Volkswagen Golf R32 has a 1.9-liter turbodiesel inline four-cylinder engine making about 105 horsepower and a 2.5-liter powerplant producing around 150 horsepower. Euro-spec transmissions include a five- or six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic transmission. We should also see the introduction of Volkswagen’s Direct Selection Gearbox (DSG), which eliminates gear change jolts to provide a more refined driving character. Fifteen-inch wheels will come standard, but 16- and 17-inch wheels are options.
Offering real premium kudos over more mainstream rivals the fifth-generation Golf looks set to continue where its predecessor left off. A clever new rear axle gives excellent driving dynamics (if not quite up to those of the Focus), the cabin is spacious and build quality remains very high, although some say the cabin plastics feel less solid than those of the old car. Base 1.4 75 bhp petrol engine can’t deliver out-of-town progress, direct injection 1.4 and 1.6 FSI are far better, but diesel remains where the smart money goes, both the 1.9 litre PD (104 bhp) and 2.0 litre 16-valve PD (138 bhp) being excellent.