by Marc Greig - 22/04/13
The wait is finally over for Volkswagen Golf fans in Australia. The latest Volkswagen Golf Mk7 has already been voted “European Car of the Year”, and “World Car of the Year”.
The Volkswagen Golf has always been a standout in the hatchback segment, and the latest edition based on the new MQB platform continues the excellent tradition of superb German engineering and development.
The Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is lighter, stronger, longer, wider and more fuel efficient than the superseded Golf Mk6. All new from the ground and Volkswagen Australia has simplified the product line-up and sharpened the pricing.
The Golf is available with a choice of three different engines (two petrol and one diesel) and in three trim levels (90TSI, Comfortline and Highline).
The list of standard inclusions like the new multi-collision brake system, 5.8-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Fatigue Detection system, ESP and the XDL transverse differential lock which comes out of the current Golf GTi are all great additions.
In addition the standard specs Comfortline gains 16” alloy wheels, rain sensing wipers, auto dimmer rear-view mirror, auto headlights, park sensors, reveiew camera and comfort seats.
Range topping Highline see front fog lights, 17” alloy wheels, sport seats, Sat-Nav. LED ambient interior lighting and floor mats.
The Golf is available with a choice of three different engines (two petrol and one diesel) and in three trim levels (90TSI, Comfortline and Highline)
The full 2013 Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 line-up is:
Golf 90TSI 6 Speed Manual $21,490
Golf 90TSI 7 Speed DSG $23,990
Golf 90TSI Comfortline 6 Speed Manual $24,990
Golf 90TSI Comfortline 7 Speed DSG $27,490
Golf 103TSI Highline 7 Speed DSG $31,990
Golf 110TDI Highline 6 Speed DSG $34,490
The new entry level model 90TSI engine replaces the outgoing 77TSI meaning the buyers get more powerful engine along with a more fuel efficient engine, plus a $500 saving in the hip pocket.
The engine specs are:
On a wet and cold morning in Melbourne we jumped behind the wheel of a 2.0litre TDI Highline and found the engine to be perfectly suited to peak hour traffic around the city, when cold the noise from the diesel is a little loud but once we had a few kilometres under our belt, the engine noise returned to acceptable levels.
Volkswagen have made the inside of the Golf Mk 7 more spacious and given the cabin a more refined feel, the Golf Mk7 has grown up.
Drivers are greeted with a duel round instrument cluster separated by a small LCD information screen. The left instrument cluster houses tachometer and oil temp, whilst the right has speedometer and fuel gauge.
Looking to the centre console the large 5.8-inch infotainment display jumps out at you. The unit is USB, SD card and Bluetooth enabled and works like the latest smartphones, responding to touch and swipe movements. The air climate controls are located below the infotainment unit, 90TSI has mono climate control, Comfortline and Highline receive dual climate control.
Front and rear seats have been redesigned and would help deliver what may be best in class comfort and support. Adult rear seat passengers may find leg room a tight squeeze and fitting 3 adults in the back would only be suitable for short journeys.
Volkswagen have done a great job increase the boot size which now stands at 380 litres with seats in place, increasing to 1270litres when the seats folded.
The design team led by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff used the Volkswagen historic DNA principles to design the Golf Mk7. These elements result in the reduced form of the radiator grille crossbeam, the look of the side windows as well as the first Golf’s roof line and the Golf Mk4’s typical C-pillars and wheel arches.
Just like the interior of the Volkswagen Golf Mk7 the exterior styling of the Golf has grown-up, yet it’s still instantly recognisable as a Golf.
The Volkswagen Golf Mk7 brings a new level of refinement not previously seen for this price point in the hatchback segment. We spent time driving the 6-speed 90TSI, 7-Speed DSG 110TSI and 6-Speed DSG 103TDI, each car handled the conditions perfectly. Across the range the steering was crisp and precise.
Ride and handling has stepped up a level across all three models, delivering a rewarding experience. On the high speed test loop the cars felt balanced and body roll was minimal, the cars had to be pushed extremely hard to produce any oversteer.
The standard Start/Stop technology which helps to reduce fuel consumption in city traffic is simple and does the job perfectly.
So what can be wrong with the 2013 world car of the year? Maybe Volkswagen could have extended Sat-Nav as standard across the range. Another inclusion that would be welcomed is DAB radio.
The hatchback segment is such a hotly contested arena that you are spoilt for choice when buying a new car. With so many choices for a buyer it can be difficult to draw up a shopping list.
The recently launched Opel Astra ($23,990-$33,490), Ford Focus ($20,290-$36,490) and headline grapping Mercedes Benz A-Class ($35,600-$49,900).
The Mazda3 ($20,330-$31,490) isn’t the bestselling car in Australia without reason, Toyota Corolla($19,900-$28,490) and the Korean manufacturers have come a long way Kia Cerato ($19,460-24,305) and Hyundai i35($20,990-$32,590).
The team at Carshowroom don’t do car of the year or any other awards like that, but if we did, Volkswagen Australia would be receiving the top gong from us. The Volkswagen Golf has been the benchmark for the hatchback segment and the latest instalment raises that bar.
We are pretty sure the team from Volkswagen will spend the next few months making room in their trophy cabinets for the plethora of awards they will receive for the Golf MK7.
With a great list of standard features and an entry price of only $21,490 the Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is the standout for 2013.
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