2014 Volkswagen Golf Sheds Weight for Paris

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Headed to North America as a 2014 model, the MKVII Volkswagen Golf is on display today at the Paris Motor Show.

Almost everything about the one of the world’s most popular cars changes in one way or another this year. It’s lighter, more fuel efficient, offers a host of new features and benefits from refreshed style.

First, Volkswagen migrated the Golf and many others to its new MQB modular architecture to cut manufacturing costs through economies of scale and cutting weight in the process. That means a 220-lb weight loss in the Golf’s case and 23 percent better fuel economy.

While those fuel consumption figures have yet to be verified by the EPA, but there’s no question that the 2014 Golf will be less thirsty thanks to its lighter load.

Apart from that, the car also wears a new skin which includes a more aggressive front fascia. Stylistically, the gap between VW and Audi shrinks more than ever before with this car. That’s due in no small part to the Audi A3 also being built on the MQB platform.

Still, it’s hard not to see where the Golf looks distinctly more like an Audi. For starters, it ditches the previous generation’s rounded lower front lip for sharper angles. Those lines characterize the new front fascia and continue along a high belt line to end up against a boxier-looking back end. Even the gas hatch cover moves from being round like previous VWs to square like an Audi.

Beyond what could be chalked up as either the Golf becoming more premium or Volkswagen being lazy, the car also gets a host of new technology features.

Whether those will make it to the U.S. spec car remains undisclosed, but they include fatigue detection, an auto brake feature, lane assist, adaptive cruise control, cylinder deactivation and adjustable driving profiles.

The interior, as you would expect, also gets revised styling to offer a more modern look. The interior takes on a more premium feel with touches like the touchscreen angled toward the driver. New accents sweep across the dashboard, but much of the old model’s layout is intact.

GALLERY: 2014 Volkswagen Golf

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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3 of 4 comments
  • Npwanabe Npwanabe on Oct 02, 2012

    Looks just like my 2011.

  • Avlisk Avlisk on Oct 03, 2012

    I love the looks. I love the lighter weight. I love better fuel economy. But will VW ever figure out how to stop fluid leaks or how to build a decent electrical system? I'd love to buy VW based on looks, but after 43 years now and counting, I wonder if they will ever get QC right in my lifetime.

    • Wisdom Seeker Wisdom Seeker on Nov 09, 2012

      I have 90K on my Mark IV TDI. No electrical problems or fluid leaks. 53 MPG.