VW GOLF WRITTEN BY STEVE WARMAN
long time ago, when I still had hair, I owned one of the
lower than its predecessor and it looks and feels that little bit sportier,
original MK’s I GTI which set the benchmark as a usable
too. Inside, the Golf has VW’s usual mix of high-quality materials and
everyday car/hooligan’s tool and I loved it. Over the
loads of up-to-date equipment – there’s an option for a huge eight-inch
years many rivals have tried to produce their version of the Golf and
touchscreen to sit at the centre of the completely redesigned interior.
struggled to match it. Today there are more and more very good rivals
You can choose between eight engine specs across four versions – S,
so this new Golf needs to be even better than before to succeed in
SE, BlueMotion and GT. All models are quiet and smooth on the road,
retaining its crown.
with either the six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. There have
This seventh generation of Volkswagen Golf continues to raise
been some critics of the car’s design, saying it’s too tame and similar
the family hatchback bar and is nearly 100kg lighter than the old Mk6,
to old models, especially with the likes of the SEAT Leon pushing the
however its dimensions are actually wider and longer. There is more
boundaries a bit. But a conservative look is a small price to pay for what
room in the boot and extra passenger space inside. The car is slightly
could easily be described as the only car you’ll ever need.
Plenty of grip and a range of quiet engines make the Golf great to drive in any situation
quiet the Golf is. Even at motorway speeds, the interior is so brilliantly insulated that wind and tyre noise are barely evident, so you end your journey feeling calm and well refreshed. No other car in the class comes close to the Golf in terms of interior quality and upmarket feel.
Losing 100kg has made the new Golf more agile to drive than the previous model. There’s very little body roll through the corners thanks to plenty of grip, and all the engines on offer are quiet and smooth at motorway speeds – even the diesel models. In fact, the
Well-built and beautifully engineered – the VW Golf is a dependable car.
148bhp 2.0-litre TDI model we tested nearly achieves hot-hatchback
The Golf is clearly a family car first, and there’s more room inside
levels of speedy performance. Thanks to a variable ratio that makes
it than ever before. The increased dimensions means that legroom
the steering light and easy at low speeds but quicker and more
in the back has gone up by 15mm – which is much more in reality
responsive at higher speeds, the Golf is good to drive in all situations.
than it sounds – creating enough room for three adults in the back.
The economical BlueMotion version drives a bit differently to other
It’s worth noting that the middle seat is a little cramped because of a
models, with a much slower pace and compromised handling.
large transmission tunnel at the passenger’s feet, though. If you fold the Golf’s rear seats flat, you end up with more than enough space for
Comfortable, quiet and effortless – the current VW Golf is more grown up than ever before The Golf can handle pretty much anything the slowly disintegrating UK roads can throw at it. But what’s really notable is how incredibly
lugging around large items without too much hassle. Plus, it’s the little things that VW adds that make all the difference, like the neat little seatbelt holders in the back that stop them snagging when you fold the seats down. You also get a ski hatch in the rear bench for posting longer objects through, and the loading lip is low so negotiating bulkier items into the boot is easy.
There’s more hitech standard equipment on the VW Golf than ever before You can hardly call the Golf cheap, but the quality of the car is so high, its starting price just north of £16,000 is still extremely
options. What’s more, history says that when you come to sell it on in the UK used car market, the Golf’s resale value should be high. We’d also suggest paying the few hundred extra pounds to get the three-year maintenance service
everything during the span of the car’s manufacturer warranty.. VW has exceeded itself with
low running costs with all models
tested the mid-range SE, as it
coming fitted with its super-
has all the bells and whistles
efficient technology to improve
you’ll ever need, but with a more
fuel economy and reduce CO2
reasonable list price. All SE
emissions. The result is by far
versions and above get adaptive
the most fuel-efficient Golf yet.
cruise control as standard (which
Our 2.0-litre TDI diesel gives
maintains a set distance to the
the best balance of performance
car in front), while hi-tech extras
and economy overall, returning
like park assist and auto braking
68.9pmg while remaining fast,
smooth and responsive.