The year of the Golf
There’s free fruit on two stalwart VWS as we hold our breath for the new hatch
marginal in the marketplace. This is whyVWis adding value to the two stalwarts.
Rear-view camera and satnav are standard on the 2013 model year entry level Passat and the wagon has an automatic tailgate. An options package includes lane change assistant, bi-xenon headlights and Lane Assist.
Model year 2013 Touaregs also get brighter lights, bigger wheels and better leather. Standard across the SUV range is the Driver Fatigue System that can detect waning concentration and advise the driver to take a break.
However, the Golf inevitably commands the greatest interest. Selling some 900 a month, it accounts for nearly one-third ofVW’s volume, which is up 30 per cent so far this year.
Almost uniquely among the 20 top-selling passenger cars, some 50 per cent of Golf sales are for variants priced at more than $35,000, although the range starts from $22,990.
The Mark VI is essentially a makeover of the previous model, which dates from 2004. Koeckler promises the Mark VII represents a ‘‘ double jump’’ in terms of technical progress, being the first VW-badged product on the groups’s newMQB platform. This debuted with the closely related but much more expensive Audi A3.
The iconic Golf GTI, accounting for a quarter of sales (as in most markets) follows late next year.
VWhas come in for criticism over quality and service costs. Asked whether the brand was retaining customers, Koeckler says: ‘‘ According to Roy Morgan we are No.1 at keeping customers in the brand. Product satisfaction is there.’’
She says this year’s sales target is nearly 60,000 or double that of three years ago.
Brighter — and smarter: The Touareg gets improved lights and trim, plus a driver fatigue detector