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2014 Volkswagen Golf Debut

Lighter AND bigger. What black magic is this?


What's New

The 2014 Volkswagen Golf puts on the friendly corporate face and looks even sleeker than before. It’s the first car to be built on an entirely new architecture, one that will be shared among various Volkswagen divisions. Known internally as the "MQB platform," iit's a one-size-fits-all system that will underpin nearly every new Volkswagen, Audi, and European brand car you’ll buy in the future. Why? Because it’s more flexible than Gabby Douglas, cheaper to build than a balsa wood airplane, and it’s also lighter and more efficient—as evident in this example by the Golf, which sheds 220 pounds from the outgoing model. And the last model wasn’t exactly a neutron star by comparison.

Who It's For

The Golf is Volkswagen’s most important car. Period. It’s the company’s best-selling model around the world, playing to consumers and enthusiasts alike with a dizzying array of configurations and engines. When you’re developing a new Golf, you’ve got the weight of 29 million cars on your shoulders, which makes it the third best-selling car nameplate in the world after the Volkswagen Beetle, which goes to show that Volkswagen knows a thing or two about small cars. On both sides of the Atlantic and around the world, all eyes will be on Volkswagen to not muck this up.

Key Features

Volkswagen engineers really sweated the lightweight details: the Golf’s weight savings comes from high-strength steel, which makes up nearly 80 percent of the body. The seats are 15 pounds lighter. The air conditioner is shaved by 6 pounds. And so on, and so forth. What does that equate to?
  • 23 percent more fuel efficiency than the outgoing model, as well as…
  • More leg- and cargo room
  • A new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to replace some antiquated engines
  • Tech features like adaptive cruise control, drowsiness alerts, and lane guidance

What We Think

The new Golf looks sleek, gets more room, and manages to be lighter and more efficient in the process. If this isn’t progress--and leave it to the Germans to reiterate the fact that it is--then we don’t know what is.

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