With the release of a new Volkswagen Golf, a new version of the Golf Plus was a given. The first edition of the tall, wagonesque Golf Plus debuted in 2004 and was based on the previous-generation MK V Golf. This latest version continues in the same mold as the last and sees its chassis architecture upgraded with the latest - you guessed it - MK VI Golf underpinnings. This is a seriously practical machine that doesn't lose a ton of style over its vertically-challenged sibling, and it fits in perfectly with the popular small MPV class in Europe.
UK buyers should get their first crack at the new Golf Plus next Spring when it's scheduled to hit dealer lots. Expect an engine range of four-cylinders running on petrol or diesel, some with direct injection and some with forced induction. These powerplants will be mated with six and seven-speed manuals and dual-clutch gearboxes. Expect excellent fuel mileage and very low carbon emissions, especially for a vehicle with this much practicality. Cool new features like VW's ParkAssist, which can grab the wheel and help you reverse parallel park, will also be available for the first time.
NEW GOLF PLUS PREMIERES AT BOLOGNA MOTOR SHOW
Volkswagen has today unveiled the second generation Golf Plus at the Bologna Motor Show in Italy.
The updated design of the new Golf Plus forges a link to the bodystyle of the sixth generation Golf hatchback and gives a distinctive and dynamic appearance. The front is dominated by the horizontally aligned band of the radiator grille with two high-gloss black cross-bars and an integrated Volkswagen roundel, between revised headlights.
Exterior styling revisions continue with a slightly lower profile than the previous generation and with newly designed integrated roof rails. At the rear, the new Golf Plus has a fully colour-coded redesigned bumper and revised 'cherry red' rear lights incorporating LED technology. The exterior styling modifications are complemented by a range of new wheel and tyre options, including 18-inch 'Bilbao' alloy wheels from Volkswagen Individual.
Inside the cabin, further improvements have been made and the new Golf Plus reaches a new level of quality while continuing to be one of the most practical and versatile vehicles in its class. New upholstery materials and details are carried over from the new Golf, while clearly defined white backlit instruments, with brushed chrome surrounds, steering wheel options and air conditioning systems are similar to those in the new Golf and Passat CC.
Engines are still to be confirmed but a range of advanced petrol and diesels add further refinement to the revised model, with improved levels of fuel economy and reduced emissions. Both petrol and diesel models are linked to either a five- or six-speed manual or a six- or seven-speed DSG gearbox.
One petrol option will be a 1.4-litre 122 PS TSI engine which is forecast to return 44.8 mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of 146 g/km and a top speed of 124 mph. Common rail TDI engines, all fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) will be available with outputs between 90 PS and 140 PS. The 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS has a top speed of 127 mph, and is expected to emit just 135 g/km while returning 55.4 mpg.
For the first time on the Golf Plus, Volkswagen's ParkAssist will be offered. This system has the ability to operate the steering automatically during reverse parallel parking manoeuvres. A rear-view camera, mounted behind the Volkswagen roundel on the bootlid, is also available as an option. The system, currently available on the new Golf, Tiguan and Passat CC, transmits an image and graphic guidelines to the dash-mounted radio or navigation screen to assist with parking.
Prices, engines and specifications for the new Golf Plus will be announced closer to the vehicle's UK launch in Spring 2009.