As it always has, the new Golf continues the evolutionary styling of its predecessors. The design has become more angular than ever, and sharp new lights at both ends give the new model a more sporting look.
Kicking off from the thick of the small-car pack, the 2013 Golf starts at $21,490 for the 90TSI six-speed manual petrol, and tops out at $34,490 for the 110TDI six-speed auto diesel.
From launch, there's two petrol options, one diesel, manual and automatic transmissions, and three trim grades.
Two petrol options will be on offer with the new Golf, one powering the 90TSI and the other driving the 103TSI. Both are turbocharged 1.4 litre four-cylinder units.
Named for their outputs, the 90TSI engine offers 90kW and 200Nm, while the more powerful 103TSI delivers 103kW and 250Nm.
Fuel consumption for the 90TSI is listed at 5.7 l/100km with the six-speed manual, and 5.4 l/100km with the seven-speed DSG auto. The 0-100km/h sprint is listed at 9.3 seconds for both transmissions.
For the 103TSI, fuel use actually drop to 5.2 l/100km (auto available only), and the 0-100km/h run is complete in 8.4 seconds.
On the diesel end is a 2.0 litre turbodiesel offering 110kW and 320Nm. Available with a six-speed DSG auto only, the diesel lists fuel use at 4.9 l/100km.
The 0-100km/h time is listed at 8.6 seconds, making it the second quickest option in the range.
All three engines, petrol and diesel, are equipped with Volkswagen's BlueMotion start/stop system and brake energy recuperation.
Suspension is by MacPherson struts up front and an independent four-link arrangement at the rear.
There's electromechanical power-assisted steering, ventilated brake discs at the front and solid discs at the rear.
Weight saving: Volkswagen says it has shaved up to 100kg from the Golf and, in entry-level trim, the Golf now weighs as little as 1050kg.
There's 37kg gone from the body, 26kg lost through greater use of aluminium, up to 40kg from the engines and 6kg from wiring. The dash alone is 20 percent lighter than before.
Features & Dimensions
As with most new models, the 2013 Golf is larger than its predecessor, measuring 150mm longer and riding on a 46mm longer wheelbase. It is also 13mm wider and 28mm lower than before.
Interior space is also improved, with the front wheels sitting 43mm further forward than before. The change results in 15mm greater leg room in the rear. Front shoulder room grows by 31mm, and elbow room is up by 22mm.
Rear storage capacity grows to 380 litres - up 30 litres - and 1270 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
With the front passenger seat folded forward, there is 2412mm of storage length. Maximum storage width is 1272mm, and the bootspace opening has also increased by 47mm, now measuring 1023mm.
A 60/40 split folding backrest is standard in all models and, when folded, a nearly level cargo floor is created with a length of 1,558mm.
Towing capacity is rated at 1400kg braked and 620kg unbraked for all petrol variants, and 1600kg/680kg for the diesel.
There are three trim grades in the new Golf line, starting with the basic 90TSI model, through to the 90TSI Comfortline and topping out the with the 103TSI Highline and 110TDI Highline models.
The entry 90TSI features a 5.8 inch display, with smartphone-like swipe and zoom functions. Bluetooth, USB (iPod also) and SD memory card connectivity is also standard.
The 90TSI is also equipped with a fuel economy display, electronic park brake with Auto Hold, tyre monitoring system, battery regeneration mode, multi-collision braking system and stop/start technology.
You'll also find daytime running lights, power windows and mirrors, reach/height adjustable steering, a dust and pollen filter, remote central locking and green-tinted heat insulating windows.
Volkswagen's XDL transverse differential lock, which debuted with the GTI hot hatch, is also now standard across the range.
Moving up to the 90TSI Comfortline, extra features include a rear-view camera, front and rear parking distance sensors, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control control, automatic headlights and wipers, auto dimming interior rear-view mirror and draws under the front seats.
There's also Comfortline-specific seat upholstery, lumbar support in the front, a central luggage opening in the rear seat backrest and a storage compartment in the roof liner.
The top 103TSI Highline and 110TDI Highline models add sports seats with combination fabric/Alcantara trim, 'Discover' satellite navigation system, 17-inch alloy wheels, darkened tail-lights, chrome-trimmed front fog lights with cornering lights, and ambient interior lighting.
Standard safety features across the range include seven airbags and electronic stability program, and - as a first for the line - a fatigue detection system in all models.
There is also Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
Options include a panoramic tilt/slide sunroof, adaptive cruise control, City Emergency braking system, and various other driving aids.
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
- 2013 Golf 90TSI 6 Speed Manual - $21,490
- 2013 Golf 90TSI 7 Speed DSG - $23,990
- 2013 Golf 90TSI Comfortline 6 Speed Manual - $24,990
- 2013 Golf 90TSI Comfortline 7 Speed DSG - $27,490
- 2013 Golf 103TSI Highline 7 Speed DSG - $31,990
- 2013 Golf 110TDI Highline 6 Speed DSG - $34,490
- Metallic / Pearl Effect paint - $500
- Driver assistance package - Comfortline & Highline - $1300
- Discover Media satellite navigation system - Comfortline (Std Highline) $950
- Panoramic electric glass sunroof - Highline - $1,850
- Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime driving lights - Highline - $2,150
- Vienna leather appointed upholstery - Highline - $2,950
- Anti-theft alarm system - Comfortline & Highline - $600