|The 7th-generation Golf reached us very recently for a customary test drive, courtesy of the folks at Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VWGM). Our writer got a little elated with his second Volkswagen variant from his good first experience of the VW Beetle 1.2-liter TSI.|
It’s fair to state that due to domestic taxes the Golf is placed at a premium price range. The Golf is actually sold at almost half the price abroad, so we can’t say this is a very expensive car. We should actually compare the Golf to other C-segment cars, not B-segment, since it’s priced at the C-segment range. Looking at examples in the C-segment (Honda, Toyota, Peugeot, Citroen etc) and making comparisons at a similar price range, we get a lot from the Golf; it’s definitely better bang for buck. If you don’t have a big family by the time you can afford your first Golf, then this is the car you should consider. One aspect that is a bit disappointing however is that Volkswagen M’sia did not bring in the 1.4l engine with Active Cylinder Technology, which cuts off two cylinders when power is not required, greatly increasing fuel efficiency.
Volkswagen Golf offers consistent cruising and spirited drive
On paper, the 7th Gen Golf has 140PS to pull 1300kg, similar to the Beetle, and goes 0 – 100km/h in 8.5 secs. The Golf’s ample 250Nm of torque easily pushes up to 180 km/h in a hurry. Our reviewer figured the Golf started to back off a bit at 200km/h, but could hit 230km/h on a longer stretch. Thanks to the lighter alloy engine block and weight reduction by 40kg, the Golf’s driving exhilaration is greatly enhanced.
Further driving revealed that the Golf did easy cruise at 1,500 rpm in overdrive at about 80km/h. As the tester upped the rpm to 2,100, the Golf breezed to 120km/h unnoticeably. Additionally, sufficient mid-range torque and quick jump to 160 km/h on the speedometer made overtaking effortless. This smooth transition was made possible by the 7-speed DSG that ensured both a comfort ride and economical cruising speed, particular suited for long distance drives.
When it came to handling, the reviewer deemed the Golf as a top brass hot-hatch. It gave him more encouragement to throw the car at every tight corner. Not only did the Golf held its own at lesser or extreme corners, but it gave slight ‘slipping’ hints via the XDS (electronic differential lock) – the inner wheel braking enabler. In other words, the car remains in good composure for extreme measures most of the time, without risking too much of the driver’s health. Even at high speeds (the tester did 180km/h on long sweeping bends), the Golf took corners succinctly well, much was attributed to the Golf’s additional 200kg of gross weight. In Sports mode, the Golf’s steering feel tightened, throttle response intensified and the gears held longer. The harder Suspension setup and 205/55 R16 tyres, too, played major roles in the car’s planted feel and well-balanced factor.
On comfort level and the interior, the writer gave two thumbs up for the ‘gripping’ seats, although the overall cabin space and rear legroom were barely sufficient enough for this hothatch. The reviewer reported that the car gave a bit of jerk on reverse parking as he switched from D to R.
Moving on to the amenities and conveniences, the Golf provides automated folding side mirrors, 5.8-inch touch screen center control, electronic parking brake and hold function, cruise control that increases/decreases 5km/h with each tap, directional Bi-Xenon headlamps, climatic air-conditioning with rear vents, fog lamps with cornering lamps and park distance control. Missing from the driver’s assistance features are the all-important reverse camera, with a radar-guided park assist put in place instead; smart keyless entry; and GPS Navigation. These features are probably omitted to keep the Golf’s retail price feasible.
As a 5-start Euro NCAP rated car, the Golf’s safety features takes on these conforming equipment: Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with brake assist (BA), Anti-theft alarm, airbags, Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), ISOFIX, Flat-tyre indicator and optimized front head restraints.
Reviewer’s summarized take on the Volkswagen Golf 7th generation
By the end of the test drive, the tester got 11.11km/l for slow town drives and an average of 13.3km/l in mixed driving conditions. The test unit already had 16,000km on the clock so it was well utilized, giving a more precise picture of what to expect from the car after approximately a year’s worth of driving. The writer also reckoned the handling for both the Beetle and the Golf was pretty much similar, as both cars shared the (MQB) platform. The obvious differences are the front and rear overhangs and wheelbase length (the Golf is longer by 50mm).
Priced at RM159,888.00, the Golf’s a little on the premium side, but this is a lot of car for the money. Resale value for the Golf is good as well, as there are many who want to be owners of this hot hatch, but can’t seem to hit its price range. In all, it’s a simple, yet sophisticated car with lots of improvements, when compared to the older Mk6. The Mk7 is an improvement over an already great Mk6 from a line of Golfs that has touched the hearts and minds of many all over the world regardless of generation and age.
Volkswagen Golf 7th generation images