Golf Estate Mk VII

On 4 September 2012, 38 years after the original model redefined the small family car, the all-new Golf was unveiled in Berlin ahead of its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month. 

Few cars have a history like that of the Volkswagen Golf, yet with global sales having reached 30 million in June 2013, and in its seventh generation, the latest Golf continues to offer buyers a car which sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency.

Despite offering more room for passengers and more advanced technological features than previous versions, new production techniques contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaced, helping to make it up to 23 per cent more efficient than before.  On top of this, the latest Golf is also safer than ever, thanks not just to a stronger body structure (which is also 23 kg lighter) but also to a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems.

The Golf Mk VII is built on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, also known as Modular Transverse Matrix.  This standardises many vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes, and allows access to new powertrains and technologies, including innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for vehicles in higher segments.

Based on this platform and built alongside its hatchback sibling is the Golf Estate.  This car was revealed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013 and went on sale in the UK in July that year with first deliveries to customers following in October.  More than ever the Estate mirrors the hatch in terms of engines and specification; it is, quite simply, a Golf with 1,620 litres of bootspace.

At 4,562 mm, the Golf Estate Mk VII is 28 mm longer than its predecessor (307 mm longer than the Golf hatchback) with a 57 mm longer wheelbase that now measures 2,635 mm.  It is also wider than its predecessor at 1,799 mm, but 23 mm lower at 1,481 mm, giving it a lower and more dynamic appearance. Visually it is every inch a Golf, yet was designed from the outset to be an independent model, rather than a modified hatchback.  This means a distinctive side profile with the Golf’s characteristic C-pillar transferred to the D-pillar on the estate, and a ‘third’ side window part of the integral design.

At the ‘business’ end of the estate, bootspace has been expanded from the 505 litres of its predecessor to 605 litres (loaded up to the back seat backrest).  Loaded up to the front seat backrests and under the roof, the Golf Estate offers a cargo volume of no less than 1,620 litres (versus the 1,495 litres of the Golf Estate Mk VI).

Standard features include a multi-level cargo floor, which makes a flat load area, and offers somewhere to store items out of sight, a roller-blind loadspace cover which can be stored under the boot floor) with net partition, and an automatic post-collision braking system.

Eight specification levels are available which mirror those of the Golf hatchback: S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTD and R.  This is the first time that a BlueMotion model has been offered in the Golf Estate range.

Powering the Golf Estate is a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre TSI 115 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS and a 2.0-litre TSI unit with 300 PS.  The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 110 PS, and a 2.0-litre TDI with 150 or 184 PS. 

In addition, for the first time the Golf Estate is available as a ‘full’ BlueMotion economy model; at the heart of this version  is a 1.6-litre diesel engine producing 110 PS and a six-speed manual gearbox.  It achieves a combined fuel consumption of 80.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of just 92 g/km.

Summary

  • Golf Estate Mk VII made debut at Geneva Motor Show in March 2013; on sale in UK in July 2013 with deliveries following in October
  • The first Golf Estate made its debut 20 years ago
  • Available in S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTD and R trim levels, as on hatch.  Standard extra equipment on all Golf Estates includes roof rails (black on S and Match Edition, anodised silver on GT), electric rear windows on all models and remote rear-seat backrest release in the boot
  • Five petrol engines are available: are a 1.0-litre TSI 115 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS and a 2.0-litre TSI unit with 300 PS, all with either six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearboxes
  • The four diesel engines are a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 110 PS and a 2.0-litre TDI with 150 or 184 PS
  • Like the Golf hatchback, the Golf Estate is based on the MQB platform (both have the same wheelbase).  This innovative platform uses new production techniques which help make the latest model up to 105 kg lighter than its predecessor, and also allows greater access to new technologies (for safety, comfort and convenience)
  • The Golf Estate’s loadspace volume has been expanded from the 505 litres of its predecessor to 605 litres (loaded up to the back seat backrest).  Loaded up to the front seat backrests and under the roof, the new Golf Estate offers a cargo volume of no less than 1,620 litres (versus the 1,495 litres of the Golf Estate Mk VI)
  • Standard features include a multi-level cargo floor (makes a flat load area, and offers somewhere to store items out of sight), a roller-blind loadspace cover (can be stored under boot floor) with net partition, and automatic post-collision braking system
  • UK Golf Estates (except BlueMotion) will come with a standard space-saver spare tyre
  • All Golf Mk VII models feature BlueMotion Technology – a Stop/Start system and battery regeneration – and for the first time the Golf Estate will also be available as a ‘full’ BlueMotion model (with other modifications including revised aerodynamics).  This is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine producing 110 PS and has a six-speed manual gearbox. Fuel consumption is 80.7 mpg (combined, with 92 g/km of CO?)
  • All models include Bluetooth, DAB digital radio with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth telephone connection, seven airbags, XDS electronic differential
  • Match Edition models gain Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, 16-inch alloy wheels, rear map-reading lights, automatic lights and wipers, a Driver Alert system, driver profile selection, Discover Navigation system, electrically folding door mirrors, parking sensors and the Pre-Crash preventive occupant protection system
  • GT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, Driver Profile selection and 65 per cent tinted rear windows, among other items
  • Best-seller is the 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS five-speed in Match Edition trim.  Insurance ratings are up to four groups lower than those for the previous Golf Estate
  • Loadspace is 1,055 mm long with rear seats up; 1,831 mm long with rear seats folded, and a minimum of 1,003 mm wide.  Maximum cargo weight is between 600 kg and 611 kg, depending on engine
  • Maximum towing weight (braked, 12 per cent incline) is between 1,100 kg and 1,600 kg, depending on engine

MARKET INFORMATION

The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased.  The Golf Estate follows this pattern, competing with lower medium estates.

Fleet customers account for around 66 per cent of Golf Estates sold, with 95 per cent diesel-powered.  The best-seller is the 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS five-speed in Match Edition trim, accounting for 43 per cent of total sales.

In 2015, 5,683 Golf Estates were sold in the UK.  This compares with 66,105 Golf (Mk VII) hatchbacks, 54,900 Polos, 16,904 up!s and 10,755 Passat Estates as the top-selling Volkswagen models.

PRODUCTION

The Golf Estate Mk VII, like the Golf hatch and unlike its predecessor which was produced in Mexico, is produced at Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg. A new state of the art production system with all-new assembly technologies are employed to combine strength, low weight, high quality and low production costs.

Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than six square kilometres.  The one square mile taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 46.6 miles long, while the plant’s rail network totals 43.5 miles, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex produces the Golf, Golf Estate, Touran and Tiguan.  About 815,000 vehicles rolled off the assembly lines in 2015.  Apart from car production, component manufacture is another cornerstone of activities at Wolfsburg. The components produced here, including drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, are used in vehicle production in Wolfsburg and at other Group plants.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants.  The aim was to reduce the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants by 25 per cent by 2018, but this was achieved by July 2016.  Specifically, this means 25 per cent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants. It was achieved via the introduction of 5000 individual measures, which will collectively save far more than 100 million euros.

In line with “Think Blue. Factory.” the Wolfsburg plant has introduced the Modular Production System (MPB), which will make production more environmentally compatible.  Another contribution to sustained energy saving is the Energy Path which features a large number of practical examples showing precisely where and how energy can be saved.  These include an electric vehicle recharging station with photovoltaic panels and wind turbine and the optimisation of heating pumps featuring demand-oriented control to save energy.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate power and heat not only for the Volkswagen plant, but also the city of Wolfsburg.  The two power stations have a power generating capacity of 442 megawatts.  This combined heat and power system converts 53.3 per cent of the heat in the fuel into usable energy against a maximum of 38 per cent for a normal coal-fired power station.  (Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change.)

Every day, around 150 double-deck rail cars and about 160 transporter trucks leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg with a cargo of some 2,600 vehicles.  Incoming deliveries from around 1,900 suppliers arrive at the plant in about 150 or so rail carriages and 700 trucks every day.

HISTORY

Wolfsburg is the location of the Volkswagen Group headquarters.  Volkswagen, founded in Berlin on May 28, 1937, commissioned a factory to be built at the site of what would eventually be the City of Wolfsburg.  The factory was built in 1938/39 as a facility for series production of the Volkswagen car designed by Ferdinand Porsche.  Realisation of this ‘People's Car’ vision was interrupted by World War II, which brought with it a demand for armament production and the Nazi regime’s policy of forced labour.

When the war ended, the British military, under whose trusteeship the factory was placed, commissioned the first production assignment for the factory.  Series production of the Volkswagen began in December 1945.  By 1955, the factory was celebrating completion of the one-millionth Beetle in Wolfsburg.  Until its production was discontinued in 1974, a total of 11,916,519 Beetles were built in Wolfsburg (NB. German production continued in Emden).

A short time later, production commenced on the Golf, a model which would eventually lend its name to a whole vehicle class and which launched a new era for the Volkswagen brand.  With the introduction of the Golf in 1974, Volkswagen put a small, high-speed diesel engine in a mid-class passenger car. In that same year, the one-millionth Golf left the assembly line in Wolfsburg.  This first Golf was replaced by its second-generation successor in 1983, the year which also saw commencement of operations in Hall 54, at the time the world's most highly advanced final assembly unit.

Only five years later, the ten-millionth Golf was built.  In the 1990s, the range of products was expanded to include models such as the Polo III, the Golf Mk IV and the Lupo.  In September 2008, Volkswagen presented its new sixth-generation Golf.  The 15 millionth Golf produced at the plant rolled off the assembly line in September 2010.  To date, about 43 million vehicles have been produced at the Volkswagen plant.

The MQB platform

The Golf was the first Volkswagen model to be based upon the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform (aka. Modular Transverse Matrix) and the Golf Estate has the same underpinnings.  The introduction of the MQB strategy represents a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines as it standardises many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offers access to new technologies.

The MQB extends from the A0 to the B segment.  At the Volkswagen brand, for example, it covers the following models: Polo, Beetle, Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, Touran, Sharan, Passat, and Volkswagen CC.  In the future, all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths.  It will also be possible to produce MQB models of different brands together.

One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines.  Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role here are the modular petrol engine system (MOB) with the new EA211 engine series (60 to 150 PS) – this range includes the world’s first four-cylinder production engine with cylinder deactivation (ACT) – and the modular diesel engine system (MDB) with the new EA288 engine series (90 to 190 PS).

By introducing these new engine series, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group will be reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice.  On the contrary; in addition to standardising conventional internal combustion engines, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to pure electric drive.  Volkswagen launched the latter within the MQB in 2014 with the e-Golf.

The MQB opens up new opportunities at the Volkswagen Group, allowing it to produce high-volume and niche models at the highest quality and extremely competitive costs over the long term and worldwide – vehicles that are individually tailored to the requirements of very diverse markets such as Europe, China and America, as well as emerging markets such as India.  In parallel, the Volkswagen Group will significantly reduce vehicle weights with the launch of the first MQB model series and will introduce 20 innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for higher vehicle segments, including for example a new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System which, after an initial collision, helps to reduce the intensity of secondary collisions by automatically initiated braking.  This system is standard on all new Golf models.

Within the Group, the MQB developed under the auspices of the Volkswagen brand is supplemented by the Modular Longitudinal System (MLB) from Audi, the Modular Standard System (MSB) with Porsche as the competence centre and finally the ‘New Small Family’ – the most compact vehicle model series with the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and ŠKODA Citigo.

DESIGN

Exterior

In developing the Golf hatchback, the teams led by head designers Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand) based their work on a great deal of creative freedom that allows many different approaches for a new design, while also focusing on the principles of what is now commonly termed, the Volkswagen ‘design DNA’.

Over recent years, Volkswagen designers have crystallised a selection of core elements from the brand’s history, which they term its ‘historic DNA’.  All current Volkswagen designs correspond to this DNA, with the cars conveying a modern, progressive impression, which nevertheless feels familiar.  This DNA includes elements such as the reduced form of the radiator grille crossbeam, the look of the side windows as well as the first Golf’s roofline and the Golf Mk VI’s typical C-pillars and wheel arches.

This DNA creates a unique, unmistakable language of product features and design.  The language of product features leaves a familiar feeling, and yet it creates a new sensation in the eyes of the observer. The features are visual characteristics such as functionality, robustness, honesty and reliability.  These characteristics are generated by a ‘language of form’ perfected over many years.

‘This language of form,’ explains Bischoff, ‘is logical, solid, product-focused, pure and precise, and it reflects the brand’s design DNA as a perfect model of creativity.  This makes the base architecture of the new Golf unmistakable.  It comes over as simple, strong, understandable, reliable and safe.  When one begins with the pure element of this clear base architecture, details such as the economical use and placement of sculptural lines seem more like fine nuances.  Another extremely important point is that the Golf’s proportions have changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever before.’

In designing the Estate, similar principles were followed.  The Estate is now longer, wider and lower, and the car’s sharper proportions give it a sportier and more distinctive look than the previous model.  The Golf Estate is 4,562 mm long (28 mm longer), 1,799 mm wide without door mirrors (18 mm wider) and 1,481 mm tall (23 mm lower) including the standard roof rails.  The wheelbase was also extended, now measuring 2,635 mm (gain of 57 mm).  These proportions form the basis for an extraordinarily impressive design; up to the termination of the front doors, it follows the precise lines of the Golf hatchback model.

However the estate car was a planned member of the model range right from the outset; that is, the Estate Mk VII was not derived from the five-door vehicle but was developed in tandem with it.  That is why the side profile of the latest Golf Estate shows particularly distinctive lines.  The designers transferred the form of the typical Golf C pillar to the D pillar of the Estate.  Visually, this has made the third side window part of the D pillar.  In contrast to the classic Golf, what is known as the character line is continued behind the rear wheelarches and extends over the vehicle’s entire rear section.  This design gives the rear body area a very muscular look.  The precise design of the window sill (upgraded by a chrome trim in some versions), and dynamism are highlighted by the long side window surfaces and the slightly rearward-sloping roof with roof spoiler.  As a result, the side profile of the Golf Estate looks more extended, exclusive, powerful and sporty.  The standard roof rails were integrated elegantly into the roofline.

The new two-part rear lights of the Golf Estate emphasise its family affiliation to the model range and the brand.  The half of the rear light that is integrated in the boot lid, however, is larger than in the hatchback version and forms a longer line that runs parallel to the shape of the lower tailgate area.  Also making a clear differentiation between the Golf Estate and the hatch, is the design of the tailgate and the middle of the bumper.  While the licence plate of the hatchback model is mounted in the bumper, the designers of the Golf Estate decided to integrate it in the boot lid again – similar to the previous estate car.

Along with its stylish aspects, the rear section is, as can be expected, a very practical area as well.  At just 630 mm high, the low sill makes light work of loading and unloading.  Take the tailgate opening, for example: measured plumb to vertical it is 675 mm tall; measured within the plane of the tailgate – i.e. diagonally – it is 762 mm.  The tailgate opening is also wide at 1,031 mm.

Interior

Naturally one of the most important elements of any estate car is the interior space and the latest Golf Estate doesn’t disappoint in this area.  Compared to the previous model its cargo capacity increased by a considerable 100 litres to 605 litres (loaded up to the rear seat backrests).  When the cargo space with its minimum width of 1,003 mm and minimum height of 936 mm is utilised up to the backrests of the front seats and to the roofline, it offers a capacity of 1,620 litres (125 litres more than in the previous model).  The cargo space length up to the rear bench is 1,055 mm; up to the backrests of the front seats it is 1,831 mm, representing an overall gain of 131 mm.  When the backrest of the front passenger’s seat is folded objects of up to 2,671 mm in length can be transported.  Optimal space utilisation of the cargo area corresponds to the basic dimensions of the tailgate opening (675 mm tall; 1,031 mm wide).

The cargo floor of the standard illuminated space can be varied in height or be removed entirely with just a few hand movements whenever maximum storage capacity is needed.  Also on board as standard equipment: a cargo space cover that is designed with a retractable shade that has an automatic two-stage roller mechanism.  When it is not being used, both it and the net partition can be stowed under the cargo floor.  Another newly designed and now more practical feature is the remote unlatching of the rear seat backrests and the backrest folding process itself.  The 60:40 split backrests can now be unlatched from their locked positions by easy to operate levers in the side wall of the cargo space; then the backrests automatically tip forward, and together with the cargo floor they form a nearly level cargo surface.  Colour-coded pins in the outer area of the rear bench seat make it easy to determine whether the backrests have been properly latched again.  Last but not least, four practical bag hooks have also been installed in the luggage compartment.

Inside the cabin, the Golf Estate benefits from the basic concept of the modular transverse matrix.  Although the car was lowered in height by 23 mm, interior height in front was improved by 9 mm to 981 mm and at the rear by 11 mm to 980 mm.  In addition, rear passengers now have 5 mm more legroom.  Another plus is elbow room at all five seats; in front, it has grown 23 mm to 1,469 mm, at the rear it’s up 4 mm to 1,441 mm.  Although the gains here are just millimetres, the interplay of all of these dimensions yields a perceptibly larger interior.

Like the Golf hatchback, the Golf Estate overcomes class boundaries in terms of its high-quality materials and the exclusive appearance of its design.  All features and specifications match those of the hatchback, meaning this is simply a Golf with a very large boot.

Seat comfort

For the Golf Mk VII, all five seating positions were redesigned.  The seats exhibit well-contoured body lines, optimal support for dynamic driving, and a high level of comfort on long trips.  These characteristics were achieved by designing the foam contours to fit body shapes properly and by the optimised springing and damping properties of the cold foam cushioning sections.  The Match Edition and GT are equipped with standard two-way lumbar support on the driver and front passenger seats.  The optional 12-way electric driver’s seat offers even easier individual adjustment.

Climate control

The Golf Estate is available as standard with a semi-automatic climate control system known as Climatic.  Using a simple dial control, this maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

While the system’s functions are essentially the same as for the previous generation Golf, the system itself was completely redesigned to reduce noise and weight while increasing efficiency.  Using simulations in the design phase, the cross sections of internal air conditioner components were modified to reduce net pressure losses.  This also resulted in a noise level reduction of up to five dB(A) and to a significantly reduced need for electrical blower power – and hence a gain in efficiency.  In addition, the use of a pulse-width modulated blower reduced current consumption by an average 4 Amperes.  A distinct improvement in acoustics was also realised compared to the previous model by specific fluid dynamic studies of the recirculation air flaps.  Partially reduced wall thicknesses of the polypropylene housing, a new fastening concept without complicated brackets, and the use of higher performance and weight-optimised heat exchangers led to significantly lower weight of the new air conditioner.

The packaging of the air conditioning system was also improved by such measures as a new filter layout above the blower in the air intake channel which makes it 140 mm narrower in this area.  What’s more this enabled a uniform layout of electrical system components between left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles, and created more space in the footwell area.  A high-performance heat exchanger, as well as reduction of heat losses in the refrigerant cycle, demand-based use of electrical auxiliary heating and an innovative thermal management system, have also had a beneficial effect on heating performance.  Compared to the previous model, the interior of the Golf heats to a pleasantly warm temperature 30 per cent faster.

In addition, the refrigerant cycle was completely redesigned for maximum efficiency gain, weight reduction and manufacturing optimisation.  The refrigerant cycle consists of a highly efficient compressor and condenser as well as an internal heat exchanger.  Design of the refrigerant lines was also perfected resulting in weight savings.  Another benefit of the efficient refrigerant cycle is that it cools the interior significantly faster.

Standard on Alltrack, GTD and R is a new fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control.  This regulates the Golf’s interior temperature fully automatically via 2Zone temperature control (separate for driver and front passenger), and its intensity can be selected as ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Intense’).  This feature is an option on S, BlueMotion, Match Edition and Match BlueMotion Edition.

The fully automatic control unit operates with various sensors for the sun, air quality and humidity.  The sun sensor detects the intensity and direction of solar radiation, and the system is controlled accordingly.  When the air quality sensor indicates that the concentration of nitrogen oxides or carbon monoxide outside has exceeded a defined limit, then the recirculation flap of the Climatronic system closes.  The addition of a humidity sensor on the Golf means it is also possible to control the heating function with recirculation mode, resulting in significantly quicker heating of the interior without fogging of the windows.

The humidity sensor is also used to run the air conditioning compressor at a lower power level as is needed, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption on hot days.  Here, the Climatronic automatically deactivates the compressor as soon as it is not needed to reach the desired temperature, or if there is no risk of window fogging and a preset limit for humidity is not exceeded in the interior.  For the first time, air conditioning components that are relevant to fuel economy are then only activated when needed and are controlled to optimise energy consumption in all operating modes.  The interplay of all components of the new air conditioning system leads to considerable fuel savings compared to the previous model.

TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS

Infotainment systems

Like the seventh-generation Golf, the Golf Estate is equipped with new radio and radio/navigation systems with completely new designs.  All systems have a colour touchscreen as standard, which measures 6.5 inches; there is also an optional eight-inch version.

For the first time, all displays have proximity sensors so as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode.  The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to just the essentials.  In the operating mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated by touch are highlighted to simplify intuitive operation.  On the eight-inch Discover Navigation Pro system, the displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand.

In designing the new generation of devices, Volkswagen’s primary goal was to integrate the most advanced infotainment applications into the Golf, which should be consistently easy to use – despite all of the complexity of today’s systems – i.e. they should be totally intuitive and therefore safe to use while driving.

Discover Navigation system

This is standard on Match Edition and above, and is optional on S and BlueMotion. With this sophisticated system, there are four buttons to the left and four to the right of the touchscreen.  It works in conjunction with the following features:

  • DAB digital radio
  • Bluetooth telephone connection for compatible units
  • dash-mounted single CD player
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface); SD card reader; AUX-in socket
  • music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • title and cover art display
  • eight speakers, front and rear
  • 4 x 20 watt output
  • car menu
  • Eco function (with tips for economical driving)
  • preloaded European navigation data
  • 2D / 2.5D map view
  • choice of route options
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones
  • three years of navigation updates

Discover Navigation Pro system

This is an optional upgrade to the infotainment system. Customers of Match Edition models and above can choose to upgrade to Discover Navigation Pro. In this case the Golf is equipped with an eight-inch colour touchscreen and has the following:

  • voice activated control system for navigation, CD and radio functions
  • 64 GB solid state hard drive
  • preloaded European navigation data; 3D map view
  • choice of route options, and dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones
  • additional SD card reader and photo display

Advanced telephone connection

This is optional on Match Edition and above. It not only adds a USB socket in the central under-armrest storage box for mobile phone charging, but also an inductive link to the vehicle’s external aerial, making for better phone reception and reducing the drain on the phone’s battery.

Dynaudio Excite soundpack (optional on Match Edition and above)

This tailored sound system includes a 10-channel digital amplifier, 400-Watt output and eight speakers.  A boot-mounted subwoofer sits within the spare wheel.

TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS AND FEATURES

In addition to the introduction of the MQB platform, the reductions in weight and consequent cuts in fuel consumption and emissions, the seventh-generation Golf and its Estate sibling are also significant thanks to their enhanced value proposition.  While this is true in the recommended retail price, it is also worth noting how much technology has been added to the new cars.  Features which were previously the reserve of cars in the premium and luxury segment are now standard on many Golfs, adding significantly to the car’s overall safety and comfort credentials (see also Infotainment section).

ABS, ESC and XDS (standard on all Golfs)

The previous generation Golf benefited from standard ABS and ESC plus seven airbags, while the latest generation also gains XDS electronic differential lock (only on GTI and GTD in the previous generation) across the range for improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESC system.

The benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESC sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion.

XDS also compensates for the understeer which is typical of front-wheel drive cars, meaning the Golf’s driving characteristics are significantly more precise and neutral, leading to greater driving enjoyment.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (standard on all Golfs)

An innovative feature is the Golf Estate’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.  Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision. 

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Misfuel prevention device (standard on all diesel models)

On vehicles with a diesel engine, there is an insert with a mechanically locking flap on the filler neck for the fuel tank.  The flap prevents a fuel nozzle from being inserted which is not suitable for diesel fuel (in other words a petrol fuel nozzle) thus protecting the vehicle from being filled with the wrong type of fuel.

Driver Alert system (optional on S and BlueMotion, standard on all other models)

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.

The Golf Estate’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated. 

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection (standard on Match Edition and above)

The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg. 

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist (standard on Match Edition and above)

Like the PreCrash system, Automatic Cruise Control (ACC) has until now been the preserve of cars in higher segments.  Now standard from Match Edition upwards in the Golf and Golf Estate, the system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ACC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG.  In vehicles with DSG, ACC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation.  It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic.  ACC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic.  The system dynamics can by individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector (see next page for details).

Front Assist (standard on Match Edition and above)

Front Assist works like ACC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead.  Even with ACC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings.  If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision.  Should the driver, meanwhile, not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised.  The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City Emergency Braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking (standard on Match Edition and above)

The City Emergency Braking function, first seen on the up! model and now standard on Golf and Golf Estate from Match Edition upwards is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor.  It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph).  If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist.  If the driver fails to intervene, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact.  In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist (optional on Match Edition and above)

The Golf Estate’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane.  The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines).  If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

Automatic Range Adjustment (optional on Alltrack, GTD and R)

Headlights equipped with Automatic Range Adjustment analyse both the traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Driver profile selection (standard on GT and above)

A driver profile selection which was introduced on the Golf hatchback is also offered on the Golf Estate, giving customers up to five different programmes to allow them to match their car settings to their desired driving style.  The standard available programmes are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.

Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.  A fifth profile – Comfort – is also offered on cars which have optional Dynamic Chassis Control (see Running Gear section for details).

Park Assist (optional on all models)

The latest version of the parking assistance system, Park Assist 2.0, facilitates not only assisted parallel parking, but also reverse parking at right angles to the road.  In addition, Park Assist 2.0 is also equipped with a braking and parking space exit function.

The system can be activated at speeds of up to 40 km/h (approx. 25 mph) by pressing a button on the centre console.  Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked.  If, using the ultrasound sensors, Park Assist detects a large enough parking space (a manoeuvring distance of 40 cm, front and 40 cm, rear, is sufficient), the assisted parking can begin: having put the vehicle into reverse, all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake.  The car takes care of the steering.  Acoustic signals and visual information on the multifunction display assist the driver.  If a collision is looming, the system can also actively apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof (optional on Match Edition and above)

For the first time on the Golf Estate a transparent panoramic sunroof is available, which occupies the maximum roof area possible, offers optimal ventilation and opening functions, does not reduce the car’s torsional rigidity and has the visual effect of lengthening the windscreen from the outside.  What is referred to as the light transparency area – the amount of light coming into the car when the roof is closed – was enlarged by 33 per cent compared to a normal tilt/slide sunroof.  The tinted, heat-insulating glass, however, reflects away 99 per cent of UV radiation, 92 per cent of heat radiation and 90 per cent of light.

Keyless entry and start (optional on S, Match Edition, GT, Alltrack and R, standard on GTD)

The latest generation Golf Estate is available with the option on all models of a Keyless entry and start system.  When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle.  The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation.  The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the car.  If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button.  Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car.  For example, to protect children, the Golf Estate cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle.  It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control.  From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.  The Golf Estate can also be unlocked and locked by remote control.

ENGINES

Powering the Golf Estate is a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre 115 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS unit and a 2.0-litre TSI with 300 PS.  The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 110 PS, a 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS powerplant and a 2.0-litre TDI 184 PS.

Petrol engines

The majority of petrol units are from the EA211 series, the new family of engines designed for the MQB platform.  All the EA211 series engines in the Golf and Estate are class-leading in terms of their energy efficiency, lightweight design and high torque performance.  Fuel consumption and CO? emissions values were reduced by eight to ten per cent, in part due to reduced internal friction, lower weight and optimised thermal management; in conjunction with the innovative new cylinder deactivation system (ACT), the savings potential can be as much as 23 per cent.

The EA211 engines are also characterised by a new mounting position.  Whereas the EA111 series was mounted with a forward tilt and the ‘hot’ exhaust side at the front, with the EA211, the cylinder head has been rotated and the engines are now tilted towards the firewall (bulkhead between engine compartment and passenger compartment), like the diesel engines.  With the diesel (EA288) and petrol engines now sharing an identical inclination angle of 12 degrees, Volkswagen can now standardise the exhaust, driveshafts and gearbox mounting position.

The EA211 is a complete redesign; only the cylinder spacing of 82 mm was adopted from Volkswagen’s successful EA111 engine series.  The new unit is also particularly compact and this is reflected in its mounting length, which has been shortened by 50 mm; as a result the front axle could be shifted forward, resulting in more interior passenger space.

Thanks to an ultra-rigid crankcase made of die-cast aluminium, the new petrol engines are especially lightweight at 97 kg (1.2 TSI) and 104 kg (1.4 TSI); on the 1.4-litre TSI, the weight advantage compared to the grey cast iron counterpart from the EA111 series is as much as 22 kg.  This approach to lightweight design extends to the smallest of details: engine developers reduced the main bearing diameter of the crankshaft on the 1.4-litre TSI from 54 to 48 mm; the crankshaft itself was lightened by 20 per cent, while the weight of the connecting rods was reduced by an impressive 30 per cent.  The gudgeon pins are bored hollow, and the aluminium pistons (now with flat piston crowns) have also been weight optimised.

By fully integrating the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head, the engine heats up quickly from a cold start, while simultaneously supplying ample heat to the car’s climate control system to warm up the interior.  At high loads, on the other hand, the exhaust gas is more effectively cooled by the coolant, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent.

To optimise thermal management, Volkswagen engineers designed the EA211 with a dual-loop cooling system.  The base engine is cooled by a high-temperature loop with a mechanically driven coolant pump, while a low-temperature loop, powered by an electric pump, circulates coolant to the intercooler and turbocharger housing as needed.  Passenger compartment heating comes from the cylinder head circulation loop, so that, like the engine, it warms up quickly.

Due to innovative engineering of the exhaust manifold, Volkswagen was able to use a very narrow single-scroll compressor in the turbocharger, resulting in weight reduction for the cylinder head turbocharger component group.  On the EA211, the intercooler is integrated in the induction pipe which is made of injection-moulded plastic, leading to significantly accelerated pressure build-up and hence dynamic performance in downsized engines.

In the seventh-generation Golf and hence the Estate, Volkswagen has again significantly reduced internal friction in a number of ways.  The overhead camshafts (DOHC) are not chain driven, but employ a single stage, low-friction toothed belt design, a 20 mm wide belt and load-reducing profiled belt wheels.  Thanks to its high-end material specification, this toothed belt’s service life spans the life of the vehicle.  Actuation of the valve gear is through roller cam followers, and an anti-friction bearing for the highly loaded first camshaft bearing, also lead to reduced friction resistances.

To ensure that the engine takes up as little mounting space as possible, ancillary components such as the water pump, air conditioning compressor and alternator are screwed directly to the engine and the oil sump without additional brackets, and they are driven by a single-track toothed belt with a fixed tension roller.

To reduce emissions and fuel consumption further, and to improve torque in the lower rev range, the intake camshaft on all EA211 engines can be varied over a range of 50 degrees crankshaft angle.  On the 140 PS, the exhaust camshaft is variable as well.  It sets the desired spread of control times and thereby allows even more spontaneous response from low revs; at the same time, torque is improved at high engine speeds.

The maximum fuel injection pressure on the EA211 engines was increased to 200 bar.  State-of-the-art five-hole injection nozzles deliver up to three individual injections to each of the cylinders very precisely via a stainless steel distributor bar.  In designing the combustion chamber, Volkswagen also paid particular attention to achieving minimal wetting of the combustion chamber walls with fuel and optimised flame propagation.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS

The entry-level engine in the Golf Estate is a turbocharged, direct injection TSI engine producing 85 PS from 4,300 to 5,300 rpm, with torque of 160 Nm (118 lbs ft) from 1,400 to 3,500 rpm.  Thanks to refinement and weight saving, fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced.

This Golf Estate, with a standard five-speed manual gearbox, has a zero to 62 mph time of 12.6 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph.  Combined economy is 56.5 mpg with CO? emissions of 115 g/km.

1.0-litre TSI, 999 cc, 16-valve 3-cyl, 115 PS

Moving up the range this 1.0-litre turbocharged Golf Estate produces 115 PS from 5,000 to 5,500 rpm, 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) of torque between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm and is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  Standstill to 62 mph takes 10.1 seconds with a top speed of 127 mph.  Yet performance does not come at the expense of economy: combined fuel consumption is 65.7 mpg with CO? emissions of 99 g/km.

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 125 PS

For those looking for additional power but still combined with impressive economy the Golf Estate is also available with a turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) from 1,400 rpm to 4,000 rpm.  This engine, which is offered with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, enables a top speed of 127 mph and 0 to 62 mph in 9.5 seconds.  Economy is still high on the agenda with a combined consumption of 53.3 mpg (55.4 DSG) and CO? output of 123 g/km (118 DSG).

1.4-litre TSI, 1395 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

Moving up the line-up, the petrol-powered Golf Estate GT is powered by this 1.4-litre TSI which produces 150 PS from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,500 to 3,500 rpm.

Available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, this engine gives the Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 135 mph.  Combined consumption is 53.3 mpg (56.5 DSG) with carbon dioxide emissions of just 123 g/km (118 DSG).

2.0-litre TSI, 1984cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 300 PS

The R is only available in 4MOTION with DSG configuration. It is powered by a 2.0-litre TSI that produces 300 PS. 0 to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds and the top speed is limited to 155 mph. Combined consumption is 40.4 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are 162 g/km.

Diesel engines

Volkswagen introduced a new series of diesel engines – called EA288 – for the Golf alongside the new petrol line-up.  Within this series which is of course transferred to the Estate bodystyle, Volkswagen is taking its TDI technology, which has been developed over the years, to a new level of sustainability, with reductions in consumption across the range.

As with the new petrol engines (EA211), the only dimension of the Golf’s new four-cylinder diesels that has been carried over from the previous generation is the cylinder spacing.  Many components were designed to be modular within the new modular diesel component system (MDB).  These include emissions-relevant components such as the fuel injection system, turbocharger and intercooler within the induction manifold module.  In addition, a sophisticated exhaust gas recirculation system is used (with a cooled low-pressure AGR), while the layout of emissions control components sees them located closer to the engine.  To fulfil various emissions standards worldwide, an oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter and NOx storage catalytic converter are all implemented in the Golf.

Various other design modifications optimise fuel economy and comfort significantly as well.  Volkswagen has tuned all sub-assemblies of the new TDI engine for minimal internal friction.  These elements include piston rings with less pre-tension and the use of low-friction bearings for the camshaft (drive-side) and − in the 2.0-litre TDI − for the two balancer shafts.  In the oil circulation loop, energy usage was optimised by an oil pump with volumetric flow control.

During the TDI’s warm-up phase, an innovative thermal management system utilises separate cooling circulation loops for the cylinder head and the cylinder block as well as a deactivatable water pump, meaning operating temperatures are reached considerably faster.  One additional benefit of this is that the interior of the Golf also gets warmer more quickly in the winter.  Another independently controlled cooling loop enables on-demand control of inlet air temperature with additional emissions control benefits.

The new diesels not only have very low emissions, high fuel-efficiency and torque, but they also run very smoothly for optimum refinement.  This is achieved in a number of ways, for example, the 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS employs two low-friction bearings in its balancer shafts to eliminate free out of balance forces that are a characteristic of any piston engine systems.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS

The Golf Estate’s entry-level diesel is a 1.6-litre common rail TDI producing 90 PS at 2,750 rpm, and 230 Nm (170 lbs ft) of torque at 1,400 rpm.  It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox and in S trim alone, it gives this Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 12.9 seconds and a top speed of 116 mph.  Fuel consumption is 72.4 mpg on the combined cycle and carbon dioxide is 102 g/km.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS

The 1.6-litre common rail TDI is also available with a more powerful output of 110 PS between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 3,000.  Available with a choice of five-speed manual or, in Match Edition guise, optional seven-speed DSG gearbox, it gives this Golf Estate a 0 to 62 mph time of 11.0 seconds and a top speed of 122 mph.  Frugality comes as standard: on the combined cycle it returns 72.4 mpg (70.6 DSG) while emitting 102 g/km of CO? (104 DSG).

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS (Golf Estate BlueMotion)

The 1.6-litre common rail TDI used in the Golf Estate BlueMotion produces 110 PS between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm.  Performance and emissions data for this car will be announced closer to launch, however, it is expected to return 80.7 mpg while emitting just 92 g/km of CO?.

Various measures such as reduced internal friction, an innovative thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation, cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold result in successfully reducing fuel consumption and emissions.  To reduce emissions values further, Volkswagen has also implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

This 2.0-litre engine produces 150 PS (10 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous generation) from 3,500 to 4,000, and 340 Nm (236 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,750 up to 3,000 rpm.  Customers choosing this engine can opt for a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.  Performance is impressive but does not come at the expense of economy.  The Golf Estate’s 2.0-litre TDI completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.9 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 135 mph (134 DSG).  Combined economy is 65.7 mpg (62.8 DSG) with a carbon dioxide output of 110 g/km (119 DSG).

BlueMotion Technology

For the past few years, Volkswagen has been producing and developing a range of vehicles that strikes a balance between the highly focused BlueMotion vehicles and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying the ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badge, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

All new Golf and Golf Estate models are equipped with ‘BlueMotion Technology’ modifications and feature a multifunction computer which includes visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption, as well as Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems. 

The Golf Estate’s automatic Stop/Start system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.  With the DSG gearbox, the Stop/Start system is activated through the brake pedal.

A battery regeneration system helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for rapid recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

BlueMotion

The Golf Estate BlueMotion is the most efficient Golf Estate available.  On top of the BlueMotion Technology modifications that are standard on all Golfs, the BlueMotion features aerodynamic modifications including sports suspension that is lowered by 10 mm, a modified radiator grille and front air intake, and unique spoilers on the roof and on the rear of the C-pillars.

Eco mode: driver profile selection

Golf Estate models have a standard driver profile selection facility (see Technology highlights section for details) which allows the drive to choose an operating mode which suits their style and journey.  One of the available modes is ‘Eco’, whereby the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.  Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring better utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.

Gearboxes

As detailed above, most of the Golf Estate’s engines can be paired with a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).  This is either a six- or seven-speed DSG, depending on maximum engine torque, and both are designed to offer the best combination of fuel-efficiency and shifting dynamics.  In addition to the number of gears, the six- and seven- speed ’boxes differ in their clutch types.  While two dry clutches are used in the seven-speed DSG, the six-speed DSG has a dual clutch that runs in an oil bath. 

First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.  The six-speed, DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Theoretically, it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.

Seven-speed DSG

This gearbox uses a pair of dry clutches to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel, the gearbox is remarkably compact.

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and refinement levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the new seven-speed system.

SERVICING

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf Estate.  They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months.

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNNING GEAR

In developing the running gear for the seventh generation Golf, engineers set out to exploit the advantages of the new Modular Transverse Matrix (or MQB platform – see separate section for full details), and certain specific proven components were further advanced to perfect the car’s ride and comfort properties.  At the same time, weight reduction was defined as a clear priority, in order to maximise the reductions in fuel consumption and enhance ride comfort. 

In order to allow the greatest possible weight reduction, a new modular lightweight rear suspension system was developed for Golf models with under 122 PS, which weighs just 38 kg.  For the more powerful versions, the further developed modular performance suspension was used, weighing 49 kg.  The Golf Estate follows this pattern.

Front axle

At the front the Golf uses a strut-type suspension system (spring struts) with lower wishbones that were newly developed for optimal handling and steering properties.  All components were reworked for improved functionality as well as reduced weight and costs.  The result, despite not using aluminium components, was a weight saving of 1.6 kg, made possible, for example, by the use of high-strength steel in the transverse links and an innovative ‘bionic’ (ie designed based on features from the natural world) design approach to the pivot bearings.  A centrally positioned front subframe − designed for maximum rigidity − handles loads from the engine mountings and steering as well as front suspension loads.

The now universally employed tubular anti-roll bar has a stiffness that has been adapted to the requirements of different running gear layouts.  Its rubber bearings are vulcanised directly into the painted anti-roll tube to ensure the best acoustic properties.  

Modular lightweight rear suspension

The new modular lightweight rear suspension system consists of a transverse torsion beam that is open at the bottom, into which an insert plate is welded at the outer ends.  Different torsional stiffness rates for different versions are attained by different lengths of the insert plates.  This yields a considerable weight saving compared to a welded tubular anti-roll bar.  The use of a transverse profile that is open at the bottom also enables optimal roll/steer behaviour and high transverse rigidity.  By using high-strength steels and innovative design methods, Volkswagen succeeded in significantly increasing rigidity compared with previous suspensions systems of this construction type.  Despite this, its weight was reduced.

Modular performance rear suspension

The multi-link rear suspension of the seventh generation Golf was further developed to give clear improvements in kinematics, acoustics, weight and modularity.  However, nothing has changed with regard to its fundamental approach of consistently separating longitudinal and transverse rigidities.  The low longitudinal rigidity has been preserved by the soft axle control of the trailing link; this was a necessary precondition for further improving ride comfort.

Furthermore, compared with the previous generation, Volkswagen successfully improved the transverse rigidity of the modular performance suspension, which is important for steering behaviour, by a new tie rod bearing tuning.  Tracking and camber values are individually tuned by screws on the spring link and at the upper transverse link according to requirement for each vehicle type.  Key design changes to the rear suspension are the connections of the tubular antiroll bar and the suspension damper, which are now made at the spring link.  This reduces forces within the suspension, while in addition the suspension was made 4.0 kg or eight per cent (depending on model) lighter thanks to structural optimisations of many components and the use of high-strength steels.

Electro-mechanical power steering

The Golf Estate, like the Golf, uses the latest generation electro-mechanical power steering system which is able to vary the feel at the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.

Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, such as crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Braking system

The Golf Estate features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) as standard across the range.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, with solid discs on the rear axle. 

Electronic Stability Control – ESC incorporating XDS

The latest-generation ESC system developed for the new Golf has a range of features designed to have a direct and positive effect on active safety.  All models are also fitted with XDS electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling (see Technical highlights section for details on XDS).

Essentially, ESC is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESC reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started.

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESC can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.

The latest generation of ESC fitted to the Golf and Golf Estate has a finer response, counter-steering recommendation and offers trailer stabilisation.  This function can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer when a Volkswagen-approved towbar is fitted.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESC purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors.

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESC control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle/trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

Hydraulic Brake Assist

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, the latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) (optional on Match Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTD and R)

Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce ride and handling characteristics that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  Enter DCC.

With this system, the suspension’s damping characteristics can be controlled at the touch of a button, via the driver profile selection system.

DCC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf Estate – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the damping is hardened.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving. 

As well as altering the damping characteristics, when ‘Sport’ mode is selected on the Golf Estate’s driver profile selection system, the throttle responses are sharpened, and the steering assistance also reduced.  In ‘Comfort’ mode, the steering assistance is increased.  Using the ‘Individual’ mode, the damping, steering and throttle responses can all be controlled individually.  It is therefore possible, for example, to have the steering set to ‘Normal’, the throttle to ‘Sport’, and the damping to ‘Comfort’.

For the latest-generation Golf, the latest generation of DCC has been employed.  Cars fitted with DCC have a 10 mm lower ride height, as well as their own specific spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings.  For the new generation certain parameters were also modified: designs of the wheel displacement sensors were adapted and weight optimised; the body accelerometers were converted from three analogue lines to two digital lines; and the DCC control unit was redesigned in its hardware configuration, components and layout.  A new generation of processors operating at 180 MHz assures control with one-millisecond cycles.

Electronic parking brake with auto hold function

All new Golf models including the Estate have an electronic parking brake which is operated via a switch between the front seats, as opposed to the ‘pull up’ handle from the previous generation.  This also incorporates a standard auto hold function.  This is activated via a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic.  In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

If auto hold has been switched on when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched on the next time the vehicle is started.  Likewise if auto hold has been switched off when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched off the next time the vehicle is started.

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Golf Estate is available with eight standard trim levels: S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion, GT, Alltrack and GTD.  All are well-equipped and offer more value than the previous generation models they replace.  Highlights of each trim level are shown below.  For full details please refer to the latest price list.

S trim

S 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS BMT

S 1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT (Manual or DSG automatic)

S 1.6-litre TDI 90 PS BMT

S 1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT

All the above models have the following standard features:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control)
  • XDS electronic differential lock
  • Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch
  • curtain airbag system, for front and rear passengers
  • front seat side impact airbags
  • driver’s knee airbag
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints
  • warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • automatic door locking, speed related, can be switched off
  • remote central locking with two folding keys
  • electronic parking brake with auto hold function
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • driver’s and front passenger’s seat height adjustment
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40
  • variable boot floor, height adjustable and removable
  • extending luggage compartment cover with convenience opening (stowable when not in use)
  • multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for improved fuel consumption
  • misfuel prevention device (for diesel models)
  • Bluetooth connection for compatible telephones
  • Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, DAB radio
  • electric windows‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • illuminated, cooled and lockable glovebox
  • four load lashing points in luggage compartment
  • body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • battery regeneration and Stop/Start system
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • 6J x 15-inch steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres
  • roof rails

Match Edition trim

Match Edition 1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT (Manual or DSG)

Match Edition 1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT (Manual or DSG)

Match Edition 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT (Manual or DSG)

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match Edition gains the following over S:

  • Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen
  • Driver Alert system
  • PreCrash preventive occupant protection
  • ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) including Front Assist, radar sensor controlled distance monitoring system, City Emergency Braking system, cruise control and speed limiter
  • black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts
  • luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision
  • driver’s and front passenger’s under seat drawers
  • leather-trimmed three spoke multifunction steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • rear centre armrest with cupholders
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • alarm with interior protection
  • automatic coming and leaving home lighting function, plus dusk sensor and automatic driving lights
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror
  • 6½J x 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

BlueMotion

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BlueMotion

In addition to or different to the S, BlueMotion adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 6J x 15-inch ‘Lyon’ with 195/65 R15 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • Sports suspension, lowered by approx. 10 mm
  • Tyre repair kit (in lieu of steel space saver spare wheel)
  • Aerodynamic black front air intake and radiator grille
  • Black radiator grille with chrome trimmed insert
  • Unique ‘BlueMotion’ badging
  • Uniquely shaped D-pillar spoiler

Match BlueMotion Edition trim

In addition to or different to the Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition adds the following:

  • Sports suspension, lowered by approx. 10 mm
  • Tyre repair kit (in lieu of steel space saver spare wheel)
  • Aerodynamic black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts
  • Unique ‘BluMotion’ badging
  • Uniquely shaped D-pillar spoiler

GT

In addition to or different to the Match Edition, GT adds the following:

  • Allow wheels, four 7J x 17-inch ‘Dijon’ with 225/45 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • Sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm
  • Black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts and roundel surround
  • ‘Cherry red’ rear light clusters
  • Chrome trimmed front air intake surround
  • Rear tinted glass from B pillar backwards, approx. 65 per cent tinted
  • Roof rails, silver anodised
  • Ambient lighting, lights in front door armrests, light strips below trim in front doors
  • Front footwell illumination
  • Carpet mats, front and rear
  • Chrome-plated electric mirror adjustment switch surround
  • ‘Cyclone’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • Reading lights, front and rear incorporating LED technology
  • Front sports seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • Steering wheel includes paddle-shift (DSG only)
  • Driver profile selection (Eco, Normal, Sport or Individual)

Alltrack

In addition to or different to the GT, Alltrack adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 6.5J x 17-inch ‘Valley’ with 205/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheelbolts
  • Increased ground clearance, raised by approx. 15 mm (in lieu of sports suspension)
  • Off-road suspension
  • ‘Alltrack’ styling pack – uniquely shaped off-road front and rear bumpers
  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and LED daytime running lights
  • Matt-chrome effect door mirrors and side sill protection
  • Matt-chrome effect underbody protection, front and rear
  • Unique ‘Alltrack’ badging
  • Wheel arch protection, anthracite
  • ABSPlus (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution)
  • Climate control – 2Zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation
  • Brushed stainless steel door sill protectors with unique ‘Alltrack’ logo
  • Brushed stainless steel pedals
  • Permanent four wheel drive – 4MOTION
  • Off-road setting, including hill descent assist

GTD

In addition to or different to the GT, GTD adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 7.5 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • ‘GTD’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm
  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam, with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and LED daytime running lights
  • Extended sill strips, flared
  • Front fog lights
  • ‘Grey’ brake calipers
  • ‘GTD’ styling pack – uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers and ‘Black’ honeycomb front air intake
  • Headlight washers
  • Honeycomb radiator grille
  • Rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with chrome twin exhaust tailpipe
  • ‘Smoked’ rear light clusters
  • Unique ‘GTD’ badging
  • Black rooflining interior
  • ‘Cyclone’ decorative inserts in dash, centre console and door panels
  • Illuminated door sill proectors
  • Unique ‘GTD’ instrument cluster
  • Stianless steel pedals
  • Anti-tramp function
  • Unique ‘GTD’ design key
  • XDSPlus electornic differential lock
  • Climate control – 2Zone electornic air conditioning
  • Keyless entry and keyless start (not on R models)

R

In addition to or different to the GTD, R adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 7.5J 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • ‘R’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm
  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and unique double U-shaped LED daytime running lights
  • ‘Black’ brake calipers
  • Matt-chrome effect door mirrors
  • ‘R’ styling pack – uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers and side sills
  • Rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with twin oval chrome exhaust tailpipes
  • Unique ‘R’ badging
  • ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • ‘Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in centre console
  • Leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘R’ logo and gear knob gaiter
  • Unique ‘R’ instrument cluster
  • Composition Media system
  • Blue ambient lighting
  • Four wheel drive – 4MOTION
  • Unique ‘R’ design key

SAFETY

As well as making this latest generation the most technically advanced Golf, designers and developers were also set the task of making this the safest Golf yet – quite a challenge given the accompanying weight reduction targets.  As in all other areas, the Golf Estate follows the template of its hatchback sibling.

Earlier sections of this description (Design and Technology highlights) lay out in detail the measures that were taken to ensure weight reduction did not result in any loss of safety, as well as the full remit of passive and active safety features which are fitted.

Airbag system

Naturally the latest generation Golf has, like its predecessor, seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver’s side.  The special location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle in the resulting, gently introduced upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System: WOKS

Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  The latest generation of WOKS is fitted as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Seatbelt fastening detection for the rear

Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during driving.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx. 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled occupant); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results

The Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency, and received a top five-star rating.  It also won the award for innovations in the area of integral safety at the Euro NCAP Advanced Awards.  Along with Lane Assist and Front Assist, the PreCrash preventive occupant protection and the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System were recognised as pioneering safety innovations.  This is further confirmation of the excellent competitive position of the Golf.

The new Golf was awarded top ratings for its occupant protection.  Evaluated here were frontal and side impact tests, a pole side impact test and what is known as the whiplash test, in which loads to the spine are measured in a rear end collision.  Not only adults, but children too can feel safe in the new Golf.  This was verified in tests, some of which utilised dummies sized to represent 18-month-old and three-year-old children.  The new Golf also impressed testers with its pedestrian protection capabilities.  The new Golf Estate has yet to be tested but is expected to achieve impressive results.

Line up with insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the Golf Estate secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers), all of which are lower than those achieved by the previous generation model:

S

1.2-litre TSI 85 PS BMT           7E

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT         16E, 14E

1.6-litre TDI 90 PS BMT           10E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT        13E, 11E

 

BlueMotion

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BM          15E

 

Match Edition

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT         13E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT        13E, 11E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT        17E

 

Match  BlueMotion Edition

1.0-litre TSI 115 PS BM           13E

 

GT

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS BMT         15E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT        17E

 

Alltrack

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT        10E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT        17E

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS BMT        20E

 

GTD

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS BMT        26E

 

R

2.0-litre TSI 300 PS BMT         34E

These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the so-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

WARRANTIES

The Golf Estate has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer-operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

JB/0716/

On 4 September 2012, 38 years after the original model redefined the small family car, the all-new Golf was unveiled in Berlin ahead of its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month. 

Few cars have a history like that of the Volkswagen Golf, yet with global sales having reached 30 million in June 2013, and in its seventh generation, the latest Golf continues to offer buyers a car which sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency.

Despite offering more room for passengers and more advanced technological features than previous versions, new production techniques contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaced, helping to make it up to 23 per cent more efficient than before.  On top of this, the latest Golf is also safer than ever, thanks not just to a stronger body structure (which is also 23 kg lighter) but also to a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems.

The Golf Mk VII is built on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, also known as Modular Transverse Matrix.  This standardises many vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes, and allows access to new powertrains and technologies, including innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for vehicles in higher segments.

Based on this platform and built alongside its hatchback sibling is the Golf Estate.  This car was revealed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013 and went on sale in the UK in July that year with first deliveries to customers following in October.  More than ever the Estate mirrors the hatch in terms of engines and specification; it is, quite simply, a Golf with 1,620 litres of bootspace.

At 4,562 mm, the Golf Estate Mk VII is 28 mm longer than its predecessor (307 mm longer than the Golf hatchback) with a 57 mm longer wheelbase that now measures 2,635 mm.  It is also wider than its predecessor at 1,799 mm, but 23 mm lower at 1,481 mm, giving it a lower and more dynamic appearance. Visually it is every inch a Golf, yet was designed from the outset to be an independent model, rather than a modified hatchback.  This means a distinctive side profile with the Golf’s characteristic C-pillar transferred to the D-pillar on the estate, and a ‘third’ side window part of the integral design.

At the ‘business’ end of the estate, bootspace has been expanded from the 505 litres of its predecessor to 605 litres (loaded up to the back seat backrest).  Loaded up to the front seat backrests and under the roof, the Golf Estate offers a cargo volume of no less than 1,620 litres (versus the 1,495 litres of the Golf Estate Mk VI).

Standard features include a multi-level cargo floor, which makes a flat load area, and offers somewhere to store items out of sight, a roller-blind loadspace cover which can be stored under the boot floor) with net partition, and an automatic post-collision braking system.

Eight specification levels are available which mirror those of the Golf hatchback: S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTD and R.  This is the first time that a BlueMotion model has been offered in the Golf Estate range.

Powering the Golf Estate is a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre TSI 115 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS and a 2.0-litre TSI unit with 300 PS.  The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 110 PS, and a 2.0-litre TDI with 150 or 184 PS. 

In addition, for the first time the Golf Estate is available as a ‘full’ BlueMotion economy model; at the heart of this version  is a 1.6-litre diesel engine producing 110 PS and a six-speed manual gearbox.  It achieves a combined fuel consumption of 80.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of just 92 g/km.

Summary

  • Golf Estate Mk VII made debut at Geneva Motor Show in March 2013; on sale in UK in July 2013 with deliveries following in October
  • The first Golf Estate made its debut 20 years ago
  • Available in S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTD and R trim levels, as on hatch.  Standard extra equipment on all Golf Estates includes roof rails (black on S and Match Edition, anodised silver on GT), electric rear windows on all models and remote rear-seat backrest release in the boot
  • Five petrol engines are available: are a 1.0-litre TSI 115 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS and a 2.0-litre TSI unit with 300 PS, all with either six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearboxes
  • The four diesel engines are a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 110 PS and a 2.0-litre TDI with 150 or 184 PS
  • Like the Golf hatchback, the Golf Estate is based on the MQB platform (both have the same wheelbase).  This innovative platform uses new production techniques which help make the latest model up to 105 kg lighter than its predecessor, and also allows greater access to new technologies (for safety, comfort and convenience)
  • The Golf Estate’s loadspace volume has been expanded from the 505 litres of its predecessor to 605 litres (loaded up to the back seat backrest).  Loaded up to the front seat backrests and under the roof, the new Golf Estate offers a cargo volume of no less than 1,620 litres (versus the 1,495 litres of the Golf Estate Mk VI)
  • Standard features include a multi-level cargo floor (makes a flat load area, and offers somewhere to store items out of sight), a roller-blind loadspace cover (can be stored under boot floor) with net partition, and automatic post-collision braking system
  • UK Golf Estates (except BlueMotion) will come with a standard space-saver spare tyre
  • All Golf Mk VII models feature BlueMotion Technology – a Stop/Start system and battery regeneration – and for the first time the Golf Estate will also be available as a ‘full’ BlueMotion model (with other modifications including revised aerodynamics).  This is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine producing 110 PS and has a six-speed manual gearbox. Fuel consumption is 80.7 mpg (combined, with 92 g/km of CO?)
  • All models include Bluetooth, DAB digital radio with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth telephone connection, seven airbags, XDS electronic differential
  • Match Edition models gain Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, 16-inch alloy wheels, rear map-reading lights, automatic lights and wipers, a Driver Alert system, driver profile selection, Discover Navigation system, electrically folding door mirrors, parking sensors and the Pre-Crash preventive occupant protection system
  • GT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, Driver Profile selection and 65 per cent tinted rear windows, among other items
  • Best-seller is the 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS five-speed in Match Edition trim.  Insurance ratings are up to four groups lower than those for the previous Golf Estate
  • Loadspace is 1,055 mm long with rear seats up; 1,831 mm long with rear seats folded, and a minimum of 1,003 mm wide.  Maximum cargo weight is between 600 kg and 611 kg, depending on engine
  • Maximum towing weight (braked, 12 per cent incline) is between 1,100 kg and 1,600 kg, depending on engine

MARKET INFORMATION

The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased.  The Golf Estate follows this pattern, competing with lower medium estates.

Fleet customers account for around 66 per cent of Golf Estates sold, with 95 per cent diesel-powered.  The best-seller is the 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS five-speed in Match Edition trim, accounting for 43 per cent of total sales.

In 2015, 5,683 Golf Estates were sold in the UK.  This compares with 66,105 Golf (Mk VII) hatchbacks, 54,900 Polos, 16,904 up!s and 10,755 Passat Estates as the top-selling Volkswagen models.

PRODUCTION

The Golf Estate Mk VII, like the Golf hatch and unlike its predecessor which was produced in Mexico, is produced at Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg. A new state of the art production system with all-new assembly technologies are employed to combine strength, low weight, high quality and low production costs.

Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than six square kilometres.  The one square mile taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 46.6 miles long, while the plant’s rail network totals 43.5 miles, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex produces the Golf, Golf Estate, Touran and Tiguan.  About 815,000 vehicles rolled off the assembly lines in 2015.  Apart from car production, component manufacture is another cornerstone of activities at Wolfsburg. The components produced here, including drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, are used in vehicle production in Wolfsburg and at other Group plants.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants.  The aim was to reduce the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants by 25 per cent by 2018, but this was achieved by July 2016.  Specifically, this means 25 per cent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants. It was achieved via the introduction of 5000 individual measures, which will collectively save far more than 100 million euros.

In line with “Think Blue. Factory.” the Wolfsburg plant has introduced the Modular Production System (MPB), which will make production more environmentally compatible.  Another contribution to sustained energy saving is the Energy Path which features a large number of practical examples showing precisely where and how energy can be saved.  These include an electric vehicle recharging station with photovoltaic panels and wind turbine and the optimisation of heating pumps featuring demand-oriented control to save energy.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate power and heat not only for the Volkswagen plant, but also the city of Wolfsburg.  The two power stations have a power generating capacity of 442 megawatts.  This combined heat and power system converts 53.3 per cent of the heat in the fuel into usable energy against a maximum of 38 per cent for a normal coal-fired power station.  (Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change.)

Every day, around 150 double-deck rail cars and about 160 transporter trucks leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg with a cargo of some 2,600 vehicles.  Incoming deliveries from around 1,900 suppliers arrive at the plant in about 150 or so rail carriages and 700 trucks every day.

HISTORY

Wolfsburg is the location of the Volkswagen Group headquarters.  Volkswagen, founded in Berlin on May 28, 1937, commissioned a factory to be built at the site of what would eventually be the City of Wolfsburg.  The factory was built in 1938/39 as a facility for series production of the Volkswagen car designed by Ferdinand Porsche.  Realisation of this ‘People's Car’ vision was interrupted by World War II, which brought with it a demand for armament production and the Nazi regime’s policy of forced labour.

When the war ended, the British military, under whose trusteeship the factory was placed, commissioned the first production assignment for the factory.  Series production of the Volkswagen began in December 1945.  By 1955, the factory was celebrating completion of the one-millionth Beetle in Wolfsburg.  Until its production was discontinued in 1974, a total of 11,916,519 Beetles were built in Wolfsburg (NB. German production continued in Emden).

A short time later, production commenced on the Golf, a model which would eventually lend its name to a whole vehicle class and which launched a new era for the Volkswagen brand.  With the introduction of the Golf in 1974, Volkswagen put a small, high-speed diesel engine in a mid-class passenger car. In that same year, the one-millionth Golf left the assembly line in Wolfsburg.  This first Golf was replaced by its second-generation successor in 1983, the year which also saw commencement of operations in Hall 54, at the time the world's most highly advanced final assembly unit.

Only five years later, the ten-millionth Golf was built.  In the 1990s, the range of products was expanded to include models such as the Polo III, the Golf Mk IV and the Lupo.  In September 2008, Volkswagen presented its new sixth-generation Golf.  The 15 millionth Golf produced at the plant rolled off the assembly line in September 2010.  To date, about 43 million vehicles have been produced at the Volkswagen plant.

The MQB platform

The Golf was the first Volkswagen model to be based upon the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform (aka. Modular Transverse Matrix) and the Golf Estate has the same underpinnings.  The introduction of the MQB strategy represents a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines as it standardises many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offers access to new technologies.

The MQB extends from the A0 to the B segment.  At the Volkswagen brand, for example, it covers the following models: Polo, Beetle, Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, Touran, Sharan, Passat, and Volkswagen CC.  In the future, all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths.  It will also be possible to produce MQB models of different brands together.

One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines.  Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role here are the modular petrol engine system (MOB) with the new EA211 engine series (60 to 150 PS) – this range includes the world’s first four-cylinder production engine with cylinder deactivation (ACT) – and the modular diesel engine system (MDB) with the new EA288 engine series (90 to 190 PS).

By introducing these new engine series, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group will be reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice.  On the contrary; in addition to standardising conventional internal combustion engines, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to pure electric drive.  Volkswagen launched the latter within the MQB in 2014 with the e-Golf.

The MQB opens up new opportunities at the Volkswagen Group, allowing it to produce high-volume and niche models at the highest quality and extremely competitive costs over the long term and worldwide – vehicles that are individually tailored to the requirements of very diverse markets such as Europe, China and America, as well as emerging markets such as India.  In parallel, the Volkswagen Group will significantly reduce vehicle weights with the launch of the first MQB model series and will introduce 20 innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for higher vehicle segments, including for example a new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System which, after an initial collision, helps to reduce the intensity of secondary collisions by automatically initiated braking.  This system is standard on all new Golf models.

Within the Group, the MQB developed under the auspices of the Volkswagen brand is supplemented by the Modular Longitudinal System (MLB) from Audi, the Modular Standard System (MSB) with Porsche as the competence centre and finally the ‘New Small Family’ – the most compact vehicle model series with the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and ŠKODA Citigo.

DESIGN

Exterior

In developing the Golf hatchback, the teams led by head designers Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand) based their work on a great deal of creative freedom that allows many different approaches for a new design, while also focusing on the principles of what is now commonly termed, the Volkswagen ‘design DNA’.

Over recent years, Volkswagen designers have crystallised a selection of core elements from the brand’s history, which they term its ‘historic DNA’.  All current Volkswagen designs correspond to this DNA, with the cars conveying a modern, progressive impression, which nevertheless feels familiar.  This DNA includes elements such as the reduced form of the radiator grille crossbeam, the look of the side windows as well as the first Golf’s roofline and the Golf Mk VI’s typical C-pillars and wheel arches.

This DNA creates a unique, unmistakable language of product features and design.  The language of product features leaves a familiar feeling, and yet it creates a new sensation in the eyes of the observer. The features are visual characteristics such as functionality, robustness, honesty and reliability.  These characteristics are generated by a ‘language of form’ perfected over many years.

‘This language of form,’ explains Bischoff, ‘is logical, solid, product-focused, pure and precise, and it reflects the brand’s design DNA as a perfect model of creativity.  This makes the base architecture of the new Golf unmistakable.  It comes over as simple, strong, understandable, reliable and safe.  When one begins with the pure element of this clear base architecture, details such as the economical use and placement of sculptural lines seem more like fine nuances.  Another extremely important point is that the Golf’s proportions have changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever before.’

In designing the Estate, similar principles were followed.  The Estate is now longer, wider and lower, and the car’s sharper proportions give it a sportier and more distinctive look than the previous model.  The Golf Estate is 4,562 mm long (28 mm longer), 1,799 mm wide without door mirrors (18 mm wider) and 1,481 mm tall (23 mm lower) including the standard roof rails.  The wheelbase was also extended, now measuring 2,635 mm (gain of 57 mm).  These proportions form the basis for an extraordinarily impressive design; up to the termination of the front doors, it follows the precise lines of the Golf hatchback model.

However the estate car was a planned member of the model range right from the outset; that is, the Estate Mk VII was not derived from the five-door vehicle but was developed in tandem with it.  That is why the side profile of the latest Golf Estate shows particularly distinctive lines.  The designers transferred the form of the typical Golf C pillar to the D pillar of the Estate.  Visually, this has made the third side window part of the D pillar.  In contrast to the classic Golf, what is known as the character line is continued behind the rear wheelarches and extends over the vehicle’s entire rear section.  This design gives the rear body area a very muscular look.  The precise design of the window sill (upgraded by a chrome trim in some versions), and dynamism are highlighted by the long side window surfaces and the slightly rearward-sloping roof with roof spoiler.  As a result, the side profile of the Golf Estate looks more extended, exclusive, powerful and sporty.  The standard roof rails were integrated elegantly into the roofline.

The new two-part rear lights of the Golf Estate emphasise its family affiliation to the model range and the brand.  The half of the rear light that is integrated in the boot lid, however, is larger than in the hatchback version and forms a longer line that runs parallel to the shape of the lower tailgate area.  Also making a clear differentiation between the Golf Estate and the hatch, is the design of the tailgate and the middle of the bumper.  While the licence plate of the hatchback model is mounted in the bumper, the designers of the Golf Estate decided to integrate it in the boot lid again – similar to the previous estate car.

Along with its stylish aspects, the rear section is, as can be expected, a very practical area as well.  At just 630 mm high, the low sill makes light work of loading and unloading.  Take the tailgate opening, for example: measured plumb to vertical it is 675 mm tall; measured within the plane of the tailgate – i.e. diagonally – it is 762 mm.  The tailgate opening is also wide at 1,031 mm.

Interior

Naturally one of the most important elements of any estate car is the interior space and the latest Golf Estate doesn’t disappoint in this area.  Compared to the previous model its cargo capacity increased by a considerable 100 litres to 605 litres (loaded up to the rear seat backrests).  When the cargo space with its minimum width of 1,003 mm and minimum height of 936 mm is utilised up to the backrests of the front seats and to the roofline, it offers a capacity of 1,620 litres (125 litres more than in the previous model).  The cargo space length up to the rear bench is 1,055 mm; up to the backrests of the front seats it is 1,831 mm, representing an overall gain of 131 mm.  When the backrest of the front passenger’s seat is folded objects of up to 2,671 mm in length can be transported.  Optimal space utilisation of the cargo area corresponds to the basic dimensions of the tailgate opening (675 mm tall; 1,031 mm wide).

The cargo floor of the standard illuminated space can be varied in height or be removed entirely with just a few hand movements whenever maximum storage capacity is needed.  Also on board as standard equipment: a cargo space cover that is designed with a retractable shade that has an automatic two-stage roller mechanism.  When it is not being used, both it and the net partition can be stowed under the cargo floor.  Another newly designed and now more practical feature is the remote unlatching of the rear seat backrests and the backrest folding process itself.  The 60:40 split backrests can now be unlatched from their locked positions by easy to operate levers in the side wall of the cargo space; then the backrests automatically tip forward, and together with the cargo floor they form a nearly level cargo surface.  Colour-coded pins in the outer area of the rear bench seat make it easy to determine whether the backrests have been properly latched again.  Last but not least, four practical bag hooks have also been installed in the luggage compartment.

Inside the cabin, the Golf Estate benefits from the basic concept of the modular transverse matrix.  Although the car was lowered in height by 23 mm, interior height in front was improved by 9 mm to 981 mm and at the rear by 11 mm to 980 mm.  In addition, rear passengers now have 5 mm more legroom.  Another plus is elbow room at all five seats; in front, it has grown 23 mm to 1,469 mm, at the rear it’s up 4 mm to 1,441 mm.  Although the gains here are just millimetres, the interplay of all of these dimensions yields a perceptibly larger interior.

Like the Golf hatchback, the Golf Estate overcomes class boundaries in terms of its high-quality materials and the exclusive appearance of its design.  All features and specifications match those of the hatchback, meaning this is simply a Golf with a very large boot.

Seat comfort

For the Golf Mk VII, all five seating positions were redesigned.  The seats exhibit well-contoured body lines, optimal support for dynamic driving, and a high level of comfort on long trips.  These characteristics were achieved by designing the foam contours to fit body shapes properly and by the optimised springing and damping properties of the cold foam cushioning sections.  The Match Edition and GT are equipped with standard two-way lumbar support on the driver and front passenger seats.  The optional 12-way electric driver’s seat offers even easier individual adjustment.

Climate control

The Golf Estate is available as standard with a semi-automatic climate control system known as Climatic.  Using a simple dial control, this maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

While the system’s functions are essentially the same as for the previous generation Golf, the system itself was completely redesigned to reduce noise and weight while increasing efficiency.  Using simulations in the design phase, the cross sections of internal air conditioner components were modified to reduce net pressure losses.  This also resulted in a noise level reduction of up to five dB(A) and to a significantly reduced need for electrical blower power – and hence a gain in efficiency.  In addition, the use of a pulse-width modulated blower reduced current consumption by an average 4 Amperes.  A distinct improvement in acoustics was also realised compared to the previous model by specific fluid dynamic studies of the recirculation air flaps.  Partially reduced wall thicknesses of the polypropylene housing, a new fastening concept without complicated brackets, and the use of higher performance and weight-optimised heat exchangers led to significantly lower weight of the new air conditioner.

The packaging of the air conditioning system was also improved by such measures as a new filter layout above the blower in the air intake channel which makes it 140 mm narrower in this area.  What’s more this enabled a uniform layout of electrical system components between left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles, and created more space in the footwell area.  A high-performance heat exchanger, as well as reduction of heat losses in the refrigerant cycle, demand-based use of electrical auxiliary heating and an innovative thermal management system, have also had a beneficial effect on heating performance.  Compared to the previous model, the interior of the Golf heats to a pleasantly warm temperature 30 per cent faster.

In addition, the refrigerant cycle was completely redesigned for maximum efficiency gain, weight reduction and manufacturing optimisation.  The refrigerant cycle consists of a highly efficient compressor and condenser as well as an internal heat exchanger.  Design of the refrigerant lines was also perfected resulting in weight savings.  Another benefit of the efficient refrigerant cycle is that it cools the interior significantly faster.

Standard on Alltrack, GTD and R is a new fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control.  This regulates the Golf’s interior temperature fully automatically via 2Zone temperature control (separate for driver and front passenger), and its intensity can be selected as ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Intense’).  This feature is an option on S, BlueMotion, Match Edition and Match BlueMotion Edition.

The fully automatic control unit operates with various sensors for the sun, air quality and humidity.  The sun sensor detects the intensity and direction of solar radiation, and the system is controlled accordingly.  When the air quality sensor indicates that the concentration of nitrogen oxides or carbon monoxide outside has exceeded a defined limit, then the recirculation flap of the Climatronic system closes.  The addition of a humidity sensor on the Golf means it is also possible to control the heating function with recirculation mode, resulting in significantly quicker heating of the interior without fogging of the windows.

The humidity sensor is also used to run the air conditioning compressor at a lower power level as is needed, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption on hot days.  Here, the Climatronic automatically deactivates the compressor as soon as it is not needed to reach the desired temperature, or if there is no risk of window fogging and a preset limit for humidity is not exceeded in the interior.  For the first time, air conditioning components that are relevant to fuel economy are then only activated when needed and are controlled to optimise energy consumption in all operating modes.  The interplay of all components of the new air conditioning system leads to considerable fuel savings compared to the previous model.

TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS

Infotainment systems

Like the seventh-generation Golf, the Golf Estate is equipped with new radio and radio/navigation systems with completely new designs.  All systems have a colour touchscreen as standard, which measures 6.5 inches; there is also an optional eight-inch version.

For the first time, all displays have proximity sensors so as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode.  The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to just the essentials.  In the operating mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated by touch are highlighted to simplify intuitive operation.  On the eight-inch Discover Navigation Pro system, the displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand.

In designing the new generation of devices, Volkswagen’s primary goal was to integrate the most advanced infotainment applications into the Golf, which should be consistently easy to use – despite all of the complexity of today’s systems – i.e. they should be totally intuitive and therefore safe to use while driving.

Discover Navigation system

This is standard on Match Edition and above, and is optional on S and BlueMotion. With this sophisticated system, there are four buttons to the left and four to the right of the touchscreen.  It works in conjunction with the following features:

  • DAB digital radio
  • Bluetooth telephone connection for compatible units
  • dash-mounted single CD player
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface); SD card reader; AUX-in socket
  • music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • title and cover art display
  • eight speakers, front and rear
  • 4 x 20 watt output
  • car menu
  • Eco function (with tips for economical driving)
  • preloaded European navigation data
  • 2D / 2.5D map view
  • choice of route options
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones
  • three years of navigation updates

Discover Navigation Pro system

This is an optional upgrade to the infotainment system. Customers of Match Edition models and above can choose to upgrade to Discover Navigation Pro. In this case the Golf is equipped with an eight-inch colour touchscreen and has the following:

  • voice activated control system for navigation, CD and radio functions
  • 64 GB solid state hard drive
  • preloaded European navigation data; 3D map view
  • choice of route options, and dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones
  • additional SD card reader and photo display

Advanced telephone connection

This is optional on Match Edition and above. It not only adds a USB socket in the central under-armrest storage box for mobile phone charging, but also an inductive link to the vehicle’s external aerial, making for better phone reception and reducing the drain on the phone’s battery.

Dynaudio Excite soundpack (optional on Match Edition and above)

This tailored sound system includes a 10-channel digital amplifier, 400-Watt output and eight speakers.  A boot-mounted subwoofer sits within the spare wheel.

TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS AND FEATURES

In addition to the introduction of the MQB platform, the reductions in weight and consequent cuts in fuel consumption and emissions, the seventh-generation Golf and its Estate sibling are also significant thanks to their enhanced value proposition.  While this is true in the recommended retail price, it is also worth noting how much technology has been added to the new cars.  Features which were previously the reserve of cars in the premium and luxury segment are now standard on many Golfs, adding significantly to the car’s overall safety and comfort credentials (see also Infotainment section).

ABS, ESC and XDS (standard on all Golfs)

The previous generation Golf benefited from standard ABS and ESC plus seven airbags, while the latest generation also gains XDS electronic differential lock (only on GTI and GTD in the previous generation) across the range for improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESC system.

The benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESC sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion.

XDS also compensates for the understeer which is typical of front-wheel drive cars, meaning the Golf’s driving characteristics are significantly more precise and neutral, leading to greater driving enjoyment.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (standard on all Golfs)

An innovative feature is the Golf Estate’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.  Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision. 

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Misfuel prevention device (standard on all diesel models)

On vehicles with a diesel engine, there is an insert with a mechanically locking flap on the filler neck for the fuel tank.  The flap prevents a fuel nozzle from being inserted which is not suitable for diesel fuel (in other words a petrol fuel nozzle) thus protecting the vehicle from being filled with the wrong type of fuel.

Driver Alert system (optional on S and BlueMotion, standard on all other models)

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.

The Golf Estate’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated. 

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection (standard on Match Edition and above)

The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg. 

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist (standard on Match Edition and above)

Like the PreCrash system, Automatic Cruise Control (ACC) has until now been the preserve of cars in higher segments.  Now standard from Match Edition upwards in the Golf and Golf Estate, the system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ACC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG.  In vehicles with DSG, ACC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation.  It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic.  ACC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic.  The system dynamics can by individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector (see next page for details).

Front Assist (standard on Match Edition and above)

Front Assist works like ACC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead.  Even with ACC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings.  If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision.  Should the driver, meanwhile, not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised.  The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City Emergency Braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking (standard on Match Edition and above)

The City Emergency Braking function, first seen on the up! model and now standard on Golf and Golf Estate from Match Edition upwards is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor.  It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph).  If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist.  If the driver fails to intervene, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact.  In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist (optional on Match Edition and above)

The Golf Estate’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane.  The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines).  If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

Automatic Range Adjustment (optional on Alltrack, GTD and R)

Headlights equipped with Automatic Range Adjustment analyse both the traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Driver profile selection (standard on GT and above)

A driver profile selection which was introduced on the Golf hatchback is also offered on the Golf Estate, giving customers up to five different programmes to allow them to match their car settings to their desired driving style.  The standard available programmes are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.

Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.  A fifth profile – Comfort – is also offered on cars which have optional Dynamic Chassis Control (see Running Gear section for details).

Park Assist (optional on all models)

The latest version of the parking assistance system, Park Assist 2.0, facilitates not only assisted parallel parking, but also reverse parking at right angles to the road.  In addition, Park Assist 2.0 is also equipped with a braking and parking space exit function.

The system can be activated at speeds of up to 40 km/h (approx. 25 mph) by pressing a button on the centre console.  Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked.  If, using the ultrasound sensors, Park Assist detects a large enough parking space (a manoeuvring distance of 40 cm, front and 40 cm, rear, is sufficient), the assisted parking can begin: having put the vehicle into reverse, all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake.  The car takes care of the steering.  Acoustic signals and visual information on the multifunction display assist the driver.  If a collision is looming, the system can also actively apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof (optional on Match Edition and above)

For the first time on the Golf Estate a transparent panoramic sunroof is available, which occupies the maximum roof area possible, offers optimal ventilation and opening functions, does not reduce the car’s torsional rigidity and has the visual effect of lengthening the windscreen from the outside.  What is referred to as the light transparency area – the amount of light coming into the car when the roof is closed – was enlarged by 33 per cent compared to a normal tilt/slide sunroof.  The tinted, heat-insulating glass, however, reflects away 99 per cent of UV radiation, 92 per cent of heat radiation and 90 per cent of light.

Keyless entry and start (optional on S, Match Edition, GT, Alltrack and R, standard on GTD)

The latest generation Golf Estate is available with the option on all models of a Keyless entry and start system.  When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle.  The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation.  The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the car.  If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button.  Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car.  For example, to protect children, the Golf Estate cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle.  It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control.  From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.  The Golf Estate can also be unlocked and locked by remote control.

ENGINES

Powering the Golf Estate is a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre 115 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS unit and a 2.0-litre TSI with 300 PS.  The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre TDI with 90 or 110 PS, a 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS powerplant and a 2.0-litre TDI 184 PS.

Petrol engines

The majority of petrol units are from the EA211 series, the new family of engines designed for the MQB platform.  All the EA211 series engines in the Golf and Estate are class-leading in terms of their energy efficiency, lightweight design and high torque performance.  Fuel consumption and CO? emissions values were reduced by eight to ten per cent, in part due to reduced internal friction, lower weight and optimised thermal management; in conjunction with the innovative new cylinder deactivation system (ACT), the savings potential can be as much as 23 per cent.

The EA211 engines are also characterised by a new mounting position.  Whereas the EA111 series was mounted with a forward tilt and the ‘hot’ exhaust side at the front, with the EA211, the cylinder head has been rotated and the engines are now tilted towards the firewall (bulkhead between engine compartment and passenger compartment), like the diesel engines.  With the diesel (EA288) and petrol engines now sharing an identical inclination angle of 12 degrees, Volkswagen can now standardise the exhaust, driveshafts and gearbox mounting position.

The EA211 is a complete redesign; only the cylinder spacing of 82 mm was adopted from Volkswagen’s successful EA111 engine series.  The new unit is also particularly compact and this is reflected in its mounting length, which has been shortened by 50 mm; as a result the front axle could be shifted forward, resulting in more interior passenger space.

Thanks to an ultra-rigid crankcase made of die-cast aluminium, the new petrol engines are especially lightweight at 97 kg (1.2 TSI) and 104 kg (1.4 TSI); on the 1.4-litre TSI, the weight advantage compared to the grey cast iron counterpart from the EA111 series is as much as 22 kg.  This approach to lightweight design extends to the smallest of details: engine developers reduced the main bearing diameter of the crankshaft on the 1.4-litre TSI from 54 to 48 mm; the crankshaft itself was lightened by 20 per cent, while the weight of the connecting rods was reduced by an impressive 30 per cent.  The gudgeon pins are bored hollow, and the aluminium pistons (now with flat piston crowns) have also been weight optimised.

By fully integrating the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head, the engine heats up quickly from a cold start, while simultaneously supplying ample heat to the car’s climate control system to warm up the interior.  At high loads, on the other hand, the exhaust gas is more effectively cooled by the coolant, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent.

To optimise thermal management, Volkswagen engineers designed the EA211 with a dual-loop cooling system.  The base engine is cooled by a high-temperature loop with a mechanically driven coolant pump, while a low-temperature loop, powered by an electric pump, circulates coolant to the intercooler and turbocharger housing as needed.  Passenger compartment heating comes from the cylinder head circulation loop, so that, like the engine, it warms up quickly.

Due to innovative engineering of the exhaust manifold, Volkswagen was able to use a very narrow single-scroll compressor in the turbocharger, resulting in weight reduction for the cylinder head turbocharger component group.  On the EA211, the intercooler is integrated in the induction pipe which is made of injection-moulded plastic, leading to significantly accelerated pressure build-up and hence dynamic performance in downsized engines.

In the seventh-generation Golf and hence the Estate, Volkswagen has again significantly reduced internal friction in a number of ways.  The overhead camshafts (DOHC) are not chain driven, but employ a single stage, low-friction toothed belt design, a 20 mm wide belt and load-reducing profiled belt wheels.  Thanks to its high-end material specification, this toothed belt’s service life spans the life of the vehicle.  Actuation of the valve gear is through roller cam followers, and an anti-friction bearing for the highly loaded first camshaft bearing, also lead to reduced friction resistances.

To ensure that the engine takes up as little mounting space as possible, ancillary components such as the water pump, air conditioning compressor and alternator are screwed directly to the engine and the oil sump without additional brackets, and they are driven by a single-track toothed belt with a fixed tension roller.

To reduce emissions and fuel consumption further, and to improve torque in the lower rev range, the intake camshaft on all EA211 engines can be varied over a range of 50 degrees crankshaft angle.  On the 140 PS, the exhaust camshaft is variable as well.  It sets the desired spread of control times and thereby allows even more spontaneous response from low revs; at the same time, torque is improved at high engine speeds.

The maximum fuel injection pressure on the EA211 engines was increased to 200 bar.  State-of-the-art five-hole injection nozzles deliver up to three individual injections to each of the cylinders very precisely via a stainless steel distributor bar.  In designing the combustion chamber, Volkswagen also paid particular attention to achieving minimal wetting of the combustion chamber walls with fuel and optimised flame propagation.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS

The entry-level engine in the Golf Estate is a turbocharged, direct injection TSI engine producing 85 PS from 4,300 to 5,300 rpm, with torque of 160 Nm (118 lbs ft) from 1,400 to 3,500 rpm.  Thanks to refinement and weight saving, fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced.

This Golf Estate, with a standard five-speed manual gearbox, has a zero to 62 mph time of 12.6 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph.  Combined economy is 56.5 mpg with CO? emissions of 115 g/km.

1.0-litre TSI, 999 cc, 16-valve 3-cyl, 115 PS

Moving up the range this 1.0-litre turbocharged Golf Estate produces 115 PS from 5,000 to 5,500 rpm, 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) of torque between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm and is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  Standstill to 62 mph takes 10.1 seconds with a top speed of 127 mph.  Yet performance does not come at the expense of economy: combined fuel consumption is 65.7 mpg with CO? emissions of 99 g/km.

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 125 PS

For those looking for additional power but still combined with impressive economy the Golf Estate is also available with a turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) from 1,400 rpm to 4,000 rpm.  This engine, which is offered with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, enables a top speed of 127 mph and 0 to 62 mph in 9.5 seconds.  Economy is still high on the agenda with a combined consumption of 53.3 mpg (55.4 DSG) and CO? output of 123 g/km (118 DSG).

1.4-litre TSI, 1395 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

Moving up the line-up, the petrol-powered Golf Estate GT is powered by this 1.4-litre TSI which produces 150 PS from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,500 to 3,500 rpm.

Available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, this engine gives the Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 135 mph.  Combined consumption is 53.3 mpg (56.5 DSG) with carbon dioxide emissions of just 123 g/km (118 DSG).

2.0-litre TSI, 1984cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 300 PS

The R is only available in 4MOTION with DSG configuration. It is powered by a 2.0-litre TSI that produces 300 PS. 0 to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds and the top speed is limited to 155 mph. Combined consumption is 40.4 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are 162 g/km.

Diesel engines

Volkswagen introduced a new series of diesel engines – called EA288 – for the Golf alongside the new petrol line-up.  Within this series which is of course transferred to the Estate bodystyle, Volkswagen is taking its TDI technology, which has been developed over the years, to a new level of sustainability, with reductions in consumption across the range.

As with the new petrol engines (EA211), the only dimension of the Golf’s new four-cylinder diesels that has been carried over from the previous generation is the cylinder spacing.  Many components were designed to be modular within the new modular diesel component system (MDB).  These include emissions-relevant components such as the fuel injection system, turbocharger and intercooler within the induction manifold module.  In addition, a sophisticated exhaust gas recirculation system is used (with a cooled low-pressure AGR), while the layout of emissions control components sees them located closer to the engine.  To fulfil various emissions standards worldwide, an oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter and NOx storage catalytic converter are all implemented in the Golf.

Various other design modifications optimise fuel economy and comfort significantly as well.  Volkswagen has tuned all sub-assemblies of the new TDI engine for minimal internal friction.  These elements include piston rings with less pre-tension and the use of low-friction bearings for the camshaft (drive-side) and − in the 2.0-litre TDI − for the two balancer shafts.  In the oil circulation loop, energy usage was optimised by an oil pump with volumetric flow control.

During the TDI’s warm-up phase, an innovative thermal management system utilises separate cooling circulation loops for the cylinder head and the cylinder block as well as a deactivatable water pump, meaning operating temperatures are reached considerably faster.  One additional benefit of this is that the interior of the Golf also gets warmer more quickly in the winter.  Another independently controlled cooling loop enables on-demand control of inlet air temperature with additional emissions control benefits.

The new diesels not only have very low emissions, high fuel-efficiency and torque, but they also run very smoothly for optimum refinement.  This is achieved in a number of ways, for example, the 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS employs two low-friction bearings in its balancer shafts to eliminate free out of balance forces that are a characteristic of any piston engine systems.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS

The Golf Estate’s entry-level diesel is a 1.6-litre common rail TDI producing 90 PS at 2,750 rpm, and 230 Nm (170 lbs ft) of torque at 1,400 rpm.  It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox and in S trim alone, it gives this Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 12.9 seconds and a top speed of 116 mph.  Fuel consumption is 72.4 mpg on the combined cycle and carbon dioxide is 102 g/km.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS

The 1.6-litre common rail TDI is also available with a more powerful output of 110 PS between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 3,000.  Available with a choice of five-speed manual or, in Match Edition guise, optional seven-speed DSG gearbox, it gives this Golf Estate a 0 to 62 mph time of 11.0 seconds and a top speed of 122 mph.  Frugality comes as standard: on the combined cycle it returns 72.4 mpg (70.6 DSG) while emitting 102 g/km of CO? (104 DSG).

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS (Golf Estate BlueMotion)

The 1.6-litre common rail TDI used in the Golf Estate BlueMotion produces 110 PS between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm.  Performance and emissions data for this car will be announced closer to launch, however, it is expected to return 80.7 mpg while emitting just 92 g/km of CO?.

Various measures such as reduced internal friction, an innovative thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation, cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold result in successfully reducing fuel consumption and emissions.  To reduce emissions values further, Volkswagen has also implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

This 2.0-litre engine produces 150 PS (10 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous generation) from 3,500 to 4,000, and 340 Nm (236 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,750 up to 3,000 rpm.  Customers choosing this engine can opt for a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.  Performance is impressive but does not come at the expense of economy.  The Golf Estate’s 2.0-litre TDI completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.9 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 135 mph (134 DSG).  Combined economy is 65.7 mpg (62.8 DSG) with a carbon dioxide output of 110 g/km (119 DSG).

BlueMotion Technology

For the past few years, Volkswagen has been producing and developing a range of vehicles that strikes a balance between the highly focused BlueMotion vehicles and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying the ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badge, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

All new Golf and Golf Estate models are equipped with ‘BlueMotion Technology’ modifications and feature a multifunction computer which includes visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption, as well as Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems. 

The Golf Estate’s automatic Stop/Start system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.  With the DSG gearbox, the Stop/Start system is activated through the brake pedal.

A battery regeneration system helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for rapid recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

BlueMotion

The Golf Estate BlueMotion is the most efficient Golf Estate available.  On top of the BlueMotion Technology modifications that are standard on all Golfs, the BlueMotion features aerodynamic modifications including sports suspension that is lowered by 10 mm, a modified radiator grille and front air intake, and unique spoilers on the roof and on the rear of the C-pillars.

Eco mode: driver profile selection

Golf Estate models have a standard driver profile selection facility (see Technology highlights section for details) which allows the drive to choose an operating mode which suits their style and journey.  One of the available modes is ‘Eco’, whereby the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.  Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring better utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.

Gearboxes

As detailed above, most of the Golf Estate’s engines can be paired with a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).  This is either a six- or seven-speed DSG, depending on maximum engine torque, and both are designed to offer the best combination of fuel-efficiency and shifting dynamics.  In addition to the number of gears, the six- and seven- speed ’boxes differ in their clutch types.  While two dry clutches are used in the seven-speed DSG, the six-speed DSG has a dual clutch that runs in an oil bath. 

First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.  The six-speed, DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Theoretically, it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.

Seven-speed DSG

This gearbox uses a pair of dry clutches to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel, the gearbox is remarkably compact.

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and refinement levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the new seven-speed system.

SERVICING

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf Estate.  They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months.

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNNING GEAR

In developing the running gear for the seventh generation Golf, engineers set out to exploit the advantages of the new Modular Transverse Matrix (or MQB platform – see separate section for full details), and certain specific proven components were further advanced to perfect the car’s ride and comfort properties.  At the same time, weight reduction was defined as a clear priority, in order to maximise the reductions in fuel consumption and enhance ride comfort. 

In order to allow the greatest possible weight reduction, a new modular lightweight rear suspension system was developed for Golf models with under 122 PS, which weighs just 38 kg.  For the more powerful versions, the further developed modular performance suspension was used, weighing 49 kg.  The Golf Estate follows this pattern.

Front axle

At the front the Golf uses a strut-type suspension system (spring struts) with lower wishbones that were newly developed for optimal handling and steering properties.  All components were reworked for improved functionality as well as reduced weight and costs.  The result, despite not using aluminium components, was a weight saving of 1.6 kg, made possible, for example, by the use of high-strength steel in the transverse links and an innovative ‘bionic’ (ie designed based on features from the natural world) design approach to the pivot bearings.  A centrally positioned front subframe − designed for maximum rigidity − handles loads from the engine mountings and steering as well as front suspension loads.

The now universally employed tubular anti-roll bar has a stiffness that has been adapted to the requirements of different running gear layouts.  Its rubber bearings are vulcanised directly into the painted anti-roll tube to ensure the best acoustic properties.  

Modular lightweight rear suspension

The new modular lightweight rear suspension system consists of a transverse torsion beam that is open at the bottom, into which an insert plate is welded at the outer ends.  Different torsional stiffness rates for different versions are attained by different lengths of the insert plates.  This yields a considerable weight saving compared to a welded tubular anti-roll bar.  The use of a transverse profile that is open at the bottom also enables optimal roll/steer behaviour and high transverse rigidity.  By using high-strength steels and innovative design methods, Volkswagen succeeded in significantly increasing rigidity compared with previous suspensions systems of this construction type.  Despite this, its weight was reduced.

Modular performance rear suspension

The multi-link rear suspension of the seventh generation Golf was further developed to give clear improvements in kinematics, acoustics, weight and modularity.  However, nothing has changed with regard to its fundamental approach of consistently separating longitudinal and transverse rigidities.  The low longitudinal rigidity has been preserved by the soft axle control of the trailing link; this was a necessary precondition for further improving ride comfort.

Furthermore, compared with the previous generation, Volkswagen successfully improved the transverse rigidity of the modular performance suspension, which is important for steering behaviour, by a new tie rod bearing tuning.  Tracking and camber values are individually tuned by screws on the spring link and at the upper transverse link according to requirement for each vehicle type.  Key design changes to the rear suspension are the connections of the tubular antiroll bar and the suspension damper, which are now made at the spring link.  This reduces forces within the suspension, while in addition the suspension was made 4.0 kg or eight per cent (depending on model) lighter thanks to structural optimisations of many components and the use of high-strength steels.

Electro-mechanical power steering

The Golf Estate, like the Golf, uses the latest generation electro-mechanical power steering system which is able to vary the feel at the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.

Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, such as crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Braking system

The Golf Estate features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) as standard across the range.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, with solid discs on the rear axle. 

Electronic Stability Control – ESC incorporating XDS

The latest-generation ESC system developed for the new Golf has a range of features designed to have a direct and positive effect on active safety.  All models are also fitted with XDS electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling (see Technical highlights section for details on XDS).

Essentially, ESC is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESC reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started.

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESC can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.

The latest generation of ESC fitted to the Golf and Golf Estate has a finer response, counter-steering recommendation and offers trailer stabilisation.  This function can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer when a Volkswagen-approved towbar is fitted.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESC purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors.

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESC control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle/trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

Hydraulic Brake Assist

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, the latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) (optional on Match Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTD and R)

Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce ride and handling characteristics that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  Enter DCC.

With this system, the suspension’s damping characteristics can be controlled at the touch of a button, via the driver profile selection system.

DCC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf Estate – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the damping is hardened.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving. 

As well as altering the damping characteristics, when ‘Sport’ mode is selected on the Golf Estate’s driver profile selection system, the throttle responses are sharpened, and the steering assistance also reduced.  In ‘Comfort’ mode, the steering assistance is increased.  Using the ‘Individual’ mode, the damping, steering and throttle responses can all be controlled individually.  It is therefore possible, for example, to have the steering set to ‘Normal’, the throttle to ‘Sport’, and the damping to ‘Comfort’.

For the latest-generation Golf, the latest generation of DCC has been employed.  Cars fitted with DCC have a 10 mm lower ride height, as well as their own specific spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings.  For the new generation certain parameters were also modified: designs of the wheel displacement sensors were adapted and weight optimised; the body accelerometers were converted from three analogue lines to two digital lines; and the DCC control unit was redesigned in its hardware configuration, components and layout.  A new generation of processors operating at 180 MHz assures control with one-millisecond cycles.

Electronic parking brake with auto hold function

All new Golf models including the Estate have an electronic parking brake which is operated via a switch between the front seats, as opposed to the ‘pull up’ handle from the previous generation.  This also incorporates a standard auto hold function.  This is activated via a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic.  In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

If auto hold has been switched on when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched on the next time the vehicle is started.  Likewise if auto hold has been switched off when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched off the next time the vehicle is started.

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Golf Estate is available with eight standard trim levels: S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion, GT, Alltrack and GTD.  All are well-equipped and offer more value than the previous generation models they replace.  Highlights of each trim level are shown below.  For full details please refer to the latest price list.

S trim

S 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS BMT

S 1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT (Manual or DSG automatic)

S 1.6-litre TDI 90 PS BMT

S 1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT

All the above models have the following standard features:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control)
  • XDS electronic differential lock
  • Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch
  • curtain airbag system, for front and rear passengers
  • front seat side impact airbags
  • driver’s knee airbag
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints
  • warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • automatic door locking, speed related, can be switched off
  • remote central locking with two folding keys
  • electronic parking brake with auto hold function
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • driver’s and front passenger’s seat height adjustment
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40
  • variable boot floor, height adjustable and removable
  • extending luggage compartment cover with convenience opening (stowable when not in use)
  • multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for improved fuel consumption
  • misfuel prevention device (for diesel models)
  • Bluetooth connection for compatible telephones
  • Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, DAB radio
  • electric windows‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • illuminated, cooled and lockable glovebox
  • four load lashing points in luggage compartment
  • body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • battery regeneration and Stop/Start system
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • 6J x 15-inch steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres
  • roof rails

Match Edition trim

Match Edition 1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT (Manual or DSG)

Match Edition 1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT (Manual or DSG)

Match Edition 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT (Manual or DSG)

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match Edition gains the following over S:

  • Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen
  • Driver Alert system
  • PreCrash preventive occupant protection
  • ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) including Front Assist, radar sensor controlled distance monitoring system, City Emergency Braking system, cruise control and speed limiter
  • black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts
  • luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision
  • driver’s and front passenger’s under seat drawers
  • leather-trimmed three spoke multifunction steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • rear centre armrest with cupholders
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • alarm with interior protection
  • automatic coming and leaving home lighting function, plus dusk sensor and automatic driving lights
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror
  • 6½J x 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

BlueMotion

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BlueMotion

In addition to or different to the S, BlueMotion adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 6J x 15-inch ‘Lyon’ with 195/65 R15 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • Sports suspension, lowered by approx. 10 mm
  • Tyre repair kit (in lieu of steel space saver spare wheel)
  • Aerodynamic black front air intake and radiator grille
  • Black radiator grille with chrome trimmed insert
  • Unique ‘BlueMotion’ badging
  • Uniquely shaped D-pillar spoiler

Match BlueMotion Edition trim

In addition to or different to the Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition adds the following:

  • Sports suspension, lowered by approx. 10 mm
  • Tyre repair kit (in lieu of steel space saver spare wheel)
  • Aerodynamic black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts
  • Unique ‘BluMotion’ badging
  • Uniquely shaped D-pillar spoiler

GT

In addition to or different to the Match Edition, GT adds the following:

  • Allow wheels, four 7J x 17-inch ‘Dijon’ with 225/45 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • Sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm
  • Black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts and roundel surround
  • ‘Cherry red’ rear light clusters
  • Chrome trimmed front air intake surround
  • Rear tinted glass from B pillar backwards, approx. 65 per cent tinted
  • Roof rails, silver anodised
  • Ambient lighting, lights in front door armrests, light strips below trim in front doors
  • Front footwell illumination
  • Carpet mats, front and rear
  • Chrome-plated electric mirror adjustment switch surround
  • ‘Cyclone’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • Reading lights, front and rear incorporating LED technology
  • Front sports seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • Steering wheel includes paddle-shift (DSG only)
  • Driver profile selection (Eco, Normal, Sport or Individual)

Alltrack

In addition to or different to the GT, Alltrack adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 6.5J x 17-inch ‘Valley’ with 205/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheelbolts
  • Increased ground clearance, raised by approx. 15 mm (in lieu of sports suspension)
  • Off-road suspension
  • ‘Alltrack’ styling pack – uniquely shaped off-road front and rear bumpers
  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and LED daytime running lights
  • Matt-chrome effect door mirrors and side sill protection
  • Matt-chrome effect underbody protection, front and rear
  • Unique ‘Alltrack’ badging
  • Wheel arch protection, anthracite
  • ABSPlus (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution)
  • Climate control – 2Zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation
  • Brushed stainless steel door sill protectors with unique ‘Alltrack’ logo
  • Brushed stainless steel pedals
  • Permanent four wheel drive – 4MOTION
  • Off-road setting, including hill descent assist

GTD

In addition to or different to the GT, GTD adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 7.5 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • ‘GTD’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm
  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam, with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and LED daytime running lights
  • Extended sill strips, flared
  • Front fog lights
  • ‘Grey’ brake calipers
  • ‘GTD’ styling pack – uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers and ‘Black’ honeycomb front air intake
  • Headlight washers
  • Honeycomb radiator grille
  • Rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with chrome twin exhaust tailpipe
  • ‘Smoked’ rear light clusters
  • Unique ‘GTD’ badging
  • Black rooflining interior
  • ‘Cyclone’ decorative inserts in dash, centre console and door panels
  • Illuminated door sill proectors
  • Unique ‘GTD’ instrument cluster
  • Stianless steel pedals
  • Anti-tramp function
  • Unique ‘GTD’ design key
  • XDSPlus electornic differential lock
  • Climate control – 2Zone electornic air conditioning
  • Keyless entry and keyless start (not on R models)

R

In addition to or different to the GTD, R adds the following:

  • Alloy wheels, four 7.5J 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • ‘R’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm
  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and unique double U-shaped LED daytime running lights
  • ‘Black’ brake calipers
  • Matt-chrome effect door mirrors
  • ‘R’ styling pack – uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers and side sills
  • Rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with twin oval chrome exhaust tailpipes
  • Unique ‘R’ badging
  • ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • ‘Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in centre console
  • Leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘R’ logo and gear knob gaiter
  • Unique ‘R’ instrument cluster
  • Composition Media system
  • Blue ambient lighting
  • Four wheel drive – 4MOTION
  • Unique ‘R’ design key

SAFETY

As well as making this latest generation the most technically advanced Golf, designers and developers were also set the task of making this the safest Golf yet – quite a challenge given the accompanying weight reduction targets.  As in all other areas, the Golf Estate follows the template of its hatchback sibling.

Earlier sections of this description (Design and Technology highlights) lay out in detail the measures that were taken to ensure weight reduction did not result in any loss of safety, as well as the full remit of passive and active safety features which are fitted.

Airbag system

Naturally the latest generation Golf has, like its predecessor, seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver’s side.  The special location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle in the resulting, gently introduced upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System: WOKS

Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  The latest generation of WOKS is fitted as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Seatbelt fastening detection for the rear

Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during driving.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx. 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled occupant); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results

The Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency, and received a top five-star rating.  It also won the award for innovations in the area of integral safety at the Euro NCAP Advanced Awards.  Along with Lane Assist and Front Assist, the PreCrash preventive occupant protection and the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System were recognised as pioneering safety innovations.  This is further confirmation of the excellent competitive position of the Golf.

The new Golf was awarded top ratings for its occupant protection.  Evaluated here were frontal and side impact tests, a pole side impact test and what is known as the whiplash test, in which loads to the spine are measured in a rear end collision.  Not only adults, but children too can feel safe in the new Golf.  This was verified in tests, some of which utilised dummies sized to represent 18-month-old and three-year-old children.  The new Golf also impressed testers with its pedestrian protection capabilities.  The new Golf Estate has yet to be tested but is expected to achieve impressive results.

Line up with insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the Golf Estate secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers), all of which are lower than those achieved by the previous generation model:

S

1.2-litre TSI 85 PS BMT           7E

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT         16E, 14E

1.6-litre TDI 90 PS BMT           10E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT        13E, 11E

 

BlueMotion

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BM          15E

 

Match Edition

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS BMT         13E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT        13E, 11E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT        17E

 

Match  BlueMotion Edition

1.0-litre TSI 115 PS BM           13E

 

GT

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS BMT         15E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT        17E

 

Alltrack

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS BMT        10E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS BMT        17E

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS BMT        20E

 

GTD

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS BMT        26E

 

R

2.0-litre TSI 300 PS BMT         34E

These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the so-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

WARRANTIES

The Golf Estate has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer-operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

JB/0716/

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