This is the sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf - officially unveiled today after a string of leaks - with new looks inspired by the Scirocco and a higher-quality interior. But underneath the new Golf's mildly warmed-over looks, the platform is still from the current Mk5 car.
Are the Golf Mk6's visual nips and tucks, plus revised engines and new technology, enough to beat competition from the facelifted Ford Focus and the all-new Megane? We’ll find out when Renault and VW make their debuts at the Paris motor show in autumn 2008.
The new Golf's face looks familiar. Has VW just taken its Scirocco design and put it on the front of the Golf?
The first thing you’ll notice is the Scirocco-inspired headlamps, as well as the Touareg-esque rear end. But the overall profile of the Golf Mk6 hasn’t really changed a great deal. There are lots of new side creases though, making you wonder how the Scirocco can stand out. VW calls the new Golf the ‘evolution of an icon’, but will the minor changes be enough to last for at least another six years?
What about inside the new VW Golf Mk6?
The cabin's refresh appears equally insignificant, with a plundering of the VW parts bin offering up a Passat CC steering wheel. What you can’t see are the new design of door and window seals, plus new damping for the engine. All these changes apparently make the Golf the quietest yet.
‘This sixth generation of Golf cars will completely redefine the quality and comfort level of its class over broad categories, offering more customer value than ever before,’ says Prof Martin Winterkorn, chairman of VW's board.
We'll be the judge of that, when CAR Online drives the car this autumn...
Click 'Next' below to read more about the new VW Golf Mk6
So Volkswagen has altered the Golf's looks – slightly – but are there any changes underneath?
Mechanically, the Mk6 Golf will use the same platform as the previous generation Golf, although there is a new range of petrol and diesel engines. The new 108bhp 2.0-litre TDI common-rail diesel emits just 119g/km of CO2 but will return 62.7mpg, while other diesel variants produce 89, 138 and 168bhp.
For now, four other petrol engines complete the line-up, but there has yet to be any announcement on the GTI or expected R36 hot hatches.
There must be some new technology...
Volkswagen is now offering its Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC), which is already available as an option on the new Passat CC and comes as standard on the Scirocco. It allows the driver to select from Normal, Comfort or Sport modes, which alter the suspension, steering and accelerator responses to suit whatever mood you’re in.
Another option on offer is Automatic Distance Control (ADC) – a series of sensors to monitor the immediate area around the vehicle, reducing the Golf’s speed if they sense that there’s something in the way. ADC can completely stop the car, although only under extreme circumstances.
For those wanting a safer car, a driver’s knee airbag is now standard, bringing the total number to seven. There’s also a new head restraint system - which is designed to cut down on whiplash injuries - and rear seatbelt detection sensors for the times when your children are feeling defiant in the face of safety laws.
Prices and specifications aren’t yet available, but they’ll be announced closer to the Golf’s arrival on UK shores in January. Just don’t expect too many surprises…
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