Volkswagen’s best-selling family hatchback, the Golf, which went on sale in the UK in January and has since won a string of accolades, has added a new title to its name after winning both the Family Car and, for the first time, the overall prize at the 2013 Scottish Car of the Year awards.  The award was presented last night at a ceremony held in Glasgow.

Commenting on the Golf’s performance, Alisdair Suttie, President of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, said: ‘Success can often breed complacency but that’s certainly not the case on this occasion.  In a world of uncertainty there’s something solid, familiar and reassuring about our Family Car of the Year yet at the same time this is a thoroughly modern machine.  Its engines are among the most frugal in the segment, there’s a choice of bodystyles and, to both look at and sit in, it feels a nudge above the rest.  Seven generations on and still going strong, take to the driving range in what we believe is every car you’ll ever need.’

Robert Hazelwood, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: ‘2013 has been the year of the Golf. Following a successful UK launch in January the car has gone from strength to strength. It has won awards on both a European and world stage – but the UK awards are the ones which have the most tangible results. Winning the overall Scottish Car of the Year accolade is a huge boost and our Retailers north of the border will be delighted with the additional success I am sure this will bring to the car.’

He continued: ‘From the standard hatchback, through the GTI and GTD performance versions to the economical BlueMotion and the spacious Estate, there is a Golf to suit every need and desire.  The Golf’s high levels of quality, safety equipment, technology and value for money have made it a winner, and we’re delighted these attributes have been recognised in this award.’

The seventh-generation Golf has been named overall World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year, as well as taking numerous awards from a number of publications.

The latest Golf is lighter, safer, more advanced, more spacious, more efficient and better equipped than previous generations of Europe’s best-seller, of which over 30 million have been sold since its introduction in 1974 – some 1.6 million of these in the UK. 

All Golf models come with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, five three-point seatbelts, ABS with ESP, XDS electronic differential lock and Isofix preparation for two rear child seats, while standard technology includes a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, CD player, MDI interface (for connecting iPod or MP3 player), Bluetooth telephone preparation and audio streaming and eight speakers.  Also standard is ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning, among a host of other features.  Prices start at £16,495 OTR, RRP.

The Scottish Car of the Year awards were established in 1998, and are judged by all 15 members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, who represent publications and websites from across the country.

The ASMW was founded in 1961 and continues to represent the vast majority of working motoring writers/broadcasters in Scotland.  The membership includes staffers and freelancers covering radio stations, regional and national newspapers, websites and an array of specialist publications.

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Airbags are an essential safety feature. They cushion the impact of collisions, reducing the risk of injury.

Why do we need airbags? Because seat belts alone are not enough. In an accident, passengers can be thrown forward even when they're belted, increasing the risk of injuries. We include airbags in all our cars to cushion the impact of collisions and reduce the risk of injury. Combined with seat belts, the airbags provide an exceptional level of protection for occupants.

What does the airbag do?

  • An airbag is deployed in the event of an accident to cushion the body and minimise the risk of injury
  • Cushion the body in a side impact too, where fitted
  • Inflate and deflate in just milliseconds

Prevention is always better than cure

We like to put our drivers on the road to safety. That's why we've included advanced active safety features in our cars to help prevent accidents. But sadly, accidents still happen. Even so, they need not cause injuries.

All our cars are fitted with driver and front passenger airbags. Depending on model, a total of up to 9 airbags are available. Depending on the model, they may include driver and front passenger airbags, front seat side impact airbags, curtain airbag system for front and second row occupants and the new driver's knee airbag. Our front and side airbags offer vital protection for the driver and front seat passenger. They serve to cushion the impact to the head and upper body coming from the front and sides.

Airbag control

They know just when to go off too, thanks to the smart sensors that measure the severity of a collision. The airbag control sets off the gas generator which inflates the airbags in milliseconds. A more advanced version which inflates the front airbags in two stages, is found, for example, on the Phaeton. It aims to reduce the load placed on the driver and front passenger.

And there's no need to worry about your airbags being set off unnecessarily. The sophisticated system is able to tell the difference between a crash, however severe, and shocks to the car caused by hitting a stone or a deep pothole, for example.

New knee protection

The new knee airbag system, found in the latest Golf offers extra protection for the driver's legs from a hard impact with the steering column and instrument panel. In the event of a crash it deploys in milliseconds in front of the driver's knees and absorbs - in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag - a significant share of energy forced into the pelvic area.

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Tyres with run-flat properties, known as SST (self-supporting tyres), offer extra safety and convenience. Even when deflated, the self-supporting tyres continue to run on the reinforced tyre sidewall at a top speed of 50mph for up to 125 miles. For safety reasons a tyre monitor display is always part of the package, because under normal driving conditions you may not notice that a tyre has deflated. This could lead to dangerous situations when cornering or under heavy braking.

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When you want to change lanes, Side Assist tells you about other vehicles that are too close or in your blind spot.

Before changing lanes on a fast, busy road, you'll check your mirrors and glance over your shoulder to see if the road is clear. But what about your blind spot? When you indicate that you're about to change lanes, our Side Scan lane change assistant warns you about approaching traffic which could pose a danger.

If there are cars coming up from behind - closer than 50 metres - or in your blind spot, warning LED lights will flash in your wing mirrors to alert you. In this way you know exactly what is happening around you and can avoid any danger.

The system is designed to alert you only when necessary: stationary objects or oncoming vehicles do not trigger warnings. It also ignores vehicles which are more than one lane across, so you're not distracted with frequent warnings. Side scan is activated by pushing a button. It only works from speeds above 40 mph and is primarily designed for motorway driving. You can also switch off the system yourself.

So, you'll still want to be careful when changing lanes, but Side Assist gives you valuable extra help to make every long journey a little more comfortable.

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The Volkswagen Golf has been named Used Car of the Year by What Car? magazine, Britain’s biggest car buyer’s guide.  The 2010 Golf SE 1.4-litre TSI five-door model claimed victory in the Family Car class ‘over £6,000’ category, before going on to win the overall Car of the Year accolade.  The Golf is no stranger to What Car? Used Car awards, having also won its class last year. 

The What Car? Used Car of the Year judging panel was made up of experts from all areas of the motor industry including car dealerships, auction houses and What Car?magazine itself.

In commenting on the reasons for the Golf’s win, John McIlroy, Editor of What Car?said: ‘The What Car? used car of the year and family car winner, the Volkswagen Golf has consistently proved that you don’t have to buy big to get impressive cabin quality and refinement.  Volkswagen has got it right with the Golf, each generation of Golf gets better and better making it such a great used car buy.’

The Golf Mk VI is praised for offering buyers ‘genuine value for money’, thanks to an impressive and economical engine, a spacious and stylish cabin with an ‘exceptionally high quality look and feel’ and strong safety credentials.  In short, says What Car?: ‘No other small family car matches the Golf for fun and comfort.’

Collecting the award on behalf of Volkswagen was Head of Sales Operations, Ian Plummer, who said: ‘We’re delighted to win this award.  The seventh-generation Golf has claimed a number of high profile accolades since its launch so it’s tremendous for us that the previous generation is also still winning titles too.  Excellent value for money, high quality and a strong reputation mean the Golf is always a popular choice with new and used car buyers and we’re grateful that What Car? has recognised this.’

Volkswagen’s used car programme, called ‘Das WeltAuto’, ensures that customers not only get a quality product, but also high quality service when they purchase a car from a Retailer.  Rolled out across the manufacturer’s network in 2011, Das WeltAuto is designed to make the purchase of a secondhand car as appealing as that of a new car, with ‘Used cars you can trust. Guaranteed’. 

Every car sold under the Das WeltAuto banner comes with a number of features, including a no quibble exchange policy, free servicing for two years when bought with Volkswagen Finance and a used car warranty.  Full details, as well as an online used car locator, can be found at

The full results of What Car?’s Used Car of the Year awards are published in the November issue of the magazine, out 19 September.

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