Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Still a Good Sport

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Still a Good Sport

Article excerpt

Byline: By Malcolm Robertshaw

While nostalgia may be seriously big business these days, those happy memories of days gone by can sometimes be tinged with a little sadness.

For example, news that a brand new model from one of the world's major car makers is revving up just around the corner is usually a cause for celebration among the motoring writing fraternity.

But when the newcomer is set to take the place of a living legend in the motor world, one can't help but view its eventual arrival with a slight feeling of loss at the impending demise of its predecessor.

Currently taking its inaugural curtain call at the Frankfurt Motor Show before its arrival in the UK early next year is the latest generation of the Volkswagen Golf.

This will be the fifth generation of Volkswagen's best-selling model to date, which first arrived on the UK motoring scene back in 1975, since which time more than 21 million models have rolled out of VW's Wolfsburg factory.

While still looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of the Golf Mark V, I couldn't resist a recent invitation to spend some road time in the company of the Golf Mark IV, a model which initially met its public at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show and first arrived on our driveways in the spring of 1998.

The test car was the Golf GT, a five-door version of the family transport which, in June last year, actually surpassed the production record of the legendary Beetle when the 21,517,415th model left the VW Wolfsburg plant.

While age has not wearied the Mark IV, the years and constant updating by the competition do tend to condemn, which is precisely the reason for the impending newcomer.

However, the Mark IV Golf was, and still is, a class act, bristling with typical VW attention to detail in a beautifully set-out cabin housed in a silhouette boasting solid styling.

Over the past five years, the Golf has also benefited from a constantly improving range of engines and the test car housed arguably the best of an impressive array of petrol and diesel options.

Successfully created to protect residual values for private buyers, the 130bhp diesel power source is a quality product of the VW engine room's Pumpe Duse technology. …

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