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We break down why the Volkswagen Golf lineup, which is no stranger to our Car of the Year awards, is so loved by people from all walks of life in Singapore.

03 Apr 2019


What is success? Typically, in Singapore, it is seen as having a good education, an exciting career and retiring in style. Well, for the Volkswagen Golf, a model that's been around since 1974 and spanning seven generations, success means something more - more than just the millions in which it sells.

Rather, it's also the awards that recognise it, and the many drivers its range caters to. In our most recent sgCarMart Car of the Year awards 2018, the updated seventh generation models have bagged Hatchback of the Year, Hot Hatch of the Year and Stationwagon of the Year. To find out just what makes these models - the Golf, Golf R and Golf Variant - so well received, we take a look at three characters that explain why a Golf is their car of choice.

Denise loves that the Golf's infotainment display is crisp and user-friendly
The overachieving University student

With its affordable price tag, the Volkswagen Golf is all the car anyone ever needs, especially younger buyers who want something that is fuel-economical, capable on the go and stylish to boot.

One such buyer is Denise, a Design student who says she enjoys a good drive, smart packaging and of course, a sleek design.

Is it with those requirements in mind that Denise chooses the 1.4-litre Golf as her day-to-day sidekick. Although it may not have the most head-turning design in the world, what made Denise fall in love with her Golf is its all-rounder proposition.

For its compact size, the Golf offers a generous amount of space for Denise and her friends
Being a young and up-and-about sort of person, Denise loves that for a compact, easy-to-drive model, the smart packaging of the Golf allows her to bring along four friends on weekend jaunts in total comfort.

And because she's constantly on the go, the Golf's healthy 123bhp and 200Nm of torque, coupled with its swift DSG transmission, allows her to get places on time and effortlessly.

Plus, she doesn't have to burn holes in her pockets for petrol, considering she averages 12km/L on her daily drives, which are usually pretty fast-paced, accompanied by thumping beats from the car's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-equipped media system.

Her dad loves the fact that she drives a Golf, too, as he says it's solidly built, ensuring him a peace of mind wherever she goes.

Daniel enjoys exploiting all of the Golf R's 286bhp and 380Nm of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-litre
The fast-paced workaholic

Previously a Golf GTI owner, Daniel decided on the upgrade to the range-topping Golf R for several reasons. One of which is his belief that if you're going to have a go at anything in life, always aim for the top - something that has cemented his decision on the Golf R, as well as his mindset in the workplace.

Speaking to Daniel, he explains that the Golf R perfectly suits his lifestyle and his love for speed because the working world is a fast-paced one, he enjoys unwinding and spending his evenings or off days going on a nice drive.

For many, a nice drive would mean a slow, relaxing one. But for Daniel, who frequents track days up North with his petrolhead buddies, the Golf R is the go anywhere, do everything car. With its all-wheel drive grip, cheeky turbocharged engine making 286bhp and 380Nm of torque, it isn't just a car that enjoys being driven fast, but one that's also easy to drive and forgiving if you overstep its boundaries - whether it's attacking a corner or blitzing down the North South Highway.

Daniel finds the Golf R's bitey brakes a reassuring feature especially when driving quickly
Like many other Golf R owners, he feels that the platform isn't just a well-engineered one but also one that's highly tunable should you want a little more - but that's another story for another time.

Alas, he continues to explain that very often with performance, you're faced with giving up other qualities such as practicality and comfort but with the Golf R, he's never had to do that. And for once in his life, his girlfriend who occasionally uses the car, agrees with him.

But more importantly, Daniel's Golf R is also his mum's taxi, which he often uses to take her to brunch and church. Strangely, he's never had to use its Comfort drive mode on the 60-year old, something he affords to the Golf R's gentleman persona even without it. With its ability to perform as an all-purpose machine, it's no wonder the Golf R is the Hot Hatch of 2018.

Alan says the Golf Variant's cabin looks and feels rather premium, despite not coming with a premium price tag
The retiree who loves space and grace

While Golf Variant owner Alan may be retired from the corporate world, he is in no way spending the rest of his life idling his years away. And being both a Golf owner and a golf enthusiast, he says there's no better car that suits his well-earned time off than the estate version of Volkswagen's iconic hatchback.

He explains that at his age, a car that delivers an ample amount of space, pace and grace, without a premium price tag and high running costs, was the priority when choosing his wheels of choice.

And having tried various models from Asian manufacturers and higher-end European ones, there's nothing quite like the Golf Variant, as it doesn't burden him with costly road taxes, running costs and monthly instalments. Yet, it's a car that will fit pretty much whatever he chucks in it, such as his family of five, his golf bags and luggage.

The Golf Variant's 605 litres of boot space ensure that Alan's golf bags and luggage fit without a hitch
Occasionally making the trip to the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with his grey-haired buddies, Alan says that for an estate powered by a 1.4-litre engine, there's never a time when its power was insufficient.

Especially when he goes on his aforementioned long drives, he appreciates the Golf Variant's well-judged suspension setup, the way it hugs the road and most of all, its overall relaxing nature.

He adds that his wife, who is rather traditional and never liked estates before, is now a convert having driven his Golf Variant. And for a lady who isn't shy to admit that she enjoys having the nicer things in life, she says the car's built quality and design is a very surprising factor that really punches above its price tag.

Whether it's carrying out family duties or a weekend round of golf, Alan agrees the Golf Variant deserves nothing less than the title of Stationwagon of the Year.
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