January 17, 2012

DRIVEN: Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSi !!!

Sometimes looks can be deceiving. I remember vividly when the latest generation Volkswagen Golf is launched in Malaysia, my first thought was "Is it a facelift?".The Mk6 Golf looks almost identical from far, spotted only the headlights as the biggest changes in terms of design compared to Mk5 Golf. Although the Mk6 uses the same platform as the Mk5, the Mk6 is a new beast compared to its predecessor...

The critically acclaimed Volkswagen Golf had reached its 6th generation. It came to Malaysia last year with a selling price of RM158,888 for the 1.4 TSi variant, while the GTi is going for slightly over RM200k. The Volkswagen Golf has sold more than 25 millions worldwide since 1974! Of course this happened for reasons. I was eager to test drive the Car Of The Year 2009, which is the Golf in this case, to find out what's with the Golf that makes people go gaga about it.

Our test drive course was located in a residential area, but comfort and handling can be tested thanks to the humps (a lot of it!) and roundabouts. My first impression on the Golf Mk6 is like a Mk5 with make-up, more contemporary styled than the latter to keep up with the rapidly changing market. The headlights are elegantly designed, comprised of chrome, boat-like shape which houses the projectors. Although the exterior design looks simple, it is not boring to look at either.

One of the highlights of the latest generation Golf 1.4 TSi is the dual force inducted engine. The automotive industry currently prefer to downside the displacement of the engine but adding in turbo-charger to increase the engine's power. Volvo and Volkswagen, to name a few, followed the pattern and Volkswagen gave the 1.4 TSi engine two force induction system to increase the power output to 160bhp and 240Nm of torque in the small-ish 1.4litre powerplant. Mated to the engine is a 7-speed dual clutch DSG transmission with smooth gear change.

The Golf is not a good car to mess with at a traffic light junction! The 240Nm of torque is available from as low as 1750rpm, and this enables the Golf to triumph some normally aspired 2.0litre engine cars in a drag race! The figures proved itself true when the car surged forward as I accelerated the car until around 1700rpm. It gave a brisk acceleration and knot to 100km/h can be achieved in less than 10 seconds! No turbo lag was experienced as Volkswagen solved the problem which is usually found in a force inducted engine by adding a second force induction device.

Although the ride was a bit on the firm side, the Golf was still able to isolate most of the road imperfection, giving a composed and comfortable ride to the passengers. Drivers who prefer to have some enjoyment in driving can step the pedal to the metal, and feel yourself getting shoved into the seat as the twin force inducted engine launches itself into the air. Okay I was exaggerating, but you should get my message,right? Bear in mind that this is just a Golf 1.4 TSi, I'm sure the Golf GTi will be much more powerful than this! I brought the Golf to 100km/h in no time and it felt stable, composed with engine and wind noise well compressed, the road noise was a bit over my liking though.

Three alphabetical acronyms like ABS, EBD, ESP, TCS and 7 airbags (including knee airbag) are some standard equipments in the Golf to provide a peace of mind and safe handling. The Volkswagen Golf is no doubt a safe but also an enjoying car to drive. It has adequate space for 5 adults in the cabin and a well-sized boot for a weekend shopping spree. No wonder some family guy even opted the Golf as his family car!

+ Strong engine, handling, spacious cabin.
- Road noise.

Check out my other reviews on Volkswagen:
Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Passat CC

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