by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Mercury Cars Guide : April 4th 2009
2— CARSguide on the road THE GTI at once feels familiar, and yet you’re aware of the changes. For a start, the engine sounds rortier — but that could be extra noise defence padding the cabin. Except for some wind-rush around the wing mirrors, the interior is now hush-quiet — all the better to hear the engine with, especially in Sport mode on the DSG where you get a delicious crackle and pop through the changes. And that’s where you’ll probably want to keep it, if you opt for the twin- clutch. The normal fully auto mode is noticeably sluggish by comparison although probably better designed for you to approach the official improved fuel figure. But it will be tempting to ignore the fuel budget, because the engine is an enthusiastic partner in environmental crime, letting you dip into the torque quite early and happy to give up more right across the range. Steering is precise and refined, perhaps too refined as there were complaints from some of the drivers at the launch in France about a lack of feedback. However VW says nothing has changed on the system from MkV GTI. And the tendency of the comfort setting on the chassis control system to render the steering and dynamic abilities of a chocolate pudding — compared with the sport mode—didn’t endear it a great deal. In comfort mode with full autoontheDSG,the car felt too sluggish, and very uncharacteristic of a GTI. Dialling up the sportiest notch on the chassis control system helped the dynamics a bit when you were in auto, but by far the best fun of course is with all that added to the DSGs sport function. It insistsonholding the gears, changesdownalmost before you think you want to and offers slot-car manners around the corners. The suspension in this setting was brilliant for cutting through some sharp cornering, but you could clearly feel the effect when the wheels hit uneven edges in some places. The manual shift is smooth and solid — without being heavy — and deliciously precise, and is probably going to remain the favourite of those who want to really get to grips with their driving, despite VW saying the DSG shifts faster. The electronic stability control is unobtrusive, and there was little sign of understeer, even when it was punched hard through the bends which suggests that the faux diff controls braking effect is a worthwhile system. Of course, most of those performance and handling points are part of the recipe of the current model. When you have been a benchmark in your class for as long as VW’s Golf GTI you don’t mess with the recipe. Karla Pincott reports Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, April 4, 2009 Golf fans join world since it first appeared in 1976. In Australia, the Golf was VW’s best-selling model last year and about 25 per cent of the 11,632 buyers were happy to pay the extra $13,000 whack to get into the GTI. T So the new car has been patterned after the old one in just about every way. Anything that has been changed in this sixth generation still follows the recipe, and a lot has been carried over. The body is still in both three-door or five- door form but now crouches 22mm lower at the front and 15mm at the rear, sitting on retuned springs, dampers and stabilisers, all aiming to increase the already agile handling. There are subtle changes to the looks, mainly around the front. Where the pre- vious model had a gaping grille and rounded light elements, the revamped version of the HE Volkswagen GTI has long been the yardstick for the hot hatch class and has a huge fan club. It has sold 1.7 million around the black honeycomb grille has a body-coloured strip dissecting it and the red bezel accent is now parallel lines accentuating the more geometric foglights and chunkier lower air dam. At the tail, the dual exhausts and revised diffuser have come from the concept shown at the recent Paris Motor Show, but apart from those details there is little altered around the back. Slip into the driver’s seat and you’ll find the flat-bottomed steering wheel has been given a cosmetic brush-up with more red- stitched finish, the centre stack has been revamped a little and there are touches of chrome on the instruments. The car gets the a turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder TSI engine, with the same 280Nm of torque as the previous GTI but 8kW more power at 155kW due to a slightly modified induction system, and changes to pistons and pumps that make for less friction. Specialising in cars... www.thecarmart.com.au 01 Holden Astra CD 1.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys. 97 Holden VS II ute 3.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, 16” alloys, a clean ute, ready for work and priced to sell.. 99 Hyundai Excel GLX Auto, p/s, a/c, 129,000km. 99 Mazda 323 Astina 1.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, 134,000km. 03 Kia Rio 1.5lt auto, p/s, a/c, hard to find auto. 96 Ford Festiva GLi 1.3lt manual, p/s, a/c, tidy little hatch. 95 Mazda 121 Bubble 1.3lt manual, moderate kms. 99 Holden Barina SB City 1.4lt manual, p/s, alloys, airbags. 97 Holden TR Astra Manual, p/s, a/c, 51,000km, must see. $10,000 01 Holden Commodore VX 3.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, towbar, tint, rear spoiler. David Strang 0404 724 986 Mark Patterson 0417 025 936 Todd Jackson 0419 514 956 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) 93 Holden Apollo SLX 2.2lt auto, p/s, a/c, well presented.. Easy on-site finance available 03 Mitsubishi Magna Ltd Ed 3.5lt semi auto, p/s, a/c, leather, 90,000km. 02 Hyundai Elantra GL sedan 1.8lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, 51,000km. 90 Nissan Pulsar Reebok 1.8lt auto, p/s, proven reliability. www.thecarmart.com.au 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park 6211 0566 12990jayne Under $9995 $6995 $5995 $6995 $3995 $9995 $9995 $3995 $3995 $5995 $6995 $9995 $7995 $3995
March 28th 2009
April 18th 2009