Updated Golf: More for less from Volkswagen
The updated Volkswagen Golf opens for order in the UK from tomorrow (2 February) with the option of all-new engines, more technology, improved connectivity and revised styling than the outgoing car.
Retaining the former starting price of just £17,625 (RRP OTR) for the entry-level updated Golf S 1.0 TSI 85 PS three-door1 the new Golf is driving even more value, style and desirability into what is aptly named by many the ‘Golf class’.
Emerging from Volkswagen factories around the globe at an average pace of one every 40 seconds for the last 43 years, the brand’s family favourite arrives in UK showrooms towards the end of March but order books are already opening for the eagerly awaited updated version of the most popular European car to date.
With global sales now well in excess of 33 million since its launch more than four decades ago (1974), more than two million of which are to UK buyers, the updated version of the seventh generation Golf is once again redefining its market segment by bringing ‘big car’ technology to the compact family car class.
Democratising quality and value is a longstanding Volkswagen tenet and it is enthusiastically employed in the updated Golf. Now standard across the range are LED rear lights, for instance, while the majority of models across the Golf hatchback and Estate line-up are also now offered with a new generation of larger and more sophisticated touchscreen infotainment systems.
Indeed, the new Golf sparkles with technical innovations. So, for the first time in the compact class and depending on model, the new Discover Navigation Pro radio-navigation and online system can be operated via gesture control. Sporting a 9.2-inch screen, the system complements the Active Info Display that is also new in the Golf and appears as standard on all Performance Golfs. Meanwhile, the range of online services and apps has also been enlarged.
The UK line-up retains a familiar feel, beginning in the hatchback range with S and rising through SE, SE Nav, GT, R-Line, GTE, GTE Advance, e-Golf, GTD and GTD BlueLine to GTI, GTI Performance and, ultimately, R.
The estate family offers generous choice, too, with S, SE, SE Nav, GT and GTD and GTD BlueLine models being joined by Alltrack and R.
The forthcoming car also creates a new benchmark for assistance systems in the compact class, employing technologies that will significantly improve safety. Depending on model, these include: City Emergency Braking with new pedestrian monitoring (Front Assist); a new Traffic Jam Assist that offers semi-automated driving at speeds of up to 37 mph (60 km/h); and Emergency Assist which is also new to this segment. Emergency Assist notices if the driver is incapacitated and initiates various measures to rouse them in escalating stages culminating, if the driver remains inactive, in carrying out an emergency stop.
Debut for 1.5 TSI Evo engine
The progressive digitisation of Golf is supported by the debut of highly efficient engines. Even the new base petrol engine – the turbocharged direct-injection 1.0 TSI with 85 PS – impresses with fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg* (combined).
The new Golf sees the debut of the turbocharged petrol 1.5 TSI Evo powerplant – a new four-cylinder engine that generates 150 PS and features Active Cylinder Management (ACT). This is accompanied by a BlueMotion version producing 130 PS and featuring a complete engine shut-down function (as in the hybrid Golf GTE). Meanwhile, Volkswagen has strengthened the appeal of the iconic Golf GTI; it now develops 230 PS, or 245 PS in GTI Performance guise. The range-topping Golf R gets more power than ever before, too, now boasting a peak output of 310 PS: enough to carry it from rest to 62 mph in as little as 4.6 seconds.
A new 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox) also helps to deliver CO2 figures that have in some cases been improved by up to 10 g/km. All Golfs also feature BlueMotion Technologies such as a stop-start system and a mode for storing braking energy (regenerative braking).
Design modifications include new bumpers front and rear, new halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights or full LED headlights – standard in higher specification cars and optional in other models – instead of xenon headlights; new front wings; and, as mentioned, new full LED rear lights as standard for all Golf versions.
New wheel designs and body colours round out the exterior update, while new trim panels and materials also upgrade the interior of the Golf.
Welcoming the imminent showroom arrival of the brand’s best-seller in the UK – last year the Golf accounted for one in three new Volkswagens sold here with almost 73,000 registered – the Director of Volkswagen in the UK, Alison Jones, said: “The arrival of a new or updated Golf is always a special occasion but, in 2017, the debut of this car with its semi-autonomous operation; revised styling; new engines; and exceptional new infotainment systems really does feel extra-special.
“The updated Golf will, I’m sure, retain its place at the head of the compact car class but, just as importantly, will strengthen its place in the hearts of countless UK owners thanks to its exceptional quality, classless appeal and, now more than ever, its hugely competitive pricing and whole-life value.”