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Awards 2010 - Business Car of the Year: VW Golf

Date: 26 January 2010

The Volkswagen Golf has always been a favourite among both fleet operators and their drivers, offering a top-notch combination of brand prestige and appeal plus low running costs and good residual values, so the latest-generation model's success in the top category of the 2010 BusinessCar Awards isn't the world's biggest shock.

The sixth iteration was launched in the UK early last year and nothing that went on sale throughout the rest of 2009 could beat it to this title of the business car industry's favourite new model.

The latest Golf is an evolution of its predecessor - almost a Mk5.5 Golf - but builds on the strengths of the old model, which didn't do a great deal wrong to start with. The styling, fit and finish of the quality cabin and vast choice of great engines are all virtually peerless in the sector. Volkswagen has even pushed the Golf into territory that was previously the domain of the supermini sector, with a sub-100g/km Bluemotion model offering an official fuel economy figure of 74.3mpg. That car has modified gear ratios, aerodynamics and low rolling-resistance tyres, as well as a stop-start system and engineering tweaks to keep fuel use right down.

VW also replaced its most popular engine for the corporate sector last year, with a new 105PS 1.6-litre diesel that's both cleaner and faster than the previous 110PS 2.0-litre diesel favourite.

At the other end of the scale, the GTi and GTD models were added last summer, with a 210PS 2.0-litre petrol and 170PS 2.0-litre diesel engine respectively. And the top model in the range, the four-wheel drive Golf R, is imminent - its power output of 270PS is good enough for a 0-62mph time of 5.7secs.

The estate version of the Golf was also launched towards the back end of 2009, with a new Jetta saloon also due in around 12 months.

The Golf recently picked up fleet operator trade association ACFO's car of the year prize, and a glance at the quality, reputation or running costs will explain why the latest version has proved itself as BusinessCar's fleet favourite once more.