VOLKSWAGEN'S Golf has always been a major player in South Africa and has developed a strong fanbase over the years. Now, the folks at VW believe this latest incarnation you see above is the one. The one Golf you need to own, calling it the “best Golf ever”.
While I understand there might be a few sceptics out there mumbling the words “well, that’s a rather strong statement” and I would have to agree with them, it’s only once you’ve experienced the car in its entirety that you quickly realise there’s nothing quite like it. It seems VW does actually have the product to back up its schoolyard banter.
The new Golf garnered a lot of attention from fellow motorists during our launch drive in PE. That’s because the timeless shape of the Golf has evolved and the new design is no different, retaining much of the original Golf heritage characterised by the typical C-pillars and long roofline. The designers have gone to extreme lengths to give the car a more premium feel by moving the front wheels further forward and making the front overhangs shorter.
Every line of the Golf 7 tells a story and is more than a mere aesthetically pleasing styling cue. For example, the line running through the side profile aims to lower the visual centre of gravity of the car, giving it a more solid and athletic road stance.
Even the interior has been significantly upgraded with new switchgear and superb ergonomics. The new generation of infotainment sees all models boasting touchscreens as standard. It’s available in three different display sizes: 5-inch, 5.8-inch and 8-inch. For the first time, Volkswagen is implementing displays that have proximity sensors (5.8-inch and 8-inch display). As soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode.
The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to the essentials. In input mode the elements that can be activated by touch are specially highlighted to simplify intuitive operation. That’s something you might expect to find in one of James Bond’s cars. Just goes to show how intent VW is on dominating the market, as the Golf easily punches above its weight and is a worthy competitor to some premium brands.
The comprehensive engine line-up complements the car’s sublime chassis and handling prowess. Powertrains available include the base model 1.2 TSI 77kW with BlueMotion Technology that consumes around 4.9L/100 km and has a CO2 rating of 114 g/km.
The 1.4 TSI with 103 kW and 2.0 TDI with 110 kW replace the 1.4 TSI with 118 kW and 2.0 TDI with 103 kW respectively. The combined fuel consumption of the 1.4 TSI engine is: 5.3 L/100 km (equating to 121 g/km CO2) whilst the 2.0 TDI has a combined fuel consumption of 4.5 L/100km (equating to 119 g/km CO2 ). A 1.4 TSI with 90kW will also be available as will a 2.0 TDI with 81kW of power.
The various guises will either be available in a five-speed manual (2.0 TDI with 81 kW), six-speed manual (1.2 TSI with 77 kW, 1.4 TSI with 90 kW and 1.4 TSI with 103 kW); six-speed DSG (2.0 TDI with 110 kW) and seven-speed DSG (1.4 TSI with 90 kW).
There’s a lot to rattle on about this highly anticipated car that’ll surely set this segment alight with its healthy array of new and innovative safety features and athletic physique. But one thing VW certainly got right is the aggressive pricing, which will leave its competitors playing catch-up for a while.
The new Golf model range comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km Service Plan, 3 year/120 000km warranty.