Golf 7.2 in the driving report
Analog was yesterday!
The car, after which a class was named, has been with us for an unbelievable 43 years. The golf! By the end of 2016 alone, over 33 million copies of the cult car had been sold. Before Germany's flagship car number 1 will enter its 8th generation in two years' time, the carmaker from Wolfsburg will be sending the compact to the market in 2017, not just optically and technically. With new infotainment and driver assistance systems, the Golf is opening up its digital world and is ready for semi-automated driving. The range of the Golf VII under the hood remains, as it was at its introduction in 2012, a novelty. The Golf is the only car in the world that is optionally available with an electric, hybrid, petrol, diesel or gas drive. However, he promises small changes in the gasoline and diesel generator sets. For an entry-level price of € 17.850, the Golf Sedan is already available with an extremely economical 1.0 liter TSI petrol engine with 63 kW (85 PS).
Everything as always?
At first glance, it doesn't seem that much has changed compared to the introductory model of the seven, and we register our first test drives after our arrival on the sunny island of Mallorca. The Golf remains Golf, but from the front end it is clearly recognized as the latest update of the bestseller from the Autostadt. In order to further optimize the interplay between the radiator grille and headlights, his designers extended the lower chrome strip of the grille to the left and right. This ends in a row with the LED daytime running lights. The small, always visible box of the radar sensor disappears in the brand logo in the middle of the vehicle and there will generally no longer be any xenon-equipped front headlights. In addition, the rear view of the Golf now appears as standard with LED reversing lights.
With five drive types
Volkswagen promises to implement all the innovations or changes under the bonnet associated with the update by the end of this year. The modifications are limited to the units operated with petrol and diesel. For the first time, a 1.0 TSI with 63 kW (85 PS) and a torque of 175 Nm works. The previously offered 1.4 TSI will be converted to a 1.5 liter displacement and is intended to reduce fuel consumption by means of variable cylinder deactivation. The newly used seven-stage dual clutch transmission (DSG) guarantees a further 0.3 liters / 100 km of fuel savings. So 13 different engine variants will be offered. These include gasoline (TSI), diesel (TDI), natural gas engines (TGI) as well as plug-in hybrids (GTE) and pure electric drives (e).
Diesel power in the GTD sports car
Our first trip is in the GTD diesel sports car, which Volkswagen has been offering its customers as a counterpart to the GTI since 1982. The 2.0 liter TDI puts 135 kW (184 hp) on the crankshaft. A brutal 380 Newton meters of torque at 1.750 - 3.250 revolutions per minute and its seven-speed dual clutch transmission allow the Golf to pull forward. In the interior there is space for up to five people in the driver and front passenger seats and the bench in the rear. Sitting in the driver's seat, the car demonstrates its “Active Info Display”. The 12,3-inch wide, fully digitized instrument cluster, which is visible through the rim of the steering wheel, displays all data on the vehicle (on-board computer) or the navigation view in addition to the usual round instruments. The 9,2-inch standard color display in the middle of the dashboard is used to fully display the infotainment system. With the “gesture control” we navigate through the “app world”, operate the digital radio or communicate via smartphone. Many applications of our “cuddle cell phone” are projected onto the screen via “Mirror-Link”, “Apple CarPlay” or “Android Auto”. The Golf makes a solid impression when it comes to loading luggage. When fully seated, the trunk still holds 380 liters. If you have to go shopping in bulk, a load of 1.270 liters is not such a bad figure. Starting in the south / east, after a short motorway drive we reach the road to Porto Colom. The perfectly working assistance systems, such as the adaptive distance controller with cruise control system, or ACC for short, were used several times. The Mallorcan streets do not allow a lawn like in Germany one way or another. We don't have to, because the GTD takes us very confidently with a high-torque engine and a well-coordinated chassis to the first exchange station. Once there, we take the same vehicle for photo drives on the island's coastal roads. This also shows that the Golf GTD can handle load changes and potholes in a very stable manner. He even masters driving in easy terrain with confidence.
Traffic Jam Assistant included
When it comes to safety and comfort, Wolfsburg specifically focuses on the latest driver assistance systems. If such things as a cruise control system with speed limiter or distance controller are an absolute standard, more and more electronic helpers are also coming in with the update of the 7th generation. Volkswagen also offers a traffic jam assistant, a new pedestrian detection system for the Front Assist with city emergency braking function, an Emergency Assist and a Trailer Assist in the sedan and the combined version. The newly developed traffic jam assistant is based, for example, on the lane departure warning system and automatic distance control. Available in models with a dual clutch transmission (DSG), the Golf drives for the first time in a partially automated manner in cooperation with the assistance systems up to a speed of 60 km / h.
Quality has its price
If the gasoline-powered Golf remains below the 30.000 Euro line, the Golf dies the brand very narrowly. In the Golf world, the customer dives with the 1.0 liter TSI engine (63 kW / 85 PS) and five-speed manual transmission for 17.850 Euro. In the base model 2017 already series are start-stop system, infotainment system, LED taillights and recuperation mode (BlueMotion Technology). The price of the Golf with the 2.0 liter diesel and six-speed manual gearbox at 31.325 Euro. However, this price range affects only the sedan. The final point was set by the athletes with the GTD and GTI. For the GTI (6-gear-DSG / 169 kW-230 PS) the customer has to provide 31.975 Euro and for the GTD (7-gear DSG / 134 kW-184 PS) after all 32.800 Euro.
At the end... The update of the 7. Generation of the VW Golf is not just another facelift. The car makers from Wolfsburg prepare their customers a completely new car, which solidifies its position for the next few years in the market as a top dog with slightly modified exterior, interior and a variety of digital service providers.
If you are looking for a car in the “Golf class” that combines good quality, solid workmanship with a lot of driving fun, you cannot ignore the Golf VII update.
Text: Stefan Beckmann, Photo: Stefan Beckmann and manufacturer