Longer, wider, roomier, and more fuel-efficient than ever before, the redesigned Volkswagen Golf, which arrives in the U.S. for the 2014 model year, debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
The all-new Golf might look familiar, but the most popular car in Europe is completely redesigned and rides on the VW Group’s new lightweight MQB architecture, which will spawn a bevy of future Audi and Volkswagen models as the company seeks to improve fuel economy across the board.
To that end, the 2014 Golf sheds 220 pounds, the equivalent of kicking one well-fed passenger out of the car. Cylinder deactivation, automatic stop/start engine technology, a brake energy regeneration system, low rolling-resistance tires, and a coefficient of drag measuring as low as 0.27 cd contribute to a 23% fuel economy improvement across the European model lineup.
Europeans will be able to buy a version of the new Golf called the BlueMotion, which Volkswagen says is the most fuel-efficient Golf ever produced. Equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo diesel 4-cylinder engine, the Golf BlueMotion will need to be re-fueled just 15 times per year, based on current average miles driven in Europe.
Official powertrains have not been announced for the U.S. market, but VW has said that a new turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder is slated to replace the generally unloved 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder starting with the 2014 Jetta. A TDI Clean Diesel variant is almost a certainty, and based on the unveiling of a production-ready GTI Concept in Paris, a performance-tweaked version of the Golf is also in the offing.
The new 2014 Golf also features a new multi-collision braking feature, designed to halt the car immediately following a collision to keep it from hitting additional vehicles or pedestrians. Additionally, a 5-inch touchscreen radio is standard, with an 8-inch display included with the optional navigation system.
The 2014 Volkswagen Golf is expected to go on sale in the U.S. in the middle of next year.