Golf 7 rings changes under the skin

Bobby Cheetham

FIVE months after its international unveiling Volkswagen South Africa has launched the radically new Golf 7 in Port Elizabeth. Why “radically new” when VW was at pains to call it an “evolutionary” Golf rather than “revolutionary”?

The original Golf was launched 38 years ago and there have been changes in looks and design ever since then, with some saying the new model looks pretty much the same as the vehicles it is replacing.

Many felt a completely new shape was the way VW should go.

However, just like with the iconic Beetle, the Germans felt constant improvement did not necessary mean a change of shape with every model.

Under the skin engineering, was more important than cosmetic looks.

By sticking close to the original DNA, the Golf became an instantly recognisable brand.

We feel that the Golf 7 has undergone a radical change with this model, particularly as far as the new generation of engines as well as dramatic new technology is concerned.

The BlueMotion Golf range is now equipped with engines 23% more fuel-efficient, which many cash strapped motorists will find appealing.

All engines except the 2.0 TDI with 81kW are equipped with BlueMotion Technology which has Stop/Start system and a battery regeneration mode.

Also new is the multi-collision braking system which automatically goes a long way in preventing collisions.

VW is the only carmaker in the world to implement such a system as standard in a compact car.

The multi-collision brake system automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order to significantly reduce its residual kinetic energy.

The driver can override the multi-collision brake system at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it gets disabled.

The automatic system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.

Essentially, the multi-collision brake system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10km/h is reached.

And readers will be pleased to note that the car is equipped with a full-sized spare wheel – something that is lacking in many European cars today.

But what’s the car like to drive.

Very, very good, in fact, dare we say it’s the best car we have ever driven in this segment and in fact most others.

The car is responsive, acts brilliantly under heavy braking and is also very quiet on the road.

The handling can be compared to that of a larger car and one gets the impression, cocooned in luxury, that the new Golf is boxing far above its weight.

If you were disappointed with the Golf 6 do yourself a favour and take a test drive in the new model.

The difference is like chalk and cheese.

It’s brilliant!

Don’t be surprised if the Golf 7 does not garner a fist of motoring awards.

The model range comes standard with a five-year/90000km service plan, three-year/120000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Service interval is 15000km.

THE SPECS

Volkswagen Golf 7 1.2 TSI

Engine: 1197cc

Power: 77kW at 5 600rpm

Torque: 175Nm at 1500rpm – 4100rpm

0-100km/h: 10.2seconds

Top Speed: 192km/h

Fuel Consumption: 4.9l/100km (claimed combined)

CO2: 114g/km

Price: R233800

THE SPECS

Volkswagen Golf 7 1.4 TSI

Engine: 1395cc

Power: 90kW at 5000rpm

Torque: 200Nm at 1500 – 4000rpm

0-100km/h: 9.3 seconds

Top Speed: 203km/h

Fuel Consumption: 5.2l/100km (claimed combined)

CO2: 120g/km

Price: R264900

THE SPECS

Volkswagen Golf 7 1.4 TSI

Engine: 1395cc

Power: 103kW at 4500 – 6000rpm

Torque: 250Nm at 1500 – 3000rpm

0-100km/h: 8.4seconds

Top Speed: 212km/h

Fuel Consumption: 5.3l/100km (claimed combined)

CO2: 121g/km

Price: R293600

THE SPECS

Volkswagen Golf 7 2.0 TDI

Engine: 1968cc

Power: 110kW at 3500 – 4000rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1750 – 3000rpm

0-100km/h: 8.6 seconds

Top Speed: 212km/h

Fuel Consumption: 4.5l/100km (claimed combined)

CO2: 119g/km

Price: R334 800

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