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VW Golf: Test Drive

Date: 12 September 2008   |   Author: Tristan Young

VW Golf Mk6
Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £21,000 est.
Key rival: Ford Focus

VW's hype that this is an all-new Golf, the sixth in its history, is a touch strong. While everything you can see is new and improved, not everything under the car's skin is.

Possibly a better or more cynical way of describing the car is the biggest facelift you've ever seen. But when you have something as right as the Mk5 Golf, why mess around with it too much?

Volkswagen's aim with the 'new' car was to improve on the already high quality levels and ownership experience, and the firm has not disappointed.

While the exterior styling may not surprise anyone, the interior is first rate. Material quality and fitting is superb, and even if you hunt around the less visible areas for signs of cost cutting, all you become is surprised at the little touches such as the soft-lined glove box and door bins.

If you're being super-picky then the aircon controls are a bit lightweight in their action, but all this really does is highlight how good the interior is.

VW has also worked hard to improve refinement. In both the 140PS 2.0-litre diesel and the 122PS 1.4 TSI petrol available to drive at the launch there's hardly any engine noise when cruising at any speed up to 80mph. And even hard acceleration has little impact on cabin noise, although you can hear wind noise around the B-pillar.

VW will introduce two other engines when the Golf arrives...