The Gol isn’t a car most Americans are familiar with. It’s produced solely in Brazil and exclusively for the Brazilian market. But the little Gol has been synonymous with the "people’s car" idea since its inception. Cheap to buy, cheap to run and well-built, it didn’t take long for the Gol to become the country’s best-selling car.
Now Volkswagen of Brazil has revamped the Gol completely. The new Gol will be called the Novo Gol, which traslates to, um, new Gol. The name is fitting as this really is a whole new platform from the ground up. The Novo Gol’s platform is the PQ24, the same as in the Polo and Fox models. As a result, the engine is now placed transversely, which affects the front-end design, safety features and overall driving feel, all of which have taken a significant leap forward.
The base Gol has 1.0 and 1.6-liter engines, a very moderate trim level by American standards. It is priced at the equivalent of U.S. $18,000 to $20,100. This may not seem cheap, but actually it’s what the Brazil market is used to paying in the "popular" segment of the market. The uplevel model is the Novo Gol Power. Available only with the 1.6-liter engine, it adds cosmetic features such as better headlamp, taillamp and grille treatments, but also includes double reflector headlights, fog lights, power steering and back window defogger (a basic item that’s still a luxury in Brazil).
Overall, the Gol will keep up the tradition of an affordable car, a true "people’s car" indeed. With its new features, this Novo Gol will sure stay on top of the popular class. Shame it’s not available here.
The Novo Gol is sure to keep a good thing going for VW of Brazil.