Well, folks, here it is, after months of renderings and spy photos: the 2013 Volkswagen Golf five-door hatchback, revealed for the first time. Volkswagen debuted the car today at an event in Berlin and released a smidgen of info as well as a few photos.
The seventh-generation Golf is based on VW’s new MQB modular front-drive architecture—shared with Audi’s new A3—and is 2.2 inches longer, 0.5 inch wider, and 0.8 inch lower than the outgoing model. Volkswagen also stretched the wheelbase by 2.3 inches, and as you can see from the photos, these changes allow the latest Golf to shed some of its previously upright and squared-off look. According to VW, the new Golf is up to 220 pounds lighter than the old car, courtesy of the expanded use of high-strength steel.
Although the new Golf's cosmetic changes fall squarely into the category of evolutionary, its tastefully restrained styling appears upscale, handsome, and fresh. Up front, the headlights are reshaped and resemble the units on the latest U.S.-spec Passat sedan, while the lower fascia gets more-expensive-looking detailing. The Golf’s rear end appears lower and wider than before, thanks largely to the newly pointy and slimmed-down taillights that extend farther towards the car’s centerline on the rear hatch. We especially like the C-pillar’s strong boomerang shape, which gives the back end a pert, athletic demeanor. Cooler still, the gas door cutout is angled so that it lines up with the body cut lines for the rear bumper and rear-passenger door that form the lower half of the C-pillar’s boomerang outline.
The new car's interior marks a more noticeable break from the current Golf with an expressive dashboard design that cants the instrument panel toward the driver and adds visual pizazz from piano-black trim. There’s also a new touch-screen infotainment system and accompanying color instrument-cluster display that appear to be a major upgrade over the outgoing Golf’s dated-looking dashboard touch-screen and dot-matrix gauge-cluster info screen. A new flati-ish–bottom steering wheel rounds out the major updates to the Golf’s already-posh cabin appointments.
Thanks to: Car and Driver