- The most affordable Golf now better than ever.
- Classy cabin architecture and practicality remain.
- Still among the best ride and handling dynamics in the class.
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf has been designated the 7.5, as a step up from the Golf 7 rather than being all new. Interestingly, VW has focused attention on the most affordable model, the 110TSI, which is now equipped with the full-tune 110kW/250Nm, 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine, replacing the 92kW version.
This model also receives Front Assist, a traffic alert system, plus autonomous emergency braking which, along with seven airbags, means a five-star EuroNCAP safety ranking. The 110TSI equipment specification has been enhanced and includes 16-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch multi-media screen and reversing camera.
A smooth clutch and gear shift action are highlights of the six-speed manual which leads the pricing at $23,990 plus on-road costs, yet there are good reasons to pay the extra $2500 for the seven-speed DSG auto. The DSG is a self-shifting manual gearbox, so you get the ease of driving an automatic with the mechanical efficiency of a manual. A government fuel figure of 5.4L/100km also shows a modest fuel economy advantage over the manual.
While the 110TSI is well equipped, buyers do not have access to the driver assistance and infotainment option packages on the Trendline, Comfortline and Highline models. Trendline has the same engine and transmission offerings and is also available in a DSG wagon from $28,990. It includes a few nice-to-have features such as automated headlights and wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, parking sensors front and rear, front seat lumbar adjustment and upgraded alloy wheels. Comfortline hatch and wagon are DSG only and include dual-zone climate control, satellite navigation, upgraded comfort seats, 17-inch alloys plus additional storage and trim highlights.
The top-of-the-range Highline hatchback and wagon are dressed with leather-appointed trim and additional chrome highlights, powered seats, LED lighting and an electric glass sunroof. Highline can be optioned with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine. It produces 110kW and 340Nm which dictates the use of VW’s higher-capacity “wet clutch” seven-speed DSG.
Optional for Trendline, Comfortline and Highline buyers is the driver assistance package ($1500) which includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, lane assist and read traffic alert. Comfortline and Highline models can add the infotainment package ($2300) which provides an Active Info display, 9.2-inch satellite navigation with gesture and voice control, and premium audio.
Volkswagen also now has three versions of the Golf 7.5 Alltrack wagon, standard with 4Motion all-wheel drive. There’s a new entry-level 132kW/280Nm petrol variant, a Premium petrol version with extra equipment and a 132kW/380Nm diesel Premium.
The Golf body architecture continues to deliver easy-to-live-with functionality, high build quality and a sharp sense of style inside and out. While no longer streets ahead of its competition, the presentation at the wheel remains first class. The Golf has also lost none of its chassis and suspension refinement, and in addition to everyday practicality remains an entertaining and engaging driver’s car.