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Published on April 14th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


VW Golf Mk5, The Game Changer

This was the Golf that rewrote the GTi handbook. When the decision was made to start work on the fifth generation (Mk5) of the Volkswagen Golf, VW product planners knew that they had to produce a Golf that would create history just like the 1st generation Golf did. This Mk5 had to have the ‘pull factor’ that would leave all the competitors a few notches behind them. It had to be a new iconic car. They succeeded in spades.

This was the Golf that boasted levels of comfort and dynamic handling that left many a competitor way behind. The same went for the car’s quality. One factor that underlines the class best stability of this Mk5 Golf is its laser-welded bodywork that gave it a 35% increase in torsion rigidity over the Mk4 which was already a class act product.

This Golf Mk5 made its debut in 2003 with engineering firsts and features that set new standards for the segment. On request, the Golf was now also available for the first time with side airbags, together with the 6 standard airbags (front, side front and window) there were thus 8 protective airbags in the cabin for class best safety.

In terms of comfort and dynamic handling the Golf Mk5 scored in numerous areas, including: its new four-link rear suspension and new seven-speed DSG (double clutch gearbox), bi-xenon headlights, rain sensor and panoramic sliding sunroof, plus the debut of the first turbocharged direct injection petrol engine in the Golf GTI (in 2004) and the world’s first twincharger (in the 2006 Golf TSI), combining turbo and superchargers.

With this, Volkswagen introduced new vehicle body variants which also made the Golf range attractive to a wider spectrum of drivers. The year 2006 saw the launch of the Golf BlueMotion, which set a new benchmark with average fuel consumption of just 4.5liters/100km making this combustion driven Golf more fuel efficient than a hybrid car at the time. By the time the Golf Mk6 was unveiled in 2008, over 3.27 million units of the Golf Mk5 in all of its versions had been produced and delivered to happy customers globally. All its competitors had to return to the drawing board to seek out a solution.

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