As we mentioned earlier, the new Golf Mark VI has almost all the mechanics based on the previous generation, which makes this more like a Mark 5.5. The most obvious resemblance resides in the lateral view of the two cars, which look basically identical. This is both a good and a bad thing, since the platform isn't very fresh, but at least it has a proven reliability record and it wasn't exactly low-tech when it was first introduced.
City-friendly front-wheel drive, a "smarty pants" sequential transmission, a latest generation Common Rail diesel engine with OK horsepower/mpg numbers, great feedback from the power steering and a very impressive options list.
From this point of view, our "Little Red Riding Golf" wasn't equipped with everything you can possibly order from Volkswagen. Stuff like the dynamic chassis control system from the new Scirocco, the Park Assist system or the rear-view camera option lacked from the standard list of features our test car had, but the level of technology inside wasn't exactly low.
Of course, the most impressive feature was the six-speed DSG transmission, which more than makes up for the lack of other technically juicy bits. The way it handles the amount of torque being sent through it is a bit on the rough side but if you have the money to choose it over the manual, do it in a heart beat. It's worth every extra penny, even with the "puny" 140 hp TDI.
The engine lacks the perceived oomph old 1.9 TDIs used to induce their drivers but it adds a lot of acoustic refinement and is much quicker than the PDs, at least on paper. The suspension is independent on all four wheels, with the rear ones receiving a nice multilink setup.Continue reading