Posted by Bob Aldons – Northstar VW
Styling of the Volkswagen Golf continues the tradition of being neat and conservative.
Ewan Kennedy road tests and reviews the new Volkswagen Golf 7 with specs, fuel economy and verdict.
Volkswagen Golf is a huge player on the world’s motoring scene and has been so for almost 40 years. Total sales over the six Golf generations to date are approaching 30 million.
We were among 1500 plus journalists invited to the global launch of the all-new Golf 7 in Italy last year. Now Golf has arrived in Australia and we have just experienced it in local driving conditions to check how it copes with our sometimes harsh roads.
Styling of the Golf has always been relatively conservative and the all-new Golf 7 continues that tradition. It retains cues to its predecessors, but comes with some sharp new lines that tie in with the latest styling trends.
The front has a neat grille that ties in with modestly shaped headlights. Naturally, Golf 7 has the kinked C-pillar that has been a distinctive feature since the first model. The shape is neat, competent and likely to be as timeless as that of its honourable ancestors.
Inside, the theme continues in that the cabin is sensible and ergonomic, with no unnecessary frills. Two large dials are easy to see and the satellite navigation, where fitted, is clear and legible, though the screen is perhaps smaller than we like.
The Volkswagen designers have gone right back to basics with the new model. This is not an evolution of the Golf 6, which was in turn closely based on the ‘5. Rather the ‘7 is an all-new design using the latest in weight reduction.
Though the car itself is slightly larger than the Golf 6 the overall weight is up to 100 kg less than before. Even more cleverly, this has been achieved without having to use expensive materials such as aluminium in large quantities. Light weight, of course, assists in performance, reduced fuel usage and lower CO2 emissions.
Boot space is useful at 380 litres, up from 350 in the Golf 6. Volume is increased to 1270 litres with the rear seat backrests down. Cleverly, the luggage cover stores neatly under the boot floor when not required, so you don’t have to find space for it elsewhere. The cover can be set at two levels, one of them providing the security of out-of-sight space under it.
Active safety features include Lane Assist that actively steers the car back into the correct lane or away from the edge of the road (providing there are clear line markings at the road’s edge); City Emergency Braking at speeds up to 30 km/h; crash anticipation and preparation; and adaptive cruise control.
The basic safety features are standard in all Australian models, but you have to pay extra for some of the advanced safety items in the lower cost variants. Check with your local VW dealer for information.
Power comes from new-design turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel engines. The petrol displaces 1.4 litres; the diesel is a 2.0-litre. The petrol engine comes in two states of tune, producing either 90 kilowatts of power, and 200 Newton metres of torque between 1400 and 4000 revs; or 103 kW and 250 Nm from 1500 to 3500.
Diesel peak power is 110 kW, with torque running at a strong 320 Nm between 1750 and 3000 revs. The biggest impression made by the all-new Volkswagen Golf 7 is of sophistication. It is as smooth and quiet as a car at least a size larger.
The Golf’s engine is almost electric-motor quiet at idle and little noise intrudes into the cabin, even when it’s accelerated hard. Response is significantly better than that of most modern turbocharged engines, to the extent you can forget it’s a turbo most of the time.
Handling is neat and precise and the Golf is easy to point and willing to change direction. Comfort is good and even on some of the very rough backroads we punted it over in a 300+ kilometre drive program out of Melbourne, the coarse-chip surfaces and large potholes didn’t increase sound and vibration levels to any real extent.
The windscreen pillars are reasonably slim and don’t hamper the view outside as much as in many contemporary cars.
Volkswagen Golf 7 is an extremely impressive car with a highly refined feel inside the cabin and the level of performance offered by relatively small engines. It seems assured of sales success in Australia, as it has already been in dozens of other countries.
If you want to experience new Volkswagen Golf in person, call into Northstar Volkswagen at 322 Anzac Avenue Kippa-Ring on the Redcliffe Peninsula. We're only 15 minutes or so from Brisbane Airport and a leisurely drive down the highway from Noosa, Bundaberg, Maryborough, and a short trip from Nambour, Caloundra, Mooloolaba and Bribie Island. We also get a lot of our customers as FIDO - that's not a dog by the way, that's fly in drive out. With cheap airfares, our customers come in from Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Mt Isa and even Sydney, Melbourne and as far away as Perth.
We'll happily arrange a drive home registration and you know the best thing about this? The drive home gives you just the best running in you'll ever get. New engines love a long drive to bed everything in and you'll get the best economy you've ever experienced. Alternatively if you're time or distance poor, check us out online at www.northstarvw.com.au or read more reviews at www.mycarreview.com.au . Finally, if you can't come to us, we'll come to your home, workplace or worksite - call Northstar on 1300 NTH STAR or 1300 684 782.