2009 Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test
New Golf hits the competition for six
- 2009 Volkswagen Golf Mark VI 90TSI Trendline; 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder; six-speed manual; five-door hatch: $25,990 (RRP)
- 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
- by Matt Brogan
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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