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40 Years of the VW Golf – Special Report: Part 2 by @alexanderfc

Alexander Fergusson-Cooper


We say Happy Birthday to the iconic hatchback and take a look at the models IV – VII

If you missed part 1, check it out here.

Volkswagen Golf MK IV

The fourth generation saw a complete renovation in the iconic VW Golf design, which came from head designer, Hartmut Warkuß, of the Volkswagen Group.

The totally new look that came to the market in 1998 continued the safety improvements that were started on the previous generation model and now included Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

In the same year, Golf 4MOTION was unveiled combined with their AWD variant and the following year ESC became standard on all models.

In 2002 came the first direct-injection engine (FSI) and the introduction of window airbags as standard. In that year, Volkswagen also revealed their R32 engine, which came with a top speed of 155mph; this top of the range model was also the first to debut the dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) in 2003.

Volkswagen Golf MK V

This 2003 model really upped the game; performance, comfort, safety and security were all much improved and now well established.

The model came with a total of six airbags as standard – front, side-front and window. The Golf MK V was commended for its innovative four-link rear suspension, bi-xenon headlights, seven-speed DSG and panoramic sunroof (where chosen).

2006 saw the world’s first twincharger with the TSI, which combined both a supercharger and turbo. The same year also premiered the Golf Plus and in 2007 the CrossGolf joined the party.

Volkswagen Golf MK VI

By the end of July 2012, Volkswagen had produced a further 2.85 million Golfs in just four years. Since it was launched in 2008, the sixth generation safety spec had improved and the Golf had scored the highest 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating.

This generation included the second Golf BlueMotion which could also return 74.3 mpg (combined), and boasted CO2 emissions just 99 g/km.

Volkswagen Golf MK VII

The seventh generation of the Golf landed on 4th September 2012.

This new model was lighter by 100kg, which helped it gain a 23 per cent increase in fuel economy from its predecessor; the New Golf TDI BlueMotion could do 88.3 mpg on combined cycle.

2014 saw the release of the e-Golf electric vehicle; this EV has a maximum range of roughly 190 km and available to buy now. This year, the new Golf plug-in hybrid GTE is set to be launched in autumn.


The Golf is Volkswagen’s most popular model and by summer last year, 30 million models had been produced.

We aren’t surprised and have really enjoyed writing about the generations and seeing how the iconic model has transformed and improved over the years (it’s even one of @MotorMistress favourite all time cars!).

Get involved with the conversation and tweet any of us for car chat @Simonscarspots@MotorMistress & of course, @AlexanderFC.

40 Years of the VW Golf – Special Report: Part 1 by @alexanderfc

Alexander Fergusson-Cooper


We say Happy Birthday to the iconic hatchback and take a look at the early models I – III

Since its humble beginnings, over 30 million Volkswagen Golfs have been sold, making it the all-time best selling European car. It has been a pioneer for in-car technology from the first generation in 1974 right up to the latest seventh generation, launched in­­­ 2012.

Volkswagen Golf MK I

On 29th March, 1974 the first generation of the Golf came rolling off the assembly line in Wolfsburg. Contrary to the dominant models at the time, the Golf had a front-mounted engine and front wheel drive, unlike other vehicles like the Beetle. In just two years, one-million VW Golfs had been produced.

The Golf GTI was released in 1976 along with a diesel engine variant (the “Golf D”) followed by the turbo diesel in 1982. The Golf D and GTD were both forerunners for diesel-engined vehicles in the compact sector. 1979 saw the release of the Golf Cabriolet – this vehicle has often been the best-selling cabriolet in the world.


Volkswagen Golf MK II

The second generation that was released in 1983 gave buyers better cabin space and a few more technology firsts. The first catalytic converter was introduced in 1984 and anti-locking braking system (ABS) and power steering was introduced in 1986; previously, features like this were only usually seen on premium marque vehicles. In the same year, VW entered the 4WD market with the debut of the Syncro – this technology soon followed through with the addition of the AWD Golf.

Volkswagen Golf MK III

In the August of 1991 came the third generation of the Golf and with it came an upgrade in safety; by 1992 this model came with front airbags. Volkswagen gave the Golf’s body construction an overhaul to drastically improve crash safety. This generation also saw an abundance of new technology, with the most notable being a six cylinder engine (VR6) and cruise control. In 1993, the first TDI engines and 1996 saw ABS come as standard on all models. A new convertible and estate Golf came along in 1993.


We love the iconic Golf and can’t wait to bring you Part 2 of our special 40th Anniversary feature – our next blog will be posted next week! As usual, we love you to get involved in the conversation; let us know what you think @Simonscarspots @MotorMistress and of course, @AlexanderFC (after all, I wrote it!)

2012 Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi KX-2 AWD Road Test Review by Oliver Hammond

What have the original Audi TT and the new Kia Sportage got in common? Answer – they share the same designer, Peter Schreyer, whose modern and stylish work is considerably responsible for Kia’s current surge in popularity. We’ve recently given the Kia Optima a massive thumbs-up and quite liked the Kia Soul. This time it’s the Kia Sportage which gets a going-over.

Let’s start with the exterior…

Kia Sportage 2-0 CRDi KX-2 AWD road test review - front 34d

If you can picture what the original Kia Sportage looks like, saying that the new one is leaps and bounds more attractive is an understatement. The new Sportage (which is wider, lower and longer than its predecessor and has 23mm less ground clearance, showing its mainly urban intentions) has a big job on its hands, competing with the ever-swelling number of mainstream crossover 4x4s out there like the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga, Freelander 2 and more recently the Hyundai ix35, which is built in the same Slovakian factory as the Sportage. Kia purposed the new Sportage to be a car people would desire, not just buy begrudgingly or without much thought. LED daytime running lights are all the rage these days (and soon to be a legal requirement in the UK) and are a prominent hallmark feature of the Sportage. Herr Schreyer’s ‘tiger nose’ grille is present on all Kia cars and the Sportage’s face generally looks very sleek, sporting and modern – but stare for any prolonged period and Continue Reading →


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