The all-new Volkswagen Golf has been unveiled in Berlin ahead of deliveries to UK dealers in January.
Order books open in October for the new model, which Volkswagen promises will offer more room for passengers and more advanced technological features than ever before.
New production techniques contribute to the Mk VII Golf being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaces, helping to make it up to 23% more efficient.
At 4,255mm long, the new Golf is 56mm longer and 13mm wider than its predecessor.
Rear legroom is improved by 15mm, front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm and elbow room by 22mm. The boot is 30 litres larger, at 380 litres.
All Golf models will have touchscreen systems as standard, starting in the UK with a 5.8-inch colour display system, and rising to the range-topping satellite navigation system with eight-inch colour display.
Features include DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs (including USB), Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information, an electronic parking brake, and standard multi-collision brake system and pre-crash protection for emergencies.
For the first time, the Golf is also available with driver profile selection, which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual; with a DSG gearbox a fifth option – Comfort – is also offered.
Powering the Golf is a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.
At launch, the petrol engines are a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS unit returning 4.9 l/100 km (around 57.6 mpg and 113 g/km), and a 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders, and achieves up to 4.8 l/100 km (58.9 mpg and 112 g/km). The launch diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 105 PS, which returns 3.8 l/100 km (74.3 mpg and 99 g/km), and a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit which returns 4.1 l/100 km (68.9 mpg and 106 g/km).
Though the new car’s dimensions are larger, its overall design is unmistakeably that of a Golf, thanks to a design DNA that has evolved through the decades. Walter de Silva, Head of Design for Volkswagen AG, said: ‘One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its continuity. There are a handful of cars with a design that, like the Golf’s, has been refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and thus become timeless.’