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Volkswagen models, news & reviews
By Anthony ffrench-Constant
23 September 2008 09:00
Despite the residue of hundreds of kilted Scottish football supporters who were far too sloshed to find the airport after the World Cup qualifying match – and, for that matter, probably still are – Reykjavik is an outstanding city from which to launch a car.
Compared to anything else on offer on the planet, the surrounding scenery is absolutely brand spanking new and largely still hot to the touch, the air’s so good that no amount of vigorous fag smoking will put a dent in its quality, it’s hilariously, wallet-meltingly expensive and the women are so pretty it makes you want to burst out cheering. Actually that last bit’s a fib; most of the girls are up there with Bjork on the Troll scale and, after a week of relentless Glaswegian chat-up line pummelling, are none too friendly to boot.
You’ll never, ever learn the language, which sounds like Scandinavian played backwards and bubbled through bath water, and your taste buds will find it equally hard to come to terms with the food. Puffin looks and cuts like duck, but tastes of anchovies, whale (bought ages ago off a Japanese ship refused a berth anywhere else) looks and cuts like liver, but tastes like a cow that’s recently been scuba diving in the Red Sea, and black guillemot tastes, um, quite unlike anything I’ve ever eaten before. And as for the Stinky Food Festival chunks of shark they bury for months in the sand until the seeping ammonia will weep the eye-balls clean out of your skull; don’t even think about it.
Into this absorbing environment, Volkswagen introduced a fleet of Phaetons, complete with more chauffeurs than Iceland has policemen (honest), in which I spent marginally more time than the car I’d turned up to drive. Seriously, in order to ensure we stayed on message and weren’t distracted by the delights of Reykjavik, VW built a main dealer sized, erm, indoctrination centre in the middle of nowhere and spent so much time ferrying us to and fro in rear seat luxury that it was a constant struggle not to review the wrong car.
Sorry. And then it struck me… They did all this on purpose. So little of import has changed between Golfs MkV and VI that the latest iteration was in desperate need of a USP. In that context, Volkswagen have opted for the Sound of Silence, and the reason why we spent so long in the back of a Phaeton is precisely because we were being covertly nudged into making cabin hush comparisons between the two.
Allied to a huge hike in interior quality, the MkVI has indeed been soundproofed senseless to seriously good effect. Ironically, the only gripe remaining is that they’ve thrown out the blue back-lighting to the instrumentation in favour of white. Surely that was something of a Golf USP in its own right.
Click 'Next' below to read our driving impressions of the VW Golf Mk6
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VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 DSG (2009) CAR review
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RE: VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 DSG (2009) CAR review
If you think the price for this is harsh just look at what Volkswagen are now charging for the 170 GTD version - £23k! you could just take a standard VW Golf 140 GT and spend £500 on a chip to get straight to the 170 bhp. Seems like every family hatch costs £20k nowadays, It'll be £3.50 for a Mars Bar before long - I must be getting old!
12 June 2009 10:25
Entertaining article and an eye opener to what it costs just to buy a family VW Golf these days. As for you mentioning the Scottish football traveling support; you have to understand that due to our unique style of football lately ( code for crap ), being sloshed is the only way to actually tolerate watching the national team in these challenging times.
24 September 2008 09:37
Thank you again Mr ffrench-Constant, your articles never fail to entertain. This sort of thing is exactly why I read CAR; the article enlivens the subject matter. I'm sure if the new (?) Golf was awful or superb, more would have needed to be written. As is was largely the same, the wit was most welcome.
23 September 2008 23:46
The only VW I considered buying was the new Scirocco, until I experienced the interior. Never mind the design, the quality was rubbish. VW are really quite boring cars on the whole which is a pity as the golf is a great drive. I'll stick to Honda, leaders in 'design coolness'.
23 September 2008 22:56
Remember reading the piece regarding VW reducing Manufacturing on the Mk6. Stupid of them to make this public, and then increase the sticker price. Instead of being a rather good in house joke, they're risking insulting the intelligence of their customers.
23 September 2008 20:35
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