Today, VW revealed the facelifted version of the Mk 7 Golf in Germany. Although it appears that not much has been changed, delve deeper into the car and you begin to realize this is somewhat of a revolution.
The bodywork styling of the new Golf is perhaps the least revolutionary. However, tweaks have been made to the design of the front and rear bumpers. The grills on either side of the front bumper appear more aggressive and present a wider more knuckled down look to the front of the car. New LED headlights are available which will replace the xenons in the outgoing model. At the rear, there are LED taillights and higher specification models will even get the ‘swooshing’ indicators we are used to seeing on Audis. I think the bodywork changes, though subtle, are making the Golf an even more attractive looking car. On the inside, new door panels, dashboard and seat covers give a rejuvenated look although it is similar to the previous model.
This is where the story of the new Golf becomes interesting. The much loved ‘virtual cockpit’ of new Audis is making its way into the new Golf as well as a revised infotainment system that works on a new larger, higher quality touch display screen. Gesture control is also available. This has only debuted in the new BMW 7 Series, making it very impressive for an affordable family car to have. Mobile phones can be easily connected and eligible ones can even be charged inductively by simply placing it in a storage slot.
This is also the first Golf to feature VW’s Car-Net system which includes “Automatic Accident Notification,” “Breakdown Call” and “Service Scheduling.” The latter is a service that automatically makes service appointments with your local VW dealer. Parents might also like features such as ‘Area Alert’ which notifies you when the car enters or leaves a preset are or ‘Speed Alert’ which notifies you if a preset speed is exceeded.
Much work has been put into making this the safest Golf ever. ‘Traffic Jam Assist’ is a feature that works with Active Cruise Control and Lane Assist to manage partially autonomous driving in traffic situations. Emergency Assist is a new feature that, if it senses the driver is no longer making any throttle, brake or steering inputs, will attempt to alert the driver and if that fails it will initiate an emergency stop trying to steer so as not to hit anything while gradually braking to a standstill. The Trailer Assist also manages reversing with trailers to a certain degree.
The 1.5 TSI engine will come with two power outputs; 150 PS and 130 PS. The engine features active cylinder management and can shut off the engine when coasting to decelerating which improves efficiency. The GTI has had more power added, up to 230 PS but can be made to achieve 245 PS with the optional Performance Pack which should really just be standard. A new seven speed DSG gearbox will alos replace the outgoing six speed, being more efficient.
The facelifted Golf will be available from early 2017 with prices still to be announced.