More efficient and better equipped

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I recently took the 1.4TSI ACT Highline spec Golf with 140bhp for a week-long road test.

The test model I drove may have had enough poke to leave me with a grin as wide as O’Connell Bridge, but its fuel efficiency betrayed its boy-racer appeal.

This is thanks to VW’s active cylinder technology, or ACT.

This helps to create an extremely efficient engine capable of 4.7 l/100km (combined cycle) and 109 g/km thanks to the ability to deactivate the central two cylinders under light loads. This makes it 23% more efficient than the equivalent engine in the previous version of the Golf.

The petrol engine range available for the new Golf starts with a four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI unit producing 85 bhp, rising via a 1.2-litre TSI 105 bhp up to the all-new 1.4-litre TSI 140 bhp engine with the active cylinder technology mentioned above.

The two diesel engines at launch are a 1.6-litre TDI 105 bhp and a new 2.0-litre TDI 150 bhp unit. Both feature the latest common rail diesel technology for maximum efficiency. All new Golf models – both diesel and petrol – come with a Stop/Start system as standard, along with battery regeneration. A 90bhp diesel will follow in Q2 of 2013.

On Trendline models, the standard composition colour system includes a five-inch colour touchscreen, FM/AM radio as well as eight speakers (front and rear) and a CD drive (MP3 compatible). The CD drive is located in the glovebox along with the SD card slot.

It’s the host of other features that sometimes makes road testing a car that bit more difficult – in this case, I find myself thinking of the features that I could do without to bring down the price a bit (I’ll get to the price later), but, at the same time I know that it is often the sum of the parts that make this particular model so thoroughly enjoyable.

Let’s start with what’s included in the highline spec. There is the impressive 5.8″ composition media radio with TFT display and Bluetooth connectivity; climatic air conditioning; electric windows front and rear; electronic parking brake with autohold function; cruise control; sport seats with lumbar support, front; front fog lamps including static cornering lamp; fatigue detection; ESP (electronic stability programme) including multiple impact braking.


I would say that for such a generous supply of kit, the highline spec Golf is definitely good value for money.

But the model I was driving had even more tasty treats, such as the sport pack that included 17″ “Madrid” alloy wheels and 65% light absorbing tinted rear windows; it had a winter pack, a Discover pro’ navigation system, park assist including park distance control, premium multi-function display, adaptive cruise control with front assist, lane assist including dynamic light assist, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights.

But these options alone came to an extra €6,336.

Which would make the beautiful Golf that I drove cost a whopping €33,081.

The moral of the story is – do your homework.

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