The latest incarnation of the legendary Golf was launched earlier this year in South Africa. The new shape is not immediately recognisable, as the new Golf is at first glance quite similar to its smaller sibling, the Polo. Upon closer inspection, you do notice the softer edges and smaller gaps between the panels. Where it differs the most from its predecessor, the Golf VI, is that the rear lights have been squeezed
some what to create a more elegant and refined appearance.
The Xenon headlights now have squared-off, solid LED surrounds, as opposed to curved individual LED lights. I personally prefer this new look to the older one, which looked like an aftermarket add-on.
One of the biggest changes is found in the interior, where the fi t and finish of the vehicle has set a new benchmark for medium sector hatchbacks. The interior has been refined, with all the rough edges ironed out. The sharp curves are gone, to be replaced by rather smooth silhouettes. The new touchscreen entertainment system is much more user-friendly than in the previous Golf.
The steering wheel has a good feel to it, with a squared-off section at the bottom
that adds a sporty touch, while opening space when entering and exiting the vehicle. The boot space is bigger than that of the previous Golf, but the car I tested had a full-size spare mag wheel, which meant that the entire floor was raised, making the boot smaller than I would have liked. The leather seats look good and offer ample lumbar support. Switching on their heating is also nice for the cold winter mornings.
On the road, the 2.0 litre diesel engine is surprisingly quiet. In fact, inside the car you have to look at the rev counter to confirm the engine is actually on. This is not only due to the new technology used in VW’s engines, but also to the additional sound dampening materials used in the vehicle. The power from the engine is more than most people will require, and its torque is even better.
This, together with the DSG gearbox, makes the drive effortless on short and long journeys. The good news for Golf fans is that the legendary road-holding is still there, and even improved. The vehicle grips the corners like a crocodile would its prey.
Overall, the new Golf is not the most innovative as far as shape and looks are concerned. Instead, VW have concentrated on the overall refinement of the vehicle, and have done an exceptional job in that respect. I think this vehicle will continue to fly the legendary Golf flag high.
2.0l 4 Cylinder Turbo Diesel
8.6 Sec (Claimed)
From R347 500,00
Car courtesy of VW South Africa.
Author: Azim Omar CA(SA) is a member of the SAGMJ.