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VW car lights

Volkswagen, or VWs as most drivers call them, have moved upscale with many of their models in the past few years.

The VW City Golf takes a different approach, returning to the roots of the company by offering a car "for the people."

Although it is a modern car, the City Golf targets simpler times when a car provided the basics of transportation, but was still fun to drive and affordable to purchase. From the outside, the City Golf (VW also offers a City Jetta with the same powertrain) is a clean simple design.

This compact four door hatchback reminds me a bit of the original VW Rabbit, with a boxy passenger compartment led by a short sloping nose.

The City has modernized the concept by rounding the corners and adding large stylish lights to both the front and back ends of the car. When introduced as a 2007 model, the City Golf had a simpler front-end design.

For 2008, the front end now has been re-sculptured to provide a sportier look. The lower air intakes create a distinctive image for the car, and fog light pods are molded into the lower valence, although fog lights are not offered as an option on the City order sheet.

Steel wheels and hubcaps are standard equipment, but the Comfort Package option adds great looking five spoke alloy wheels to the car. The body's monochrome paint scheme, with body-coloured exterior mirrors, door handles and side door moldings lends a spirited fun look

Inside, the City Golf continues the simplicity theme. Cloth covered seats provide good room for four adults, although you may have to move the front seats ahead to improve rear legroom. This is a five-passenger car, but only when the rear seat passengers are smaller.

The speedometer and tach are large round gauges, easily seen at a glance through the three-spoke steering wheel, with a driver information display below them.

At night, the dash display takes on a whole new image with VW's distinctive purple/blue backlighting that I find wonderful. The gauges are as easy to see at night as in the daytime, and the colour doesn't seem to reduce the driver's night vision like some other colours do.

Below the centre dash vents, the audio system now contains an auxiliary input jack and a USB port so you can listen to your personal music.

Three round control knobs below the radio control the heater and optional air conditioning. Nothing fancy here -- just plain good control design that can be operated with gloves on.

The Comfort Package, a $1,175 option also includes power windows, door locks and power-heated exterior mirrors, keyless entry, theft alarm, cruise control, remote hatch and gas door release controls and the previously mentioned alloy wheels. I think that's good value for the money and should be a popular option.

The City comes with ABS brakes and a five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, but if you want to fully load one up with options, you can also order heated seats, a sunroof, stability control and the six-speed automatic transmission.

Most VW cars are using halogen bulbs of H4,H1,H7, etc. for head lights. Young guys may use HID conversion kits for cool lighting efficacy.