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  • Punchy & economical; Smooth gearbox; Dynamically enjoyable
  • Price when optioned; Urethane steering wheel; Late clutch uptake

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9 / 10



2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test
2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test
by Matt Brogan

2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test

New Golf hits the competition for six

Model Tested:

  • 2009 Volkswagen Golf Mark VI 90TSI Trendline; 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder; six-speed manual; five-door hatch: $25,990 (RRP)

Options:

  • Metallic Paint $700; Satellite Navigation $3000; Adaptive Chassis Control $1500; Alarm $600; Fog Lamps $400; Parallel Park Assist $1400; Reversing Camera $500; Sunroof $1900 (Fitted); Premium Audio System $1800; iPod Interface $270; Satellite Navigation with Audio Upgrade $4000; Comfort Package $2200

CarAdvice Rating:

– by Matt Brogan

It’s hard to believe the Golf was in need of an update. Already such a terrific little car with contemporary style, it hardly felt old.

After driving the latest version of Germany’s favourite mid-sized hatch this week, I think it’s fair to say that the all-new Golf is not only better than its predecessor, but that it also hits the competition for six.

2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test
2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test
2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test

The Golf Mark VI takes everything we’ve come to expect from Volkswagen and polishes off a few rough edges to bring the car in line with the brand’s new design direction – which is clearly evident in both the Scirocco-esque front end and Tiguan-ish tail.

The result is an attractive, well sorted and dynamically enjoyable vehicle that boasts exceptional fit and finish, a quiet, balanced ride, as well as that all important high level of safety.

With a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the bonnet, the Golf is far more spirited than its 90kW output rating would have you believe, managing the 0-100km/h sprint in a touch under 10 seconds.

The six-speed manual gearbox too is an absolute delight; very smooth to operate with an excellent spread of ratios.

Plus, with 200Nm on hand from just 1500rpm, the Golf is an easier drive than most manuals in this class and seems to make shifting cogs a far less busy occupation than you would at first believe.

2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test
2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test

The clutch is light, but not devoid of feel, though I did find it presents a very late uptake point which isn’t exactly to my personal liking.

Despite this one small issue the Golf remains an extremely enjoyable drive with confident and balanced handling from the strut front, multi-link rear suspension arrangement and well weighted steering with just the right amount of feedback.

The ride too is very pleasant; settled and quiet, which is a very rare combination in cars south of the $30K price bracket.

In standard form (as tested) the Golf 90TSI offers: a single CD tuner; trip computer; flip key remote central locking; power windows and heated power mirrors; and air-conditioning, which is about what you’d expect for this kind of money.

But if you’re like me and need a little extra pampering, the Comfort Pack is probably the best value way to up-spec the base model, adding 15-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate, cruise control, MFD trip computer, and best of all a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls – all for an additional $2200.

Staying inside you’ll find sensible utilisation of space for added storage, greater interior room and a plain yet logically formed decor which although a little dull, is certain not to age as readily as some of Golf’s more “funky” competitors.

Proportionally ample seating with comfortable cloth trimmed seats make longer trips a delight, while rear seating is roomy enough to comfortably seat three adults without a bother.

Inside the top-hinged hatch Golf offers an impressive 350 litres of cargo capacity with the seats and parcel shelf in place, though this can be expanded to a cavernous 1305 litres thanks to 60:40 split fold rear seats.

As we touched on earlier, safety is a well addressed concern in the new Golf with this base model featuring standard front, side, curtain and driver’s knee airbags; ESP with Traction Control; and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBA and EBD.

So if you’re on a budget and find yourself shopping the mid-sized hatch market this is one car I’d strongly recommend taking for a test drive.

The driver in you will love the on-road athleticism on offer while your common sense side is certain to feel reassured after just one solid close of the door.

Ratings:

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
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VOLKSWAGEN GOLF BREAKDOWN

2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test
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  • 8
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Volkswagen Golf Specs

1.6 EDITION : 1K MY09 : 1.6L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 6 SP AUTOMATIC TIPTRONIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
VOLKSWAGEN
Model
GOLF
Variant
1.6 EDITION
Series
1K MY09
Year
2009
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$9,240 - $10,500
Dealer Retail
$11,010 - $13,090
Dealer Trade
$7,400 - $8,400
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
1.6L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
148Nm @  3800rpm
Max. Power
75kW @  5600rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
58.8W/kg
Bore & Stroke
81x77.4mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
SINGLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC TIPTRONIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
55Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.2L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1275
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1485mm
Length
4204mm
Width
1759mm
Ground Clearance
142mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1200  Unbrake:620
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.9
Front Rim Size
6x15
Rear Rim Size
6x15
Front Tyres
195/65 R15
Rear Tyres
195/65 R15
Wheel Base
2578
Front Track
1539
Rear Track
1528
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Lower arm, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Anti roll bar, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
15 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
Driver
Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Power Sunroof
Driver
Parking Distance Control, Satellite Navigation
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Inner Guard
Country of Origin
Germany