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In the 2008 test, the Golf VI had to prove whether it was still the best.

H.-D. Seufert
VW Golf VI 1.4 TSI from ams 22/2008
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M Swap it for the VW Golf? Many envy his success - but would they also shoulder the tons of pressure that weighs on every new model of the eternal bestseller? To be better than its predecessor, also more popular. And above all: sell yourself more often. Anything else would be a disaster.

Mass-compatible design

The consensus star of the sixth generation has remained mass-compatible, despite various light-edge reflections, fillet effects and sharp lines. A typical Golf, with design surprises, if at all in detail, which is why it doesn't cause any crowds, hysteria or even cell phone chases in the city. However, numerous looks and fingers are directed at him. Slightly voluminous proportions characterize a car in its prime. Compared to the predecessor Golf 2.0 FSI (150 PS) with automatic transmission, the current test car, a four-door 1.4 TSI with 160 PS and dual clutch transmission, has kept its weight - thanks to engine downsizing. And the growth in size? Although the Golf was 20 millimeters wider, it was five millimeters shorter and 34 millimeters lower. The wheelbase remains the same.

So the doors do not give access to a space miracle, but to a spacious representative of the compact class. The interior is a familiar environment with a déjà vu character: a mix of the predecessor Golf, Tiguan and Passat CC. All components are homogeneously interwoven, the look and feel has been cautiously modernized - according to the conservative credo: 'Preserve the good ...'. The door closes tightly and the eye falls on the well-positioned window regulator buttons. Underneath, in the interior paneling, is the compartment for the reflective vest and a bulge for 1.5 liter plastic bottles. All around there are additional storage compartments for storing cell phones, keys, sunglasses and parking lots. The two cupholders in the transmission tunnel are still separated by the removable bottle opener.

Slightly increased internal dimensions

H.-D. Seufert
There's more space inside.

In detail, VW also has the seats improved; they offer more legrests at the front and back, which increases the seat depth and reduces the tendency to fatigue over longer distances. At the same time, the standard seating area and thus the legroom at the rear have increased slightly, as has the interior width (plus 10 millimeters) and the room height (plus 25 mm). In the rear, the passengers stay airy and slightly elevated; even the middle seat can be used, as the rear seat is not overly shaped. The only point of criticism here: the middle headrest cannot be pulled out far enough, the height is only enough for children. There are two Isofix attachments for the shells of the little ones, a third seat doesn't fit in between.

The wide adjustment range of the front seats should allow everyone a comfortable position behind the steering wheel. Seat dwarfs no longer feel so strongly sealed off, as the edge on the dashboard has been removed. The clarity has gained in all directions - almost 23 percent of the all-round view is covered by sheet metal, the Ford Fiesta is over 25. Even when taking measurements before parking, the VW gives a good feeling for its dimensions - the famous feel-good factor of the Golf.

Double-charged TSI engine

H.-D. Seufert
The four-cylinder compressor and turbocharger help to generate 160 hp.

However, after turning the key, one doubt remains: is the engine running at all? The ears would say no to this question, but a glance at the rev counter confirms that the engine is idling. The noise insulation is phenomenal, and only the sensitive feel subliminal vibrations - no four-cylinder is currently working more inconspicuously. Part of the exhaust noise is dampened by the two superchargers, an Eaton compressor and a Turbo from Borg Warner. Both are connected in series. First of all, the compressor attached by a magnetic coupling compresses theIntake air, at higher engine speeds the turbo and intercooler take over. The transition is so finely tuned that it cannot be felt. What's more: Hardly any driver would even suspect that this engine is charging - it feels like the 1.4-liter puffs up to a well-functioning two-liter vacuum cleaner and obediently hangs on the gas.

The impression of the The seven-stage dual-clutch transmission (DSG) currently fitted as standard contributes to the upper-class tying-up in the city. It blurs the changes so inconspicuously that you suddenly find yourself in sixth gear at 60 km /h - at a slightly higher idle speed. Accompanied by the rolling noise of the 17-inch tires, you rush along, after leaving the town, the 1.4-liter turns at 100 km /h at a bored 2000 /min. Good for consumption, which can be reduced to less than six liters per 100 kilometers in low-lying diesel.

TSI pushes like a TDI

The petrol engine pushes like a TDI also on - but without remaining in turbo lag. And without running out of breath at times: After the revision, the direct injection turns into the red area much more readily, and the needle on the easily readable speedometer swings up to over 200. Even at high speeds on unlimited freeway, the Golf always remains stable and stable gives a feeling of security. The finely adjustable and seemingly endlessly stressable braking system contributes to this. Although the steering, assisted by an electric motor, requires almost no effort, it is precise from the central position without spreading hectic.

New: adaptive shock absorbers for 925 euros extra

H.-D. Seufert
The comfort of the golf makes long distances easy.

VW has not changed anything in the basic layout of the chassis with McPherson struts at the front and multi-link axle at the rear. For the first time there is an adaptive chassis (925 euros). If you switch the identifier to sport with a button, you will feel increased restoring forces - the power assistance is withdrawn. The effects are greater with the shock absorbers: the Golf feels almost like GTI, it steers sharply, reacts to load changes with agility-enhancing turning, without the ESP having to intervene. With the extensiveDriving dynamics tests do not require a high level of driving effort, even in fast times.

Disadvantage of the agile basic set-up: Even in the so-called comfort mode, the Golf does not flatter the road. Possibly the 15-inch basic tires would spring better, especially on short bumps. With 17-inchers, on the other hand, the good feedback is more noticeable without the passengers ever having to suffer any major bumps. In addition to the very good overall comfort, the effective noise insulation, the comfortable seats and the simple, clearly structured operation including the extensive high-line equipment with heated sports seats at the front, automatic air conditioning, parking aid, fog lights and CD radio.


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