THE TOP DRIVE OF 2005
NEWS ON RADIO
SHOP ON-LINE AT
OPTICAL AND HEARING
30th December, 2005
After a year of driving approximately 70 new cars, it is now time to announce the "Top Drive of Zero Five".
But firstly some background. The Next Car automotive news website is now 2 years old. Using the last three months statistics, I can advise that our website has grown from no hits to 1.3 million hits per month (on average). Thousands of folks visit our website every day. But the best is yet to come, as we have plans to expand our website in coming years. Our growth rate is very pleasing. We are now one of the nation's leading automotive news journals.
There are many reasons for our success. Our readers often commend us for the easy navigation, clarity of coverage, neat page lay-out, our correct spelling, our decent language, providing links that work, using images that load and our accurate reporting. We are pleased our high standards meet our readers expectations. You can be sure that the standard will be maintained as we move towards the new year.
Our expectations are that 2006 will be an even busier year than 2005!
Our readers have sent countless e-mails covering a wide variety of subjects which relate to motoring. We have happily recommended numerous cars to readers who have sought our advice.
But it is now time to make a public recommendation. Reader feedback suggests we should increase the volume of automotive stories from our perspective. On that basis, we decided some months ago, we will review all our drives in the year '05 and name just one car which provided immense enjoyment from the driver's point of view.
This year has seen the introduction of many new cars. Some of the best are Suzuki Swift, Mitsubishi 380, Audi A4, Suzuki Grand Vitara (automatic) and the new Volkswagen Golf.
In coming weeks we'll publish road tests on some of these new models and some others too.
But which car wins?
For 2005, Volkswagen re-introduced the Golf GTI. On paper it looks exciting, on the road it feels rewarding and in hindsight you remember its compelling nature!
Therefore, we announce the Volkswagen Golf GTI as our "Top Drive of 2005".
Tell me more about the Golf GTI!
The Golf GTI has two versions, a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic (DSG). Both transmissions offer a rewarding driving experience. The engine is an award winning 2-litre turbocharged unit, with particularly pleasing qualities.
With torque rated at 280 Nm @ 1,800 to 5,000 rpm and power rated at 147 KW @ 5,100 rpm it is easy to imagine that this engine will power the Golf remarkably well. And that is just the way it is. The available power is perfect for easy cruising and easy commuting. But for spirited driving, it has it's own 'personality'. This engine, although docile when required, is a performance engine that shows both sides of it's nature at the drop of an accelerator pedal!
The engine is delightful. That was demonstrated when we drove the Audi A4 fitted with this engine. You can read our road test on the Audi A4 2.0 turbo here.
Either gearbox is perfect for the GTI. The manual is particularly good, with excellent ratios and with so much torque available, gearshifts can be minimalised in commuting situations. But the real delight is the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). This 6-speeder takes easy motoring to a new standard. You can switch to a conventional manual shifter or you can use the steering wheel mounted 'paddles'. In manual mode, I prefer the conventional shifter rather than the paddles.
Fuel consumption is outstanding. You get as much performance as you want, but fuel consumption is rated at around 8 litres per 100 kms. How good is that?
Brakes are big, suspension is good, ride is just what you want in a car of this calibre.
Check out the equipment levels. Standard equipment is just right for this class of car. Best of all, 6 airbags are standard.
Although a 5-seater, there is only adequate room for 4 adults if you're travelling any distance.
RRP manual $39,990
The leather trim is a worthwhile option as it includes, not only the well presented comfortable leather faced seats but, also, heating for both front seats.
The satellite navigation is also a good option. If the Golf GTI has a weak point, it is the navigation system. The system itself is user friendly and quite a breeze to operate, but the supplier hasn't updated the system to include country areas. Around Sydney and Newcastle the system is fine, but the system is lacking in the country.
The Golf GTI is priced just right. Be prepared for a six month wait though, because buyers are queuing for this wonderful car. The choice of 5 attractive colours makes for an easy selection process. The on-road composure and driving dynamics of this ESP equipped car makes every drive an enjoyable experience. The standard safety equipment and the excellent fuel consumption makes the car a re-assuring acquisition.
But the excellent engine and gearbox (either manual or auto) make the Golf GTI a stand-out winner in any company!
Driving a car like the Golf GTI is just what an enthusiastic driver requires. It is, simply, so satisfying I don't want to give the test cars back! The easy driving mannerisms and the performance on offer make this comfortable sporting car an easy choice for the 'Top Drive of 05'!
Photographic location: Kiama NSW
VW Golf GTI Wins
Twenty Four Million Golfs
Volkswagen's Latest Hot Hatch
New Volkswagen Polo GTI To Debut In Tokyo
Volkswagen Golf GT debuts the 'Twincharger'
First Details Of Next Generation VW Golf R32
New Volkswagen Golf Concept Cars
Golf GTI Engine Awarded Engine of the Year
Brett Lee Chooses Golf GTI
Volkswagen Golf GTI
All New Volkswagen Golf GTI
Volkswagen Golf GTI for 2005
Volkswagen Golf GTI