by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
December 2010 / January 2011 25 Life on the move front tyre on tighter corners. The ride comfort feels just right on a driver’s road, but can feel a little rigid when on the highway. If you were to tick one option box on the GTI then it would be the adaptive suspension. Being able to soften up the suspension for these monotonous trips w ill increase the passenger comfort. Of the things I like most about the GTI, high on the list would be the noises coming from the exhaust. The bur ps, blats and crackle provide another dimension to the driving experience. From the driver’s seat, I like the chunky leather-clad steer ing wheel with a flat bottom and the best- positioned paddle shifts I have used. Couple that with supportive tartan stripe seats and you feel inspired and ready to go. A GTI wouldn’t be complete without the customary red grill outline – we wouldn’t expect anything less! The launch of the top dog Golf R in Tasmania’s north and Central Highlands showcased how much grip this AWD Golf has. On wet roads it inspired confidence. The Haldex all-wheel-drive system tames the 188kW of power and gets it all to the ground through 18” alloy wheels. Blizzard conditions and dir t roads slowed progress across the highlands before heading dow n Poatina Hill to the Lake House near Cressy for lunch. After lunch we headed to a paddock where a mock rally stage had been set up, allow ing a couple of run- throughs that highlighted just how well the AWD system and electronics would allow you to control the car in low-gr ip conditions. There has been some criticism that despite sw itching the stability control off, it still lurks in the background to assist those less-talented among us but denies the opportunity to explore the performance and handling limits of the R. I don’t see it as an issue, but some do. Like the GTI, the symphony from the exhaust of the R is pure aural pleasure, but it doesn’t quite match the sweetest sounding R32 V6 it replaced. It does however have more power, is lighter over the front wheels, offers better fuel economy and is cheaper than the superseded R32. Again, I’d suggest that adaptive suspension is the option to tick in this model too. The r ide is just too lumpy for ever yday driving. The interior offers similar fit and trim to the GTI – the only really noticeable difference is the bright blue colour of the dial needles. Outside, you get a couple of subtle clues that the R means business – larger front and rear brakes, daytime r unning lights and tw in exhaust pipes out the back. A starting price of $45,490 plus on roads for the three-door manual R hatch offers a lot of bang for your buck. I have a couple of don’t likes in the Golf range. Rear-seat legroom is an issue. When the driver is six-foot plus, rear-seat passengers have limited space. There are plenty of other cars in the class that shade the Golf in this area. Pricing starts from around $26,000 plus on roads for the Golf 77TSI, which offers an affordable entr y point, but the cost of some desirable options can quickly push the price well into the next model line. Be ver y diligent on the options. Given the diversity of the range it was a real challenge to pick a favourite. I think the GTI would get pole position in my garage, in a photo finish w ith the 118TSI. Golf GTI Golf R
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011