Volkswagen’s new Golf has collected another major UK accolade, this time in BBC Top Gear magazine’s Awards 2004. The fifth generation of Europe’s best-seller took the ‘Best Hatch’ award, hot on the heels of winning outright What Car? magazine’s prestigious Car of the Year Award 2004 earlier this year.
The magazine’s expert road test team was bowled over by the Golf’s broad range of talents after clocking up over 10,000 miles during a gruelling two-week long pan-European trip. ‘For the long haul the Golf is a clear-cut winner,’ said Top Gear, whose testers drove the new Vauxhall Astra over the same distance. ‘The seats are better, the cabin is roomier, the ride more comfortable and the whole thing feels more refined.’
At the end of the journey – a distance greater than many motorists’ annual mileage – the magazine was impressed by the Golf’s more robust feel: ‘Mechanically, after 10,000 miles the Golf still feels fresh as the day it left Dover.’
In conclusion, it said: ‘The Golf’s sense of desirability and sheer quality is, we reckon, something you will cherish. And continue to cherish.’
Since its launch on 30 January, the Golf has won not only overwhelming praise from industry experts, but from customers too – orders at UK Retailers are currently running at 20 per cent above expectations. As with the previous generation, a high-powered diesel is the top selling model. The potent 2.0 GT TDI, with 140 PS, has accounted for over a quarter of all sales for the year to date.
The award will be presented to Paul Willis, Director of Volkswagen Cars, by host Jeremy Clarkson and editor Michael Harvey, at a lunch held today in London.Published 8 March 2004