Cameras, action for VW
VOLKSWAGEN has joined the growing list of car companies to add a rear-view camera to most of its range, starting with the cheapest model in the line-up, the Polo hatchback.
However, a rear camera is still only available on the most expensive versions of the VW Amarok ute and not yet available on the Caddy or Transporter vans.
While the move to standard rear cameras on the rest of the VW line-up will be welcomed by safety-conscious buyers, there is just one catch.
When the updated VW passenger cars and SUVs arrive in showrooms in August, the most affordable models will have a price rise of up to $2150 to help pay for the technology.
As part of the sweeping changes to the VW line-up, every model in the passenger- car range will also come standard with Apple Car Play, Mirrorlink and Android apps to more seamlessly operate music and phone functions.
It also means the CD player has been relegated to the history books on these models, including the Polo, Golf, Jetta, Beetle, and Tiguan.
The rear camera upgrade has been made possible by the fitment of a new, larger 6.5-inch high resolution touchscreen (up from five inches).
The changes in the Polo range include a price rise of $500 to $16,990 plus on-road costs for the five-speed manual and $19,490 plus on-road costs for the seven-speed automatic, putting it close to Toyota Corolla money.
The price of the Polo GTI (pictured) remains unchanged — it starts from $27,490 plus on-road costs — but it gains electronically adjustable suspension as standard.
The base model Golf hatch goes up in price by $700 (from $22,490 plus on-road costs for the six-speed manual and $24,990 plus on-road costs for the seven-speed automatic), and the Golf wagon has jumped by $2150 (now from $27,990 plus on-roads for the sevenspeed automatic, up from $25,840).
But the Golf GTI hot hatch has come down $1000 (to $40,990 plus on-road costs for the six-speed manual and $43,490 for the six-speed auto) and the automatic-only Golf GTI Performance Pack is now $46,490, or $2000 less than before.
The price of the flagship Golf R hot hatch remains unchanged (from $52,740 plus on-road costs) but it gains a larger touchscreen and heated leather seats.
Volkswagen has an ambitious target to overtake Toyota globally by 2018 and is pushing sales with sharp prices in foreign markets.
VW sales in Australia have grown by a whopping 500 per cent over the past 10 years.
In 2004, Volkswagen sold 10,754 vehicles locally but last year delivered 54,800 vehicles passenger cars, SUVs, utilities and vans.