Since the inception of the Volkswagen Golf MK1 back in 1974, the small family hatchback has gone on to be the most important model for the brand. With a cheeky design and everyday usability, the Golf was in a class on its own.
Almost 42-years later, the Golf is now in its seventh life cycle and is built on the same recipe: a handsome car with great usability. Except, competition today is much more vicious compared to the good old days. To keep it ahead of the game, the Golf MK7 received a major update for the year 2017. It’s now more economical, more powerful and more technologically advanced than ever.
The updated Golf also gets several aesthetic upgrades, starting from the new LED headlamps with redesigned LED daytime running lights. The Golf GTI maintains the signature red lining that extends into the headlamps while the GTE gets blue accents. From next year onwards, LED headlamps will replace all existing xenon headlamps. A redesigned front and rear bumper rejuvenates the aesthetics of the Golf. The tail lamps now feature full LED (redesigned of course) and the top of the range even gets dynamic indicators, like that on the Audi A4 and Audi A6.
Moving to the inside, the infotainment screen has been upgraded to either a 6.5-inch coloured touchscreen, 8.0-inch “Composition Media”, 8.0-inch “Discover Media” (navigation) or 9.2-inch “Discover Pro” with gesture control. With the “Discover Pro” system equipped, drivers can operate the infotainment system via gestures. Opt for the Volkswagen Car-Net package and you will get a host of internet services like Security & Service and Guide & Inform.
With the intention to introduce a full digital cockpit, the Golf now features Volkswagen Group’s 12.3-inch Active Info Display in place of the conventional instrument cluster. Similar to the on found on the Passat B8, the Active Info Display is a full LCD screen that displays essential driving aids with high detail. The display also projects navigation and multimedia info for added convenience.
Other subtler touches in the interior are new decorative patterns on the trim pieces as well as new seat covers.
The Golf is now powered by an enhanced EA211 TSI engine, dubbed the 1.5 TSI EVO. The 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder produces 148 hp and 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm. It also features the Group’s Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology which shuts down the middle two cylinders during light throttle load. As such, the 1.5 TSI EVO Golf will return 4.9 litres per 100 km.
If you fancy something a little more frugal, there is a 1.5 TSI EVO with BlueMotion technology that returns 4.6 litres per 100km, although power outputs are slightly lower at 129 hp and 200 Nm – the latter peaking from 1,400 rpm. Both units come with coasting function that disengages the engine completely when the driver lifts off the accelerator.
Stepping into the hotter Golf GTI, the 2.0-litre TSI engine was given a little rub to dish out 227 hp, up by 9 hp from before. Opt for the Performance Pack, the same engine will push out additional 14 hp, bringing the total output to 241 hp.
When the MK7 Golf was introduced, the compact hatchback features an arsenal of safety systems such as ABS, ESC, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist with City Emergency Braking System, Lane Assist, Blind Spot Sensor, Rear Traffic Alert, Park Assist 3.0, Driver Alert System, reverse camera (Rear View), traffic sign recognition, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and trailer stabilisation.
To that, Volkswagen has taken the liberty to add Traffic Jam Assist, the new Pedestrian Monitoring for Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Trailer Assist, and Emergency Assist. With these active city driving assists, the car is capable of semi-autonomous driving during traffic jams.
Utilising the radars and sensors from the Traffic Jam Assists, Lane Assists and Adaptive Cruise Control, the Golf is able to drive safely in start-stop traffic, making commuting in traffic a much more pleasant experience.
With the extensive upgrades the Golf receives, the term update is a huge understatement for the Golf MK7 facelift. One thing is for sure, this will surely keep the Golf more relevant for the years to come. Now, has anyone seen the Golf R?
Locally, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) imports the Golf as a CBU unit. With deliveries to the UK scheduled to begin next year, we may very well be catching this on our roads very soon. If VPCM decides to CKD this car, well, let’s just say it’s time to save up.