Golf 6 TSI The Swinger

Golf 6 TSI

I’ve never been a fan of the Golf. The reason being that I’ve always seen it as the bottom of the VW range, which technically I guess it is in its Citi guise. Which raises a major concern, because if one bloke buys a Citi for whatever they cost nowadays, about R85,000 I think and the next bloke buys a GTI for around R400,000, they both drive a Golf at the end of the day. And seriously, where’s the logic in that?

 

Then there are the people that drive Golf’s. They seem to have a certain smugness about them; as though they know something you don’t because you don’t drive a Golf. Not to mention their little ‘V-Dubz’ owners clubs and forums where they gather to talk about whatever it is they talk about. I find it all rather annoying.

 

So on my way to collect the all new Golf 6 TSI I’d pretty much made up my mind that I didn’t like it very much. And yes I know that I should be keeping an open mind etc. etc. but hey, nobody’s perfect. Anyway I was scheduled to have both versions of the TSI, first off the 1.4 turbocharged followed a couple days later by the 1.4 ‘twincharged’ model. All of which sounded rather interesting.

 

My first impression when I saw the car in the skin was that the 6 is much better looking than the 5. I was completely perplexed as to how people liked the 5 when it first came out. The new one is much cleaner looking, as the sharper lines give it a more chiselled appearance. I’d even go as far as to say that I really like it, especially in black.

 

The trend continues on the inside too. For the most part nothing has changed from the previous model, however as you spend more time behind the wheel you notice small things that have been fine tuned. And its business as usual with an exquisite level of quality and feel to everything, which surpasses what most other manufacturers have to offer. So it goes without saying that the kit these cars came with was quite phenomenal. As you can imagine I was becoming quite worried that I was liking a Golf so much.

 

There’s more bad news too because I haven’t even got to the way these two cars go. The turbocharged engine produces 90kW which put simply is a lot for a little 1.4 and it shows from the first prod of the throttle. I’m not going to say it’s electric because that’s not the case, it is however pleasantly surprising as 0-100km/h comes up in 9 seconds.

 

If it’s electric you’re looking for, you won’t find it in the 118kW twincharged version either. Despite the fact that the VW twincharged system won them the 2009 International Engine of the Year, the extra 28kW still isn’t enough to blow your hair back. It is however enough to put a little smile on your face, knowing you could leave a 2.0 litre Golf 5 in your wake. Although don’t be completely fooled by the marketing blurb surrounding this innovative engine – when it comes to the business of efficiency you may as well have the 2.0 litre Golf 5, as I struggled to get much below 9.2l/100km even with some careful driving.

 

If you’re wondering exactly what ‘twincharged’ means, here’s a simple break down. (Just bear in mind I’m no engineer) There’s a supercharger that works at low revs while the turbocharger winds up in the background and kicks in higher up the rev band – which is basically a way of eliminating the dreaded lag that comes with the non-linear power delivery of a turbocharger, whilst still experiencing the exponential effects once it’s up to speed. Now I honestly thought that there would be a noticeable jerk of some kind when the two switched over, but there just isn’t. It’s remarkably smooth.

 

Actually everything about the way these two cars go is remarkably smooth. I always hear people rattling on about how refined VW’s are and for the most part I took it as bias opinion from those annoying Golf owners clubs. Which unfortunately made me eat my own words when it came to the business end of my test drives. There was no situation that unsettled the car, whether it be slow moving traffic in town or pushing on through some winding back roads.

 

Where does all this leave me? Well I’ll let you in on a little secret, within the first kilometre of driving the new Golf I’d fallen in love. However in the second kilometre I was back to complete and utter bemusement as to how people actually go out and buy on of these things. You see what happened was that I made the mistake of taking out the spec sheet and checking the colossal price tag.

 

The Comfortline (that’s the turbocharged version) that I tested was R280,000 whilst the Highline (the ‘twincharged’ one) was R320,000. Fair enough the options lists were comprehensively ticked but seriously as good as they are, and it seems they’re very good, I cannot imagine spending that much of my hard earned cash and only coming away with a Golf. Maybe VW can take a leaf from Mike Sutcliffe’s book and rename one for me, call it something like the ‘Swinger.’ I’d have no problem at all paying R300k for a Swinger…

Miles Downard

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