SIX OF THE BEST
NO OTHER VEHICLE MANUFACTURER can claim to have created two different cars that have sold more than 20m units. Volkswagen’s original Beetle only ceased production in Brazil in 2003 – 65 years after its launch. The sales total for the Volkswagen Golf – the sixth generation launched in South Africa last week – now tops 26m.
The Golf was first produced in 1974. SA has played no small part in its success, since it’s the only country worldwide where the Golf 1 – in the form of the Citi Golf – is still built and sold. When and by which model the Citi Golf, a good earner for the Uitenhage plant, will be replaced is also a perennial debate in the SA auto industry. Thanks to the Citi Golf, of the 26m Golfs that have been sold in 120 countries, SA’s contribution is roughly 500 000.
The gulf between the Golf VI and Citi Golf couldn’t be greater. Just take the showroom price. Although VW has managed to shave a few thousand rand off the sticker price compared to the fifth generation, the cheapest Golf will now set you back R214 400, before any optional equipment. And it’s the optional equipment that’s the real indicator the Golf range has long since left its reputation of a suitable first car or student runabout behind.
A Golf that can park itself? No problem. For a tad over R10 000 the Golf will automatically steer itself – with the help of radar and sensors – into a tight parking spot with a “look Ma, no hands”. A rear-view camera – not long ago the preserve of premium executive saloons and the plutobarge – and a satellite