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Golf stacked with technology

Created on 21/11/2017 @ 10:03

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Competition keeps growing so Volkswagen simply just up the stakes by improving the Golf - after all this is the model which started the hatchback sector.

There’s nothing revolutionary about the updated version of the seventh generation Golf it’s simply VW redefining its market segment by bringing ‘big car’ technology to the compact family car class.

It’s a simple but clever move, after all why fix something that isn’t broken. Growing sales figures across the globe prove the product fits, but now you get the option of all new engines with more technology, better connectivity and just a tweak to the styling package.

Golf now has an option for just about every possible buyer, whether private or fleet. In fact there are no less than 88 choices so you can expect to spend a bit of time in the showroom. And with prices ranging from £18,665 to £34,985 there’s also a model for just about every pocket.

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.

You can’t help but be impressed by the levels of technology introduced to the sector. 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. The range of online services and apps has also been enlarged.

There’s a lot more than a gimmick package on offer though. VW claims 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; a new Traffic Jam Assist that offers semi-automated driving at speeds of up to 37 mph and Emergency Assist which notices if the driver is incapacitated and initiates various measures to rouse them in escalating stages culminating in carrying out an emergency stop.

BlueMotion Technologies include a stop-start system and a mode for storing braking energy (regenerative braking). There was also an impressive safety package including all-round airbags and a full stability control package.

On test was a GTD 2.0litre TDi 184PS version with seven-speed automatic gearing and priced at just under £30,000. There was a top speed of 143mph, 0-62mph in 7.4seconds, impressive CO2 emissions of only 124g/km and combined fuel figures of 60mpg.

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 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.

Well weighted steering, choosing the adaptive damping system and the electronic differential mean the Golf remains a joy to drive – regardless of the road conditions.

Volkswagen bosses have ensured that the Golf will continue to grow sales with the latest improvements though there is a price to pay for the new technology.

Adding gesture control navigation, the driver assist package, LED headlights, chassis control and leather interior pushed the price up to £35,395 – and that’s a lot to pay for a hatchback.

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