The Volkswagen Golf has been phenomenally popular since it was first introduced more than 35 years ago to replace the original Beetle. The current generation of Golfs is more streamlined to reflect automotive-design innovations and changing customer expectations. The suspension, engine, and drivetrain have been reworked to satisfy present-day environment protection demands while still delivering a fun and comfortable ride. Better cornering, better fuel efficiency, and a plenty of top-end power make the new-generation Golf a worthy inheritor of this model's long tradition. Available in a two-door or four-door edition, this generation is likely to garner a big market share.
The standard power plant in the 2011 Golf is a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine cranking out 170 horsepower. The diesel TDI of the same size delivers 140 horsepower. Either way, the newest Golf will get a driver where he or she is going and ahead of schedule. Volkswagen has its own production line for the hardtop version while the redoubtable Karmann handles the specifics of the convertible. The gas-powered models report in with 28 mpg on average and the diesels average 35.5 mpg.
Initially introduced in 1974, the Golf has seen six generations of refinements. Its quality and sheer drivability at an affordable price have made it the best-selling Volkswagen of all time and the third most-popular in the entire world. During its first decade of production, several variants were made including the Rabbit, the Caribe, the Jetta, the Cabriolet, the GTI, and the Caddy. Today's model includes both hardtop and convertible variations with several options packages available to tailor a car to its buyer's taste and needs.
Four trims packages are available, two gas-powered and two diesel-powered. All four editions boast audio systems that can handle both .wma and .mp3 files. Additional Bluetooth, cold-weather packages, an onboard navigation system, and other creature comforts can be ordered as well. Externally, this iteration of the familiar Golf now boasts laser seaming welding rather than spot welding which translates into stronger seams on the body. Passenger safety is enhanced tremendously. Other touches include turn signals integrated into the sideview mirror, hot wax flooring which guards against rust, and an overall curvy look.
Each of the six generations of the Golf has appeared on the European Car of the Year list. Only one has ever taken first place, the Golf Mk3 in 1992. The Golf's design continues to evolve with more than one innovation appearing in each model year. Presently, all the talk is about the Volkswagen Adaptive Chassis Control which allows the driver to choose how he or she will be driving the car that day either as more of a sports car or as a grocery-getter. A push of a button retunes the suspension to perform as desired.
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