Despite high prices (from 17.850 Euro) it is and remains not only the favorite car of the Germans, it is still the most important product of the VolkswagenGroup: the Golf. Last year alone in Germany 236.000 were re-registered by him, almost four times more than the Opel Astra or seven times more than the Ford Focus. That may sound impressive, but 2015 decided even more 15 percent more customers for the Wolfsburg icon. The double-digit decline is related to the advanced age of the gulf. He launched 2012 in November, the seventh generation. On the other hand, but certainly with the homemade cheat scandal in the diesel engines. Without loss of sales you can rarely get out of such a number.
It was therefore important for the Wolfsburg-based carmaker to make their bestseller as modern as possible as part of a facelift in order to defend its pole position in the segment. The competition is tough. A dozen manufacturers are now in the compact class, and everyone wants to have a piece of the cake that is as thick as possible. Volkswagen speaks internally of a model revision of a PA (product upgrade). However, the Golf was not hit by the tin. This would simply be too expensive because millions of pressing tools would be required. And for the rest of the term - the Golf 8 is scheduled to appear in 2019 - such an investment is not worth it.
So it remains as usual in the renewal of the attachments. These usually include the bumpers, the grill and the headlights. The latter received a new light signature. The daytime running lights look like an extension of the chrome trim in the radiator grille. New are full-LED headlights. They replace the xenon lights, but are standard in the higher equipment lines. All variants now have factory LED taillights.
At the latest after the reinsetzen notes the golf driver: Here is what has changed. Although the upper dashboard retained its shape, but a huge display (9,2 instead of 8,0 inches) and a switch panel under glass unmistakably point the way to the digital modern era. VW introduced the big screen over a year ago at the Consumer Electronics Show CES in Las Vegas. Now the customer can enjoy the new technology, provided he orders the top version of the infotainment system, called: Discover Pro (2.385 Euro). Among other things, a gesture control is integrated. "We are the first in the compact segment", says electronics engineer Kai Höbrink proudly. So far, only the sevens and fives BMW react to hand movements. However, the variety of controls in golf is very limited. Only the choice of songs or the radio station can be controlled by gesture.
In addition to “Discover Pro”, Volkswagen is also replacing the other Golf infotainment systems. The latest generation of the MIB, the modular infotainment kit, is used. The basis is now a 6,5 inch display (previously 5,0 inch). The previous 6,5-inch systems will be replaced by 8,0-inch screens, whose pixel resolution is much higher than before.
What Audi calls "Virtual Cockpit" in the A3 means "Active Info Display" (665 euros) for Volkswagen's mother. The Passat and the Tiguan already have it, now the Golf is getting it too. The digital and virtual instrument cluster can be configured according to the driver's personal wishes. Whether you prefer to have the navigation map or the instruments displayed large, just press a button on the steering wheel.
About driving and suspension comfort, about steering behavior and interior noise, about workmanship and choice of materials, above all this, the Golf does not have to say a word. The Wolfsburg marks the top of the segment here. The same applies to the drive variety. It ranges from the small three-cylinder petrol engine TSI to the plug-in hybrid and an electric motor. Even a natural gas drive (TGI) is to get. New added to the program VW has the 1,5-liter four-cylinder with 110 kW / 150 PS. It replaces the previous 1,4-liter TSI with the same performance, but consumes only 4,9 liters according to the standard. To postpone you want in summer a more economical version with 95 kW / 130 PS, which should come to 4,6 liter.
When it comes to assistance systems, too, the Golf is likely to have raised the bar a little further in this segment. In traffic jams or in stop & go traffic, it drives semi-autonomously. The system steers, brakes and accelerates independently, provided that the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel.
Pricing starts at 17.850 Euro. But no golf leaves the sales room of the dealer. For example, those who opt for the new 1,5-liter gasoline engine, ordered it with the - highly recommended - direct gearbox (DSG) and the virtual cockpit in conjunction with the large display, already passes the 30.000 Euro mark. Should a cross behind a few assistance systems, leather, LED headlights and panoramic roof be made, it is easy to double the basic price.
Many will do so because they know that they will get the most consistent overall package and quality in the segment - even if the competition is so great. Everybody orders a Golf every 40 seconds. (Michael Specht / SP-X)