If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it has never been more apt with the introduction of the updated Golf 7.
Sure, once again you are going to be hard pressed to really notice all the differences, but the credentials of the car are hard to argue against.
VW has production history for the Golf that goes back some 43 years, with a Golf now emerging from one of their factories around the globe at an average rate of one every 40 seconds.
Marry this to global sales now well in excess of 33 million and you will clearly understand the magnitude of my first statement. I am not going to spend too much time on the design changes, because the update to the Golf 7 is more about the tech that is now available with the car.
You basically get redesigned bumpers, new headlights (halogen or LED depending on model), new LED tail lights and new wheels.
Getting to the tech, the updated Golf is said to have created a new benchmark for assistance systems in the compact class, while employing technologies that will significantly improve safety.
These include the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert as well as Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking System.
Optionally available across the range, and ordered in conjunction with the swivelling towbar, Trailer Assist includes Park Assist. The system helps reverse a trailer or caravan with a weight of up to 1 800kg into a parking bay or entrance from the street.
On the inside the tech fest continues, mostly as optional equipment you must pay extra for though, with the likes of the must have Active Info Display fully digitalised instrument cluster that replaces the old analogue speedo and rev counter dials.
All of the instruments are displayed virtually via software on a 12.3-inch colour screen. And if you opt for the top of the range navigation system with gesture control, this information can be displayed in 2D or 3D, along with five different information profiles, in which the kind of information and graphics displayed changes in certain areas.
VW has also replaced all previous infotainment systems in the Golf with a new generation of the MIB.
All systems have a new design and larger touchscreens; however, the names of the infotainment systems have not changed.
And if you think automated driving has been left out on the Golf, you are wrong, the updated model range features systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Park Assist, Driver Alert System, reversing camera (Rear View), and Trailer Assist.
The big news for the man in the street at the launch was not the 169kW/350Nm GTI, or the upcoming 130kW GTD and 213kW R versions, that will be here in July, but the extremely competitively priced, sub R300 000 1.0 TSI that only comes with a six-speed manual transmission and produces 81kW and 175Nm.
We didn’t drive this car at the launch, but VW are hoping that many of them will find homes in South Africa due to its attractive price and base spec. We also never got to sample the 92kW/200Nm 1.4 TSI that comes with a manual or DSG transmission option, but we did drive the ever popular DSG only GTI.
As to be expected, it did not fail to impress, and it’s easy to see why this hot hatch is by far SA’s number one best seller. It does everything from slow town driving, to fast rural driving so well and without any fuss.
And the good news is that the Comfortline derivatives across the range will be offered with an optional stylish R-Line exterior package which includes R-Line front bumper with C-signature air curtains in gloss back and air intake grille in unique honeycomb pattern.
Other features of the R-Line package are 17-inch Madrid alloy wheels, rear bumper with diffuser and trapezoidal chrome trims and spoiler so you can have a sporty looking Golf even if you are driving the 1.0 TSI.
- 1.0 TSI 81kW Trendline Manual R289 900
- 1.0 TSI 81kW Comfortline Manual R304 200
- 1.4 TSI 92kW Comfortline DSG R356 400
- 2.0 TSI 169kW GTI DSG R545 800
The new Golf model range comes standard with a five-year/90 000km Service Plan, three-year/120 000km warranty and a 12 year anticorrosion warranty