Much ado for nothing: this is the restyled VW Gol

Volkswagen has recently lost one of the oldest leaderships in any market. Its best seller, the Gol, has been outsold in 2014 by Fiat Palio. In 2016, it didn’t even figure among the 5 most sold vehicles in the country: it was in the 9th place. The German company has presented its restyled model with great expectations of a comeback, releasing teasers and appealing to a charisma that it still believes the car has. We will have to see about that, but the fact is that the car has had only cosmetic changes, apart from being equipped with a more modern 1.0 engine. Which is available for a little less than 3 years.

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The car has a new interior that has been designed so that it does not look too old when compared to the VW Golf. Its headlights have also been changed to match the ones used by the bigger brother. And its back door presents a new stamping, but this is pretty much all that is new about the former sales champion from Volkswagen.

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With so little to appeal to customers, the German carmaker knows it has to count on lower prices to sell. And they have been reduced. We are just not sure this reduction is enough to put the car back into the preferences of clients.

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The Gol Comfortline with the former 1.0 4-cylinder engine was priced at R$ 43,990 (US$ 11,100). The new one, powered by the 1.0 3-cylinder EA211 engine, will cost R$ 42,690 (US$ 10,800). Its bigger engine, a 1.6 8-valve 4-cylinder EA111, which should have already been replaced by the 1.6 16-valve 4-cylinder EA211 a long time ago, is still the only one available for the car. In its Highline I-Motion trim, the new Gol has the most generous price reduction: from R$ 57,090 (US$ 14,400) to R$ 55,290 (US$ 14,000). Yes, US$ 400.

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Besides the “new” Gol, Volkswagen has also restylized the Voyage, its sedan version. The back of the sedan is unchanged. Its pick-up, the Saveiro, will not be changed until the second half of the year. The new Gol will apparently keep its insurance rates among the biggest ones in the Brazilian market, since it is one of the most stolen cars in the South American country. It will also maintain its demand for 6-months servicing, while its competitors demand services in 1 year intervals. We wish Gol, Voyage and Volkswagen the best of luck. They are going to need it.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.