The VW Golf has been in existence for over 36 years. Six generations and 29 million copies later the seventh generation Golf borrows a lot from its previous predecessor but still retains its three most important selling points; practicality, comfort and efficiency.
|VW Mk7 Golf|
The new Mk7 Golf is longer and wider than the previous model. Its front wheels have also been moved further forwards in order to improve interior space. The changes have added 15mm of leg room while the front seats have been moved 20mm further back to help tall drivers fit in. Front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm to 1,420 mm (at the rear it is 30 mm wider) and elbow room by 22 mm to 1,469 mm (20 mm wider at the rear). There is more room for luggage space in the boot as well. It now is 30 litres larger compared to the previous model bringing its total space to an impressive 380 litres. The front passenger seat can also optionally fold fully forward, creating a loadspace which is up to 2,412 mm long. It’s also 100 kg lighter compared to the Mk6 thanks to numerous weight saving measures.
|Longer, wider and more stunning compared to the Mk6 Golf|
The new Golf design has evolved over the years. The new Mk7 design marks an evolution of the Golf Mk6 design. This is evident with its new face that gives the car an appealing look. It has new headlamps and a redesigned narrow radiator grill. The lower part of the grill is finished in chrome while the VW badge gracefully sits at the center of the charming grill. Its new ‘eyes’ have powerful xenon lights while daytime LED running lights help bring out its new face. Under the headlamps is a restyled air intake framed with a body-coloured area. The restyled air intake sits above the front air splitter that has a chrome inner lining and a body-coloured outline. New fog lamps are neatly tucked in at each side of the lower front bumper. One only has look at it from the side to notice its new increased size. Below the door handles is a clearly visible and very sharp character line. The line is broken by the wheel arches which house the all new alloy wheels. One can now order the Golf with stylish 18-inch wheels. The curve of the roofline has also been completely redesigned. It slants slightly to give the new Golf a coupe like shape. A large rear spoiler is visible at the rear end of the roof. Just below the spoiler is the new rear window that stretches all the way to the C-pillars. The new rear lights with LEDs look even more appealing compared to the previous generation rear lights. A large VW badge is visible in between the lights that also functions as the rear boot lid. The bumper itself is fully painted right down to the bottom. The centrally integrated diffuser, which also incorporates the exhaust pipe, is finished in black.
|Restyled front with the new LED’s daytime running lights|
Under the bonnet is a choice of petrol and diesel engines. The two four cylinder petrol versions engines deliver 84hp and 138hp respectively. The engines now come with a cylinder cut-off system that deactivates two engine cylinders when the car is being driven at low speed or is idle. This helps boost fuel efficiency from 6.2litres to an impressive 4.9litres per 100km covered. The diesel range consists of two engines. They have an output of 103hp and 147hp. The base TDI engine consumes an average of 3.8 litres of fuel per 100km while the powerful 147hp TDI engine will need 4.1 litres of fuel to cover 100km. A more eco-friendly version called the BlueMotion uses only 3.2 litres of diesel to cover 100 kilometers making it the most fuel efficient Golf yet. To better improve overall efficiency, VW is offering a new driver profile selection system for the Golf. This uses a combination of modes to match the driver style of driving. There is Eco, Sport, Normal, Comfort and Individual mode which works with the car’s DCC (adaptive chassis control) system to offer a balanced driving setting.
|New redesigned steering wheel|
Inside all five seating positions have been redesigned. The seats have been optimized to offer optimal support for dynamic driving, and a high level of comfort on long trips. With the improved leg and headroom, taller occupants can now fit comfortably either in the front or rear seats. It now has a wide center console that is oriented towards the driver. In the middle of the center console, beneath the switch for the hazard warning lights, is the five- to eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with its menu keys and dials. Volkswagen is equipping the Golf with a new generation of radio and radio/navigation systems with completely new designs. Standard entertainment features include an FM/AM radio, loudspeakers, an interface for SD cards and an aux-in port. The 5.8 inch touch screen interphase comes with more extensive features. The display also responds to wiping and zooming gestures, as used in similar fashion on modern smart phones. It comes with similar features found in the standard equipment plus USB and aux-in interfaces with iPod and iPhone compatibility. The top of the range system is the 8-inch touch screen interphase. This comes loaded with a DVD player, extended premium voice control, 64-GB Flash memory and can also act as a WLAN hotspot for a WLAN-capable mobile device. Located beneath the infotainment systems are the well laid-out controls for climate control. If one plans to visit arrears with poor mobile networks, the new Mk7 Golf now comes with inductive link to an external aerial. This hooks up the phone antenna to the cars external antenna to further boost its reception. The new dashboard is fabricated by plastic material on the upper section while a soft touch material adorns the rest of the dashboard. The switches for the electric windows are ergonomically easy to access in the armrests; located in front of the door handle on the driver’s side is the control for electric mirror adjustment. The door trim panels themselves display the motif of two intersecting curved lines, which logically divide the door trim’s functional areas: armrest, door handle, storage bin and loudspeaker. The new interior is now more posh and stylish compared to previous model interiors. The interior feel is further boosted by the new ambient lighting and white lighting of the buttons and switches.
|VW Golf BlueMotion|
The new Mk7 Golf is available with a host of driver aids. These include ACC adaptive cruise control plus Front Assist and a City Emergency Braking function, Lane Assist lane-keeping assistant, fatigue detection, traffic sign recognition and the latest generation of the automatic parking assistant ParkAssist including OPS (360 degree display) as well as the automated light functions Light Assist and Dynamic Light Assist.
|Refined interior with the new look dashbaoard|
One can choose between three distinct lines. There is the Trendline (base model), Comfortline and Highline (top model). The Tredline model comes fitted with even more standard equipment compared to the previous model. It now comes loaded with the touchscreen module with 5-inch TFT display, a fuel tank inlet with a guard to prevent putting in the wrong fuel (for the diesel versions), luggage compartment cover, ECO-HMI (consumption-related graphics and information on the multifunction dashboard display), multi-collision braking system, electronic parking brake with Auto-Hold function, XDS transverse differential lock, tyrepressure indicator, brake energy recovery mode, Stop/Start system and a variable floor in the boot. The car also comes with daytime running lights, 15-inch alloy wheels, rear diffuser, green-tinted heat-shield windows, air conditioning, lockable glove compartment, chrome rings around the internal air vents, Easy Entry system (two-door versions), center console with storage compartment, asymmetrically split, fold-down rear seatback, electrically adjustable wing mirrors, outside temperature indicator, electric windows, rear window wiper with intermittent setting, electromechanical power-steering, steering column with height and length adjustment, height-adjustable driver’s seat, dust and pollen filter, central locking with remote control, height adjustment and belt-tautening system for the seat belts in the front, disk brakes on all wheels and headrests optimized for maximum safety.
|Comfortable front seats|
The mid-range Comfortline trim level equipped with the ParkPilot system front and back, a superior combined instrument cluster, drawers under the front seats, 5.8 inch infortainment system with an SD card interphase and the fatigue detection system. It rides on 16-inch alloy wheels while the interior comes with Comfort seats featuring the line’s own seat material and lumbar support in the front, rear bench seat with central armrest and opening for loading long items. Rotary light switches have a chrome-look while front seats have storage nets behind them. There is also a closable storage compartment in the roof, an additional 12 V socket in the boot, illuminated vanity mirror, ParkPilot front and back, fabric car mats. The steering wheel and gear lever knob are covered in leather. All other features are similar to those found in the Treadline model.
|From a long line of great hatchbacks|
The top of the range model is the Golf Highline trim which comes with additional features such as the new ambient lighting and chrome edging around the Volkswagen logo on the radiator grille. It also rides on either 17-inch or optional 18-inch wheels. Other features include fog lights including cornering lights with chrome trim, dark red rear lights, sports seats in the front (with a central strip in Alcantara and fabric inner wings), chrome trim for the electric window switches, LED reading lights in the front and back, air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, heated windscreen washer jets and front seats. It also comes with xenon headlights with headlight washers. It’s also fitted with the 8.0 inch advanced multimedia interphase system as standard.
|Rear of the Golf with the restyled LED taillights|
Prices start at €16,975 (Kshs 1.8 million excluding taxes) for the 84hp Golf 1.2 TSI Trendline model. This is actually the same price as the previous entry level Mk6 Golf model. The new Golf is not only great to look at but not only remains the best small hatchback money can buy. With over 36 years of changes, the 7th generation Golf remains monumental and amazing just like the first generation Mark 1 Golf.