The seventh-generation version of the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI, which was introduced at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, is now available to order in the UK, with prices starting at £25,845 on the road – just £195 more than the previous model despite substantial enhancements.  For the first time it is available from the factory with two power levels: the standard 220 PS GTI and the GTI Performance, a £980 option which increases power to 230 PS, adds larger brake discs and a front limited-slip differential.

The new GTI is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine (TSI) with 220 PS.  In the GTI Performance version, the engine’s maximum power is boosted to 230 PS.  Both GTI models develop a maximum torque of 350 Nm (258 lbs ft).  The standard GTI accelerates to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 152 mph.  The GTI Performance has a top speed of 155 mph and needs just 6.4 seconds for the sprint to 62 mph.  Despite its impressive performance, the new Golf GTI is in insurance group 29E – five groups lower than its predecessor.

Both versions of the GTI are equipped with a Stop/Start system and fulfil the EU-6 emissions standard that takes effect in 2014.  With a six-speed manual gearbox, they attain the same low fuel consumption value of 47.1 mpg (CO2 emissions of 139 g/km).  This means that the latest Golf GTI offers an 18 per cent improvement in fuel economy compared to the previous model.  With the optional six-speed DSG gearbox, the two GTI models achieve fuel consumption figures of 44.1 mpg (equivalent to 148 g/km CO2 for the standard GTI and 149 g/km CO2 for the GTI Performance).

Buyers who opt for the £980 Performance pack gain not just an extra 10 PS of power, but also uprated brakes and a limited-slip differential.  The ventilated front brake discs increase from 312 x 25 mm to 340 x 30 mm , while the rear discs, which are 300 x 12 mm solid discs on the ‘standard’ GTI, are changed to 310 x 22 mm ventilated discs.  The front differential is a new development, dubbed VAQ.  This provides more neutral and agile driving behaviour and allows higher speeds to be carried through curves.  The system consists of a multi-plate coupler between the differential cage and right driveshaft, which controls locking torque electro-hydraulically.  Visually, vehicles with the Performance pack are distinguished solely by ‘GTI’ lettering on the red brake callipers.

The sporty character of the Golf GTI is reflected in its styling, which includes the characteristic red stripe across the honeycomb radiator grille – now also extending into the standard bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights – red-painted brake callipers, two chrome tailpipes and sports suspension.  As standard, the GTI comes with 18-inch ‘Austin’ alloy wheels with 225/45 tyres, special side sills, a rear diffuser framing the exhaust pipe at either side, smoked LED rear lights and LED number plate illumination. 

Interior highlights include 2Zone climate control, sports seats with the classic tartan ‘Jacara’ cloth upholstery, a black roof lining and red ambience lighting.  GTI drivers will also appreciate the bespoke sports steering wheel, gear lever and instrument cluster, trim strips and stainless steel pedal caps.   The standard touchscreen infotainment system also includes DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.

As well as high performance, a high level of safety equipment comes as standard in the Golf GTI. On top of high passive safety levels – thanks in part to a passenger cell made from high- and ultra-high strength steels – active safety features include the Automatic Post-Collision Braking system, which automatically applies the vehicle brakes after an accident to reduce the chances of a second impact; the pre-crash system, which tensions seatbelts and closes windows and the sunroof if an accident is likely to improve the effectiveness of the airbags; Front Assist, which warns the driver in the event of coming too close to the vehicle in front, can prime the brakes, and operates at speeds of up to 99 mph; City Emergency Braking, which can automatically brake the vehicle at speeds below 18 mph; Automatic Distance Control, a radar-operated cruise control that maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front; and seven airbags as standard, including one for the driver’s knees.

Optional equipment includes 19-inch ‘Santiago’ alloy wheels, ‘Vienna’ leather upholstery, keyless entry, High Beam Assist, Lane Assist, Park Assist (parking sensors are standard), a rear view camera, ACC Adaptive Chassis Control, touchscreen satellite navigation and a Dynaudio sound pack with 10-channel amplifier and eight speakers.

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Volkswagen is giving its customers even better value for money, with extra standard equipment on Polo models, along with the introduction of the stylish yet economical Polo R-Line Style.

The super-frugal Polo BlueMotion and the value-packed Polo Match now come with rear parking sensors, cruise control and an alarm, and the Match has been renamed the Polo Match Edition, to indicate its enhanced specification. Together, the additional equipment has a value of £510, but the price for these models is increased by just £135 starting at £11,910 (OTR RRP) for the 1.2-litre 60 PS three-door.

Further up the Polo range, the SEL, R-Line, BlueGT and GTI models all now come with cruise control and rear parking sensors (as well as an alarm, which as before remains standard equipment), without any increase in price.

As well as these enhancements, a new model joins the Polo line-up: the Polo R-Line Style. As the name suggests, the R-Line Style packs all of the great looks of the Polo R-Line, but with equipment and engines that make it even more accessible and prices starting from £11,740.

Based on the Polo S, the Polo R-Line Style adds the R-Line body kit – which consists of distinctive front and rear bumpers, a bespoke radiator grille, and side skirts – body-coloured door handles and door mirrors, 16-inch ‘Rivazza’ alloy wheels and a Bluetooth touch phone kit. As on the Polo S, air conditioning is an option on the Polo R-Line Style. The new model is available four eye-catching colours: Flash Red, Candy White, Nimbus Grey and Deep Black Pearl.

While the Polo R-Line comes with a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS engine, the Polo R-Line Style is available with either a 1.2-litre 60 PS engine or a 1.2-litre 70 PS unit, in insurance categories 5E and 8E respectively, making it much more accessible for younger drivers.

Prices of the enhanced Polo range can be found overleaf, or for further details and a full pricelist, click here.  Here customers can also find out about a number of attractive finance offers available through Volkswagen Financial Services. 

From now until 30 June 2013, all Polo models acquired on the Solutions PCP package come with a £1,000 deposit contribution and monthly payments from as little as £135 (6.4% APR, based on 3 yrs / 30,000 miles, see here for full Ts&Cs).  They are also available with free insurance (age restrictions apply), while all Polos purchased on Solutions are also available with up to three years servicing for just £249.

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Our advanced Electronic Stabilisation Programme detects critical situations to stop skidding before it begins.

ESP predicts what your car is about to do. It uses sensors to monitor the progress of your wheels and the moment they start to slip, ESP takes over by:

  • Applying the brakes to one or more wheels
  • Reducing engine power if necessary

This fast, effective reaction stops skidding before it begins.

How it works?

ESP links to your car's electronic systems, such as the anti-lock brakes (ABS) and engine braking control (EBC). It has sensors on the wheels and steering wheel, plus a yaw movement sensor.

The ESP also uses the electronic differential lock (EDL) and traction control to help correct over steer, under steer and loss of stability. The result is the best possible traction when driving round bends.

ESP monitors your car at all times. As soon as something unusual happens - if a wheel loses grip, for example, or the car starts to slip, it helps regain control by applying the brakes to each or all of the wheels, and cutting engine power.

Trailer stabilisation

The latest generation of ESP also offers trailer stabilisation. If it detects your trailer is starting to yaw, the system automatically reduces engine power and applies the brakes to the right wheels dynamically, in phase with the yawing. This counteracts the snaking motion and stabilises the car and trailer. When everything is stable again the brakes and engine power return to normal control. The automatic braking process also turns on the brake lights to warn other drivers, even if the driver is not touching the brake pedal.

Only when used with factory fit or approved accessory tow bars.

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The new Golf just keeps on winning: an international expert jury today named the bestseller from Wolfsburg ‘World Car of the Year 2013’.  The globally sought-after prize was awarded at the New York International Auto Show.  The ‘World Car of the Year’ title is a further milestone in the growing list of awards for the Golf.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, explained: ‘We at Volkswagen are all delighted that the Golf has been named ‘World Car of the Year’.  To win this award again shows that the Golf is and remains in a class of its own all around the world.  This car sets new benchmarks again and again, not least in terms of efficiency and environmental credentials. Soon, for instance, the Golf will also be launched as a plug-in hybrid and as a 100% electric car.’

For over 30 years, the Golf has been an established feature of the motoring scene around the globe.  For the seventh generation of the bestseller today’s prize represented its 17th award since being launched in November 2012.  In giving their reasons for the award, the jury said: ‘The Golf is just the right size – it’s spacious, practical and comfortable.  It has a fresh, progressive design, a new range of engines, plus an impressive list of equipment and safety systems.  If there is a car for everyone, the Golf is it.’

It was only three weeks ago that the compact car from Wolfsburg was crowned European Car of the Year.  Further accolades from home and abroad, such as ‘The Best Cars of 2013’, ‘Auto Trophy 2012’ and the ‘Top Gear – All the car you’ll ever need’ award, round off the list of successes.

The ‘World Car of the Year’ jury consists of 66 motoring journalists from 23 countries, who rate new cars appearing on the world market not only for the award, but also in their daily reporting work for millions of drivers and car enthusiasts.  Volkswagen has for a long time been a firm fixture in the ‘World Car of the Year’ awards: the model before the current Golf for instance, won the renowned prize back in 2009.  In 2012, the cherished international trophy went to the company’s smallest car, the up!.  And 2010 was also dominated by Volkswagen: the Polo was crowned overall winner and the BlueMotion models of the Polo, Golf and Passat took the title ‘World Green Car of the Year’.

Over the coming months, further models will be added to the Golf range: the Golf GTI and Golf GTD, two sportier versions, are being launched in the spring.  From the middle of April customers will also be able to order the new, dynamic and spacious Golf Estate.  Following this in the second half of the year comes the new Golf TDI BlueMotion, which sets new standards in terms of fuel consumption and environmental compatibility.

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We recommend this service if you are likely to drive more than 25 miles a day, and if you tend to drive in the following way:

  • Regular long distance driving
  • Driving at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, and minimal towing
  • Economical driving

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