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Ageing Golf Plus Gets Much Needed Refreshment

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Volkswagen Golf

Ageing Golf Plus Gets Much Needed Refreshment

Geoff Maxted
September 20, 2013

Volkswagen Golf Plus
The current Volkswagen Golf Plus is being phased out in favour, like a footballer’s wife, of a more youthful model. It will remain in production until the end of the year at which point it is to be replaced by the Sportsvan. This is no bad thing. Although the Golf is justifiably popular the Golf Plus has been saddled with a slightly fuddy-duddy image which, VW say, is borne out by the number of older buyers; which is a very diplomatic way of expressing this age-related point; although in Germany the car accounts for some twenty percent of Golf-line sales.

Volkswagen says its Golf Plus successor will be bigger to appeal more to young families. VW showed its plans for the model with the Sportsvan when a near-production concept that debuted at the Frankfurt auto show last week. VW will phase out the Golf Plus name in favour of Sportsvan in most markets when the production version of the car goes on sale in Europe next summer.

VW believes that the Sportsvan's production version could win customers from premium brands. "Now that the Mercedes A class has become a more conventional hatchback we might get people from that," a spokesman said.

Like the Golf, the new Sportsvan will be underpinned by VW's MQB architecture. At 4338mm the Sportsvan is 134mm longer than the Golf Plus. It also will have 74 additional litres of luggage space, raising the total to 498. A sliding rear seat helps boost space to 585 litres. Engines will include four versions of VW's 1.4L turbocharged petrol engine and three diesel variants, including a BlueMotion version with CO²emissions as low as 95g/km.

In addition, highly innovative assistance systems are making their way into the Golf Sportsvan, including the Blind Spot Monitor incorporating Rear Traffic Alert, which is being implemented in a Golf for the first time. While driving, the Blind Spot Monitor warns the driver of vehicles in the blind spot. When reversing out of a parking space, the system also recognises cross-traffic approaching from behind the car that can be difficult for the driver to see, and it warns the driver in case of a hazard. If a collision is imminent, the system automatically activates an emergency braking function. Other available technologies include DCC dynamic chassis control, the Front Assist with City Emergency Braking surroundings monitoring system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and a lane-keeping assistant.

It has to be sad that, as good as the Sportsvan is likely to be, it doesn’t exactly set the world on fire with an exciting appearance. Still, for many buyers that’s not the be-all and end-all so we expect it to sell well. Don’t much care for the name though.

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