Our look back at the various guises of the VW Golf is almost at an end as we reach the penultimate offering in the line-up. Moving on from the Mark V, could Volkswagen polish something that was already pretty great? Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you the…
Volkswagen Golf Mark VI (2009 – 2013)
The answer was, yes they could. On the whole, it’s not easy to take something already pretty fantastic and improve it. Many less talented folk then VW have tried that in the past and failed miserably – think of the Ford Escort Mark III for example. They needn’t have worried; the Mark VI succeeded overwhelmingly. It was more refined, more comfortable, and from a quality perspective surpassed the previous model. Once again, the Golf had raised the bar for hatchbacks.
It wasn’t a complete redesign, instead a thoroughly reworked version of the 2004 edition, with small but crucial improvements throughout. Nowhere was this more apparent then when the Mark VI was on the move; it was spectacularly quiet and smooth, with the ride quality of a much larger vehicle.
Inside the cabin, the quality and finish were first class – the glove compartment was lined with velour so items didn’t rattle around. The controls and switches felt premium too. The car was also fitted with some clever new tech, including an adaptive air suspension system (called ACC or Adaptive Chassis System) which could vary the handling and ride between sport and comfort modes.
All the models available offered good fuel economy, both petrol and diesel and there were a great selection of engines to choose from. The 1.4 TSI 122 was an excellent choice with fantastic torque and smoothness whilst at low revs, but what really stood out were the Bluemotion models. Thanks to continual improvements, the 1.6 TDI emits just 99g/km of CO2 and has claimed economy of 74.3mpg.
Unfortunately, these engines have proven unsuitable for repeated short runs from cold with many experiencing EGR and DPF problems. Good for long distances. But for short runs, far better a 1.4 TSI or 1.2 TSI.
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