Citi Golf ready for another two decades?
The Citi Golf was launched in 1984 as a 1.8-litre Citi Sport following the introduction of the second generation Golf 2.
VWSA executives wanted to continue with Golf 1, which had been introduced in 1978, and after consultation with their advertising agency, the Citi concept was born.
Since then the car has been a regular top seller, with various changes made along the way to refresh the car's image, and a miriad of special edition models.
The new car celebrates 25 years of Golf with three 1.4 litre versions (54 kW and 62 kW) and two 1600s (74 kW).
VWSA's head of product engineering, August Jukel, told Wheels24 the changes had been a big project.
"For instance, we couldn't just take an existing dashboard and make it fit.
"It entailed a lot of searching within the Volkswagen global parts bin to get the right parts, and we then had to engineer the dashboard to make it fit into the current mounting positions".
In addition some of the changes were sourced locally, from South African suppliers.
The most striking new exterior feature is the one-piece side glass in the front doors. By doing away with the original fixed quarter windows, the remote-controlled exterior rear view mirrors could be repositioned further forward and into the driver's line of sight.
From behind, the familiar Citi tailgate has an uncluttered look with the rear wiper now positioned in the glass. This styling feature is also functional, with a wide arc swept over the heated back window.
A new six-spoke design for the 15 inch alloy wheels - standard on the Citi Life and Citi.com models - adds to the Citi's chunky looks. These are shod with low-profile 195/50 R15 tyres.
Inside the new dashboard transforms the car.
All the instruments, including a rev counter, speedometer, digital clock and trip recorder, are housed in a cowling directly ahead of the driver where they are clearly visible through the three-spoke steering wheel.
Rotary knobs have replaced the sliding controls previously used, giving easier operation and accurate adjustments.
Controls for the headlight beam and indicators - including a one-touch lane-change and overtaking function - are located on a steering column stalk, while another stalk takes care of the wipers and wash functions for front and rear screens.
Warning lights and buzzers for low brake fluid, low petrol, low oil pressure, engine overheating, low brake fluid level, headlamps on, and handbrake engaged are standard on all the new Citi models.
There is also a service interval reminder to inform the owner when routine maintenance is
Fresh air enters the cabin through thoroughly modern inlets, which are fully adjustable and can be closed individually.
Underneath the new moulded dashboard, ducting for air-conditioning has been provided for a
fully-integrated look after installation.
Heating and demisting channels are similarly accommodated to blend with the attractive sculpted curves of the new dashboard.
Tight shutlines and a fine blend of materials are further proof of the design and engineering expertise that went into creating a new front panel.
The radio and front-loading CD player unit - standard on the flagship Citi Life and Citi.com - is neatly integrated into the new dashboard and controls are within easy reach of the driver. This system is coupled to four speakers.
Also new on the latest Citi is a lidded compartment and pen holder on the driver's side, while the glove box incorporated in the new dashboard boasts extra out-of-sight space for oddments. There are door pockets on the backrests of the front seats.
The centre console comes complete with cup holders, a mechanical gear lock is located in front of the five-speed lever, and a power point with cover is provided.
The door panels have been redesigned and new trim materials brighten up the classy interior. A transponder immobiliser is standard on all the new Citis, with remote central locking and alarm reserved for all but the Chico 1.4 and Citi 1.6-litre models.
The Citi continues a Golf tradition of load space versatility, with folding rear seats to provide a massive luggage compartment. In the latest models, the rear parcel shelf can be removed, while hooks keep shopping bags secure.
These shopping bag hangers are neatly integrated into the side shelves at the back to prevent the contents from spilling or sliding around in the boot. A courtesy light is standard on all models.
The new Citi comes with the standard 3 year/120 000km Warranty that all Volkswagens have. Servicing is required every 15 000km, while the AutoMotion maintenance plan is optional.
Chico 1.4 R66 270
Citi 1.4i R75 780
Citi.com 1.4i R82 220
Citi 1.6i R87 360
Life 1.6i R94 210
VW has also launched a new Golf GTI R to celebrate 25 years of the Golf in South Africa. Click here to read more about it.