GOLF NO 1 FOR 2009

NT News - Motoring - - NEWS - By na­tional motoring ed­i­tor PAUL GOVER

OLKSWAGEN GOLF. It’s as sim­ple as that in the fi­nal judg­ment for Cars­Guide Car of the Year in 2009.

The Mercedes-Benz E Class is good, the Ford Fi­esta is bet­ter, but the Golf is best of all from more than 100 new cars that landed in Aus­tralia over the past year.

Af­ter an in­ten­sive two-day test pro­gram, based in Bris­bane and in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from free­ways and coun­try roads to a hitout at the Lake­side race­track, the Golf emerged as the first choice with six of the nine COTY judges.

They as­sessed the Ger­man hatch­back and its ri­vals for ev­ery­thing from value and safety to fuel econ­omy, ride, han­dling and qual­ity.

The Golf’s fi­nal mar­gin, with cars scored 10-1 by each judge, was an 86-78 point victory over the Fi­esta, with the Mercedes-Benz third on 63.

De­spite its green cre­den­tials, the hy­brid Toy­ota Prius fin­ished last with only 15 points.

The Fi­esta might have been run­nerup in the Cars­Guide COTY con­test but it scooped a win for 2009 when it took out the Green Car of the Year award.

The Golf tested for the COTY con­test was the 1.4-litre twin­charge model with a DSG manu-matic gear­box.

It is priced at $32,990 but the Golf range starts at $25,990.

‘‘Not too hot, not too cold and, cru­cially, not too ex­pen­sive,’’ Kevin Hep­worth of the Daily Tele­graph said.

But some cars were not rated so highly, in­clud­ing the su­per-quick Nis­san GT-R that was placed only eighth.

V‘‘Sure, it’s an en­gi­neer­ing and tech­no­log­i­cal tour-de-force, but it’s im­pos­si­ble to live with. And you can’t get past the fact that the brute is just plain ugly,’’ said Karla Pin­cott of Cars­Guide.com.au.

The fi­nal field for Cars­Guide COTY 2009 was loaded with af­ford­able, re­al­world cars in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Mazda3, the mid-sized Subaru Lib­erty, the Hyundai i30CW sta­tion wagon — sis­ter to the i30 that won COTY in 2007 — and the com­pact Holden Cruze that will go into lo­cal pro­duc­tion in Ade­laide next year.

ABOVE PAR: The Volk­swa­gen Golf was voted best in a classy field of 10

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