The title may seem like a contradiction in itself (modern/retro) but to me, a child of the 70s with a teenager who thinks the 80s is ‘retro’, that’s the best way to describe the fantastic VW Golf, first launched in 1974.
After working in publishing for almost 20 years, in 2012 I embarked on a new career as the Southern Regional Manager for Cymark, the UK’s leading tele marketing company for the motor trade. With cars being the name of our game, as it were, my boss informed me that I could have any car I wanted. But me being me and a typical indecisive Pisces, I couldn’t make my mind up, so my boss chose for me.
On delivery of my company car I was presented with a VW Golf TDI. “It’s white!” was my first thought…. My second thought was…. “Ooh! I quite like it…” first impressions very, very good. Aesthetics in a car are important to me. It brings a smile to my face as I approach it while it gleam’s invitingly, enticing me to come and partake in the pleasure of its performance. And it’s not just me that thinks so as I receive compliment after compliment on my lovely looking car.
But as they say, looks aren’t everything. Did the VW Golf have brains and brawn as well as beauty?
I needed a car that was economical, handles well, is nippy, responding well in the city, accelerating (and braking) well too, as I tear around getting from appointment to appointment. The VW Golf TDI delivers all this and more.
But this car really came into its own when I took it ‘off the beaten track’ one day and discovered a good bendy stretch of country road leading from Silverstone to Buckingham.
With no speed cameras in sight and virtually no other vehicles I put the car to the test and gave it a good rally that left me feeling exhilarated and confident in its abilities. Lewis Hamilton had nothing on me!
With all this in mind it is no surprise that the multi award winning VW Golf has stood the test of time and historically is VW’s best selling model and the second best selling model in the world. The evolution of the car has become the stuff of legends.
With prices starting at a very reasonable £16,330 this is what you get for your money…
THE TECHNICAL BIT…
Having been traditionally offered with both petrol and diesel engines this continues with the new MK7. Diesels will major on 1.6 and 2.0 litre capacities. The 1.6 will make 103bhp and boasts an impressive 74.3 mpg but there is an even more economical model in the Bluemotion at a fantastic 88.3mpg with CO2 emissions improved by 14g/km now totalling just 85g/km.
With the 2.0 diesel engine there is a significant change with an installation that automatically switches the engine at 180 degrees for more efficient cooling. The bhp gallops in at 148 and you can expect to get around 69 miles to the gallon with CO2 of 106g/km.
THE DESIGN BIT…
Marc Lichte has styled the new refined Golf to be sharper, sleeker and lighter than ever before, yet still retaining its iconic classic
design features recognised and admired by motorists the world over. The interior is subdued, stylish and sophisticated − no garish colours or patterns here. Space has been added on the centre console with the gear stick slightly raised. This, combined with the driver’s seat being set back by another 20mm, induces a slightly racy feel, as though driving a prestige sports car. The range of steering wheel adjustments has also increased and even the most basic models can boast touch screen display.
THE SAFETY BIT…
Also included is the new multi collision braking system that comes as standard and automatically brakes the car to a complete stop when involved in an accident in order to avoid a second impact with oncoming traffic. But that’s not all. There is also an accident
protection cruise control with an emergency braking function with traffic sign recognition and is able to detect driver fatigue, and is
designed to avoid low speed impacts. And lastly it carries the very latest in automatic parking systems too. Basically it bleeps when you get too close to any objects. Mine has helped me many a time not to bash cars, walls and bushes (and people) as I try to squeeze into tight parking spaces!
I am due to change my car again soon and again my boss has asked me what I would like next. I have considered many fine specimens
but I just keep coming back to the Golf. My 2012 model has never let me down and I cannot argue with that. Only this time I shall be getting the latest all singing, all dancing MK7 that has been launched this January 2013. I can’t wait!
For more information on the new VW Golf or to arrange a test drive, please contact VW Ridgeway Kidlington on 01865 566116 or
VW Ridgeway Reading on 0118 914 4529.
If you are a dealership and would like any new car launched in 2013 to be test driven and featured on the motoring pages, please contact Kelly Gavaghan on 07982 427110.
By Kelly Gavaghan