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PRICE 90TSI $25,990, 118TSI $30,490, 103TDI $33,190 (add $2500 for DSG) ON SALE Now EN­GINES 1.4-litre four-cylin­der turbo, 1.4-litre four­cylin­der twin-charger, 2.0-litre four-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel POWER 90kW (1.4 turbo), 118kW (1.4 twin), 103kW (tur­bod­iesel) TORQUE 200Nm (1.4 turbo), 240Nm (1.4 twin), 320Nm (tur­bod­iesel) TRANS­MIS­SION six-speed man­ual, seven-speed DSG, six-speed DSG (tur­bod­iesel) ECON­OMY 6.2 litres/100km (1.4 turbo), 6.5 litres/ 100km (1.4 twin), 5.6 litres/100km (tur­bod­iesel)— all claimed, com­bined won­der­fully re­al­is­tic com­pro­mise be­tween ur­ban tod­dler and open-road at­tack weapon.

If you didn’t feel the need to spend the op­tional $1500 on the adap­tive damp­ing you re­ally wouldn’t be miss­ing much.

Across the range the stan­dard sus­pen­sion is bet­ter than av­er­age, the gen­eral dis­po­si­tion of the cars bal­anced and com­posed.

Steer­ing is typ­i­cal of VW’s front-drive cars. There’s a comfortable de­gree of feed­back, lit­tle ten­dency to be un­set­tled and con­sis­tent lin­ear feel.

In­te­rior styling is also read­ily recog­nis­able as Golf, though the qual­ity of some of the touch sur­faces — par­tic­u­larly the new steer­ing wheel — and the in­clu­sion of com­fort items such as cli­mate­con­trol air­con­di­tion­ing from the new Pas­sat CC, lift the game.

Across the range seven airbags, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, anti-lock brakes, elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion and trac­tion con­trol are stan­dard. The cars have a five-star crash rat­ing in Euro­pean and Aus­tralian test­ing.

The new-gen­er­a­tion GTI, which has been a main­stay of Golf sales in Aus­tralia, is ex­pected to ar­rive near the end of the year. In the in­terim the cur­rent GTI will still be avail­able.

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