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VW shocks with lower Golf price

Punching above its weight: The Golf's little 1.2 petrol engine delivers decent power despite its size.

New 1.2-litre turbo Golf at $21,990 closes the price gulf against rivals

28 Sep 2010

VOLKSWAGEN is going for the Asian carmaker jugular with the $21,990 Golf 77TSI, some $3000 lower than the continuing (and improved) 90TSI Trendline.

On sale from October as the new entry-level model, and available at $24,490 with a dual-clutch transmission, the Golf 77TSI five-door hatch is a shock new addition to the already popular German small car range.

It is also the cheapest Golf to ever be sold in Australia, costing even less (in inflation-adjusted terms) than the Melbourne-manufactured Mk1 LS original of 1976.

3 center imageLeft: Volkswagen Polo 77TSI. Below: Volkswagen 1.2 TSI engine.

The standard 77TSI five-speed manual in white undercuts the Honda Civic VTi by $500, is on a par with the Mitsubishi Lancer ES, and comes within $660 of the Mazda3 Neo.

But the Volkswagen is still $1000 more than the Toyota Corolla Ascent and Holden Cruze CD base models, and almost $3000 more expensive than the high-flying Hyundai i30. Plus, metallic paint costs more.

And, while the 77TSI comes with a full suite of safety equipment including ESC stability control, anti-lock brakes, anti-whiplash front head restraints and seven airbags, it does not offer standard cruise control like most of its rivals.

However, cruise control is now standard on the MY11 Golf 90TSI Trendline, along with alloy wheels instead of hubcaps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, and a multi-function trip computer display. Its price remains at $24,990 for the five-speed manual hatch in white.

As a result of these specification improvements, Volkswagen has dropped the 90TSI Trendline’s $2200 Comfort Pack, which added the aforementioned features plus automatic headlights and wipers. The Comfort Pack is still available on the 77TDI Trendline diesel.

Under the 77TSI’s bonnet is the smallest-capacity engine to be offered in the small-car class since the 1.3-litre KE70 Corolla in the mid-1980s – the 1.2-litre direct-injection twin-cam four-cylinder petrol engine introduced in the Polo 77TSI Comfortline earlier this year.

In the Golf, it is mated to a five-speed (rather than the Polo’s six-speed) manual gearbox or the seven-speed DSG7 dual-clutch transmission.

As its name suggests, the 77TSI delivers 77kW of power at 5000rpm and 175Nm of torque from 1550 to 4100rpm running on 95 RON premium unleaded petrol.

More information will be released when the model is officially unveiled at next month’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, but we do know that the combined average fuel consumption is 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres (versus 6.4 for the Golf 90TSI and just 5.5 in the Polo 77TSI) and it emits 144 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

This compares well with the previous-generation Golf Trendline, which managed 75kW, 148Nm, 7.5L/100km and 179g/km from VW’s ageing 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

Nevertheless, Volkswagen does not believe that it will take over from the 118TSI as the best-selling model in the Golf line-up.

“The 77TSI will never take over (as the best-seller in Australia) but it allows us to attract the customer who wanted to have a Golf but couldn’t afford it (until now),” said Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Anke Koeckler.

This is the second downward movement in Golf prices over the last nine months.

In February, Volkswagen dropped between $1000 and $1200 on non-GTI models to reflect favourable currency shifts and tariff reductions.

That seems to have had the desired effect on sales, with Golf volume in Australia soaring some 33 per cent to August in the sub-$40,000 small-car segment, setting a new record for the 34-year old nameplate.

The 10,859 Golfs registered year-to-date is significantly more than Ford has managed with the underperforming Focus (6395), and also beats the Subaru Impreza (7962), Civic (7349), Nissan Tiida (4160), and Peugeot 308 (2056).

With the new $21,990 tee-off price, the 77TSI is sure to increase the Golf’s popularity even further.

2011 Volkswagen Golfpricing:
77TSI DSG (a)$24,490
90TSI Trendline$24,990
90TSI Trendline DSG (a)$27,490
90TSI Wagon Trendline$26,990
90TSI Wagon TrendlineDSG (a)$29,490
77TDI Trendline$27,490
77TDI Trendline DSG (a)$29,990
77TDI Wagon Trendline$29,490
77TDI Wagon TrendlineDSG (a)$31,990
118TSI Comfortline$29,490
118TSI Comfortline DSG(a)$31,990
118TSI Wagon ComfortlineDSG (a)$33,990
103TDI Comfortline$31,990
103TDI Comfortline DSG(a)$34,490
103TDI Wagon ComfortlineDSG (a)$36,490
GTD 5-DR$39,290
GTD 5-DR DSG (a)$41,790
GTI 3-DR$38,990
GTI 3-DR DSG (a)$41,490
GTI 5-DR$40,490
GTI 5-DR DSG (a)$42,990
R 3-DR$48,490
R 3-DR DSG (a)$50,990
R 5-DR$49,990
R 5-DR DSG (a)$52,490

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