With an all-new model in the works, the Golf is a carryover from 2005, with its only change being the deletion of Tornado Red exterior paint. The GTI undergoes a few changes: the V6 engine, Telematics and Indigo Blue paint have been discontinued; electronic stability control, heated seats and heated washer nozzles are standard; and 17-inch alloy wheels are optional. Prices do not change from 2005.
The Golf comes with a choice of two engines, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder gasoline and a 1.9-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel. The GTI uses a 1.8-litre turbocharged gasoline engine. All base with a five-speed manual that can be optioned up to a four-speed automatic on gasoline Golf models, and a five-speed automatic with Tiptronic on diesels. The GTI uses a five-speed manual only. The Golf comes in three trim lines, the CL, GL and GLS, while the GTI is a single line.
The Golf comes in three trim lines, starting with the CL, available in gasoline only. This very base car does come with ABS, four-wheel disc brakes and side airbags, and includes variable intermittent wipers, AM/FM/cassette, and 60/40 rear seat.
The GL comes in gasoline or diesel, and adds manual remote heated mirrors, anti-theft alarm system, CD player, floor mats, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, fully reclining front seats, and the ability to option a sunroof.
The upper-line GLS is also gas or diesel, and adds air conditioning, power mirrors, power windows, heated washer nozzles, heated seats, and premium stereo.
The very-well-equipped GTI comes standard with ABS, air conditioning, power heated mirrors, cruise control, power locks and windows, CD player with eight speakers and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
No matter what model, the Golf remains a fun-to-drive, comfortable and very well made car that has the added practicality of its hatch configuration, although rear seating is rather tight. Steering is nimble and direct, and while it can be swapped for an automatic, the five-speed manual is extremely smooth. The GTI ups the stakes with sport-tuned suspension to go with the extra power.
North Americans still aren’t sold on diesel, and that’s a shame. The Golf’s TDI models are more throaty than clattery, and offer gasoline-style performance while returning fuel economy numbers that petrol can only dream about.
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