The seventh-generation Golf is 220 pounds lighter than the sixth. VW has shaved pounds from everywhere, including the air conditioner, the seats, and the bodyshell itself.
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VW has also increased the amount of high-tensile steel used in this iteration of the Golf, adding to the weight loss.
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The new Golf is 2.2 inches longer, 0.8 inch lower, and 0.5 inch wider than the old car. The wheelbase has also stretched by 2.3 inches.
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More passenger space
The new exterior dimensions translate into more passenger space and more cargo room for the new model.
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The European-market Golf is available with a 140-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine. Cylinder deactivation tech helps this lighter Golf to achieve a European Cycle fuel economy figure of 49 combined mpg. There is also a 105-horsepower TDI Clean Diesel engine available that is estimated at 62 combined mpg.
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The new Golf is built on the MQB platform, which will also underpin the next generation of Audi, Seat, and Skoda compacts.
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2013 or 2014?
The five-door hatchback will probably be sold in the U.S. as a 2014 model when it finally reaches dealerships in 2013.
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A new infotainment system is built around a 5-inch touch-screen that is standard on all European Golf models. However, the premium navigation system ups the Golf's display size to a massive 8 inches. We'll have more details as they emerge leading up to the 2012 Paris Motor Show.