Timeless design, sharpened with fine lines. So summarize VW the optical measures in the course of the golf refresher together. But honestly: to recognize the fine lines, you have to look twice. The bumpers have been redesigned very gently, there are always LED rear lights at the rear, full-LED lights are now used instead of xenon headlights - but not as standard. The basic Golf still drives up with conventional halogen lights. At what price - probably still for just under 18.000 euros - and when exactly the latest edition will be at the dealer in the coming year, VW still leaves open.
There are several reasons why the Golf looks almost unchanged after the facelift - or update, as Volkswagen aptly calls it - optically. The Wolfsburg-based company speaks of a “familiar face”, which is of great importance in times of diminishing trust in the brand. Now no experiments! But of course, big changes also cost big money, and you have to be economical with that in Wolfsburg these days. So we can only expect fundamentally new things with the Golf 8, and it will be a good two years away.
Until then, technical innovations must keep the Golf attractive. Among other things, the updated compact shines with a digital instrument cluster, the displays of which can be adapted to the driver's wishes. Also new: the top infotainment system Discover Pro with gesture control. The 9,2-inch screen now comes with a higher resolution, and the entire front is now under glass - there are no more conventional buttons and controls. Control is via the touchscreen, with so-called capacitive pressure fields on the left edge, by voice or simply by hand gesture: You can scroll through various menus by swiping in front of the screen.
Wedel technology only masters the high-end device, but the cheaper versions have also been bored out and will all come with larger displays in the future. With the new infotainment systems, there is also an improved smartphone connection that can be used to transfer a navigation destination from the cell phone to the car, among other things. And there are new online services, such as finding a petrol station or charging station, remembering the parking position or an anti-theft alarm system that notifies the driver of an attempted break-in by a push message. Also required for an update: new assistance systems. The Golf 7 has a city emergency braking function, a trailer maneuvering assistant and a traffic jam assistant, which allows semi-autonomous driving for the first time. In stop-and-go traffic, it is supposed to relieve the driver of up to 60 km / h by the car accelerating, braking and steering. Automatic parking and exiting has also been expanded: in addition to rear-parking in transverse and longitudinal gaps, the Golf can now also steer forward in transverse gaps.
In addition to all the new features in infotainment and assistance systems, VW has also, very traditionally, tried to make the engine engineers who have further developed the EA211 TSI engine family. The first offspring is now celebrating its premiere in the Gulf, which - listen and be amazed - puts an end to downsizing. As the name suggests, the new 1.5 TSI Evo has a displacement of one and a half liters and replaces the previous 110 with 150 kW / 1.4 PS. The standard consumption drops by a few decimal places to 4,9 liters per 100 kilometers. Also in the works is a 96 kW / 130 hp BlueMotion variant, which, thanks to a new combustion process, a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry and a sailing function, is to consume only 4,6 liters in the (still valid) European cycle. In practice, however, VW even promises lower consumption of up to one liter compared to the predecessor engine.
Also new is the 7-speed dual clutch transmission, which will gradually replace the 6-speed variant in the Golf. And there is a treat for all GTI fans: In the course of the update, he was given a performance boost of at least 7 kW / 10 PS. The standard GTI has 169 kW / 230 PS, the performance version has increased to 180 kW / 245 PS. VW has not yet said a lot about other engines, but the offer should not change much until the 1.5 is introduced on a larger scale. That means: the petrol engines will produce between 85 kW / 115 hp and 132 kW / 180 hp, the diesels will range from 66 kW / 90 hp to 135 kW / 184 hp. In addition, there is the plug-in hybrid GTE with an electrical range of around 50 kilometers - and the E-Golf: After the update, it now has an output of 100 kW / 136 hp and, more importantly, will travel around 300 kilometers in the future. Around 100 kilometers more than before. (Michael Gebhardt / SP-X)