Price and specifications of the redesigned ‘Mark VII’ Volkswagen Golf show VW’s UK sales unit has learned a lesson about stripping out standard equipment current model owners would expect when they trade up. Like the electric rear windows that disappeared from the popular mid-level SE specification with the MkIV to Mk V redesign – and were put back in barely a year later.

The VI improved on the V and this time round, the redesigned line is lighter, safer, better equipped with more technology, more spacious and more efficient than previous generations (over 29m sold worldwide) and the UK entry price (GBP16,330/US$26,300) is lower. 

From launch, the Golf will be available in the UK in three trim levels: S, SE and GT (GTI and BlueMotion are due in 2013). Four petrol engines and two diesel engines will be available to order. 

The petrol engine range starts with an I4, 1.2-litre, 85PS TSI unit, 1.2-litre, 105PS TSI, 1.4-litre, 122PS TSI and new 1.4-litre, 140PS TSI with active cylinder technology capable of 60.1mpg (on the EU combined cycle) and 110g/km (with seven-speed DSG twin clutch gearbox), thanks to the ability to deactivate the central two cylinders under light loads.

Dealers start taking orders on 18 October for first deliveries in January.

The two common rail diesel engines at launch are a 1.6-litre, 105PS TDI and new 2.0-litre 150PS TDI.  All UK Golf models will have stop/start and battery regeneration as standard.

Gearboxes are a mixture of five- and six-speed manuals, and six- and seven-speed DSG units, depending on the engines’ power and torque outputs.

All redesigned Golfs have seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, five three-point seatbelts, ABS with ESP, XDS electronic differential lock and Isofix preparation for two rear child seats.  The entry-level ‘Composition Media’ system includes a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, CD player, MDI interface (for iPod or MP3 player), Bluetooth telephone preparation and audio streaming and eight speakers.  Also standard is semi-automatic air conditioning.

SE trim adds ADC Automatic Distance Control with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, which bring the vehicle to a complete halt if necessary, a Driver Alert System, PreCrash preventative occupant protection, Driver Profile Selection (with four modes and five on DSG-equipped cars), rain-sensitive wipers, automatically dimming rear-view mirror and automatic headlights. Interior trim is plusher and 16-inch alloy wheels also standard.

GT versions have 17-inch wheels, front fog lights and air intakes with chrome surrounds, ‘cherry red’ rear light clusters, and heat-insulating dark-tinted rear glass. Equipment upgrades include LED reading lights, ambient lighting in the doors and centre console, electrically foldable door mirrors with puddle lights and front and rear parking sensors with visual display.

The GT also has the new ‘Discover Navigation’ media system preloaded with European mapping data (with three years of free upgrades), traffic sign display, and twin SD card reader.

Optional equipment includes high beam assist, lane assist, park assist, ACC adaptive chassis control, rear-view camera, alternative alloy wheels up to 18 inches in diameter, bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery (optionally with 12-way electrically adjustable front seats), 2Zone climate control, ‘Discover Pro’ navigation system with eight-inch colour touchscreen, keyless entry and a panoramic sunroof.