- The new Golf VII – driven for the first time
- Classic with key and ignition lock
- New: button for driving profile selection
- XDS differential lock is standard
- Noticeably more legroom
- Shorter than the Opel Astra
- Dream car would cost 27,254 euros
The new Golf VII – driven for the first time
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The new Golf has a significantly sharper cut than its predecessor. The designers placed particular emphasis on a strictly horizontal alignment of the front and…
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… a less plump body than its predecessor. Golf V and Golf VI (which was just a better facelift) still had a shaped shoulder area that balances the side view…iger made. The Golf VII, on the other hand…
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… is almost smooth on the sides, the shoulder line on the doors is only a visual appearance, but not a noticeable step.
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Technically, the Golf brings noticeably less weight (up to 100 kilograms), the body alone shed 23 kilograms. Besides that…
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… VW states up to 23 percent less standard consumption. However, this does not apply to the engines offered at the beginning, here the savings are between 10.9 and 15.5 percent.
The Golf has been available to order for some time, and the premiere at dealerships is on November 10th. Initially, the 1.2 TSI (85 PS), 1.4 TSI (140 PS), 1.6 TDI (105 PS) and 2.0 T…DI (140 PS) offered.
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In the interior, too, everything has been designed a bit more straightforward. The central element is the standard touchscreen – but the basic model of the Golf still does not have a radio…n built, that costs 400 euros extra.
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There is also a convertible later, this picture shows a cut open show model.
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The Golf VII in line with its ancestors. The design differences between the flanks can be clearly seen on the rear roof pillar: Golf I, IV and VII have none…Traditional shoulder line, generation two, three, five and six, on the other hand, carry the additional kink in the sheet metal.
The first test of ”Die Welt” shows: The new model repeats the mistakes of the predecessor. Meanwhile, VW has announced that the model family will grow rapidly. Other variants will follow soon.
UI have to confirm a legend right away: Yes, there is a valuable gift in the hotel room. VW is offering me three real gems, in a sense they are the most important treasures in the history of the model: the Golf I, the Golf IV and the Golf VII, all on a scale of 1:87.
I don’t take it as an attempt at bribery, but as a hint. These are the true Golf versions, everything else was just a profitable accessory, but number one, four and seven are inspired by the same spirit: strict in form, timeless in shape, simplicity in perfection.
At least that’s how today’s top management, including the design department, sees it, and it happens to coincide with my personal Golf story: I owned the first one as a scrap-ripe used one, the Golf IV is at my door today, and because it is already a few years old it could soon be the new Golf, right??
I am not sure. Because what I’m being offered for a test drive here, I may be able to afford, but I don’t want to. The Golf has always been classless, you can cheer it up beyond the 40,000 euro mark, or you can drive the basic model (two doors, 85 hp petrol engine) for 16,975 euros without being ashamed. The available test cars belong to the first category and confirm an unpleasant trend in press presentations: you are given preference for a test drive in the top versions – a rogue who thinks badly.
I’ll take the new 150 hp diesel in highline equipment, with four doors, six-speed dual clutch transmission, top navigation system, adjustable chassis and leather seats. If I had more time, I would certainly find more extras, but even so this is a car worth more than 33,000 euros. Oh yes, 970 euros for the color, it is called “Oryx white, mother-of-pearl effect”, and that’s also included.
One could now use the picture of the Volks-Wagen, which Volkswagen has not built for a long time. I don’t want to. But somehow the Golf VII makes the same mistake as all generations, at least since number three, before it: It can also be a deterrent with its degree of perfection, with its range of technology and the corresponding price.
Classic with key and ignition lock
I give myself about an hour (a car dealer wouldn’t give me much more either) and in the first second the new Golf tries to win me over. The doors, how full they are in the hand, how firmly they hold the opening angle in any position (stepless). It is the basic quality, the high quality in design and execution, for which you have to pay.
The two-liter diesel starts with a low hum, and I’m happy that it happens without having to press a start button. Even in such a top Golf, you can still use the ignition key and lock in the classic way, another plus point ("Keyless Access" is of course also available for 370 euros, a really senseless expense).
The new diesel, now with 150 instead of 140 hp, with 350 instead of 320 Newton meters of torque, remains acoustically discreet while driving, but keeps the car in perfect swing. Especially since it has also become lighter: if you buy the right model, you are walking exactly 100 kilograms less weight than the predecessor, which brings the standard consumption to almost half a liter per 100 kilometers. VW specifies 4.1 liters for the new diesel, which the on-board computer cannot confirm to me (6.5), but I also don’t drive fairly.
New: button for driving profile selection
I drive rather fast, I have the dual clutch transmission in sport mode half the time, I enjoy the barely noticeable downshifts during intermediate accelerations on the mountain (and remember with a quiet smile on the first Golf Diesel with its 50 hp that a friend used to drive).
I feel good about it, especially when I discover the button for so-called driving profile selection in the center console, on the front left next to the gearshift lever. This function is new in the new Golf, it costs 120 euros extra or is included in the electronic chassis control DCC (990 euros).
If you press this button, five buttons appear on the new, standard touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard: Normal, Comfort, Sport, Eco and Individual. They change the character of the Golf, not only in terms of spring-damper coordination, but also the shift points, the throttle response, the acceleration force when using the adaptive cruise control (if ordered: 555 euros) and the energy consumption of the air conditioning (standard).
XDS differential lock is standard
If you tap on “Individual”, you can set up the Golf as you would like, for example with hard damping and early upshifts or vice versa.
Gimmick? Not necessarily. The Highline model that I drive (unfortunately there is no 150-hp diesel in the basic Trendline version), unlike the medium-sized Comfortline equipment, does not have 16-inch but 17-inch wheels as standard. The comfort driving profile easily compensates for their slight disadvantage in comfort, and so I glide quickly over winding country roads and think: yes, a Golf was always expensive, but it was also always particularly comfortable. One should change for my sake, the other definitely not.
Noticeably more legroom
Shortly before the finish line, I tackle a few corners a little faster. The electronic differential lock XDS is now standard and effectively brings more calm into the curve, because it can prevent the inside wheel from spinning. The steering impression also benefits from this: It is amazing how much easier and more precisely the new Golf can be steered.
When I return the car, I quickly open the rear door again and check the space on the back seat – noticeably more knee room, even if it is nominally only 1.5 centimeters. But I’ve never sat so well in the back of a Golf. The trunk is also 30 liters larger and the loading sill lower.
Shorter than the Opel Astra
The more pleasant division of the room is a result of the new architecture of the so-called modular transverse matrix (MQB). In the end, around 40 Group models will be based on this, currently the Audi A3 and VW Golf so equipped, and after an hour of test drive it seems to me that this is not the worst basis on which a compact car can be built.
Incidentally, a lot more is to be done with the platform: the station wagon version has already been announced next year, and a successor to the Golf Plus will then be launched on the market. The Golf derivatives Cabrio, Touran and Tiguan will be updated even later.
But back to what is already there today: Thank God VW has resisted the temptation to make the Golf excessively large, at 4.35 meters it is still well below the Opel Astra (4.42 meters). And so I would probably not order the park assist (750 euros), even if it works very well: It does not need more than 40 centimeters in front of and behind the car, and the Golf automatically maneuvers into the gap.
So, after Golf I (the junk box) and Golf IV (the loyal companion), should I buy a Golf VII and, to quote a euphoric VW phrase, consider it the car that brings the future into the present?
Dream car would cost 27,254 euros
I’ll go back to the price list. The test car would be far too expensive for me, I could be more interested in the 105 hp diesel with 1.6 liter displacement and 3.8 liter standard consumption. In Comfortline equipment and with four doors, I also need metallic paint, CD radio, automatic air conditioning, fog lights and adaptive cruise control, but neither double clutch nor navigation.
I would throw out some of what I could try today, and yet the extras I choose weigh in at 4,579 euros. The car would then cost 27,254 euros. It would be a good car for sure. And it would go nicely with the three 1:87 scale models. But I’m not going to do it right now, anyway. The VW Golf will definitely be around for a while.
The trip to the presentation of the Golf was supported by Volkswagen. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at www.axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit
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