Singapore First to Get Golf Outside Of Europe

BY Joel Tam

Singapore is the first market to get the new Volkswagen Golf outside of Europe since its first appearance in September. We tee-off with a quick look at some important facts of this all-new model.

Photos: Joel Tam & Volkswagen Media

In an exclusive media preview at Resorts World Sentosa, Volkswagen showcased the latest Golf to a group of eager journalists.

Though we had the privilege of driving it in Italy earlier in the year, this launch was especially important because Singapore is the first country to get the new Golf outside of Europe. In fact, deliveries will start as early and the first week of January 2013.

The all-new car has been improved inside and out. Even though it is better-built and better-equipped, Volkswagen is retailing it at the same price as the previous model (SGD 152,300 for the base petrol Golf 1.4 TSI with 122 bhp). With the CEVS rebate of SGD 15,000, the Golf is starting to look like a good deal at below SGD 140,000 for a premium hatchback.

If you've missed our earlier review, do check out http://www.burnpavement.com/article.php?id=912

A hefty 100 kg has been shaven off the new car. The weight savings were taken off from various parts of the car, making it a total re-look at the car's performance and weight distribution.

Fuel economy too, was improved, by up to a substantial 23%. With the CO2 emissions of just 116/g/km for the petrol, and 102 g/km for the diesel (which will be launched later), all Golf models launched here will benefit from the SGD 15,000 CEVS rebate.

The Golf model has since sold more than 29 million units worldwide since the Mk1 was first launched in 1979. With no surprise too, as it is the class-leading hatchback time and again. Golfs are always specced with big-car features, and the new Golf is no different.

Touchscreen panel with proximity sensor, multi-collision brake system which activates the brake in the event of an accident, proactive passenger protection system that tightens the seatbelt when the car detects slip and/or potential danger. Did I forget to mention as well, electronic brake, Auto-Hold function, XDS and a start/stop system too? Yes! All that and more in a hatchback class car.

The Golf's interior is all-new as well. The cabin is more spacious thanks to the extended wheelbase and overall dimensions. Build-quality is up a notch with new materials and a new stylish steering wheel with a sporty flat bottom.

More legroom at the back means full-sized adults won't feel like they're in a 'small car'. We tried the car both as a driver and passenger and are happy to announce that the legroom is very good in both cases.

Even the rear luggage space is huge for a hatchback. The floorboard can be lowered by an additional 3 inches to create more depth, and the top canopy stowed away to avail more height!

2 petrol models will be made available right away. A 122 bhp with 200 Nm and a 140 bhp with 250 Nm, both 1.4 TSI turbocharged units. A 1.6 TDi diesel model with 105 bhp and 250 Nm will be released later. They feel absolutely adequate and nimble to pilot on our roads and are a joy to drive. We can't wait for an extended test-drive with the car again.

That's not all though. The new Golf also comes with drive mode select. This allows you to customise your drive from a touch of a screen button. Choose from a preset range of drive modes (eg. ECO or Sport), or individualise it with the configurator.

If customisation is your thing, you'd be happy to note that Volkswagen is offering a SGD 5,000 discount (now at SGD 7,000 instead of SGD 13,000) off their Sports add-on package that will include Bi-Xenon lamps, electric seats and 18" Alloy wheels, amongst other enhancements. Also, to commemorate Volkswagen's success here in Singapore, a newly launched sports alloy wheel dubbed the "Singapore" wheel will be made available soon.