Golf R

INTRODUCTION

The updated Volkswagen Golf arrived in the UK in March 2017 with the option of all-new engines, more technology, improved connectivity and revised styling for an average of almost £650 less (RRP OTR) than the outgoing car.

The new Golf now drives even more value, style and desirability into what is aptly referred to by many as the ‘Golf class’, building on the appeal of the Golf Mk VII. Today’s updated Golf continues to offer buyers a car that sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency. 

The seventh generation car was launched in September 2012 in Berlin, and had its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month.

Emerging from Volkswagen factories around the globe at an average rate of one every 40 seconds for the last 43 years, the brand’s family favourite is nothing less than the most popular European car to date. With global sales now in excess of 33,333,333 (two million of which here in the UK) since its launch more than four decades ago (1974), the updated version of the seventh generation Golf is once again redefining its market segment by bringing ‘big car’ technology to the compact family car class.

The Golf’s popularity in the UK continues to strengthen and, in 2016, the model became the UK’s third best-seller overall (including sales of Golf SV models) and the biggest seller in its family hatchback (A) segment with registrations here in excess of 70,000 for the year. 

Democratising quality and value is a longstanding Volkswagen tenet and it is enthusiastically employed in the updated Golf. Now standard across the range are LED rear lights, for instance, while all models across the Golf hatchback and Estate line-up are also now offered with a new generation of larger and more sophisticated touchscreen infotainment systems.   

The new Golf sparkles with technical innovations. For the first time in the compact class (and depending on model) the new Discover Navigation Pro radio-navigation and online system can be operated via gesture control. Sporting a 9.2-inch screen, the system complements the Active Info Display that is also new in the Golf and appears as standard on all Performance Golfs (GTD, GTD BlueLine, GTI, GTI Performance, GTE, GTE Advance, and R).

Meanwhile, the range of online services and apps has also been enlarged. The UK line-up retains a familiar feel, beginning in the hatchback range with S and rising through SE, SE Nav, GT, R-Line, GTE, GTE Advance, e-Golf, GTD and GTD BlueLine to GTI Performance and, ultimately, R. The estate family offers generous choice, too, with S, SE, SE Nav, GT and GTD and GTD BlueLine models being joined by Alltrack and R.

As before, the new car sits on the now familiar MQB, or Modularer Querbaukasten (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform, which means it benefits from the latest available technology and shares elements of its underpinnings with other successful new models such as the award-winning Passat, popular Touran MPV, latest Tiguan SUV and forthcoming Tiguan Allspace seven-seat SUV.

Indeed, today’s Golf creates a new benchmark for assistance systems in the compact class, employing technologies that will significantly improve safety. Depending on model, these include: City Emergency Braking with new pedestrian monitoring (Front Assist); a new Traffic Jam Assist that offers semi-automated driving at speeds of up to 37 mph (60 km/h); and Emergency Assist, which is also new to this segment.  Emergency Assist notices if the driver is incapacitated and initiates various measures to rouse them in escalating stages culminating, if the driver remains inactive, in carrying out an emergency stop.

Optionally available across the bulk of the range, and ordered in conjunction with the swivelling towbar, Trailer Assist including Park Assist neatly demonstrates the new Golf’s practical yet technically advanced nature. The system helps reverse a trailer or caravan with a weight of up to 1,800 kg into a parking bay or entrance from the street. To operate, the Golf driver simply engages reverse gear and activates the system via a push button. The driving angle and subsequent possible driving angles are displayed on the instrument cluster. All the driver then has to do is operate the accelerator pedal and brake, while the system automatically controls the direction of the car, using Park Assist to move the trailer backwards into the required position.

The progressive digitisation of Golf is supported by the debut of highly efficient engines. Even the new base petrol engine – the turbocharged direct-injection 1.0 TSI with 85 PS – impresses with fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg* (combined). The new Golf sees the debut of the turbocharged petrol 1.5 TSI Evo powerplant – a new four-cylinder engine that generates 150 PS and features Active Cylinder Management (ACT). This is accompanied by a BlueMotion version producing 130 PS and featuring a complete engine shut-down function (as in the hybrid Golf GTE).

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has strengthened the appeal of the iconic Golf GTI; it now develops 245 PS in GTI Performance guise. The range-topping Golf R gets more power than ever before, too, now boasting a peak output of 300 PS (MY19): enough to carry it from rest to 62 mph in as little as 4.6 seconds.

Experienced drivers who take the new Golf R and Golf R Estate onto the track can tune the car’s performance to this specific use by engaging the Race Mode driving profile, which has been added specifically to the R models, as well as by deactivating ESC (ESC off).

Volkswagen has developed a new hybrid strategy for the updated Golf GTE. In combination with a navigation system, GPS and road data are used to predictively and optimally control use of the electric motor and petrol engine by taking the route ahead into account and thereby save energy.

A new 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox) also helps to deliver figures that have in some cases been improved by up to 10 g/km. All Golfs also feature technology such as a stop-start systems and a mode for storing braking energy (regenerative braking).  

Design modifications include new bumpers front and rear, new halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights or full LED headlights – standard on Performance variants and optional in other models – instead of xenon headlights; new front wings; and, as mentioned, new full LED rear lights as standard for all Golf versions.

New wheel designs and body colours complete the exterior update, while fresh trim panels and materials also upgrade the interior of the Golf.

The first new Golfs were ordered in the UK in February 2017, with first customer deliveries via the brand’s 196 Volkswagen UK Retailers in late March. 

SUMMARY

  • New Golf prices REDUCED by an average of almost £650 across the range
  • New Golf opened for order in UK on 2 February 2017, with first deliveries from late March. Entry-level car (Golf S 1.0 TSI 85 PS three-door) remains at £17,765 (RRP OTR)
  • Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here
  • In 2016 a total of 72,762 new Golfs were sold in the UK confirming the model’s top spot among the five key pillars of the brand alongside Tiguan, Polo, Passat and new up!
  • Like its predecessor the new Golf competes in the European A segment for ‘compact’ cars (C segment in UK), and sits above the Polo supermini in the current Volkswagen passenger cars line-up
  • In the UK, the new car is being offered with a broad selection of engines including the new 1.5 TSI Evo unit in two forms: 150 PS BMT and 130 PS BlueMotion, the latter with complete engine shut-down function (as in the hybrid Golf GTE)
  • Golf GTE uses predictive hybrid control, utilising GPS and road data to maximise the efficiency of the 204 PS drivetrain
  • Golf R and Golf R Estate retain their place as the twin flagships of the Golf range and now boast 300 PS – the highest output of any Volkswagen currently on sale
  • Newly developed 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) for TDI engines from 150 PS and TSI engines from 245 PS
  • New Golf debuts premium segment technology: new generation high-end infotainment system with the largest display in its class
  • The new Discover Navigation Pro infotainment system with gesture control – standard on e-Golf and optional on all but S models in the UK – brings the “interface of the future” to the compact class
  • Range of online services expanded; debut of “Security & Service” for models with a navigation system (standard on GTE from launch, and on GT upwards from June 2017 in UK)
  • The spectrum of assistance systems in the Golf democratises progress in technology, featuring Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist for the first time
  • Design updated: front and rear sections with new bumpers. Fitted with full LED rear lights across the range; animated (sweeping) indicators standard on Performance Golfs (GTI variants/GTD/R, plus GTE and e-Golf models)
  • Once again, Golf will be offered in the UK with the option of petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI), plug-in hybrid (GTE) or pure electric (e-) power – remaining, at launch, the only car on the UK market with such a broad range of engine options.
  • Best-sellers in the new range are SE Nav spec, with that model variant (all engines/gearboxes) accounting for as much as 33% of Golf sales (hatch)
  • Best-selling precise model/trim (hatch) is predicted to be GTD 2.0 TDI 184 PS 5dr 6 spd manual with an estimated seven per cent of sales
  • Best-selling Estate model is also likely to be SE Nav with a predicted 42% of sales (all engines/gearboxes)
  • Best-selling precise model/trim (Estate) is predicted to be SE Nav 1.6 115 PS TDI 5 spd manual with an estimated 13% of sales
  • The fleet/retail split in the UK is expected to remain at 65% fleet/35% retail
  • Golf range launched in three waves in the UK, with wave one being the largest, wave two  comprising of 1.5 TSI Evo 150 PS engines and GTI Performance and wave three the 1.5 TSI Evo 130 PS BlueMotion and e-Golf
  • The new Golf range consists of 113 models, with 77% available to order from Volkswagen Retailers from 2 February 2017, with deliveries from the end of March
  • Golf continues to be built at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory and global headquarters

MARKET INFORMATION

Like its predecessor, the new Golf competes in the European A segment for ‘compact’ cars (C segment in UK), and sits above the Polo supermini in the current Volkswagen passenger cars line-up. The car is a rival to the likes of the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Honda Civic and Peugeot 308, as well as the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here each year. In 2016 a total of 72,762 new Golfs were sold in the UK. 

The range, at 113 models at launch, is Volkswagen’s most extensive offering and among the largest model line-ups on the UK market. The fleet/retail split for updated Golf in the UK is expected to remain broadly similar to before, at 65% fleet / 35% retail.

Production

Situated on the banks of Mittellandkanal, an inland artificial waterway, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant is the world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex and covers an area of more than 3.7 square miles – that’s an area large enough to accommodate the entire Principality of Monaco.

The network of roads connecting the individual production facilities, warehouses, administration buildings and outdoor facilities covers a distance of 46 miles, with 43 miles of railway tracks accommodating seven locomotives, two shunting robots and a traverse.

The Golf family is built here, along with the new Tiguan SUV and Touran MPV. In addition to these whole models, the site also makes components – an important mainstay on the plant portfolio – such as cardan drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, which are either used in production at the plant itself or supplied to other Group production sites. 

Around 809,000 vehicles were built at Wolfsburg in 2015 and some 60,500 people were employed there.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate supplies not only for the Volkswagen plant, but they also supply power and district heating to the City of Wolfsburg. Both power stations have an installed electricity capacity of 442 megawatts at their disposal.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand has set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants. It has already met its 2018 target of reducing the environmental impact of production at all Volkswagen plants by 25 percent. Specifically, this means 25 percent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants.

One contribution to sustained energy saving is the Energy Path. The Wolfsburg Energy Path initiative 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 optimization of heating pumps featuring demand-oriented control to save energy. In July 2013, the plant commissioned the first hybrid locomotives. Currently, three of these locomotives, which reduce noise levels by 90 per cent and fuel consumption by 50 per cent, are in service.

History

The history of the Wolfsburg plant is closely linked to the history of the City of Wolfsburg, since both were founded in the same year. Close co-operation continues to exist between Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and the city. A mutual enterprise, Wolfsburg AG, was founded in 1999 as a product of this close attachment. A public-private partnership, the initiative was launched as a means of realising the AutoVision aim to strengthen Wolfsburg’s economic standing for the long term. By providing support for company start-ups and incentives for established companies to set up business in Wolfsburg, by creating concepts for and establishing recreational attractions and health projects and by providing human-resource services, the Wolfsburg AG initiative has helped to create and secure more than 11,000 jobs to date.

AutoVision GmbH was founded in 2001 as a platform on which to implement the AutoVision concept. A 100 percent subsidiary of Volkswagen, the mission of AutoVision GmbH is to help give the Group even more competitive edge. Its activities are concentrated in the fields of ‘administration and technical services’ and ‘human-resource services’. The company also offers this portfolio of services on the external market.

Additional areas of operation dedicated exclusively to the Volkswagen Group include venture-capital undertakings and the provision of development support for process innovations.

The world-famous Autostadt is also a key feature of the Wolfsburg skyline. As a communication platform of the Volkswagen Group, the Autostadt in Wolfsburg presents the values of the Group and the topic of mobility in all its facets under the motto of “People, cars and what moves them”. Since it was opened in 2000, more than 33 million guests have visited this theme park and educational centre. 

The Autostadt is also the world’s largest car delivery centre and includes ZeitHaus, the world’s best-visited automobile museum.  With a wide variety of cultural events such as the annual Movimentos festival weeks, the Autostadt is an international meeting point for people interested in culture. In 2015, the Autostadt reported record results, with 2.42 million visitors and 168,514 new vehicles delivered to customers. 

THE MQB PLATFORM

As before, the updated Golf uses as its base the Volkswagen Group’s MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix. The introduction of the MQB strategy with the arrival of Golf VII in 2012 represented a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines as it standardised many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offered access to new technologies.

The MQB currently extends from the A0 to the B segment. At the Volkswagen brand, for example, it covers the following models: Polo, Beetle, updated Golf, Jetta, Touran, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace Sharan, Passat and forthcoming Arteon. Thus all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths. It is 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 (MOB) and diesel (MDB) engine systems.

By introducing these engine series, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group has been reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice. 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

ENGINES, TRANSMISSION AND RUNNING GEAR

The latest edition of the Golf will once again be one of the few vehicles in the world to offer such a breadth of drive systems with petrol, diesel plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions available in the UK.

In the first phase of UK market launch, Volkswagen presented the 2017 model year Golf and Golf Estate in selected petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions. Following these, separately, was the debuts of the e-Golf, Golf GTI Performance, and the Golf 1.5 TSI Evo with 150 PS and 1.5 TSI Evo BlueMotion, with 130 PS.

A new 1.0 TSI entry level petrol engine with turbocharging and direct fuel injection is being offered for the first time in the Golf. The 1.0 TSI has an output of 85 PS and develops a torque peak figure of 175 Nm, which is particularly impressive for its engine power class.

Meanwhile, over the course of 2017, Volkswagen will be upgrading the 1.4-litre TSI to a displacement of 1.5 litres. The 1.5 TSI Evo is a 150 PS four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with Active Cylinder Management (ACT) and efficient common rail direct injection. The new TSI is particularly flexible and refined; it develops its maximum torque of 250 Nm starting at a low 1,500 rpm.

The new 1.5 TSI Evo engines are high-tech units. Internal friction has been further reduced compared with the 1.4-litre engines, achieved by means of a fully-variable, map-controlled oil pump, and a polymer-coated first main crankshaft bearing. In addition, the new turbocharged engines are characterised by higher injection pressures of 200 to 350 bar. Other refinements are the even more efficient indirect intercooling unit with improved cooling performance.

Temperature-sensitive components such as the throttle valve are also located downstream of the intercooler, which optimises their temperature. Last but not least, the new engines have a highly innovative thermal management system with a new map cooling module. APS-coated cylinder liners, fin cooling between the cylinders and a cross-flow cooling concept in the cylinder head are used specifically for the 150 PS TSI.

A BlueMotion version of the 1.5 TSI Evo with 130 PS is also being produced. Among the special characteristics of this high-tech engine are a new combustion cycle (derived from the Miller cycle), a very high compression ratio of 12:1 and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG).

The engine develops its maximum torque of 200 Nm at just 1,400 rpm. As a world premiere, the 1.5 TSI Evo with 130 PS also offers an ‘extended coasting function’ which means it completely shuts down the TSI when the driver releases the accelerator pedal. This type of engine deactivation has only been seen in conjunction with hybrid vehicles up to now, because systems such as electromechanical power steering and the brake servo still need to be supplied with energy, even when the Evo motor is switched off.

Volkswagen has also updated the Golf’s transmission options with the introduction of a new seven-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG). This is an exceptionally efficient transmission unit replacing the six-speed DSG which has been used to date in many models.
 
PETROL ENGINES IN DETAIL

All the Golf’s petrol engines are turbocharged units with direct fuel injection (TSI). The TSI engines being offered at market launch deliver between 85 PS in the Golf 1.0 TSI and 245 PS in the Golf GTI Performance. The Golf R has 300 PS, a 10 PS gain. Except for the base engine, all TSI engines may be equipped with 6-speed or 7-speed DSG either as an option or as standard.

1.0TSI 85 PS

The new base engine with a 1.0 litre displacement has fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg (combined) and CO2 emissions of 108 g/km. The three-cylinder engine produces 85 PS (between 5,000 and 5,500 rpm) and accelerates the Golf to 62 mph in 11.9 seconds. Its top speed is 112 mph. The engine’s maximum torque of 175 Nm is available from a low 2,000 rpm (up to 3,000 rpm).

1.0 TSI 110 PS

At the next power level, the Golf develops 110 PS – as much power as the first Golf GTI from 1976. This maximum power is available from 5,000 to 5,500 rpm. The engine develops its maximum torque of 200 Nm between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm. With this engine, the Golf has a top speed of 122 mph and accelerates to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is 58.9 mpg (109 g/km CO2).

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf Estate 1.0 TSI with 110 PS: 0-62 mph in 10.4 seconds, top speed 122 mph, fuel consumption 57.6 mpg (equates to 112 g/km CO2). As an option, the 110 PS TSI can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further reduces fuel consumption and emissions to 58.9 mpg and 110 g/km.

1.4 TSI 125 PS

The 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS (4,800 to 6,000 rpm) is even more lively. The engine delivers its 200 Nm maximum torque over a large speed range from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. The Golf 1.4 TSI completes the sprint to 62 mph in 9.1 seconds. It reaches its top speed at 127 mph while combined fuel consumption is just 54.3 mpg (120 g/km CO2). The 1.4 TSI will gradually be replaced by the new 1.5 TSI with 130 PS.

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf Estate 1.4 TSI with 125 PS: 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds, top speed 127 mph, fuel consumption 53.3 mpg combined, (123 g/km CO2). As an option, the 125 PS TSI is also available with a 7-speed DSG which further reduces fuel consumption and emissions to 55.4 mpg and 118 g/km.

1.4 TSI 150 PS plus electric motor (102 PS) for a system power of 204 PS

The updated Golf GTE is capable of 138 mph, and races from 0-62 mph in 7.6 seconds. It is equipped with a six-speed DSG as standard. Combined fuel economy is 166.2 mpg (156.9 GTE Advance), with CO2 emissions of 38 g/km (40 g/km GTE Advance). The top speed is 138 mph. Zero emission electric driving range is 31 miles.

1.5 TSI 150 PS

This new engine reaches 134 mph whether it is mounted to the six-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed DSG. The 0-62 mph time for both transmissions is 8.3s, and the 150 PS is reached between 5000 and 6000 rpm. The combined fuel economy is 55.4 mpg (56.5 mpg DSG) and CO2 emissions are 116 g/km (114 g/km DSG).

1.5 TSI 130 PS

Full details of this BlueMotion version of the new 1.5-litre TSI are to come in the summer.

2.0 TSI 245 PS

The 2.0 litre TSI with 245 PS is offered exclusively for the Golf GTI Performance. The car sprints to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds; while the top speed is 155 mph. With a manual gearbox the engine returns 43.4 mpg combined and has a CO2 output of 148 g/km.

2.0TSI 300 PS 4MOTION

The most potent Golf motor sits in the Golf R and Golf R Estate. Now producing 300 PS it carries the all-wheel drive Golf to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds (manual: 5.1 seconds) and on to a top speed limited to

155 mph. With a six-speed manual gearbox the car records 37.7 mpg on the combined cycle, rising to 40.9 mpg for the new seven-speed DSG. CO2 is measured at 180 g/km and 160 g/km respectively. For the first time, too, the Golf R has two different torque peak figures, depending on gearbox choice. The manual car peaks at 380 Nm (2000-5400 rpm) while the DSG-equipped model boasts a peak of 400 Nm.  

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf R Estate are 155 mph and 4.8 seconds 0-62 mph (DSG only), with combined fuel economy of 39.2 mpg and emissions of 164 g/km.

DIESEL ENGINES IN DETAIL

As with the petrol engines, all of the updated Golf’s diesel engines also have direct-injection and turbocharging. The TDI engines offered at launch had power outputs ranging from 115 PS in the Golf 1.6 TDI to 184 PS in the GTD, Golf GTD Estate and Golf Alltrack models. With the exception of the base diesel, all TDI engines are offered with a 6-speed or 7-speed DSG, either as an option or as standard.

1.6 TDI 115 PS

The range of diesel engines for the Golf now begins with the 1.6 TDI that delivers an output of 115 PS. This figure is available between 3,250 and 4,000 rpm, and the engine’s maximum torque of 250 Nm is available from as little as 1,500 rpm up to 3,200 rpm. This TDI with a manual gearbox accelerates the updated Golf to 62 mph in 10.2 seconds and enables a top speed of 123 mph. Its combined fuel consumption is very low at 68.9 mpg (106 g/km CO2). As an option, this engine can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further improves fuel economy (72.4 mpg and 102 g/km CO2).

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf Estate 1.6 TDI with 115 PS: 0-62 mph in 10.7 seconds, top speed 124 mph, fuel consumption 68.9 mpg (equates to 106 g/km CO2). As an option, this engine can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further improves fuel economy (70.6 mpg and 103 g/km CO2).

2.0TDI 150 PS

The 150 PS 2.0 litre TDI of the Golf and Golf is a four-cylinder engine that has two balancer shafts that deliver exceptional refinement. In the Golf hatch, combined fuel consumption is just 67.3 mpg (109 g/km CO2). The engine develops its maximum power between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm; its maximum torque of 340 Nm is available at a low 1,750 rpm (up to 3,000 rpm). The Golf 2.0 TDI has a top speed of 134 mph and accelerates to 62 mph in 8.6 seconds.

The Golf Estate thus equipped returns 65.7 mpg (111 g/km CO2), with a 0-62 mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed on 135 mph. As an option, this engine can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further improves fuel economy (62.8 mpg and 117 g/km CO2).

Comparable figures for the Golf Alltrack 4MOTION: 0-62 mph in 8.9 seconds, top speed of 128 mph, fuel consumption of 55.4 mpg (133 g/km CO2). A 7-speed DSG is available as an option. It allows the Alltrack a top speed of 136 mph; 0-62 mph time of 7.8 seconds; economy of 54.3 mpg combined, and CO2 emissions of 133 g/km.

2.0 TDI 184 PS

The 2.0 litre TDI has a power output of 184 PS between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm, and is fitted as standard in the Golf GTD and Golf GTD Estate and as an option in the Golf Alltrack. As with the 150 PS unit, two balancer shafts result in very smooth running for this engine. An impressive maximum torque of 380 Nm is available from only 1,750 rpm and remains constant up to 3,250 rpm. This powerful unit accelerates the Golf GTD, which has a top speed of 144 mph, to 62 mph in just 7.5 seconds. The car’s combined fuel consumption is 61.4 mpg (116 g/km CO2) for the three-door DSG version.

Comparable figures for the Golf GTD Estate: 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds, top speed of 144 mph, fuel consumption of 60.1 mpg for 124 g/km CO2). The Golf GTD models can be ordered with an optional 7-speed DSG (previously a 6-speed DSG).

When specified with this engine, the Golf Alltrack is equipped with the dual clutch gearbox as standard. It has a combined fuel consumption of 54.3 mpg (137 g/km CO2).

6-SPEED AND 7-SPEED DUAL CLUTCH GEARBOXES

New 7-speed DSG

Volkswagen has developed a second 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) for the Golf. The new DSG is known internally as the “DQ 381” and was engineered for more powerful engines with torque figures starting at 340 Nm.

This means that there will be four DSG versions for the Golf: The “DQ 200” – a 7-speed DSG for smaller engines with up to 250 Nm of torque; the “DQ 250” – a 6-speed DSG for engines up to 350 Nm; the “DQ 400 E” – a 6-speed DSG for the hybrid drive system of the Golf GTE and the new “DQ 381”.

Fuel consumption is reduced thanks to the larger spread of individual gears. This means the engines nearly always operate in their optimal range with the “DQ 381”. This reduces fuel consumption and emission figures. The newly designed gearbox has two “wet” clutches that run in an oil bath.

In addition, innovative technical solutions boost the efficiency of the 7-speed DSG. They include a small, mechanically-driven gearwheel pump that handles basic oil circulation. When demand is higher – such as when driving on mountain ascents – a second pump with an electric drive provides supplementary assistance. Internal friction has also been reduced by optimisation measures on many gearbox components.
 
DESIGN

The iconic design of the updated Golf now has even more understated appeal by virtue of a number of new details. The team led by Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, redesigned the bumpers and, together with engineers, created new headlights (halogen and LED), new LED tail lights and new wheels.

The exterior design of the Golf, which has been carefully evolved over a period of more than 40 years, has been consciously advanced in this updated model with a continuation of the enduring classless appeal that has come to represent the essence of Volkswagen. At the front, the radiator grille and headlights have taken the style of its predecessor to a new level. The lower chrome strip of the radiator grille is continued to the left and right as a chrome element (GTI Performance: chrome/red; GTE: blue; R: gloss black) which extends through the LED daytime running lights and into the full-LED headlights. The LED headlights in the new Golf, included as standard or as an option depending on the trim line, replace the previous xenon headlights.

The cooling air openings in the lower section of the bumper, which have also been redesigned, emphasise the width of the Volkswagen more than ever. The radiator grilles of the non-Performance models exhibit a louvre-type design; on the GTI Performance, GTD and R models, and on the Alltrack and GTE, it is a honeycomb. The Golf GTE also integrates a c-shaped signature of the daytime running lights into the bumper, which is typical of all Volkswagen electric and plug-in hybrid models. 

A key visual ‘plus’ in versions with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and/or Front Assist including City Emergency Braking with pedestrian monitoring comes via the fact that the radar sensor in these systems is no longer visible in the cooling air intake on the bumper; rather it is now carefully hidden behind the VW badge in the radiator grille.

The rear has also been redesigned to be more charismatic. Now, all versions of the Golf and Golf Estate will be equipped with full-LED tail lights. In contrast to many standard LED tail lights, none of the functions of the Golf’s new tail lights now use conventional light bulbs. Also, the top-of-the-range version of the full-LED tail lights (available in the three- and five-door Golf) have animated, or ‘flowing’, indicator functions. Visually, this version can be recognised by a translucent white LED stripe that turns orange when indicating. Last but not least, the top-of-the-range version is distinguished by a striking, dynamic visual transition between the LED tail light and the LED brake lights when the brakes are applied.

In addition, the Performance models are distinguished from one another by the configuration of their chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes. The Golf GTE has dual tailpipes on the left, while the Golf GTI Performance can be made out by individual pipes left and right; the Golf R has distinctive dual tailpipes at either side. 

Golf Estate and Golf Alltrack

The diverse model range of the Golf has traditionally included the Estate. A new rear bumper, in particular, gives today’s Golf Estate an even more elongated and elegant appearance. The full-LED tail lights, which come as standard with this version, also match the look perfectly.

Like the Passat Estate, the Golf Estate is also available with optional trapezoidal chrome trim panels, which are integrated into the diffuser on the GT model.

Inside, the update of the Golf includes new trim panels in the doors, the gear shift panel, centre console and new seat covers. However, it is the introduction of features such as the new digitised display and control concept that really makes the new Golf one of the most progressive cars in its class.

Highlights include the Golf’s new Active Info Display and a new generation of infotainment systems with gesture control. The latter makes the Golf the world’s first compact class car to be available with gesture control.

In terms of the infotainment updates, the most important characteristics are the new sophisticated design, larger touchscreens and as mentioned above – for the top Discover Pro model – gesture control. At the same time, the range of online services and App Connect apps has also been expanded still further.

TECHNOLOGY

By virtue of its MQB underpinnings, the new updated Golf continues to benefit from the latest advances in Volkswagen technology. For instance, new to the Golf class is the Active Info Display, familiar from the latest Passat and Tiguan.

Active Info Display

In combination with the display of the radio or navigation system this creates a virtual, flexible human-machine interface (HMI) whose displays complement one another.  Six different views are available for the 12.3-inch Active Info Display.  The Golf’s Active Info Display is a fully digitalised instrument cluster with numerous interactive functions. All of the instruments are displayed virtually via software on the 12.3-inch colour screen.

The navigation information can be displayed in 2D or 3D. The 1,440 x 540 pixel resolution enables extremely precise and sophisticated representation of all details. There are five different information profiles, in which the kind of information and graphics displayed changes in certain areas.

The driver can select from one of the following profiles: “Classic”, “Consumption & Range”, “Efficiency”, “Performance & Driver Assistance” or “Navigation”.

A good example of the interactive elements of the Active Info Display is taken from the Navigation profile. Here, the speedometer and rev counter are relocated to the sides to make more room for the navigation map in the middle. Information on driving, navigation and assistance functions can also be integrated into the graphic areas of the speedometer and rev counter, as necessary.

Data such as telephone contact images and CD covers can also be displayed in the Active Info Display. The graphics are customised according to the model. In the Golf GTI Performance, for instance, GTI red is used as a contrasting colour. Volkswagen offers the Active Info Display as an optional extra for all versions of the Golf.

MIB-based Infotainment

Volkswagen has replaced all previous infotainment systems in the Golf with a new generation of the MIB. All systems have a new design and larger touchscreens; however, the names of the infotainment systems have not changed.

The Composition Media and Discover Media (incl. Navigation) previously came with 6.5-inch screens previously. They have also been replaced by systems with the same names, but with 8.0-inch screens and a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The top system, the Discover Nav Pro, gets a 9.2-inch screen instead of an 8.0-inch screen; its resolution has been increased from 800 x 480 to 1280 x 640 pixels.

Composition Media

The Composition Media system is available as an option. The design with a clear glass surface (glass design) and its integrated 8-inch colour display has been completely restructured. The glass surface creates a tablet-like look. In addition to two rotary/push-button controls, the system has eight function buttons.

In this system the sound (4 x 20 watts) is output over eight loudspeakers. Along with the SD card and AUX-IN interfaces, it also offers a USB port (also compatible with Apple), a Bluetooth connection for mobile phones and a CD drive.

Discover Navigation

The Discover Navigation is one of two optional radio-navigation systems for the Golf. It is based on the Composition Media infotainment system. Updates to the navigation software are provided free-of-charge for the first five years. In addition, this includes a licence for Car-Net “Guide & Inform” services which is also free-of-charge for three years.

Discover Navigation Pro

Not only does the Discover Navigation Pro version of the MIB have a 9.2-inch display with a resolution that has increased from 800 x 480 pixels to 1,280 x 640 pixels, it has also been completely redesigned. In contrast to the 8.0-inch system that has been replaced in the Golf, the entire front is spanned by a stylish glass surface (also applies to the new Discover Navigation system).

Conventional buttons and controls are a thing of the past with the Discover Navigation Pro; manual control is performed solely via the touchscreen and five capacitive surface buttons on the left side of the new infotainment system. This vertical bar contains the functions “Menu”, “Home”, “On/Off”, “Louder” and “Quieter” – which are higher-level commands. That is because the driver should have immediate access to functions such as the volume control. The same applies to the capacitive surface button “Home”, with which the driver can return in an instant from any sub-menu to the home screen. Updates for the navigation software and a licence for “Guide & Inform” are also integrated here.

In contrast to the previous version of the Discover Pro the new system offers, for the first time, a home screen that drivers can now configure. Always arranged in a large field on the left side of the display is the navigation function; on the right two smaller fields are available, one above the other.

Drivers can assign functions that are particularly important to them personally to these two display panels. For instance the driver may position the radio or media library on the top panel and their phone favourites on the bottom panel.

As mentioned, the Discover Navigation Pro system may now be operated by gesture control, touch functions and voice control. Of course, the system is also equipped with a proximity sensor that makes even more menu functions appear on the display when a hand approaches the screen.

Despite a range of features and functions unparalleled by previous systems, the new infotainment system’s operation remains intuitive and simple.

Gesture Control

Gesture control celebrates its world premiere in the compact class with its debut in the updated Golf. It is available with the top system of the Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB) – the Discover Navigation Pro.

Gesture control works in various menus. A swipe gesture of the hand is all it takes to move the horizontally arranged menu items to the left or right. This enables the driver to scroll through the main menu, change radio stations, scroll forward or back through the playlist or browse in the Picture Viewer and in the music albums (CoverFlow).

A light reflex and a visualised “hand symbol” indicate the contexts in which gesture control can be used. User operation is assisted by visual interactive feedback; a successfully executed swipe gesture is also acknowledged by a sound effect, which may be deactivated.

The range of equipment offered with the Discover Nav Pro system also includes an amplifier with 4 x 20 watts of output power, a DVD drive, one USB port (Apple compatible), two SD card slots, an AUX-IN port, an SSD drive with 10 GB of storage, a full range of music playback capabilities, a movie player, jukebox, podcast player, proximity sensor, voice control as well as navigation.

Phone interfaces

Two phone interfaces are available for the new Golf. Their technical features include a digital speech processor. Together with a high-quality microphone integrated in the headlining and an interface to the outside antenna, the system guarantees very good speech quality. The standard interface is available with the Connectivity Package (incl. USB port, also suitable for Apple devices) and from the Composition Media infotainment system.

In the “Comfort” version, an inductive (wireless) charging function, an antenna connection that is also inductive and two USB ports (also Apple-compatible) are included. To connect a smartphone inductively, it is simply placed in a phone compartment in the centre console (for Qi-compatible smartphones). The phone interfaces also offer much better connection quality and therefore better speech quality than simple Bluetooth systems (HFP).

Media control and app-connect

The latest generation Modular Infotainment Matrix creates the appropriate conditions for connecting the Golf with today’s Apple and Android smartphones via App Connect. Along with MirrorLink™ (Android) App Connect now also integrates Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (Google) into the infotainment systems.

Volkswagen is offering an interface to the infotainment system for tablets (and smartphones) in the form of the Media Control app. The app can be used to control many infotainment system functions conveniently from a tablet.

Passengers simply connect their tablet to the Discover Navigation or Discover Navigation Pro infotainment system via the WiFi hotspot. The systems that can be controlled include the radio, all audio and video sources (e.g. USB, CD, DVD, hard drive) as well as the navigation system. When music is selected, the Media Control menu displays information such as artist and album names, as well as an image of the cover. In addition to standard functions of the navigation menu, it is also possible to execute an internet-based address search and use the results as destination inputs.

Rear seat passengers can now also send the calendar events and address book entries of a tablet or smartphone to the infotainment system for use as navigation destinations. This makes Media Control a mobile extension of the infotainment system and an affordable Rear Seat Entertainment system for a new era.

Car-Net “Security & Service”

This is the first time that Volkswagen has offered the “Security & Service” package in the Golf. Available from June 2017, it gives the driver access to assistance in a wide range of situations. Highlights include services such as “Emergency Service”, “Automatic accident reporting”, “Roadside service” and “Service scheduling” (scheduling service with the service garage).

Emergency Service

In the event of an accident with airbag actuation, the system automatically initiates a call for emergency service aid. This emergency call may also be triggered manually by pressing a separate ‘SOS’ button. In any event, this establishes a connection to the UK-based Volkswagen Emergency Centre; as a result, emergency services get important first information instantaneously. An emergency call may also be initiated even if the car is not involved in an accident – such as in case of health problems or accidents involving other road users.

Roadside service

The driver can contact Volkswagen emergency service from the infotainment system, and employees there immediately seek local roadside assistance. The relevant vehicle data and the driver’s location are automatically sent to the emergency service when the roadside service call is initiated. A voice connection is also established between the driver and Volkswagen Emergency Services.

Security and Service

This offers functions such as checking whether the car is locked or whether the lights have been switched off (query can be made via Car-Net on a smartphone or via the Car-Net portal on a PC). Meanwhile Area Alert (automatic notification if the Golf reaches a predefined area, or leaves it) and Speed Alert (activated as soon as a certain driving speed is exceeded) could appeal to those with a

learner or new driver in the family. Another useful feature is the Online Anti-Theft Alarm; if an attempt is made to break into the car, the Golf sends its owner a warning message by push notification to the Volkswagen Car-Net app (including via smartwatch) and/or notification by email.

Guide & Inform

This allows access to a further wide range of online services. It includes a range of services for the Discover Navigation system and an extended range for the Discover Navigation Pro system. The services available for Discover Navigation include Online POI Search, Online Destination Import, Route Import, Fuel Info (location, availability and price), News, Parking Info (location and availability), Weather, Charging Stations (for electric and plug-in hybrid models) and Online Traffic Information.

The Online Traffic Information service (live traffic information) makes it easier to predict how long each journey in the Golf will take, as it takes into account data such as traffic density and traffic jams, dissolution of traffic jams and other obstacles into the navigation system’s dynamic route guidance virtually in real time. The messages themselves can be viewed via the Traffic menu item. At the same time, graphic and colour-coded markings on the map on the screen continually offer current information on the traffic situations.

The extended range of functions for the Discover Navigation Pro system also includes such items as Online POI Search, Online Map Update and Online Grace Note which can be used to reload music title and album cover information online.

AUTOMATED DRIVING FUNCTIONS

If a model series has ever democratised progress, it must surely be the Golf in its first seven generations and 40-plus years. Systems such as ABS, ESC and later the whole broad spectrum of assistance systems came to be accepted as normal features by millions thanks to the affordable Golf.

It was, for example, one of the first cars in the compact class with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Lane Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Park Assist, Driver Alert System, reversing camera (Rear View), Dynamic Road Sign Display, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and trailer stabilisation.

The updated Golf continues this tradition. In the 2017 model year, Volkswagen is expanding the range of assistance systems, adding Traffic Jam Assist, the new Pedestrian Monitoring for Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Trailer Assist – the first trailer manoeuvring system to ever be offered in the compact class – and Emergency Assist. The proactive occupant protection system (PreCrash) has also been refined.

Traffic Jam Assist

Making today’s Golf capable of semi-autonomous driving in traffic jams, Volkswagen’s new Traffic Jam Assist system is based on Lane Assist (lane departure warning system) and ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control). It is available for all five-door Golfs with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG), SE Nav and above.

The system makes traffic jams or stop-and-go driving much more tolerable. It also makes driving in traffic jams safer, because the assistant helps the driver avoid the rear-end collisions that are so typical in those situations.

The interplay between assistance systems now enables the Golf to drive semi-autonomous for the first time at speeds up to 37 mph. Lane Assist provides the functionality of adaptive lane guidance – not only does the system execute corrective counter steering if the car is about to leave the lane, but with adaptive lane guidance enabled it also keeps the Golf in the middle of the driving lane or on the driver’s preferred line within the lane.

The second assistance system to be integrated in Traffic Jam Assist is ACC. This ensures braking and accelerating are automatic, even in true stop-and-go traffic. ACC and Lane Assist then merge to become Traffic Jam Assist. This means that the system enables assisted lateral and longitudinal guidance. The car steers, accelerates and brakes automatically, within system limits, but only on condition that the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel and the driver is capable of actively participating in steering, so that the driver can intervene at any time.

Meanwhile, the ACC speed range has been extended. Instead of the previous 0 to 100 mph,  the Adaptive Cruise Control now covers a larger range: 0 to 130 mph.

Emergency Assist

Another system in which Lane Assist and ACC merge to create a new assistance system is Emergency Assist. As soon as the sensors detect that the driver is not actively steering, braking or accelerating, the system initiates various measures to rouse him or her in escalating stages and, if the driver remains inactive, it initiates an emergency stop. The hazard warning lights are activated automatically, and the Golf executes a gentle steering manoeuvre to alert the surrounding traffic to the hazardous situation. ACC prevents the vehicle from colliding with the traffic ahead. Finally, the system continues to brake the Golf to a standstill.

Front Assist and City Emergency Braking

Front Assist is a system for warning the driver and braking automatically in the event of an imminent collision. One component of the Front Assist system is City Emergency Braking. The latest version of Front Assist in the Golf can not only detect other vehicles, but also pedestrians who are crossing the street. As soon as a pedestrian is at risk, the system warns the driver and, if necessary, autonomously slows the Golf to a stop.

Trailer Assist

Another innovation in the compact class is Trailer Assist. Designed to free the driver of the complicated thinking needed when reversing with a car and trailer, Trailer Assist takes over instead.

The system also makes reversing straight back over longer distances easier and more precise. To reverse a Golf with a trailer into a parking space or an entrance from the street, all the driver needs to do is stop at a suitable spot and engage reverse gear. The system is activated by pushing a button. Then the current driving angle and possible angles are displayed in the instrument cluster. This is achieved by image-processing algorithms that use data from the rear-view camera, which monitors and analyses the angle between the car and the trailer. By using the mirror adjustment switch, which serves as a kind of joystick, the driver can adjust the desired driving direction of the car-trailer combination.

The Golf executes the steering commands entered by the driver, who only needs to operate the accelerator pedal and the brake. The driving direction of the Golf is automatically controlled by the electromechanical power steering system.

Park Assist 3.0

In its third iteration, Park Assist now makes it possible to park semi-autonomously in any parking space that is parallel or perpendicular to the carriageway; in addition, the system can exit from parallel parking spaces. For perpendicular parking spaces, not only is parking in reverse supported for the first time in a Golf, it is also now possible to drive into a parking space semi-autonomously.

The first generation of Park Assist helped the driver by performing automated steering for parallel parking. The second generation of Park Assist added automatic steering for reverse parking into spaces perpendicular to the carriageway, and it could handle smaller parallel parking spaces. In addition, automatic exiting from parallel parking spaces was also possible. The third generation of Park Assist, which is now offered in the Golf, also makes it possible to park forwards into parking spaces semi-autonomously.

Proactive occupant protection system (PreCrash)

The Golf was one of the first cars in its class to feature a proactive occupant protection system (PreCrash). The new Golf update includes further refinement of this. It interacts intelligently with the Front Assist system to react to strong autonomous braking interventions and acute collision hazards, thereby providing the best possible assistance for occupants in critical situations.

If the proactive occupant protection 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 systems. When a highly unstable driving situation is detected – such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention – the side windows and sunroof are also closed, except for a small gap. This allows the head and side airbags to absorb crash energy optimally and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness.

Personalisation

The number of convenience and assistance systems increases with each new generation of vehicles. Many of these are individually adjusted, often by different drivers. This means that drivers can regularly face having to restore their personal settings. To avoid this inconvenience, Volkswagen has created a simple method of personalisation. It involves combining the individual settings for a driver into a user account.

Drivers can now call up user management to quickly activate their individual user account, which in turn calls up their individual settings. Drivers simply identify themselves by their car key, which happens when the Golf is unlocked. This activates initial settings, such as adjusting the position of the driver’s seat, which can now be saved using the memory function (when the memory seat option is added – available from June 2017).

An overview of settings that can be personalised in the Golf, depending on the specific equipment:

  • Exterior mirrors (passenger side mirror lowered in R gear)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Front Assist
  • Infotainment (navigation, radio station sorting, volume settings for such features as radio, phone and media)
  • Automatic climate control system
  • Instrument cluster/multifunction display
  • Lane Assist
  • Light and Sight (“leaving home” and “coming home” functions, rain sensor)
  • Park Assist
  • Locking/unlocking
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert
  • Driver’s seat (for seats with memory function)

Predictive hybrid strategy

The new Golf GTE now also features a further development of the car’s existing hybrid strategy. The new configuration of strategy and related drive modes enables drivers to better exploit the energy-saving potential of the Golf GTE and the all-electric drive unit.

If the car has one of the optional navigation systems fitted, it considers and optimises the hybrid strategy in Hybrid mode by evaluating predictive route data. This means that both road data of the navigation system and GPS data flow into the drive control system. The Golf GTE thereby recognises the route topography in advance and knows when a motorway, country road or urban area is approaching. This allows it to utilise the motors in a way that is precisely adapted to the route.

As such, the TSI engine tends to be used more on country roads at a speed of 60 mph. When the new Golf GTE approaches a town, the system recognises this revised driving situation and the plug-in hybrid drive therefore activates just the electric motor at the edge of the built-up area. This means that the car is driven through the town with zero emissions and zero petrol consumption, without the driver needing to actively make a choice.
 
SERVICING AND WARRANTY

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf. 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 lifetime it can only be done when a full inspection service is due. 

Warranty

The updated Golf 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.

* Fuel consumption and COâ‚‚ emissions are standard EU test figures for comparative purposes, and may not reflect ‘real world’ driving results. CO2‚‚ emissions shown refer to standard specification only.

INTRODUCTION

The updated Volkswagen Golf arrived in the UK in March 2017 with the option of all-new engines, more technology, improved connectivity and revised styling for an average of almost £650 less (RRP OTR) than the outgoing car.

The new Golf now drives even more value, style and desirability into what is aptly referred to by many as the ‘Golf class’, building on the appeal of the Golf Mk VII. Today’s updated Golf continues to offer buyers a car that sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency. 

The seventh generation car was launched in September 2012 in Berlin, and had its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month.

Emerging from Volkswagen factories around the globe at an average rate of one every 40 seconds for the last 43 years, the brand’s family favourite is nothing less than the most popular European car to date. With global sales now in excess of 33,333,333 (two million of which here in the UK) since its launch more than four decades ago (1974), the updated version of the seventh generation Golf is once again redefining its market segment by bringing ‘big car’ technology to the compact family car class.

The Golf’s popularity in the UK continues to strengthen and, in 2016, the model became the UK’s third best-seller overall (including sales of Golf SV models) and the biggest seller in its family hatchback (A) segment with registrations here in excess of 70,000 for the year. 

Democratising quality and value is a longstanding Volkswagen tenet and it is enthusiastically employed in the updated Golf. Now standard across the range are LED rear lights, for instance, while all models across the Golf hatchback and Estate line-up are also now offered with a new generation of larger and more sophisticated touchscreen infotainment systems.   

The new Golf sparkles with technical innovations. For the first time in the compact class (and depending on model) the new Discover Navigation Pro radio-navigation and online system can be operated via gesture control. Sporting a 9.2-inch screen, the system complements the Active Info Display that is also new in the Golf and appears as standard on all Performance Golfs (GTD, GTD BlueLine, GTI, GTI Performance, GTE, GTE Advance, and R).

Meanwhile, the range of online services and apps has also been enlarged. The UK line-up retains a familiar feel, beginning in the hatchback range with S and rising through SE, SE Nav, GT, R-Line, GTE, GTE Advance, e-Golf, GTD and GTD BlueLine to GTI Performance and, ultimately, R. The estate family offers generous choice, too, with S, SE, SE Nav, GT and GTD and GTD BlueLine models being joined by Alltrack and R.

As before, the new car sits on the now familiar MQB, or Modularer Querbaukasten (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform, which means it benefits from the latest available technology and shares elements of its underpinnings with other successful new models such as the award-winning Passat, popular Touran MPV, latest Tiguan SUV and forthcoming Tiguan Allspace seven-seat SUV.

Indeed, today’s Golf creates a new benchmark for assistance systems in the compact class, employing technologies that will significantly improve safety. Depending on model, these include: City Emergency Braking with new pedestrian monitoring (Front Assist); a new Traffic Jam Assist that offers semi-automated driving at speeds of up to 37 mph (60 km/h); and Emergency Assist, which is also new to this segment.  Emergency Assist notices if the driver is incapacitated and initiates various measures to rouse them in escalating stages culminating, if the driver remains inactive, in carrying out an emergency stop.

Optionally available across the bulk of the range, and ordered in conjunction with the swivelling towbar, Trailer Assist including Park Assist neatly demonstrates the new Golf’s practical yet technically advanced nature. The system helps reverse a trailer or caravan with a weight of up to 1,800 kg into a parking bay or entrance from the street. To operate, the Golf driver simply engages reverse gear and activates the system via a push button. The driving angle and subsequent possible driving angles are displayed on the instrument cluster. All the driver then has to do is operate the accelerator pedal and brake, while the system automatically controls the direction of the car, using Park Assist to move the trailer backwards into the required position.

The progressive digitisation of Golf is supported by the debut of highly efficient engines. Even the new base petrol engine – the turbocharged direct-injection 1.0 TSI with 85 PS – impresses with fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg* (combined). The new Golf sees the debut of the turbocharged petrol 1.5 TSI Evo powerplant – a new four-cylinder engine that generates 150 PS and features Active Cylinder Management (ACT). This is accompanied by a BlueMotion version producing 130 PS and featuring a complete engine shut-down function (as in the hybrid Golf GTE).

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has strengthened the appeal of the iconic Golf GTI; it now develops 245 PS in GTI Performance guise. The range-topping Golf R gets more power than ever before, too, now boasting a peak output of 300 PS (MY19): enough to carry it from rest to 62 mph in as little as 4.6 seconds.

Experienced drivers who take the new Golf R and Golf R Estate onto the track can tune the car’s performance to this specific use by engaging the Race Mode driving profile, which has been added specifically to the R models, as well as by deactivating ESC (ESC off).

Volkswagen has developed a new hybrid strategy for the updated Golf GTE. In combination with a navigation system, GPS and road data are used to predictively and optimally control use of the electric motor and petrol engine by taking the route ahead into account and thereby save energy.

A new 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox) also helps to deliver figures that have in some cases been improved by up to 10 g/km. All Golfs also feature technology such as a stop-start systems and a mode for storing braking energy (regenerative braking).  

Design modifications include new bumpers front and rear, new halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights or full LED headlights – standard on Performance variants and optional in other models – instead of xenon headlights; new front wings; and, as mentioned, new full LED rear lights as standard for all Golf versions.

New wheel designs and body colours complete the exterior update, while fresh trim panels and materials also upgrade the interior of the Golf.

The first new Golfs were ordered in the UK in February 2017, with first customer deliveries via the brand’s 196 Volkswagen UK Retailers in late March. 

SUMMARY

  • New Golf prices REDUCED by an average of almost £650 across the range
  • New Golf opened for order in UK on 2 February 2017, with first deliveries from late March. Entry-level car (Golf S 1.0 TSI 85 PS three-door) remains at £17,765 (RRP OTR)
  • Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here
  • In 2016 a total of 72,762 new Golfs were sold in the UK confirming the model’s top spot among the five key pillars of the brand alongside Tiguan, Polo, Passat and new up!
  • Like its predecessor the new Golf competes in the European A segment for ‘compact’ cars (C segment in UK), and sits above the Polo supermini in the current Volkswagen passenger cars line-up
  • In the UK, the new car is being offered with a broad selection of engines including the new 1.5 TSI Evo unit in two forms: 150 PS BMT and 130 PS BlueMotion, the latter with complete engine shut-down function (as in the hybrid Golf GTE)
  • Golf GTE uses predictive hybrid control, utilising GPS and road data to maximise the efficiency of the 204 PS drivetrain
  • Golf R and Golf R Estate retain their place as the twin flagships of the Golf range and now boast 300 PS – the highest output of any Volkswagen currently on sale
  • Newly developed 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) for TDI engines from 150 PS and TSI engines from 245 PS
  • New Golf debuts premium segment technology: new generation high-end infotainment system with the largest display in its class
  • The new Discover Navigation Pro infotainment system with gesture control – standard on e-Golf and optional on all but S models in the UK – brings the “interface of the future” to the compact class
  • Range of online services expanded; debut of “Security & Service” for models with a navigation system (standard on GTE from launch, and on GT upwards from June 2017 in UK)
  • The spectrum of assistance systems in the Golf democratises progress in technology, featuring Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist for the first time
  • Design updated: front and rear sections with new bumpers. Fitted with full LED rear lights across the range; animated (sweeping) indicators standard on Performance Golfs (GTI variants/GTD/R, plus GTE and e-Golf models)
  • Once again, Golf will be offered in the UK with the option of petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI), plug-in hybrid (GTE) or pure electric (e-) power – remaining, at launch, the only car on the UK market with such a broad range of engine options.
  • Best-sellers in the new range are SE Nav spec, with that model variant (all engines/gearboxes) accounting for as much as 33% of Golf sales (hatch)
  • Best-selling precise model/trim (hatch) is predicted to be GTD 2.0 TDI 184 PS 5dr 6 spd manual with an estimated seven per cent of sales
  • Best-selling Estate model is also likely to be SE Nav with a predicted 42% of sales (all engines/gearboxes)
  • Best-selling precise model/trim (Estate) is predicted to be SE Nav 1.6 115 PS TDI 5 spd manual with an estimated 13% of sales
  • The fleet/retail split in the UK is expected to remain at 65% fleet/35% retail
  • Golf range launched in three waves in the UK, with wave one being the largest, wave two  comprising of 1.5 TSI Evo 150 PS engines and GTI Performance and wave three the 1.5 TSI Evo 130 PS BlueMotion and e-Golf
  • The new Golf range consists of 113 models, with 77% available to order from Volkswagen Retailers from 2 February 2017, with deliveries from the end of March
  • Golf continues to be built at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory and global headquarters

MARKET INFORMATION

Like its predecessor, the new Golf competes in the European A segment for ‘compact’ cars (C segment in UK), and sits above the Polo supermini in the current Volkswagen passenger cars line-up. The car is a rival to the likes of the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Honda Civic and Peugeot 308, as well as the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Golf is the biggest-selling model in the Volkswagen range in the UK, accounting for approximately one in three new Volkswagens sold here each year. In 2016 a total of 72,762 new Golfs were sold in the UK. 

The range, at 113 models at launch, is Volkswagen’s most extensive offering and among the largest model line-ups on the UK market. The fleet/retail split for updated Golf in the UK is expected to remain broadly similar to before, at 65% fleet / 35% retail.

Production

Situated on the banks of Mittellandkanal, an inland artificial waterway, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant is the world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex and covers an area of more than 3.7 square miles – that’s an area large enough to accommodate the entire Principality of Monaco.

The network of roads connecting the individual production facilities, warehouses, administration buildings and outdoor facilities covers a distance of 46 miles, with 43 miles of railway tracks accommodating seven locomotives, two shunting robots and a traverse.

The Golf family is built here, along with the new Tiguan SUV and Touran MPV. In addition to these whole models, the site also makes components – an important mainstay on the plant portfolio – such as cardan drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, which are either used in production at the plant itself or supplied to other Group production sites. 

Around 809,000 vehicles were built at Wolfsburg in 2015 and some 60,500 people were employed there.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate supplies not only for the Volkswagen plant, but they also supply power and district heating to the City of Wolfsburg. Both power stations have an installed electricity capacity of 442 megawatts at their disposal.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand has set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants. It has already met its 2018 target of reducing the environmental impact of production at all Volkswagen plants by 25 percent. Specifically, this means 25 percent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants.

One contribution to sustained energy saving is the Energy Path. The Wolfsburg Energy Path initiative 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 optimization of heating pumps featuring demand-oriented control to save energy. In July 2013, the plant commissioned the first hybrid locomotives. Currently, three of these locomotives, which reduce noise levels by 90 per cent and fuel consumption by 50 per cent, are in service.

History

The history of the Wolfsburg plant is closely linked to the history of the City of Wolfsburg, since both were founded in the same year. Close co-operation continues to exist between Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and the city. A mutual enterprise, Wolfsburg AG, was founded in 1999 as a product of this close attachment. A public-private partnership, the initiative was launched as a means of realising the AutoVision aim to strengthen Wolfsburg’s economic standing for the long term. By providing support for company start-ups and incentives for established companies to set up business in Wolfsburg, by creating concepts for and establishing recreational attractions and health projects and by providing human-resource services, the Wolfsburg AG initiative has helped to create and secure more than 11,000 jobs to date.

AutoVision GmbH was founded in 2001 as a platform on which to implement the AutoVision concept. A 100 percent subsidiary of Volkswagen, the mission of AutoVision GmbH is to help give the Group even more competitive edge. Its activities are concentrated in the fields of ‘administration and technical services’ and ‘human-resource services’. The company also offers this portfolio of services on the external market.

Additional areas of operation dedicated exclusively to the Volkswagen Group include venture-capital undertakings and the provision of development support for process innovations.

The world-famous Autostadt is also a key feature of the Wolfsburg skyline. As a communication platform of the Volkswagen Group, the Autostadt in Wolfsburg presents the values of the Group and the topic of mobility in all its facets under the motto of “People, cars and what moves them”. Since it was opened in 2000, more than 33 million guests have visited this theme park and educational centre. 

The Autostadt is also the world’s largest car delivery centre and includes ZeitHaus, the world’s best-visited automobile museum.  With a wide variety of cultural events such as the annual Movimentos festival weeks, the Autostadt is an international meeting point for people interested in culture. In 2015, the Autostadt reported record results, with 2.42 million visitors and 168,514 new vehicles delivered to customers. 

THE MQB PLATFORM

As before, the updated Golf uses as its base the Volkswagen Group’s MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix. The introduction of the MQB strategy with the arrival of Golf VII in 2012 represented a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines as it standardised many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offered access to new technologies.

The MQB currently extends from the A0 to the B segment. At the Volkswagen brand, for example, it covers the following models: Polo, Beetle, updated Golf, Jetta, Touran, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace Sharan, Passat and forthcoming Arteon. Thus all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths. It is 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 (MOB) and diesel (MDB) engine systems.

By introducing these engine series, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group has been reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice. 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

ENGINES, TRANSMISSION AND RUNNING GEAR

The latest edition of the Golf will once again be one of the few vehicles in the world to offer such a breadth of drive systems with petrol, diesel plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions available in the UK.

In the first phase of UK market launch, Volkswagen presented the 2017 model year Golf and Golf Estate in selected petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions. Following these, separately, was the debuts of the e-Golf, Golf GTI Performance, and the Golf 1.5 TSI Evo with 150 PS and 1.5 TSI Evo BlueMotion, with 130 PS.

A new 1.0 TSI entry level petrol engine with turbocharging and direct fuel injection is being offered for the first time in the Golf. The 1.0 TSI has an output of 85 PS and develops a torque peak figure of 175 Nm, which is particularly impressive for its engine power class.

Meanwhile, over the course of 2017, Volkswagen will be upgrading the 1.4-litre TSI to a displacement of 1.5 litres. The 1.5 TSI Evo is a 150 PS four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with Active Cylinder Management (ACT) and efficient common rail direct injection. The new TSI is particularly flexible and refined; it develops its maximum torque of 250 Nm starting at a low 1,500 rpm.

The new 1.5 TSI Evo engines are high-tech units. Internal friction has been further reduced compared with the 1.4-litre engines, achieved by means of a fully-variable, map-controlled oil pump, and a polymer-coated first main crankshaft bearing. In addition, the new turbocharged engines are characterised by higher injection pressures of 200 to 350 bar. Other refinements are the even more efficient indirect intercooling unit with improved cooling performance.

Temperature-sensitive components such as the throttle valve are also located downstream of the intercooler, which optimises their temperature. Last but not least, the new engines have a highly innovative thermal management system with a new map cooling module. APS-coated cylinder liners, fin cooling between the cylinders and a cross-flow cooling concept in the cylinder head are used specifically for the 150 PS TSI.

A BlueMotion version of the 1.5 TSI Evo with 130 PS is also being produced. Among the special characteristics of this high-tech engine are a new combustion cycle (derived from the Miller cycle), a very high compression ratio of 12:1 and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG).

The engine develops its maximum torque of 200 Nm at just 1,400 rpm. As a world premiere, the 1.5 TSI Evo with 130 PS also offers an ‘extended coasting function’ which means it completely shuts down the TSI when the driver releases the accelerator pedal. This type of engine deactivation has only been seen in conjunction with hybrid vehicles up to now, because systems such as electromechanical power steering and the brake servo still need to be supplied with energy, even when the Evo motor is switched off.

Volkswagen has also updated the Golf’s transmission options with the introduction of a new seven-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG). This is an exceptionally efficient transmission unit replacing the six-speed DSG which has been used to date in many models.
 
PETROL ENGINES IN DETAIL

All the Golf’s petrol engines are turbocharged units with direct fuel injection (TSI). The TSI engines being offered at market launch deliver between 85 PS in the Golf 1.0 TSI and 245 PS in the Golf GTI Performance. The Golf R has 300 PS, a 10 PS gain. Except for the base engine, all TSI engines may be equipped with 6-speed or 7-speed DSG either as an option or as standard.

1.0TSI 85 PS

The new base engine with a 1.0 litre displacement has fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg (combined) and CO2 emissions of 108 g/km. The three-cylinder engine produces 85 PS (between 5,000 and 5,500 rpm) and accelerates the Golf to 62 mph in 11.9 seconds. Its top speed is 112 mph. The engine’s maximum torque of 175 Nm is available from a low 2,000 rpm (up to 3,000 rpm).

1.0 TSI 110 PS

At the next power level, the Golf develops 110 PS – as much power as the first Golf GTI from 1976. This maximum power is available from 5,000 to 5,500 rpm. The engine develops its maximum torque of 200 Nm between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm. With this engine, the Golf has a top speed of 122 mph and accelerates to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is 58.9 mpg (109 g/km CO2).

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf Estate 1.0 TSI with 110 PS: 0-62 mph in 10.4 seconds, top speed 122 mph, fuel consumption 57.6 mpg (equates to 112 g/km CO2). As an option, the 110 PS TSI can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further reduces fuel consumption and emissions to 58.9 mpg and 110 g/km.

1.4 TSI 125 PS

The 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS (4,800 to 6,000 rpm) is even more lively. The engine delivers its 200 Nm maximum torque over a large speed range from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. The Golf 1.4 TSI completes the sprint to 62 mph in 9.1 seconds. It reaches its top speed at 127 mph while combined fuel consumption is just 54.3 mpg (120 g/km CO2). The 1.4 TSI will gradually be replaced by the new 1.5 TSI with 130 PS.

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf Estate 1.4 TSI with 125 PS: 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds, top speed 127 mph, fuel consumption 53.3 mpg combined, (123 g/km CO2). As an option, the 125 PS TSI is also available with a 7-speed DSG which further reduces fuel consumption and emissions to 55.4 mpg and 118 g/km.

1.4 TSI 150 PS plus electric motor (102 PS) for a system power of 204 PS

The updated Golf GTE is capable of 138 mph, and races from 0-62 mph in 7.6 seconds. It is equipped with a six-speed DSG as standard. Combined fuel economy is 166.2 mpg (156.9 GTE Advance), with CO2 emissions of 38 g/km (40 g/km GTE Advance). The top speed is 138 mph. Zero emission electric driving range is 31 miles.

1.5 TSI 150 PS

This new engine reaches 134 mph whether it is mounted to the six-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed DSG. The 0-62 mph time for both transmissions is 8.3s, and the 150 PS is reached between 5000 and 6000 rpm. The combined fuel economy is 55.4 mpg (56.5 mpg DSG) and CO2 emissions are 116 g/km (114 g/km DSG).

1.5 TSI 130 PS

Full details of this BlueMotion version of the new 1.5-litre TSI are to come in the summer.

2.0 TSI 245 PS

The 2.0 litre TSI with 245 PS is offered exclusively for the Golf GTI Performance. The car sprints to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds; while the top speed is 155 mph. With a manual gearbox the engine returns 43.4 mpg combined and has a CO2 output of 148 g/km.

2.0TSI 300 PS 4MOTION

The most potent Golf motor sits in the Golf R and Golf R Estate. Now producing 300 PS it carries the all-wheel drive Golf to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds (manual: 5.1 seconds) and on to a top speed limited to

155 mph. With a six-speed manual gearbox the car records 37.7 mpg on the combined cycle, rising to 40.9 mpg for the new seven-speed DSG. CO2 is measured at 180 g/km and 160 g/km respectively. For the first time, too, the Golf R has two different torque peak figures, depending on gearbox choice. The manual car peaks at 380 Nm (2000-5400 rpm) while the DSG-equipped model boasts a peak of 400 Nm.  

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf R Estate are 155 mph and 4.8 seconds 0-62 mph (DSG only), with combined fuel economy of 39.2 mpg and emissions of 164 g/km.

DIESEL ENGINES IN DETAIL

As with the petrol engines, all of the updated Golf’s diesel engines also have direct-injection and turbocharging. The TDI engines offered at launch had power outputs ranging from 115 PS in the Golf 1.6 TDI to 184 PS in the GTD, Golf GTD Estate and Golf Alltrack models. With the exception of the base diesel, all TDI engines are offered with a 6-speed or 7-speed DSG, either as an option or as standard.

1.6 TDI 115 PS

The range of diesel engines for the Golf now begins with the 1.6 TDI that delivers an output of 115 PS. This figure is available between 3,250 and 4,000 rpm, and the engine’s maximum torque of 250 Nm is available from as little as 1,500 rpm up to 3,200 rpm. This TDI with a manual gearbox accelerates the updated Golf to 62 mph in 10.2 seconds and enables a top speed of 123 mph. Its combined fuel consumption is very low at 68.9 mpg (106 g/km CO2). As an option, this engine can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further improves fuel economy (72.4 mpg and 102 g/km CO2).

Driving performance and fuel consumption figures for the Golf Estate 1.6 TDI with 115 PS: 0-62 mph in 10.7 seconds, top speed 124 mph, fuel consumption 68.9 mpg (equates to 106 g/km CO2). As an option, this engine can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further improves fuel economy (70.6 mpg and 103 g/km CO2).

2.0TDI 150 PS

The 150 PS 2.0 litre TDI of the Golf and Golf is a four-cylinder engine that has two balancer shafts that deliver exceptional refinement. In the Golf hatch, combined fuel consumption is just 67.3 mpg (109 g/km CO2). The engine develops its maximum power between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm; its maximum torque of 340 Nm is available at a low 1,750 rpm (up to 3,000 rpm). The Golf 2.0 TDI has a top speed of 134 mph and accelerates to 62 mph in 8.6 seconds.

The Golf Estate thus equipped returns 65.7 mpg (111 g/km CO2), with a 0-62 mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed on 135 mph. As an option, this engine can be combined with a 7-speed DSG that further improves fuel economy (62.8 mpg and 117 g/km CO2).

Comparable figures for the Golf Alltrack 4MOTION: 0-62 mph in 8.9 seconds, top speed of 128 mph, fuel consumption of 55.4 mpg (133 g/km CO2). A 7-speed DSG is available as an option. It allows the Alltrack a top speed of 136 mph; 0-62 mph time of 7.8 seconds; economy of 54.3 mpg combined, and CO2 emissions of 133 g/km.

2.0 TDI 184 PS

The 2.0 litre TDI has a power output of 184 PS between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm, and is fitted as standard in the Golf GTD and Golf GTD Estate and as an option in the Golf Alltrack. As with the 150 PS unit, two balancer shafts result in very smooth running for this engine. An impressive maximum torque of 380 Nm is available from only 1,750 rpm and remains constant up to 3,250 rpm. This powerful unit accelerates the Golf GTD, which has a top speed of 144 mph, to 62 mph in just 7.5 seconds. The car’s combined fuel consumption is 61.4 mpg (116 g/km CO2) for the three-door DSG version.

Comparable figures for the Golf GTD Estate: 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds, top speed of 144 mph, fuel consumption of 60.1 mpg for 124 g/km CO2). The Golf GTD models can be ordered with an optional 7-speed DSG (previously a 6-speed DSG).

When specified with this engine, the Golf Alltrack is equipped with the dual clutch gearbox as standard. It has a combined fuel consumption of 54.3 mpg (137 g/km CO2).

6-SPEED AND 7-SPEED DUAL CLUTCH GEARBOXES

New 7-speed DSG

Volkswagen has developed a second 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) for the Golf. The new DSG is known internally as the “DQ 381” and was engineered for more powerful engines with torque figures starting at 340 Nm.

This means that there will be four DSG versions for the Golf: The “DQ 200” – a 7-speed DSG for smaller engines with up to 250 Nm of torque; the “DQ 250” – a 6-speed DSG for engines up to 350 Nm; the “DQ 400 E” – a 6-speed DSG for the hybrid drive system of the Golf GTE and the new “DQ 381”.

Fuel consumption is reduced thanks to the larger spread of individual gears. This means the engines nearly always operate in their optimal range with the “DQ 381”. This reduces fuel consumption and emission figures. The newly designed gearbox has two “wet” clutches that run in an oil bath.

In addition, innovative technical solutions boost the efficiency of the 7-speed DSG. They include a small, mechanically-driven gearwheel pump that handles basic oil circulation. When demand is higher – such as when driving on mountain ascents – a second pump with an electric drive provides supplementary assistance. Internal friction has also been reduced by optimisation measures on many gearbox components.
 
DESIGN

The iconic design of the updated Golf now has even more understated appeal by virtue of a number of new details. The team led by Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, redesigned the bumpers and, together with engineers, created new headlights (halogen and LED), new LED tail lights and new wheels.

The exterior design of the Golf, which has been carefully evolved over a period of more than 40 years, has been consciously advanced in this updated model with a continuation of the enduring classless appeal that has come to represent the essence of Volkswagen. At the front, the radiator grille and headlights have taken the style of its predecessor to a new level. The lower chrome strip of the radiator grille is continued to the left and right as a chrome element (GTI Performance: chrome/red; GTE: blue; R: gloss black) which extends through the LED daytime running lights and into the full-LED headlights. The LED headlights in the new Golf, included as standard or as an option depending on the trim line, replace the previous xenon headlights.

The cooling air openings in the lower section of the bumper, which have also been redesigned, emphasise the width of the Volkswagen more than ever. The radiator grilles of the non-Performance models exhibit a louvre-type design; on the GTI Performance, GTD and R models, and on the Alltrack and GTE, it is a honeycomb. The Golf GTE also integrates a c-shaped signature of the daytime running lights into the bumper, which is typical of all Volkswagen electric and plug-in hybrid models. 

A key visual ‘plus’ in versions with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and/or Front Assist including City Emergency Braking with pedestrian monitoring comes via the fact that the radar sensor in these systems is no longer visible in the cooling air intake on the bumper; rather it is now carefully hidden behind the VW badge in the radiator grille.

The rear has also been redesigned to be more charismatic. Now, all versions of the Golf and Golf Estate will be equipped with full-LED tail lights. In contrast to many standard LED tail lights, none of the functions of the Golf’s new tail lights now use conventional light bulbs. Also, the top-of-the-range version of the full-LED tail lights (available in the three- and five-door Golf) have animated, or ‘flowing’, indicator functions. Visually, this version can be recognised by a translucent white LED stripe that turns orange when indicating. Last but not least, the top-of-the-range version is distinguished by a striking, dynamic visual transition between the LED tail light and the LED brake lights when the brakes are applied.

In addition, the Performance models are distinguished from one another by the configuration of their chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes. The Golf GTE has dual tailpipes on the left, while the Golf GTI Performance can be made out by individual pipes left and right; the Golf R has distinctive dual tailpipes at either side. 

Golf Estate and Golf Alltrack

The diverse model range of the Golf has traditionally included the Estate. A new rear bumper, in particular, gives today’s Golf Estate an even more elongated and elegant appearance. The full-LED tail lights, which come as standard with this version, also match the look perfectly.

Like the Passat Estate, the Golf Estate is also available with optional trapezoidal chrome trim panels, which are integrated into the diffuser on the GT model.

Inside, the update of the Golf includes new trim panels in the doors, the gear shift panel, centre console and new seat covers. However, it is the introduction of features such as the new digitised display and control concept that really makes the new Golf one of the most progressive cars in its class.

Highlights include the Golf’s new Active Info Display and a new generation of infotainment systems with gesture control. The latter makes the Golf the world’s first compact class car to be available with gesture control.

In terms of the infotainment updates, the most important characteristics are the new sophisticated design, larger touchscreens and as mentioned above – for the top Discover Pro model – gesture control. At the same time, the range of online services and App Connect apps has also been expanded still further.

TECHNOLOGY

By virtue of its MQB underpinnings, the new updated Golf continues to benefit from the latest advances in Volkswagen technology. For instance, new to the Golf class is the Active Info Display, familiar from the latest Passat and Tiguan.

Active Info Display

In combination with the display of the radio or navigation system this creates a virtual, flexible human-machine interface (HMI) whose displays complement one another.  Six different views are available for the 12.3-inch Active Info Display.  The Golf’s Active Info Display is a fully digitalised instrument cluster with numerous interactive functions. All of the instruments are displayed virtually via software on the 12.3-inch colour screen.

The navigation information can be displayed in 2D or 3D. The 1,440 x 540 pixel resolution enables extremely precise and sophisticated representation of all details. There are five different information profiles, in which the kind of information and graphics displayed changes in certain areas.

The driver can select from one of the following profiles: “Classic”, “Consumption & Range”, “Efficiency”, “Performance & Driver Assistance” or “Navigation”.

A good example of the interactive elements of the Active Info Display is taken from the Navigation profile. Here, the speedometer and rev counter are relocated to the sides to make more room for the navigation map in the middle. Information on driving, navigation and assistance functions can also be integrated into the graphic areas of the speedometer and rev counter, as necessary.

Data such as telephone contact images and CD covers can also be displayed in the Active Info Display. The graphics are customised according to the model. In the Golf GTI Performance, for instance, GTI red is used as a contrasting colour. Volkswagen offers the Active Info Display as an optional extra for all versions of the Golf.

MIB-based Infotainment

Volkswagen has replaced all previous infotainment systems in the Golf with a new generation of the MIB. All systems have a new design and larger touchscreens; however, the names of the infotainment systems have not changed.

The Composition Media and Discover Media (incl. Navigation) previously came with 6.5-inch screens previously. They have also been replaced by systems with the same names, but with 8.0-inch screens and a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The top system, the Discover Nav Pro, gets a 9.2-inch screen instead of an 8.0-inch screen; its resolution has been increased from 800 x 480 to 1280 x 640 pixels.

Composition Media

The Composition Media system is available as an option. The design with a clear glass surface (glass design) and its integrated 8-inch colour display has been completely restructured. The glass surface creates a tablet-like look. In addition to two rotary/push-button controls, the system has eight function buttons.

In this system the sound (4 x 20 watts) is output over eight loudspeakers. Along with the SD card and AUX-IN interfaces, it also offers a USB port (also compatible with Apple), a Bluetooth connection for mobile phones and a CD drive.

Discover Navigation

The Discover Navigation is one of two optional radio-navigation systems for the Golf. It is based on the Composition Media infotainment system. Updates to the navigation software are provided free-of-charge for the first five years. In addition, this includes a licence for Car-Net “Guide & Inform” services which is also free-of-charge for three years.

Discover Navigation Pro

Not only does the Discover Navigation Pro version of the MIB have a 9.2-inch display with a resolution that has increased from 800 x 480 pixels to 1,280 x 640 pixels, it has also been completely redesigned. In contrast to the 8.0-inch system that has been replaced in the Golf, the entire front is spanned by a stylish glass surface (also applies to the new Discover Navigation system).

Conventional buttons and controls are a thing of the past with the Discover Navigation Pro; manual control is performed solely via the touchscreen and five capacitive surface buttons on the left side of the new infotainment system. This vertical bar contains the functions “Menu”, “Home”, “On/Off”, “Louder” and “Quieter” – which are higher-level commands. That is because the driver should have immediate access to functions such as the volume control. The same applies to the capacitive surface button “Home”, with which the driver can return in an instant from any sub-menu to the home screen. Updates for the navigation software and a licence for “Guide & Inform” are also integrated here.

In contrast to the previous version of the Discover Pro the new system offers, for the first time, a home screen that drivers can now configure. Always arranged in a large field on the left side of the display is the navigation function; on the right two smaller fields are available, one above the other.

Drivers can assign functions that are particularly important to them personally to these two display panels. For instance the driver may position the radio or media library on the top panel and their phone favourites on the bottom panel.

As mentioned, the Discover Navigation Pro system may now be operated by gesture control, touch functions and voice control. Of course, the system is also equipped with a proximity sensor that makes even more menu functions appear on the display when a hand approaches the screen.

Despite a range of features and functions unparalleled by previous systems, the new infotainment system’s operation remains intuitive and simple.

Gesture Control

Gesture control celebrates its world premiere in the compact class with its debut in the updated Golf. It is available with the top system of the Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB) – the Discover Navigation Pro.

Gesture control works in various menus. A swipe gesture of the hand is all it takes to move the horizontally arranged menu items to the left or right. This enables the driver to scroll through the main menu, change radio stations, scroll forward or back through the playlist or browse in the Picture Viewer and in the music albums (CoverFlow).

A light reflex and a visualised “hand symbol” indicate the contexts in which gesture control can be used. User operation is assisted by visual interactive feedback; a successfully executed swipe gesture is also acknowledged by a sound effect, which may be deactivated.

The range of equipment offered with the Discover Nav Pro system also includes an amplifier with 4 x 20 watts of output power, a DVD drive, one USB port (Apple compatible), two SD card slots, an AUX-IN port, an SSD drive with 10 GB of storage, a full range of music playback capabilities, a movie player, jukebox, podcast player, proximity sensor, voice control as well as navigation.

Phone interfaces

Two phone interfaces are available for the new Golf. Their technical features include a digital speech processor. Together with a high-quality microphone integrated in the headlining and an interface to the outside antenna, the system guarantees very good speech quality. The standard interface is available with the Connectivity Package (incl. USB port, also suitable for Apple devices) and from the Composition Media infotainment system.

In the “Comfort” version, an inductive (wireless) charging function, an antenna connection that is also inductive and two USB ports (also Apple-compatible) are included. To connect a smartphone inductively, it is simply placed in a phone compartment in the centre console (for Qi-compatible smartphones). The phone interfaces also offer much better connection quality and therefore better speech quality than simple Bluetooth systems (HFP).

Media control and app-connect

The latest generation Modular Infotainment Matrix creates the appropriate conditions for connecting the Golf with today’s Apple and Android smartphones via App Connect. Along with MirrorLink™ (Android) App Connect now also integrates Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (Google) into the infotainment systems.

Volkswagen is offering an interface to the infotainment system for tablets (and smartphones) in the form of the Media Control app. The app can be used to control many infotainment system functions conveniently from a tablet.

Passengers simply connect their tablet to the Discover Navigation or Discover Navigation Pro infotainment system via the WiFi hotspot. The systems that can be controlled include the radio, all audio and video sources (e.g. USB, CD, DVD, hard drive) as well as the navigation system. When music is selected, the Media Control menu displays information such as artist and album names, as well as an image of the cover. In addition to standard functions of the navigation menu, it is also possible to execute an internet-based address search and use the results as destination inputs.

Rear seat passengers can now also send the calendar events and address book entries of a tablet or smartphone to the infotainment system for use as navigation destinations. This makes Media Control a mobile extension of the infotainment system and an affordable Rear Seat Entertainment system for a new era.

Car-Net “Security & Service”

This is the first time that Volkswagen has offered the “Security & Service” package in the Golf. Available from June 2017, it gives the driver access to assistance in a wide range of situations. Highlights include services such as “Emergency Service”, “Automatic accident reporting”, “Roadside service” and “Service scheduling” (scheduling service with the service garage).

Emergency Service

In the event of an accident with airbag actuation, the system automatically initiates a call for emergency service aid. This emergency call may also be triggered manually by pressing a separate ‘SOS’ button. In any event, this establishes a connection to the UK-based Volkswagen Emergency Centre; as a result, emergency services get important first information instantaneously. An emergency call may also be initiated even if the car is not involved in an accident – such as in case of health problems or accidents involving other road users.

Roadside service

The driver can contact Volkswagen emergency service from the infotainment system, and employees there immediately seek local roadside assistance. The relevant vehicle data and the driver’s location are automatically sent to the emergency service when the roadside service call is initiated. A voice connection is also established between the driver and Volkswagen Emergency Services.

Security and Service

This offers functions such as checking whether the car is locked or whether the lights have been switched off (query can be made via Car-Net on a smartphone or via the Car-Net portal on a PC). Meanwhile Area Alert (automatic notification if the Golf reaches a predefined area, or leaves it) and Speed Alert (activated as soon as a certain driving speed is exceeded) could appeal to those with a

learner or new driver in the family. Another useful feature is the Online Anti-Theft Alarm; if an attempt is made to break into the car, the Golf sends its owner a warning message by push notification to the Volkswagen Car-Net app (including via smartwatch) and/or notification by email.

Guide & Inform

This allows access to a further wide range of online services. It includes a range of services for the Discover Navigation system and an extended range for the Discover Navigation Pro system. The services available for Discover Navigation include Online POI Search, Online Destination Import, Route Import, Fuel Info (location, availability and price), News, Parking Info (location and availability), Weather, Charging Stations (for electric and plug-in hybrid models) and Online Traffic Information.

The Online Traffic Information service (live traffic information) makes it easier to predict how long each journey in the Golf will take, as it takes into account data such as traffic density and traffic jams, dissolution of traffic jams and other obstacles into the navigation system’s dynamic route guidance virtually in real time. The messages themselves can be viewed via the Traffic menu item. At the same time, graphic and colour-coded markings on the map on the screen continually offer current information on the traffic situations.

The extended range of functions for the Discover Navigation Pro system also includes such items as Online POI Search, Online Map Update and Online Grace Note which can be used to reload music title and album cover information online.

AUTOMATED DRIVING FUNCTIONS

If a model series has ever democratised progress, it must surely be the Golf in its first seven generations and 40-plus years. Systems such as ABS, ESC and later the whole broad spectrum of assistance systems came to be accepted as normal features by millions thanks to the affordable Golf.

It was, for example, one of the first cars in the compact class with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Lane Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Park Assist, Driver Alert System, reversing camera (Rear View), Dynamic Road Sign Display, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and trailer stabilisation.

The updated Golf continues this tradition. In the 2017 model year, Volkswagen is expanding the range of assistance systems, adding Traffic Jam Assist, the new Pedestrian Monitoring for Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Trailer Assist – the first trailer manoeuvring system to ever be offered in the compact class – and Emergency Assist. The proactive occupant protection system (PreCrash) has also been refined.

Traffic Jam Assist

Making today’s Golf capable of semi-autonomous driving in traffic jams, Volkswagen’s new Traffic Jam Assist system is based on Lane Assist (lane departure warning system) and ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control). It is available for all five-door Golfs with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG), SE Nav and above.

The system makes traffic jams or stop-and-go driving much more tolerable. It also makes driving in traffic jams safer, because the assistant helps the driver avoid the rear-end collisions that are so typical in those situations.

The interplay between assistance systems now enables the Golf to drive semi-autonomous for the first time at speeds up to 37 mph. Lane Assist provides the functionality of adaptive lane guidance – not only does the system execute corrective counter steering if the car is about to leave the lane, but with adaptive lane guidance enabled it also keeps the Golf in the middle of the driving lane or on the driver’s preferred line within the lane.

The second assistance system to be integrated in Traffic Jam Assist is ACC. This ensures braking and accelerating are automatic, even in true stop-and-go traffic. ACC and Lane Assist then merge to become Traffic Jam Assist. This means that the system enables assisted lateral and longitudinal guidance. The car steers, accelerates and brakes automatically, within system limits, but only on condition that the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel and the driver is capable of actively participating in steering, so that the driver can intervene at any time.

Meanwhile, the ACC speed range has been extended. Instead of the previous 0 to 100 mph,  the Adaptive Cruise Control now covers a larger range: 0 to 130 mph.

Emergency Assist

Another system in which Lane Assist and ACC merge to create a new assistance system is Emergency Assist. As soon as the sensors detect that the driver is not actively steering, braking or accelerating, the system initiates various measures to rouse him or her in escalating stages and, if the driver remains inactive, it initiates an emergency stop. The hazard warning lights are activated automatically, and the Golf executes a gentle steering manoeuvre to alert the surrounding traffic to the hazardous situation. ACC prevents the vehicle from colliding with the traffic ahead. Finally, the system continues to brake the Golf to a standstill.

Front Assist and City Emergency Braking

Front Assist is a system for warning the driver and braking automatically in the event of an imminent collision. One component of the Front Assist system is City Emergency Braking. The latest version of Front Assist in the Golf can not only detect other vehicles, but also pedestrians who are crossing the street. As soon as a pedestrian is at risk, the system warns the driver and, if necessary, autonomously slows the Golf to a stop.

Trailer Assist

Another innovation in the compact class is Trailer Assist. Designed to free the driver of the complicated thinking needed when reversing with a car and trailer, Trailer Assist takes over instead.

The system also makes reversing straight back over longer distances easier and more precise. To reverse a Golf with a trailer into a parking space or an entrance from the street, all the driver needs to do is stop at a suitable spot and engage reverse gear. The system is activated by pushing a button. Then the current driving angle and possible angles are displayed in the instrument cluster. This is achieved by image-processing algorithms that use data from the rear-view camera, which monitors and analyses the angle between the car and the trailer. By using the mirror adjustment switch, which serves as a kind of joystick, the driver can adjust the desired driving direction of the car-trailer combination.

The Golf executes the steering commands entered by the driver, who only needs to operate the accelerator pedal and the brake. The driving direction of the Golf is automatically controlled by the electromechanical power steering system.

Park Assist 3.0

In its third iteration, Park Assist now makes it possible to park semi-autonomously in any parking space that is parallel or perpendicular to the carriageway; in addition, the system can exit from parallel parking spaces. For perpendicular parking spaces, not only is parking in reverse supported for the first time in a Golf, it is also now possible to drive into a parking space semi-autonomously.

The first generation of Park Assist helped the driver by performing automated steering for parallel parking. The second generation of Park Assist added automatic steering for reverse parking into spaces perpendicular to the carriageway, and it could handle smaller parallel parking spaces. In addition, automatic exiting from parallel parking spaces was also possible. The third generation of Park Assist, which is now offered in the Golf, also makes it possible to park forwards into parking spaces semi-autonomously.

Proactive occupant protection system (PreCrash)

The Golf was one of the first cars in its class to feature a proactive occupant protection system (PreCrash). The new Golf update includes further refinement of this. It interacts intelligently with the Front Assist system to react to strong autonomous braking interventions and acute collision hazards, thereby providing the best possible assistance for occupants in critical situations.

If the proactive occupant protection 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 systems. When a highly unstable driving situation is detected – such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention – the side windows and sunroof are also closed, except for a small gap. This allows the head and side airbags to absorb crash energy optimally and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness.

Personalisation

The number of convenience and assistance systems increases with each new generation of vehicles. Many of these are individually adjusted, often by different drivers. This means that drivers can regularly face having to restore their personal settings. To avoid this inconvenience, Volkswagen has created a simple method of personalisation. It involves combining the individual settings for a driver into a user account.

Drivers can now call up user management to quickly activate their individual user account, which in turn calls up their individual settings. Drivers simply identify themselves by their car key, which happens when the Golf is unlocked. This activates initial settings, such as adjusting the position of the driver’s seat, which can now be saved using the memory function (when the memory seat option is added – available from June 2017).

An overview of settings that can be personalised in the Golf, depending on the specific equipment:

  • Exterior mirrors (passenger side mirror lowered in R gear)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Front Assist
  • Infotainment (navigation, radio station sorting, volume settings for such features as radio, phone and media)
  • Automatic climate control system
  • Instrument cluster/multifunction display
  • Lane Assist
  • Light and Sight (“leaving home” and “coming home” functions, rain sensor)
  • Park Assist
  • Locking/unlocking
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert
  • Driver’s seat (for seats with memory function)

Predictive hybrid strategy

The new Golf GTE now also features a further development of the car’s existing hybrid strategy. The new configuration of strategy and related drive modes enables drivers to better exploit the energy-saving potential of the Golf GTE and the all-electric drive unit.

If the car has one of the optional navigation systems fitted, it considers and optimises the hybrid strategy in Hybrid mode by evaluating predictive route data. This means that both road data of the navigation system and GPS data flow into the drive control system. The Golf GTE thereby recognises the route topography in advance and knows when a motorway, country road or urban area is approaching. This allows it to utilise the motors in a way that is precisely adapted to the route.

As such, the TSI engine tends to be used more on country roads at a speed of 60 mph. When the new Golf GTE approaches a town, the system recognises this revised driving situation and the plug-in hybrid drive therefore activates just the electric motor at the edge of the built-up area. This means that the car is driven through the town with zero emissions and zero petrol consumption, without the driver needing to actively make a choice.
 
SERVICING AND WARRANTY

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf. 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 lifetime it can only be done when a full inspection service is due. 

Warranty

The updated Golf 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.

* Fuel consumption and COâ‚‚ emissions are standard EU test figures for comparative purposes, and may not reflect ‘real world’ driving results. CO2‚‚ emissions shown refer to standard specification only.

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