf in March
1994: 15,000,000th Golf in May
1995: First Golf with naturally aspirated diesel direct injection (SDI) engine
1996: 20th anniversary of the Golf GTI / anniversary model of the Golf GTI
  First Golf GTI with turbodiesel engine
  17,000,000th Golf in November

 

Mk IV (1998 until 2004)

The Golf Mk IV debuted in 1997, and was launched in the UK in 1998.  Over the last seven years until 2003, 4.3 million units of the best-seller were produced and, on average, approximately 614,000 units were sold per year.

1997: Debut of the first Golf with fully galvanised body
  First Golf with five-cylinder engine (V5)
1998: Debut of the new Golf Cabriolet
  First Golf 4MOTION with Haldex viscous coupling
  Introduction of optional ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme)
1999: Second Golf Estate launched
  First TDI engines with Pumpe Düse unit-injector technology in the Golf
  19,000,000th Golf in June
2002: Golf GTI 180 PS launched as special edition marking the 25th anniversary  of the Golf GTI in the UK
  Production of the Golf overtakes the Beetle; at 21,517,415 units it becomes the most-produced Volkswagen model to date
  Debut of the Golf R32, the most powerful in production Golf ever with 241 PS
  2002 becomes the Golf’s best year in the UK to date, with 72,362 units sold, while it also finishes the year as the country’s best-selling diesel car
2003: End of year: phase-out of the fourth generation Golf after sales of more than 4.3 million units

 

Mk V (2004 until 2008)

The Golf Mk V made its international debut in 2003, and was launched in the UK in 2004.

2003: September – world premiere at Frankfurt Motor Show
2004: January 30 – UK launch
  August – Sport added to model line-up
2005: January – GTI launched in the UK
  November – R32 on sale in the UK
2006: October – Match replaces SE trim level
2006: October – Match replaces SE trim level
2007: March – 25 millionth Golf is produced
  May – GT Sport replaces GT and Sport trim levels

 

Mk VI (2009)

2008: October – world premiere at the Paris Motor Show
  On sale in European markets
  October – car available for ordering at Volkswagen Retailers
2009: January 6 – car on sale in UK

(ends)

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