The year of the Golf

There’s free fruit on two stal­wart VWS as we hold our breath for the new hatch

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

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

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