TEST: Volkswagen Pointer
ANATOLY FOMIN. PHOTO: GEORGE SADKOV
Volkswagen Gol has been produced in Brazil since 1981.
The current, third generation is introduced in 2000.
TS Volkswagen-Gol produce a three- or five-door hatchback with a body, the Paraty modification is a station wagon. In the Mexican and Russian markets, he is known as Poynter.
Engines: gasoline and alcohol 1.0–2.0 liters (61–112 liters), diesel 1.9 liters (64 liters). They deliver to Russia only with a 1.0 liter gasoline engine.
Transmission: 5-speed manual.
Options: Basis, Safety, Safety +.
Price in Russia: $ 9501- $ 11, 236.
Test car: 1.0 L, 65 L p., grade Safety +, $ 11, 236.
BASIS SAFETY SAFETY +
driver's seat -
Air conditioning - -
Audio preparation -
safety (quantity) - 2 2
Price, $ 9501 10 529 11 236
(Bertold Kruger), Vice President of Marketing Volkswagen do Brazil:
For 17 years now, “Goal” (the name of “Poynter” at home) has been the unchanged leader of the Brazilian market.
We hope that Russian buyers of Poynter will be primarily attracted by high quality that meets all Volkswagen standards. In addition, reliability and structural strength are important. After all, the car was created for operation in South America, where road conditions are not better than Russian. Finally, reasonable price is another notable advantage of Poynter.
Actually, we already talked about him (ЗР, 2003, No. 10). Just then, this car was called the Volkswagen Gol. With the new name “Poynter”, he finally enters the Russian market. The first Russian customers will receive their cars in October. By the way, a pointer is not only a “pointer”, but also a breed of hunting dogs, obviously, somehow attracting the attention of Volkswagen marketing.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
At the external examination, with the exception of the nameplate on the fifth door, no differences were found. Under the hood and in the cabin too. Oh yeah: the “Gol” had the windows of the native keys, the “Poynter” had the VAZ keys. No, domestic components do not go to Brazil yet - the Russian dealer mounted the electric drives. However, this difference cannot be called fundamental. All the best, worst and simply noted in passing at the Volkswagen Gol remains valid for Poynter.
What exactly? We will repeat. The driver's seat is convenient for people of medium and short stature. A tall (over 185 cm) driver will completely push the seat back. Those who were fond of the barbell in their youth, and beer in adulthood, will be closely wide: the left shoulder will rest against the middle stance. The one-piece rear seat without head restraints does not claim to be the highest in passive safety or comfort. Tall passengers rest their heads on the ceiling, and knees in the backs of the front seats. People of average height will note a comfortable fit thanks to a high pillow - even on long journeys, their legs will not sag. The backrest is folded only in its entirety, but a flat cargo area does not work, to create it you have to remove the pillow.
On the move, it seemed that the car became livelier. Soon this was confirmed by the instruments. Subjectively, the engine is less noisy - now you do not have to strain internally, spinning it to the limiter. This, by the way, is the only way to stay in the “field” starting from a traffic light. “Poynter” reaches almost 140 km / h in fourth gear, further kilometers are slowly typed in a raising fifth. The more often you change gears, the higher the requirements for the convenience of this process. The lever stroke in the Poynter is large, and the transverse gears are widely spaced. It’s good that you won’t be mistaken, but switching quickly is by no means as easy as, for example, in Polo.
An empty instrument cluster, in which the speedometer is adjacent to an intricate fuel gauge with a digitized scale, clearly asks for additional dials. The place under them is easily guessed in the wheels of the stylized silhouette of the car with the inscription “Design”. So, what did you think? However, there are no complaints about readability, but there is a backlight - at night there is a hefty “black hole” between the fuel gauge and speedometer. Anyone who has at least once blown a light bulb in the instrument panel will easily understand what it is about. Only here it is not a malfunction, but a design feature.
The more modest tire size (Poynter shod in Zhiguli size 175/70 R13, and the Goal flaunted an inch more in shoes) had virtually no effect on ride or handling. Poynter pendants are capable of swallowing considerable bumps, and in combination with a solid ground clearance of 175 mm (without protecting the engine compartment), they can safely jump from the curbs. Just do not expect miracles when load the Pointer under the roof: the springs will thoroughly sag. The softness and large suspension moves will remind of you with impressive rolls in the corners, but in general, the behavior of the car is quite worthy. Of course, with a modest tire slip appear early, but do not scare: the drift beginning on the discharge of gas is easy to compensate. The power steering does not violate the understanding between the driver and the car and confidently copes with work both in the parking lot and in high-speed turns. At three turns of the steering wheel from lock to lock, its contribution is not very large and is noticeable primarily at low speed.
WHAT THE INSTRUMENT SAID?
If the Korsis non-contact optical speedometer could speak, he would say that the Poynter rides better than last year's Goal. This is especially noticeable in elasticity: acceleration from 80 to 120 km / h in fifth gear is now almost 5 seconds longer. On the fourth in the range of 60–100 km / h, the Poynter took off for more than a second. Acceleration to 100 km / h became faster by 0.6 s, and to 120 km / h - by 3.5 s. “Maximum speed” has noticeably grown: by as much as 4 km / h. Who deserves more praise - motor or tires?
This question is traditionally answered by coasting from low speeds. We have to admit: 13-inch Pirelli Chinturato from Brazil roll better than the 14-inch Goodyear NCT5. Slow down too. If the previous assessment for the brakes was a stretched "three", then the current, given the design of the machine, is almost "good". And more: “Goal” hit the training ground, having about 200 km on the odometer, “Pointer” more than 2000 km. Nevertheless, Pointer is still far from the indicators announced by the manufacturer.
Curiously, the curb weight has also changed - the Poynter is 9 kg lighter (however, the Goal was equipped with four full-time power windows).
Mindful of Gola’s good appetite, we drove about 630 km along the roads of Moscow and the Moscow Region, including a motor training ground. The average consumption of AI-95 gasoline was 8.8 l / 100 km. Even taking into account the hot weather, constantly working (except for measurements) air conditioning and a high pace of movement, this is a lot for a compact car with a liter engine.
Another Poynter feature that was almost invisible in the landfill and on suburban highways unexpectedly appeared in the city - the car very actively “bows” with every braking in front of a traffic light. Sensitive passengers are rocking. Of course, the main reason is a comfortable long-stroke suspension, but not only. The triangular wishbones are symmetrical, while on most modern machines, the ball bearing is extended forward, which prevents swinging during acceleration and braking.
ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT
Let's start with the question "how much?" Official dealer prices are as follows: $ 9, 501 for a Basis trim with a three-door body. This includes tinted windows, body-colored bumpers, fog lights, heating, a wiper and a rear window washer. For $ 10 529, two doors, a power steering, two airbags, radio training and a height-adjustable driver's seat will be added to the list. This is a Safety Performance. The Safety + option for $ 11, 236 also involves air conditioning.
The car we tested in Safety + configuration was additionally equipped with front power windows, but the standard protection of the engine compartment was not found. We hope that client cars will be equipped, as promised, - Volkswagen is a serious company. The general conclusion regarding Poynter is simple - it does not differ significantly from “Goal”. Upgraded noise insulation improved comfort, and lighter tires slightly increased dynamic performance. The main problem was and remains: the highly accelerated liter engine does not adapt well to the load and has a healthy appetite at high speeds. There is only one way to avoid them with the main pair 4.78 - drive slowly. Accordingly, an acceptable fuel consumption at Pointer outside the city is obtained only up to 100 km / h. It’s annoying, because the car behaves with dignity at high speeds. In the city, a calm driver has every opportunity to stretch a 51-liter tank for more than 600 km. But do not expect miracles: not only the “nine”, but also the working “classic” will set you up at the traffic light.
Is it worth taking? This question cannot be answered directly. If your tastes have a calm appearance, preference for a leisurely ride, the list of routes has broken suburban roads, and the belief in the quality of a Volkswagen is unshakable, then Poynter can become an alternative to Hyundai Getz, Accent, KIA Rio, “Renault Symbol”or the ever-young“Daewoo Nexia.” And if your tastes, preferences and faith are different from the above example, then you should read the article again.
Want to walk your personal Poynter? The pleasure of owning your “first Volkswagen” will cost at least $ 9, 500.