Golf Mk VII

Few cars have a history like that of the Golf.  Global sales reached 30 million in June 2013, and in 2015 it was the fourth best-selling car in the United Kingdom with over 78,000 examples finding a home on these shores.

The Golf offers buyers a car that sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency.  The seventh generation was launched in September 2012 in Berlin, and had its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month.

Despite offering more room for passengers and more advanced technological features than previous versions, new production techniques contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaced, helping to make it up to 23 per cent more efficient than before.  On top of this, the latest Golf is also safer than ever, thanks not just to a stronger body structure (which is also 23 kg lighter) but also to a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems.

The current Golf is built on the so-called MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, also known as Modular Transverse Matrix.  This standardises many vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes, and allows access to new powertrains and technologies, including innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until the launch of the Golf MK VII were reserved for vehicles in higher segments.

At 4,255 mm, the Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  This helps to create a 10 per cent improvement in the drag co-efficient, which is now 0.29 Cd (and 0.27 Cd for the BlueMotion model).

Though the car’s dimensions are larger, its overall design is unmistakably that of a Golf, thanks to a design DNA that has evolved through the decades.  Walter de Silva, Head of Design for Volkswagen AG, said: ‘One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its continuity.  There are only a handful of cars with a design that, like the Golf’s, has been refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and thus become timeless.’

Inside the Golf there is also more room than ever.  Rear legroom is improved by 15 mm, and the front seats have been moved 20 mm further back, benefitting taller drivers.  Front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm to 1,420 mm (at the rear it is 30 mm wider) and elbow room by 22 mm to 1,469 mm (20 mm wider at the rear).  There is more room for luggage, too: the boot is 30 litres larger, at 380 litres, with a low 665 mm sill to make loading effortless.

The centre console is angled more towards the driver, giving him or her easier, more ergonomic and direct access to auxiliary controls, including the latest touch-screen infotainment systems that are available on the Golf.  All Golf models have touch-screen systems as standard, starting in the UK with the Composition Media system that comes with a 6.5-inch colour display, and rising to the range-topping Discover Navigation Pro system with an eight-inch colour display.  It operates with finger gestures that will be familiar to smartphone users.  Features include DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information.  Between the front seats, space is increased by virtue of the electronic parking brake with auto hold feature.  Three specification levels were offered from launch – S, SE and GT.  BlueMotion, GTI and GTD models followed in summer 2013, along with the new Golf Estate.

The specification levels available are now S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition and Alltrack.  The performance Golf specifications are the R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and the 4MOTION-equipped R.

The Golf features a number of innovative standard safety systems, while optional systems include many previously only available on vehicles in a class above.  Standard on all Golf models, in addition to ABS, Electronic Stability Control and seven airbags, is XDS (an electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling) as well as the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

Standard (from Match Edition trim upwards) is the PreCrash system that made its debut on the Touareg, Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist, City emergency braking and a Driver Alert system, while optional electronic aids include a camera-operated Lane Assist system and High Beam Assist.  Specify the latest generation Park Assist, and the Golf will even park itself in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle as well as in perpendicular spaces.

For the first time, the Golf also comes (from Match Edition upwards) with driver profile selection, which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Dynamic Chassis Control another mode – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Powering the Golf is a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre TSI 115 PS unit, which returns 65.7 mpg combined and 99 g/km of CO?.  Next is a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS unit returning 57.6 mpg combined and 113 g/km of CO?, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS (54.3 mpg / 120 g/km) and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders under certain loads, and achieves 58.9 mpg and 112 g/km.

The GTI uses a 2.0-litre 220 PS TSI unit with 220 PS or optionally 230 PS. For the Clubsport Edition 40 model, there is a 2.0-litre 265 PS engine and the R is powered by a 300 PS version of the 2.0-litre unit.

The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 110 PS (which returns 74.3 mpg combined and 99 g/km), plus a 1.6-litre 110 PS unit in the Golf BlueMotion (returning 83.1 mpg and 89 g/km), a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit which returns 67.3 mpg and 109 g/km, and a 2.0-litre 184 PS unit which returns 64.2 mpg and 114 g/km in the new Golf GTD.

UK Retailers began taking orders for the new Golf on 18 October 2012; the first customer deliveries took place from the car’s official on-sale date of 7 January 2013.

The latest Golf GTI was unveiled in production form at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013, and is powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine with 220 PS and 350 Nm of torque (up 70 Nm from Mk VI).  For the first time, a second power option is available from the factory with an additional 10 PS, an electrically actuated mechanical front differential lock and larger brakes.  Despite the high power output, the GTI is Euro 6 emissions compliant, and returns 47.1 mpg combined with 139 g/km of carbon dioxide (a fuel economy enhancement of 18 per cent).  It went on sale in April 2013 with first deliveries in June 2013.

The Golf GTD, which was also introduced at Geneva in March 2013, is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged common rail diesel engine (TDI) with 184 PS.  Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – was boosted from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm.  It went on sale in April 2013 with first deliveries following in August.

The Golf established another ‘first’ in 2014 when it became the first car to be available with five power sources: petrol, diesel or CNG engines (not UK), a pure electric drive (e-Golf) and plug-in hybrid (Golf GTE).  The Golf GTE plug-in hybrid made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014, and combines the benefits of electric mobility with the dynamics of a Golf GTI.  Its name reflects its position in the line-up alongside the iconic petrol-powered GTI and the diesel GTD.  Where ‘GT’ stands for ‘Gran Tourismo’, ‘I’ stands for ‘Injection’, ‘D’ for Diesel and ‘E’ for Electricity.

The Golf GTE is driven by two engines: a 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor.  Together, they combine to produce power of 204 PS and a theoretical range of around 580 miles.  Using the electric motor alone, the GTE is capable of speeds of 81 mph.  With the TSI engine as well, the Golf GTE can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 138 mph.  Torque is a remarkable 350 Nm (258 lbs ft).  Alongside this impressive performance, the Golf GTE offers impressive fuel efficiency, with a combined cycle figure of 166 mpg and CO? emissions of 39 g/km.

The latest Golf BlueMotion was also unveiled at Geneva in 2013, and features a completely new 1.6-litre TDI engine with 110 PS which is capable of returning 83.1 mpg with class-leading carbon dioxide emissions of just 89 g/km.  These figures give the Golf BlueMotion a theoretical range of 970 miles, so based on an annual average mileage of 10,000 miles, that means refuelling around 10 times per year.

And the Golf is available as an all-electric model, the e-Golf. Launched in the UK in January 2014, the e-Golf can be charged from a household three-pin socket using the cable provided.  With a standard UK 230-Volt, 2.3 kW supply, this recharges the battery in 13 hours.  An optional wallbox for home use provides 3.6 kW supply and can recharge a flat battery in eight hours.  Through use of the e-Golf’s standard combined charging system (CCS) and a DC supply, the battery can be fully recharged (at levels of up to 40 kW) to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes.

An AC electric motor (85 kW / 115 PS, and 270 Nm) provides drive, linked to the front wheels via a single-speed gearbox.  The lithium-ion battery is integrated into the Golf’s floor and weighs 318 kg.  It consists of 264 cells, together rated at 323 Volts and 24.2 kWh.

Acceleration from 0-62 mph takes 10.4 seconds.  By comparison the Golf BlueMotion, which is powered by a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine with 110 PS and 250 Nm, takes 10.5 seconds.  Top speed for the e-Golf is 87 mph.  Depending on driving style, charge level and ambient conditions, the e-Golf has a range of up to 118 miles.

In 2016, Volkswagen added an Alltrack model to its UK line-up.  First shown at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, this four-wheel drive model features up to 15 mm increased ground clearance, ABSPlus, off-road suspension and an ‘Off-road’ setting which includes hill descent assist.  Combined, these give the Alltrack exceptional ability on loose surfaces.  The Golf Alltrack, which is an Estate model, follows in the tradition of the larger Passat Alltrack and has a bespoke design package that reflects its rugged nature. Among the numerous styling features reserved for the Alltrack model are wheel arch protection trim, matt chrome-effect underbody protection and 17-inch Valley alloy wheels.  Three diesel engines are available for the Alltrack, with outputs ranging from 110 PS to 184 PS.

Summary

  • Latest Golf made Paris Show debut on 27 September 2012, 38 years after the original model (first shown in May 1974) redefined the small family car.  More than 30 million Golfs have been sold worldwide (June 2013), of which over 1.9 million have found homes in the UK (to end 2015)
  • Design of seventh generation is an evolution of Golf styling, demonstrating Volkswagen’s ‘DNA’; under the surface, use of the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix brings fundamental changes
  • At 4,255 mm, the Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  Boot capacity is increased by 30 litres to 380 litres, while a low 665 mm sill makes loading easier
  • Despite being larger, new production techniques and developments contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaced, and up to 23 per cent more fuel efficient; latest Golf is also safer than ever, due to a stronger body structure (which is 23 kg lighter)
  • Safety systems include as standard an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System that automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance or consequences of a second impact
  • Also available is a PreCrash system that, on detecting the possibility of an accident, pre-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure the airbags provide the best possible protection
  • Other electronic aids include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist and City emergency braking (all standard on Match Edition models and above), all of which can reduce or eliminate the chance of accidents occurring.  Also available are a Driver Alert system (standard from Match Edition), a camera-operated Lane Assist system and a High Beam Assist system
  • In the cabin the minor controls have been redesigned and are angled more towards the driver. The latest generation of touch-screen infotainment systems brings the interior up to date with a range of features including DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information
  • The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre 115 PS unit returning 99 g/km and 65.7 mpg, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS unit returning 57.6 mpg on the combined cycle and 113 g/km, two 1.4-litre TSI units: one with 125 PS (54.3 mpg and 120 g/km) and one with 150 PS which also features Active Cylinder Technology.  This technology can deactivate two of the cylinders under certain loads, allowing it to achieve 58.9 mpg and 112 g/km.  Finally, the GTI features a development of the EA288 2.0-litre TSI engine, with 220 PS or optionally 230 PS.  It returns 47.1 mpg and 139 g/km
  • Diesel engines are a 1.6-litre 110 PS unit, which returns 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km. Next in the range is a 1.6-litre unit with 110 PS in the Golf BlueMotion (returning 83.1 mpg and 89 g/km); a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit which returns 67.3 mpg and 109 g/km; and a 2.0-litre 184 PS unit which returns 64.2 mpg and 114 g/km in the new Golf GTD
  • Available for the first time on the Golf is a driver profile selection facility which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Dynamic Chassis Control a fifth option – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the engine mapping (among other parameters) to the chosen style
  • Other technology that became available on this generation Golf include the latest Park Assist, which allows the Golf to park itself parallel to the kerb in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle, and cope automatically with end-on bay parking.  A universal phone holder with inductive aerial, which increases the signal strength of a phone placed in it, and reduces the drain on the phone’s battery will also be available
  • Specification levels in the UK are S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, Alltrack, GTD, GTI, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and R – with both three- and five-door bodystyles available. Alltrack is Estate only

MARKET INFORMATION
The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased.

Fleet customers account for around 68 per cent of Golfs sold, with 85 per cent diesel-powered.  More than 90 per cent are sold with five doors.  Overall, the 1.6-litre TDI Match Edition five-door is the best-selling model.

In 2015, 78,136 Golf (Mk VII) hatchbacks were sold in the UK.  This compares with 54,900 Polos, 16,904 up!s and 10,755 Passat Estates as the top-selling Volkswagen models.

PRODUCTION
The Golf Estate Mk VII, like the Golf hatch and unlike its predecessor which was produced in Mexico, is produced at Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg. A new state of the art production system with all-new assembly technologies are employed to combine strength, low weight, high quality and low production costs.

Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than 3.7 square miles.  The one square mile taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 46.6 miles long, while the plant’s rail network totals 43.5 miles, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex produces the Golf, Golf Estate, Touran and Tiguan.  About 815,000 vehicles rolled off the assembly lines in 2015.  Apart from car production, component manufacture is another cornerstone of activities at Wolfsburg. The components produced here, including drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, are used in vehicle production in Wolfsburg and at other Group plants.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants.  The aim was to reduce the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants by 25 per cent by 2018, but this was achieved by July 2016.  Specifically, this means 25 per cent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants. It was achieved via the introduction of 5,000 individual measures, which will collectively save far more than 100 million euros.

In line with “Think Blue. Factory.” the Wolfsburg plant has introduced the Modular Production System (MPB), which will make production more environmentally compatible.  Another contribution to sustained energy saving is the Energy Path which features a large number of practical examples showing precisely where and how energy can be saved.  These include an electric vehicle recharging station with photovoltaic panels and wind turbine and the optimisation of heating pumps featuring demand-oriented control to save energy.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate power and heat not only for the Volkswagen plant, but also the city of Wolfsburg.  The two power stations have a power generating capacity of 442 megawatts.  This combined heat and power system converts 53.3 per cent of the heat in the fuel into usable energy against a maximum of 38 per cent for a normal coal-fired power station.  (Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change.)

Every day, around 150 double-deck rail cars and about 160 transporter trucks leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg with a cargo of some 2,600 vehicles.  Incoming deliveries from around 1,900 suppliers arrive at the plant in about 150 or so rail carriages and 700 trucks every day.

HISTORY
Wolfsburg is the location of the Volkswagen Group headquarters.  Volkswagen, founded in Berlin on May 28, 1937, commissioned a factory to be built at the site of what would eventually be the City of Wolfsburg.  The factory was built in 1938/39 as a facility for series production of the Volkswagen car designed by Ferdinand Porsche.  Realisation of this ‘People's Car’ vision was interrupted by World War II, which brought with it a demand for armament production and the Nazi regime’s policy of forced labour.

When the war ended, the British military, under whose trusteeship the factory was placed, commissioned the first production assignment for the factory.  Series production of the Volkswagen began in December 1945.  By 1955, the factory was celebrating completion of the one-millionth Beetle in Wolfsburg.  Until its production was discontinued in 1974, a total of 11,916,519 Beetles were built in Wolfsburg (NB. German production continued in Emden).

A short time later, production commenced on the Golf, a model which would eventually lend its name to a whole vehicle class and which launched a new era for the Volkswagen brand.  With the introduction of the Golf in 1974, Volkswagen put a small, high-speed diesel engine in a mid-class passenger car. In that same year, the one-millionth Golf left the assembly line in Wolfsburg.  This first Golf was replaced by its second-generation successor in 1983, the year which also saw commencement of operations in Hall 54, at the time the world's most highly advanced final assembly unit.

Only five years later, the ten-millionth Golf was built.  In the 1990s, the range of products was expanded to include models such as the Polo III, the Golf Mk IV and the Lupo.  In September 2008, Volkswagen presented its new sixth-generation Golf.  The 15 millionth Golf produced at the plant rolled off the assembly line in September 2010.  To date, about 43 million vehicles have been produced at the Volkswagen plant.

DESIGN
The MQB platform
The Golf was the first Volkswagen model to be based upon the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix.  The introduction of the MQB strategy represented a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines as it standardised many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offered access to new technologies.

The MQB extends from the A0 to the B segment.  At the Volkswagen brand, for example, it covers the following models: Polo, Beetle, Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, Touran, Sharan, Passat and Volkswagen CC.  In the future, all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths.  It will also be possible to produce MQB models of different brands together.

One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines.  Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role here are the modular petrol engine system (MOB) with the EA211 engine series (60 to 150 PS) – this range includes the world’s first four-cylinder production engine with cylinder deactivation (ACT) – and the modular diesel engine system (MDB) with the EA288 engine series (90 to 190 PS).

By introducing these engine series at the same time as the latest Golf went into production, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group was reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice.  On the contrary; in addition to standardising conventional internal combustion engines, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to the pure electric drive.  Volkswagen launched the all-electric e-Golf on the platform in 2014.

The MQB continues to open up new opportunities at the Volkswagen Group, allowing it to produce high-volume and niche models at the highest quality and at extremely competitive costs over the long term and worldwide – vehicles that are individually tailored to the requirements of very diverse markets such as Europe, China and America, as well as emerging markets such as India.  In parallel, the Volkswagen Group significantly reduced vehicle weights with the launch of the first MQB model series and introduced 20 innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which had previously been reserved for higher vehicle segments.  This includes the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System which made its debut in the Golf Mk VII.  The system works by, after an initial collision, helping to reduce the intensity of secondary collisions by automatically braking the car to 10 kph.  This system is standard on all Golf models.

Within the Group, the MQB developed under the auspices of the Volkswagen brand is supplemented by the Modular Longitudinal System (MLB) from Audi, the Modular Standard System (MSB) with Porsche as the competence centre and finally the ‘New Small Family’ – the most compact vehicle model series with the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and ŠKODA Citigo.

Exterior design
In developing the Golf, the teams led by head designers Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand) based their work on a great deal of creative freedom that allowed many different approaches for a new design, while also focusing on the principles of what is now commonly termed, the Volkswagen ‘design DNA’.

Over recent years, Volkswagen designers have crystallised a selection of core elements from the brand’s history, which they term its ‘historic DNA’.  All current Volkswagen designs correspond to this DNA, with the cars conveying a modern, progressive impression, which nevertheless feels familiar.  This DNA includes elements such as the reduced form of the radiator grille crossbeam, the look of the side windows as well as the first Golf’s roofline and the Golf Mk IV’s typical C-pillars and wheel arches.

This DNA creates a unique, unmistakable language of product features and design.  The language of product features leaves a familiar feeling, and yet it creates a new sensation in the eyes of the observer.  The features are visual characteristics such as functionality, robustness, honesty and reliability.  These characteristics are generated by a ‘language of form’ perfected over many years.

‘This language of form,’ explains Bischoff, ‘is logical, solid, product-focused, pure and precise, and it reflects the brand’s design DNA as a perfect model of creativity.  This makes the base architecture of the Golf Mk VII unmistakable.  It comes over as simple, strong, understandable, reliable and safe.  When one begins with the pure element of this clear base architecture, details such as the economical use and placement of sculptural lines seem more like fine nuances.  Another extremely important point is that the Golf’s proportions have changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever before.’

Marc Lichte, lead exterior designer, explains: ‘The proportions have changed, as we have taken advantage of the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) here.  The front wheels, for example, have moved 43 mm further forward.  The front overhang is therefore shorter, while the bonnet looks longer.’  Klaus Bischoff confirms this: ‘Visually, the passenger compartment has been shifted towards the rear, creating what is called a ‘cab backward’ impression.  That’s what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the bonnet is long and the passenger compartment a long way towards the back.  On the Golf, we thus have proportions that you otherwise only get in higher-class segments of the market.’

In pure dimensional terms the Golf Mk VII is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, giving it a more dynamic stance.  Thanks to a longer wheelbase, however, it has more interior space and a larger boot.

Marc Lichte: ‘We sought to emphasise these modified proportions with design elements.  Below the door handles, we have integrated the now clearly visible and very sharp character line.  While this line is interrupted by the wheelarches, it is otherwise continuous and is stylistically reflected in the chrome bars of the radiator grille and headlights and at the back in the white lateral bars of the rear light clusters.  Set deep down all the way around, this line lowers the visual centre of gravity and gives the car a more solid stance on the road.  Another striking element is the line along the side shoulder directly below the windows.  This line begins at the front in the headlight, and then glides under the wing mirror, which is positioned right on the line, all the way through to the rear side window, underscoring the premium proportions of the Golf.’  The wheelarches are particularly prominent as well, and along with the wider track, longer wheelbase and tyre dimensions of up to 18 inches, they make the Golf appear more powerful.

‘Two other features,’ explains Bischoff, ‘are characteristic of the new Golf silhouette: the C-pillar and the roofline.  On the previous Golf, the character line still cut through the C-pillar.  This is no longer the case on the Golf.  The C-pillar runs along one homogenous surface from the start of the roof all the way to the rear wheel arch.  Above the wheelarch, however, it picks up more strongly the entire width of the car – and as a result, when viewed from behind or diagonally from the rear, the Golf looks more powerful.  Viewed from the side, the precision of the C-pillar design catches the eye; it resembles the drawn string of a bow, giving the Golf a look of acceleration even while it is standing still.  At the same time, it pays homage to the Golf Mk II and Mk IV – both design icons.’

On the right-hand side of the vehicle, even the shape of the fuel cap is integrated into this arrow element.  Head Designer Klaus Bischoff continues: ‘The contour of the roofline has also been redesigned.  Here – above the side windows – the Golf now displays another line, which runs from the roof-edge spoiler right through to the A-pillars.  It is one of those features that give the Golf a particularly sophisticated look from the side as well – a line that at first glance may remain unnoticed, yet is a further detail en route to visual precision.’

Front section
The Volkswagen design DNA manifests itself in a ‘face’ that has appealing features.  In addition, in the same way as on the first Golf, it defines horizontally balanced elements that create a certain width.  Together they produce a front section that is recognisable in every rear view window as that of a Volkswagen.  Each Volkswagen class has its own character attributes in this respect.  In the Golf class these include, for example, the slightly upward sweeping headlights and a defined maximum height for the radiator grille.

Compared to its predecessor, the Golf displays completely restructured modulation of its surfaces.  While on the Golf Mk VI the wings were higher than the bonnet – effectively framing it – this is now the other way round.  On the sides, the crease lines form the wings’ lowest points, before the latter transition vertically into the wheelarches.  The top border of the wings is formed by a line, as if cut by a knife, which begins at the A-pillars.  All of the lines together form a V-shaped bonnet.

Beneath the bonnet come the redesigned headlights and the comparatively narrow band of the radiator grille.  At the bottom, the radiator grille is bordered – to the left and right of the chrome VW badge – by a chrome bar, which in the case of fitting with (optional) xenon headlights is continued in the headlight housing.  Particularly striking are the LED daytime running lights of the xenon headlights.  Meanwhile the bottom air inlet, in conjunction with the body-coloured area beneath the headlights, supports the strong horizontal layout of the front section design.  The air inlet is now framed by a body-coloured area that even with the car’s very confident look gives it the typical Volkswagen smile.

Rear section
Typical Golf elements at the rear include the clear geometry of the rear lights, the rear window stretching all the way to the C-pillars and the large uniform surface around the Volkswagen badge.  In fact, even without the badge or model name the seventh generation of this best-seller is instantly recognisable as a Golf.  And yet every line is new.  That applies both to the rear light clusters that terminate narrower on the inside and terminate parallel to the C-pillar on the outside (with striking L-shaped light contours) and to the tailgate, which reaches much lower down and offers one of the lowest boot sill heights in its class (665 mm).

A horizontal light-refracting edge near the bottom of the tailgate, which continues on the bumper, and the boot sill running parallel below this emphasise the sportily full width of the Golf.  These elements also correspond to the lines of the now much more pronounced bumper that is visually ‘pulled out’ towards the rear.  The bumper itself is fully painted right down to the bottom, with only the centrally integrated diffuser, which also incorporates the exhaust pipe, kept black.

GTI and GTD exterior design
Compared to the previous model, the wheelbase was extended 53 mm to 2,631 mm, but at the same time the front overhang was shortened 12 mm.  In parallel, the A-pillar moved further towards the rear, making the bonnet longer and visually shifting the entire vehicle cabin rearwards.  In addition, the height was reduced 27 mm to 1,442 mm.  The car’s length grew 55 mm to 4,268 mm now, and the width grew 13 mm to 1,799 mm.  These dimension changes all give the GTI and GTD a more impressive stance on the road.

Like the very first Golf GTI, the seventh generation also sports typical GTI insignia.  On the model they include the red trim strip on the radiator grille that extends into the standard bi-xenon headlights (on the GTD, this trim strip is chrome).

Also typically GTI (and GTD) are the additional air inlet openings in the front spoiler, the honeycomb structure of the grille; vertical fog lights; a larger rear spoiler, and the distinctive, large tailpipes of the exhaust system that are arranged one at each side on the GTI, and together at the left on the GTD.

The GTI now comes with 18-inch ‘Austin’ alloys as standard, while the GTD features 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ alloy wheels.

At the very bottom of the bumper, beneath the cross panel painted in body colour, the black air inlet is no longer surrounded by another black area, but by surfaces painted in body colour.  In this way, the air inlet makes a stronger impression that is reinforced by the three lateral, high-gloss black aerodynamic fins beneath the headlights.  Standard LED lights front and back also give the GTI and GTD a distinctive light signature.

In addition to the GTI or GTD badges at the front and rear, red plates on the front wings at the height of the character line with the same typographic interpretation of the GTI (or GTD) logo that has been used for decades.

Alltrack exterior design
Based on the Golf Estate, the Alltrack features a host of unique design and styling touches that mark it apart from the rest of the range.  At the front, the Alltrack is distinguished by a low profile, matt-finished radiator grille crossbar that extends into the standard bi-xenon headlights. The radiator grille itself incorporates a honeycomb design and features a chrome Alltrack badge. The lower cooling air intake also has a honeycomb structure.

At the side, the Alltrack sports black wheel arch mouldings that help accentuate the shape of the arch and give the car a more rugged feel. Additional strips of protective trim are incorporated into areas above the side sills, while the 17-inch Valley alloy wheels are unique to the Alltrack. Matt chrome effect door mirrors, roof rails and window trims, along with Alltrack decals on the wing complete the side design.

At the rear, the Alltrack is equipped with matt chrome-effect underbody protection trim, dark red rear lights and sports a more sculpted bumper design. Dual chrome tailpipes on the left side complete the rear end design.

Interior design
As already mentioned, at 4,255 mm the Golf is 56 mm longer than the previous model, while the wheelbase has also been increased by 59 mm to 2,637 mm.  Since the front wheels are also located 43 mm further forward, the interplay of the dimensions of the Golf Mk VII not only creates sportier proportions and an improved crash structure, but also optimises interior space.  At the same time, although the body has been lowered in height by 28 mm (1,452 mm) headroom in the interior is still very good.  At 1,799 mm the Golf is 13 mm wider, and the track widths have been increased by 8 mm in front and 6 mm at the rear.

The slight increases in length and width, as well as increased wheelbase and optimised track widths, have a perceptible effect on space in the passenger cabin, which is 1750 mm long.  Passengers in the rear seating area, in particular, enjoy 15 mm more knee room.  Shoulder room has grown by 31 mm to 1,420 mm and elbow room is increased by 22 mm to 1,469 mm.  In the rear seating area, shoulder room was also improved by an additional 30 mm and elbow width by 20 mm.  All Golfs have a 60:40 split backrest.

Overall, boot capacity has grown by 30 litres to 380 litres; while the variable-height cargo floor can also be lowered by 100 mm.  The loading height of the boot is now class-leading at just 665 mm (-17 mm).  In parallel, the maximum bootspace width has grown by 228 mm to 1,272 mm.  Volkswagen has also increased the width of the bootspace opening by 47 mm to 1,023 mm.

Styling and controls
Significantly more room and even better ergonomics define the driver’s area in the Golf Mk VII. Taller drivers in particular will welcome the seat position that has been moved back by 20 mm compared to the previous model; the steering wheel’s adjustment range has also been modified.  Pedal distances have been optimised as well thanks to the Modular Transverse Matrix, with the space between the brake and accelerator pedals, for example, increased by 16 mm.  Another ergonomic improvement: compared to the previous model, Volkswagen has raised the position of the gearbox controls by 20 mm; the gear shift grip now rests better in the driver’s hand.

In the middle of the centre console, beneath the switch for the hazard warning lights, is the infotainment touch-screen with its menu keys and dials.  Volkswagen is introducing a generation of touch-screens with a proximity sensor and a function that reacts to swiping movements by the fingers (swipe and zoom movements as used on smartphones).  The graphic design of the interface also corresponds to the age of intuitive operation.

Located beneath the infotainment module are the well laid-out controls for climate control, followed by the lower section of the centre console that runs in a line up to the large centre armrest.  The consistent design conveys a sense of sophistication of a premium class model.  To the left of the driver are the buttons for the electronic parking brake and its auto hold function.  Integrated in front of it is a storage compartment which houses the multimedia interfaces (aux-in, USB and iPod interfaces).  The compartment is also big enough to hold a smartphone.  There is a large storage compartment hidden under the centre armrest that can be adjusted by up to 100 mm in length and five stages in height.

The inlays in the door panels have illuminated trim as part of the ambient lighting fitted as standard from GT specification.  The switches for the electric windows are ergonomically easy to access in the armrests; located in front of the door handle on the driver’s side is the control for electric mirror adjustment.  The door trim panels themselves display the motif of two intersecting curved lines, which logically divide the door trim’s functional areas: armrest, door handle, storage bin and loudspeaker.  Elements of the ambient lighting provide for optimal illumination and an elegant atmosphere at night.

Seat comfort
For the Golf Mk VII, all five seating positions have been redesigned, front and rear.  The seats exhibit well-contoured body lines, optimal support for dynamic driving, and a high level of comfort on long trips.  These characteristics were achieved by designing the foam contours to fit body shapes properly and by the optimised springing and damping properties of the cold foam cushioning sections.  The Match Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTI and GTD are equipped with standard two-way lumbar support on the driver and front passenger seats.  The optional 12-way electric driver’s seat offers even greater individual adjustment.

Climate control
The Golf is available as standard with a semi-automatic climate control system known as Climatic.  Using a simple dial control, this maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

While the system’s functions are essentially the same as for the previous generation Golf, the system itself was completely redesigned to reduce noise and weight while increasing efficiency.  Using simulations in the design phase, the cross sections of internal air conditioner components were modified to reduce net pressure losses.  This also resulted in a noise level reduction of up to 5 dB and to a significantly reduced need for electrical blower power – and hence a gain in efficiency.  In addition, the use of a pulse-width modulated blower reduced current consumption by an average 4 Amperes.  A distinct improvement in acoustics was also realised compared to the previous model by specific fluid dynamic studies of the recirculation air flaps.  Partially reduced wall thicknesses of the polypropylene housing, a fastening concept without complicated brackets, and the use of higher performance and weight-optimised heat exchangers led to significantly lower weight of the air conditioner.

The packaging of the air conditioning system in the Golf Mk VII was also improved by such measures as a new filter layout above the blower in the air intake channel which makes it 140 mm narrower in this area.  What’s more this enabled a uniform layout of electrical system components between left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles, and created more space in the footwell area.  A high-performance heat exchanger, as well as reduction of heat losses in the refrigerant cycle, demand-based use of electrical auxiliary heating and an innovative thermal management system, have also had a beneficial effect on heating performance.  Compared to the previous model, the interior of the Golf heats to a pleasantly warm temperature 30 per cent faster.

In addition, the refrigerant cycle was completely redesigned for maximum efficiency gain, weight reduction and manufacturing optimisation.  The refrigerant cycle consists of a highly efficient compressor and condenser as well as an internal heat exchanger.  Design of the refrigerant lines was also perfected resulting in weight savings.  Another benefit of the efficient refrigerant cycle is that it cools the interior significantly faster.

Standard on GTI, GTD and Alltrack models, and optional on Match Edition and GT, is a fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control.  This regulates the Golf’s interior temperature fully automatically via 2Zone temperature control (separate controls for driver and front passenger), and its intensity can be selected as ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Intense’).

The fully automatic control unit operates with various sensors for the sun, air quality and humidity.  The sun sensor detects the intensity and direction of solar radiation, and the system is controlled accordingly.  When the air quality sensor indicates that the concentration of nitrogen oxides or carbon monoxide outside has exceeded a defined limit, then the recirculation flap of the Climatronic system closes.  The addition of a humidity sensor on the Golf means it is also possible to control the heating function with recirculation mode, resulting in significantly quicker heating of the interior without fogging of the windows.

The humidity sensor is also used to run the air conditioning compressor at as low a power level as is needed, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption on hot days.  Here, the Climatronic automatically deactivates the compressor as soon as it is not needed to reach the desired temperature, or if there is no risk of window fogging and a preset limit for humidity is not exceeded in the interior.  For the first time, air conditioning components that are relevant to fuel economy are then only activated when needed and are controlled to optimise energy consumption in all operating modes.  The interplay of all components of the new air conditioning system leads to considerable fuel savings compared to the previous model.

Infotainment systems
The Golf is equipped with the Composition Media radio and CD system, with Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and a 6.5-inch colour touch-screen.  The Match Edition has the Discover Navigation system, which adds satellite navigation.  The SE Navigation and e-Golf have the top-spec Discover Navigation Pro system, which features an eight-inch touch-screen and voice control.

All three systems have a colour touch-screen as standard.  Discover Navigation Pro, with its eight-inch screen, is available with the Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTI, GTD and R trims.

All touch-screens have proximity sensors so as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the system, it automatically switches from display mode to input mode.  The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to just the essentials.  In the operating mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated by touch are highlighted to simplify intuitive operation.  On the eight-inch Discover Navigation Pro system, the displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand.

In designing this generation of devices, Volkswagen’s primary goal was to integrate the most advanced infotainment applications into the Golf, which should be consistently easy to use – despite all of the complexity of today’s systems – i.e. they should be totally intuitive and therefore safe to use while driving.

‘Composition Media’ system (standard on Golf S, BlueMotion and GTE)
With this sophisticated system, there are four buttons to the left and four to the right of the touch-screen.  It works in conjunction with the following features:

  • DAB digital radio
  • Bluetooth telephone connection for compatible units
  • dash-mounted single CD player
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface); SD card reader; AUX-in socket
  • music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • title and cover art display
  • eight speakers, front and rear
  • 4 x 20 watt output
  • car menu
  • Eco function (with tips for economical driving)

‘Discover Navigation’ system (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTD, GTI and R)

  • preloaded European navigation data
  • 2D / 3D map view
  • choice of route options
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones

‘Discover Navigation Pro’ system (standard on GTE Navigation and e-Golf)

  • eight-inch colour touch-screen
  • voice activated control system for telephone and navigation functions
  • branded points of interest
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+
  • preloaded European navigation data
  • speed limit display
  • 3D map view
  • 64 GB solid state hard drive

Optional upgrades to infotainment system
Customers of S, BlueMotion and GTE models can choose to upgrade to the Discover Navigation system, while those with a Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTI, GTD or R can specify the range-topping Discover Navigation Pro package. 

Advanced telephone connection (optional on all except S and BlueMotion)
This not only adds a USB socket in the central under-armrest storage box for mobile phone charging, but also an inductive link to the vehicle’s external aerial, making for better phone reception and reducing the drain on the phone’s battery.

‘Dynaudio Excite’ soundpack (optional on Match Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, Alltrack, GTI, GTD, R and e-Golf)
This tailored sound system includes an eight-channel digital amplifier, 400-watt output and eight speakers.  A boot-mounted subwoofer sits in the spare wheel well.  (NB. The subwoofer sits within the 18-inch space saver spare wheel on GTI and GTD models, but on Match Edition and GT Edition models, which feature a 16-inch space saver spare wheel, a tyre repair kit is provided in lieu of the spare wheel when Dynaudio Excite is specified).

TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS
In addition to the introduction of the MQB platform, the reductions in weight and consequent cuts in fuel consumption and emissions, the seventh-generation Golf is also significant thanks to its enhanced value proposition.  While this is true in the recommended retail price, it is also worth noting how much technology has been added to the car in comparison with previous Golfs.  Features that have historically been the reserve of cars in the premium and luxury segment are now standard on many Golfs, adding significantly to the car’s overall safety and comfort credentials.

ABS, ESC and XDS (standard on all)
The previous generation Golf benefited from standard ABS and ESC plus seven airbags, while the seventh-generation also gains XDS electronic differential lock (formerly only on GTI and GTD) across the range for improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESC system.

Its benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESC sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion.

XDS also compensates for the understeer which is typical of front-wheel drive cars, meaning the Golf’s driving characteristics are significantly more precise and neutral, leading to greater driving enjoyment.

ABSPlus (Alltrack only)
This is a special program of the ABS control unit, which is only active during extreme off-road use and very low speeds (less than 3 mph).

When off-road, the ABSPlus system locks the wheels shortly before the system reduces the brake pressure. This provides a small wedge forming on the ground material (eg. gravel or sand) in front of the wheel, which increases the braking effect. The vehicle remains steerable still at significantly shortened stopping distance.

XDSPlus (standard on GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI and R)
This is a development of the XDS system and works in all unbraked driving states.  The new system improves the vehicle’s agility, reducing the need for steering angle inputs through targeted braking of the inside wheels on both axles through corners.  XDSPlus works on all types of road surface, even snow.

ESC Sport (standard in the GTI and GTD)
In the Golf GTI and GTD, Volkswagen offers the ‘ESC Sport’ function for experienced drivers.  The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the centre console.  If the driver pushes the button once briefly, it deactivates the ASR function (traction control).  When the button is held for longer than three seconds, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the ‘ESC Sport’ mode.  In very fast driving with lots of bends – such as on a race course – the ESC system reacts with a delay, which enables even greater agile handling properties.  As an alternative to activation by the pushbutton on the centre console, ESC can also be activated or deactivated by settings in the Car menu within the infotainment system.

GTI Performance pack (optional on GTI)
The GTI is available optionally with a Performance pack.  This increases engine power from 220 PS to 230 PS, and also adds a limited-slip differential and larger brakes.

The ventilated front brake discs increase from 312 x 25 mm to 340 x 30 mm, while the rear discs, which are 300 x 12 mm solid discs on the ‘standard’ GTI, are changed to 310 x 22 mm ventilated discs.

The front differential was a new development for this latest Golf GTI, and is an electrically actuated mechanical system.  This provides more neutral and agile driving behaviour and allows higher speeds to be carried through curves.  The system consists of a multi-plate coupler between the differential cage and right driveshaft, which controls locking torque electro-hydraulically.

Visually, vehicles with the Performance pack are distinguished solely by ‘GTI’ lettering on the red brake calipers.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (standard on all)
An innovation that debuted on the Golf Mk VII is the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which won a safety innovation award from Germany’s largest automobile club (ADAC).  Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order to significantly reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision.

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even when the automatic braking is active.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Misfuel prevention device (standard on all diesel models)
On vehicles with a diesel engine, there is an insert with a mechanically locking flap on the filler neck for the fuel tank.  The flap prevents a fuel nozzle from being inserted which is not suitable for diesel fuel (in other words a petrol fuel nozzle) thus protecting the vehicle from being filled with the wrong type of fuel.

Driver Alert system (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R, optional on S and BlueMotion)
It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.

The Golf’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated.

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R, optional on S)
The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg.

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist (standard on Match Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
Like the PreCrash system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) had been the preserve of cars in higher segments.  But in the Golf MK VII it is standard from Match Edition upwards.  The system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ACC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG.  In vehicles with DSG, ACC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation.  It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic.  ACC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic.  The system dynamics can be individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector.

Front Assist (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
Front Assist works like ACC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead.  Even with ACC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings.  If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision.  Should the driver, meanwhile, not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised.  The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City emergency braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
The City emergency braking function, first seen on the up! model and now standard on Golf from Match Edition upwards is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor.  It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph).  If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist.  If the driver fails to intervene, City emergency braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact.  In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist (optional on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
The Golf’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane.  The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines).  If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

High Beam Assist (optional on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
High Beam Assist analyses traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Driver profile selection (standard on Match Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, Alltrack, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
For the first time, a driver profile selection is available on the Golf, offering customers up to five different programmes to allow them to match their car settings to their desired driving style.  The standard available programmes are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.

Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.  A fifth profile – Comfort – is also offered on cars which have optional Adaptive Chassis Control (see Running Gear section for details).

The Golf GTE and GTE Nav have unique options on the driver selection menu: e-mode, Hybrid mode, Battery charge mode and ‘GTE’ mode.

Park Assist (optional on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, R-Line Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI and GTD)
The latest version of the parking assistance system, Park Assist 2.0, facilitates not only assisted parallel parking, but also reverse parking at right angles to the road.  In addition, Park Assist 2.0 is also equipped with a braking and parking space exit function.

The system can be activated at speeds of up to 40 km/h (approx. 25 mph) by pressing a button on the centre console.  Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked.  If, using the ultrasound sensors, Park Assist detects a large enough parking space (a manoeuvring distance of 40 cm, front and 40 cm, rear, is sufficient), the assisted parking can begin: having put the vehicle into reverse, all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake.  The car takes care of the steering.  Acoustic signals and visual information on the multifunction display assist the driver.  If a collision is looming, the system can also actively apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof (standard on GT Edition, Alltrack and R-Line Edition. Optional on Match Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
For the first time on the Golf hatchback a transparent panoramic sunroof is available, which occupies the maximum roof area possible, offers optimal ventilation and opening functions, does not reduce the car’s torsional rigidity and has the visual effect of lengthening the windscreen from the outside.  What is referred to as the light transparency area – the amount of light coming into the car when the roof is closed – was enlarged by 33 per cent compared to a normal tilt/slide sunroof.  The tinted, heat-insulating glass, however, reflects away 99 per cent of UV radiation, 92 per cent of heat radiation and 90 per cent of light.

Keyless entry and start (optional on S, Match Edition, Alltrack, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav. Standard on GTD and GTI)
All five-door Golfs are available with the option of Keyless entry with a start/stop button on the centre console.  When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle.  The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation.  The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Golf.  If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button.  Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car.  For example, to protect children, the Golf cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle.  It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control.  From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.  The Golf can also be unlocked and locked by remote control.  Keyless entry is standard on the Golf GTD and the Golf GTI.

ENGINES
Powering the Golf is a range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Start/Stop technology and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.0-litre TSI with 115 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the four cylinders for enhanced economy; and a 2.0-litre TSI with 220 PS, 230 PS (GTI), 265 PS (GTI Clubsport Edition 40) and 300 PS (Golf R).  The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 90 PS, a 1.6-litre unit with 110 PS, a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit and a 2.0-litre 184 PS unit.

Petrol engines
The majority of petrol units are from the EA211 series, the family of engines designed specifically for the MQB platform.  This comprises both three- and four-cylinder engines and includes the 1.0-litre engine which was introduced in the up!.  All the EA211 series engines in the Golf are class-leading in terms of their energy efficiency, lightweight design and high torque performance.  Fuel consumption and CO? emissions values were reduced by eight to ten per cent, in part due to reduced internal friction, lower weight and optimised thermal management; in conjunction with the innovative new cylinder deactivation system (ACT), the savings potential can be as much as 23 per cent.

The EA211 engines are also characterised by a new mounting position.  Whereas the EA111 series was mounted with a forward tilt and the ‘hot’ exhaust side at the front, with the EA211, the cylinder head has been rotated and the engines are now tilted towards the firewall (bulkhead between engine compartment and passenger compartment), like the diesel engines.  With the diesel (EA288) and petrol engines now sharing an identical inclination angle of 12 degrees, Volkswagen can now standardise the exhaust, driveshafts and gearbox mounting position.

The EA211 is a complete redesign; only the cylinder spacing of 82 mm was adopted from Volkswagen’s successful EA111 engine series.  The unit is also particularly compact and this is reflected in its mounting length, which has been shortened by 50 mm; as a result the front axle could be shifted forward, resulting in more interior passenger space.

Thanks to an ultra-rigid crankcase made of die-cast aluminium, the petrol engines are especially lightweight at 97 kg (1.2 TSI) and 104 kg (1.4 TSI); on the 1.4-litre TSI, the weight advantage compared to the grey cast iron counterpart from the EA111 series is as much as 22 kg.  This approach to lightweight design extends to the smallest of details: engine developers reduced the main bearing diameter of the crankshaft on the 1.4-litre TSI from 54 to 48 mm; the crankshaft itself was lightened by 20 per cent, while the weight of the connecting rods was reduced by an impressive 30 per cent.  The gudgeon pins are bored hollow, and the aluminium pistons (now with flat piston crowns) have also been weight optimised.

By fully integrating the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head, the engine heats up quickly from a cold start, while simultaneously supplying ample heat to the car’s climate control system to warm up the interior.  At high loads, on the other hand, the exhaust gas is more effectively cooled by the coolant, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent.

To optimise thermal management, Volkswagen engineers designed the EA211 with a dual-loop cooling system.  The base engine is cooled by a high-temperature loop with a mechanically driven coolant pump, while a low-temperature loop, powered by an electric pump, circulates coolant to the intercooler and turbocharger housing as needed.  Passenger compartment heating comes from the cylinder head circulation loop, so that, like the engine, it warms up quickly.

Due to innovative engineering of the exhaust manifold, Volkswagen was able to use a very narrow single-scroll compressor in the turbocharger, resulting in weight reduction for the cylinder head turbocharger component group.  On the EA211, the intercooler is integrated in the induction pipe which is made of injection-moulded plastic, leading to significantly accelerated pressure build-up and hence dynamic performance in downsized engines.

In the seventh generation, Volkswagen has again significantly reduced internal friction in a number of ways.  The overhead camshafts (DOHC) are not chain driven, but employ a single stage, low-friction toothed belt design, a 20 mm wide belt and load-reducing profiled belt wheels.  Thanks to its high-end material specification, this toothed belt’s service life spans the life of the vehicle.  Actuation of the valve gear is through roller cam followers, and an anti-friction bearing for the highly loaded first camshaft bearing, also lead to reduced friction resistances.

To ensure that the engine takes up as little mounting space as possible, ancillary components such as the water pump, air conditioning compressor and alternator are screwed directly to the engine and the oil sump without additional brackets, and they are driven by a single-track toothed belt with a fixed tension roller.

To reduce emissions and fuel consumption further, and to improve torque in the lower rev range, the intake camshaft on all EA211 engines can be varied over a range of 50 degrees crankshaft angle.  On the 150 PS, the exhaust camshaft is variable as well.  It sets the desired spread of control times and thereby allows even more spontaneous response from low revs; at the same time, torque is improved at high engine speeds.

The maximum fuel injection pressure on the EA211 engines was increased to 200 bar.  State-of-the-art five-hole injection nozzles deliver up to three individual injections to each of the cylinders very precisely via a stainless steel distributor bar.  In designing the combustion chamber, Volkswagen also paid particular attention to achieving minimal wetting of the combustion chamber walls with fuel and optimised flame propagation.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS
The entry-level engine in the Golf is a turbocharged, direct injection TSI engine producing 85 PS from 4,300 to 5,300 rpm, with torque of 160 Nm (118 lbs ft) from 1,400 to 3,500 rpm.  Thanks to refinement and weight saving, compared with the equivalent unit in the previous generation, fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced.  This Golf, with a standard five-speed manual gearbox, has a zero to 62 mph time of 11.9 seconds and a top speed of 111 mph.  Combined economy is 57.6 mpg with CO? emissions of 113 g/km.

1.0-litre TSI, 999 cc, 12-valve, 3-cyl, 115 PS
Reserved for the Match BlueMotion Edition, this is the first petrol engine to be fitted in a Volkswagen BlueMotion model.  Remarkably efficient, this powerplant combines performance with economy and is available with both a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed DSG.  It features turbocharging and direct injection and can return 65.7 mpg on the combined cycle with CO? emissions of 99 g/km (manual models)

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 125 PS
For those looking for additional power but still combined with impressive economy the Golf is also available with a turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) from 1,400 rpm to 3,500 rpm.  This engine, which is offered with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, enables a top speed of 126 mph and 0 to 62 mph in 9.3 seconds.  Economy is still high on the agenda with a combined consumption of 54.3 mpg (56.5 DSG) and CO? output of 120 g/km (116 DSG).

1.4-litre TSI, 1395 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS with Active Cylinder Technology
This 1.4-litre TSI engine produces 150 PS from 4,500 to 6,000 rpm, 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,500 to 3,500 rpm and, for the first time in a Volkswagen, offers Active Cylinder Technology for lower fuel consumption and emissions.  Also available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, this engine gives the Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 131 mph.  Combined consumption is 59.9 mpg for manual and DSG, with carbon dioxide emissions of just 112 g/km (113 DSG).

The impressive figures are thanks to active cylinder technology (ACT), a fuel saving innovation that was previously the preserve of large eight or 12 cylinder engines.  By temporarily deactivating the second and third cylinders, over 0.5 litres of fuel per 100 km can be saved, depending on driving style.  This is only possible with TSI technology.

ACT is active over an engine speed range between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm and torques of up to 85 Nm, a broad spread which covers 70 per cent of all driving modes in the EU cycle.  If the driver presses the accelerator pedal hard, cylinders 2 and 3 begin to work again, without a noticeable transition.  The high efficiency of the system does not have any negative effects on smooth running: even with two cylinders the 1.4-litre TSI runs just as quietly and with low vibration as with four active combustion chambers.  All mechanical switchover processes take place within one camshaft rotation; depending on engine speed this takes just 13 to 36 milliseconds.  Accompanying interventions in ignition and throttle valve processes smooth the transitions.  Two-cylinder mode is indicated to the driver in the Multi-Function Display in the instrument binnacle.

Altogether, the components for active cylinder technology system weigh just 3 kg.  Their actuators, the camshafts and their bearing frames are integrated in the cylinder head; two low-friction bearings reduce shaft friction.

2.0-litre TSI, 1,984 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 220 PS (GTI) or 230 PS (GTI with Performance pack)
The engine in the new Golf GTI is a development of the 2.0-litre TSI unit found in the previous generation of Golf GTI.  Codenamed EA888, it has a new cylinder head design which, uniquely for this power class, has a water-cooled exhaust gas circulation loop to the turbocharger that is fully integrated in the cylinder head.  This type of exhaust gas cooling makes a crucial contribution towards improving fuel consumption at full load in the new Golf GTI.  In addition, the 1,984 cc TSI features variable valve timing with dual camshaft adjustment.  The valve lift on the exhaust side is adjustable over two stages.  This enables optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy and low emissions.

This 2.0-litre TSI engine produces 220 PS from 4,500 rpm, and 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,500 to 4,400 rpm.  The 0 to 62 mph sprint takes 6.5 seconds, and the top speed is 152 mph.  It is also available optionally with a power output of 230 PS at 4,700 rpm in the GTI with Performance pack (which also includes upgraded brakes and a limited-slip differential).  The GTI with Performance pack reaches 62 mph from rest in 6.4 seconds and tops out at 155 mph.

With the standard manual six-speed gearbox, all GTI models return combined fuel economy of 47.1 mpg and emit 139 g/km of CO?.  With the optional six-speed DSG gearbox, combined economy is 44.1 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are 139 g/km (145 g/km for the Performance version).

The GTI Clubsport Edition 40 packs 265 PS from its 2.0-litre TSI engine, while the R has a power output of 300 PS.  The manual version of the R has a combined fuel efficiency figure of 39.8 mpg (165 g/km) and the DSG option reaches 40.9 mpg (159 g/km).

Diesel engines
Volkswagen introduced a new series of diesel engines – called EA288 – for the launch of the Golf alongside the new petrol line-up.  Within this series, Volkswagen took its TDI technology, which has been developed over the years, to a new level of sustainability, with reductions in consumption across the range.

As with the petrol engines (EA211), the only dimension of the Golf’s four-cylinder diesels that were carried over from the previous generation is the cylinder spacing.  Many components were designed to be modular within the new modular diesel component system (MDB).  These include emissions-relevant components such as the fuel injection system, turbocharger and intercooler within the induction manifold module.  In addition, a sophisticated exhaust gas recirculation system is used (with a cooled low-pressure AGR), while the layout of emissions control components sees them located closer to the engine.

To fulfil various emissions standards worldwide, an oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter and NOx storage catalytic converter are all implemented in the Golf.

Various other design modifications optimise fuel economy and comfort significantly as well.  Volkswagen has tuned all sub-assemblies of the TDI engine for minimal internal friction.  These elements include piston rings with less pre-tension and the use of low-friction bearings for the camshaft (drive-side) and − in the 2.0-litre TDI − for the two balancer shafts.  In the oil circulation loop, energy usage was optimised by an oil pump with volumetric flow control.

During the TDI’s warm-up phase, an innovative thermal management system utilises separate cooling circulation loops for the cylinder head and the cylinder block as well as a deactivatable water pump, meaning operating temperatures are reached considerably faster.  One additional benefit of this is that the interior of the Golf also gets warmer more quickly in the winter.  Another independently controlled cooling loop enables on-demand control of inlet air temperature with additional emissions control benefits.

The diesels not only have very low emissions, high fuel-efficiency and torque, but they also run very smoothly for optimum refinement.  This is achieved in a number of ways, for example, the 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS employs two low-friction bearings in its balancer shafts to eliminate free out of balance forces that are a characteristic of any piston engine systems.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS
The 1.6-litre common rail TDI is also available with a more powerful output of 110 PS between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 2,750.  Available with a choice of five-speed manual or, in Match Edition guise, optional seven-speed DSG gearbox, it gives this Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 10.7 seconds and a top speed of 119 mph.  Frugality comes as standard: on the combined cycle it returns 74.3 mpg (72.4 DSG) while emitting 99 g/km of CO? (101 DSG).

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS (Golf BlueMotion)
The 1.6-litre common rail TDI used in the Golf BlueMotion produces 110 PS between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm.  Available with a six-speed manual only, it gives this Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph.  This is the most efficient internal combustion-engined Golf available: on the combined cycle it returns 83.1 mpg while emitting just 89 g/km of CO?.  Extra-urban fuel economy is 88.3 mpg and urban fuel economy 72.4 mpg.

Various measures such as reduced internal friction, an innovative thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation, cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold result in successfully reducing fuel consumption and emissions.  To reduce emissions values further, Volkswagen has also implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS
This 2.0-litre engine produces 150 PS (10 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous generation) from 3,500 to 4,000, and 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,750 up to 3,000 rpm.  Customers choosing this engine can opt for a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.  Performance is impressive but does not come at the expense of economy.  The Golf’s 2.0-litre TDI completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.6 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 134 mph (131 DSG).  Combined economy is 67.3 mpg (62.8 DSG) with a carbon dioxide output of 109 g/km (117 DSG).

2.0-litre TDI, 1968, 16-valve 4-cyl, 184 PS (Golf GTD and Alltrack)
The 2.0-litre diesel engine used in the Golf GTD produces 184 PS (14 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous GTD).  Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – has risen from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) in the previous model to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm.

Acceleration from zero to 62 mph takes just 7.5 seconds, while the top speed is 142 mph, yet the new Golf GTD consumes just one gallon of fuel every 64.2 miles, making for CO? emissions of only 114 g/km.  With the optional six-speed DSG, in three-door mode, fuel consumption is 60.1 mpg and CO? emissions 124 g/km.

BlueMotion Technology
For the past few years, Volkswagen has been producing and developing a range of vehicles that strikes a balance between the highly focused BlueMotion vehicles and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying the ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badge, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

All Golf models are equipped with ‘BlueMotion Technology’ modifications and feature a multifunction computer which includes visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption, as well as Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems.

The Golf’s automatic Start/Stop system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.  With the DSG gearbox, the Start/Stop system is activated through the brake pedal.

A battery regeneration system helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for rapid recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.  The 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI also features Active Cylinder Technology to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

BlueMotion
The Golf BlueMotion, now in its third generation, is the most efficient Golf available. Available in diesel form, it delivers exceptional fuel economy and low CO? emissions.

It uses an even more efficient 110 PS version of the 1.6-litre TDI engine and returns an incredible 83.1 mpg while emitting just 89 g/km of CO?.

On top of the BlueMotion Technology modifications that are standard on all Golfs, the BlueMotion model features aerodynamic modifications including sports suspension that is lowered by 10 mm, a modified radiator grille and front air intake, and unique spoilers on the roof and on the rear of the C-pillars.  These help reduce the Golf BlueMotion’s Cd figure from the standard Golf’s already low 0.29 to 0.27.

Eco mode: driver profile selection
Match Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTI and GTD Golf models have a standard driver profile selection facility (see Technology highlights section for details) which allows the driver to choose an operating mode which suits their style and journey.  One of the available modes is ‘Eco’, whereby the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.  Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring better utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.

Gearboxes
As detailed above, most of the Golf’s engines can be paired with a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).  This is either a six- or seven-speed DSG, depending on maximum engine torque, and both are designed to offer the best combination of fuel-efficiency and shifting dynamics.  In addition to the number of gears, the six- and seven- speed ’boxes differ in their clutch types.  While two dry clutches are used in the seven-speed DSG, the six-speed DSG has a dual clutch that runs in an oil bath.

First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.  The six-speed, DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Theoretically, it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.

Seven-speed DSG
This gearbox uses a pair of dry clutches to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel, the gearbox is remarkably compact.

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and refinement levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent. The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the seven-speed system.

4MOTION
Standard on Alltrack and R models, Volkswagen’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive system offers exceptional grip at all times.

When under a relatively low load or when coasting, forward drive comes primarily from the front axle, and the rear axle is decoupled which saves fuel.  If needed, however, the rear axle is seamlessly and instantly engaged by a multi-plate coupling, activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and controls via activation of the oil pump how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed.  The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates proportional to the desired torque at the rear axle.  So, the level of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to vary continuously the magnitude of the transmitted torque.  Even when driving off and accelerating, the Passat’s wheels are prevented from spinning, because the control unit regulates the torque distribution as a function of dynamic axle loads. 

Activation of the coupling is based primarily on the engine torque demanded by the driver.  In parallel, what is known as a driving status identification system within the all-wheel drive control unit evaluates parameters such as wheel speeds and the steering angle.  If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.

When manoeuvring or going around tight corners any build-up of pressure on the drive train is avoided by reducing the torque exerted on the coupling.  The opposite happens in the event of heavy and rapid acceleration: in this case the coupling torque is increased with corresponding speed.  Meanwhile, at high speeds the pre-control of the coupling, which is based on engine torque, is disabled in order to minimise fuel consumption.  In this case front-wheel drive dominates.  However, even in this situation 4MOTION remains a permanent all-wheel drive system, as the rear axle is instantly re-engaged as soon as any slippage registers on the front axle or the Passat is driven with increased lateral acceleration.

SERVICING
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf.  They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold start
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, with an oil change service after one year or 10,000 miles or, whichever is soonest.  And an inspection service after two years or 20,000 miles, whichever is soonest, and then every one year or 20,000 miles, whichever is soonest.

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx.) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due after two years of ownership or after 20,000 miles, whichever is soonest. Subsequent services will be every 20,000 miles or one year, whichever is soonest.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR
In developing the running gear for the seventh generation Golf, engineers set out to exploit the advantages of the new Modular Transverse Matrix (or MQB platform – see separate section for full details), and certain specific proven components were further advanced to perfect the car’s ride and comfort properties.  At the same time, weight reduction was defined as a clear priority, in order to maximise the reductions in fuel consumption and enhance ride comfort.

In order to allow the greatest possible weight reduction, a new modular lightweight rear suspension system was developed for Golf Mk VII models with under 122 PS, which weighs just 38 kg.  For the more powerful versions, the further developed modular performance suspension was used, weighing 49 kg.

Front axle
At the front the Golf uses a strut-type suspension system (spring struts) with lower wishbones that were newly developed for optimal handling and steering properties.  All components were reworked for improved functionality as well as reduced weight and costs.  The result, despite not using aluminium components, was a weight saving of 1.6 kg, made possible, for example, by the use of high-strength steel in the transverse links and an innovative ‘bionic’ (ie. designed based on features from the natural world) design approach to the pivot bearings.  A centrally positioned front subframe − designed for maximum rigidity − handles loads from the engine mountings and steering as well as front suspension loads.

The now universally employed tubular anti-roll bar has a stiffness that has been adapted to the requirements of different running gear layouts.  Its rubber bearings are vulcanised directly into the painted anti-roll tube to ensure the best acoustic properties.  For use with 16- and 17-inch wheel brakes, a new aluminium pivot bearing was also developed.  The use of aluminium and the ‘bionic’ design of this pivot bearing resulted in weight reduction of 2.8 kg.

GTI with Performance pack front differential lock
The Golf GTI Mk VII is the first GTI to be available with an optional Performance pack.  Among other changes, this adds a limited-slip differential.

The front differential is an electrically actuated mechanical system.  This provides more neutral and agile driving behaviour and allows higher speeds to be carried through curves.  The system consists of a multi-plate coupler between the differential cage and right driveshaft, which controls locking torque electro-hydraulically.

Modular lightweight rear suspension
The new modular lightweight rear suspension system consists of a transverse torsion beam that is open at the bottom, into which an insert plate is welded at the outer ends.  Different torsional stiffness rates for different versions are attained by different lengths of the insert plates.  This yields a considerable weight saving compared to a welded tubular anti-roll bar.  The use of a transverse profile that is open at the bottom also enables optimal roll/steer behaviour and high transverse rigidity.  By using high-strength steels and innovative design methods, Volkswagen succeeded in significantly increasing rigidity compared with previous suspension systems of this construction type.  Despite this, its weight was reduced.

Modular performance rear suspension
The multi-link rear suspension of the seventh generation Golf was further developed to give clear improvements in kinematics, acoustics, weight and modularity.  However, nothing has changed with regard to its fundamental approach of consistently separating longitudinal and transverse rigidities.  The low longitudinal rigidity has been preserved by the soft axle control of the trailing link; this was a necessary precondition for further improving ride comfort.

Furthermore, compared with the previous generation, Volkswagen successfully improved the transverse rigidity of the modular performance suspension, which is important for steering behaviour, by a new tie rod bearing tuning.  Tracking and camber values are individually tuned by screws on the spring link and at the upper transverse link according to requirement for each vehicle type.  Key design changes to the rear suspension are the connections of the tubular anti-roll bar and the suspension damper, which are now made at the spring link.  This reduces forces within the suspension, while in addition the suspension was made 4.0 kg or eight per cent (depending on model) lighter thanks to structural optimisations of many components and the use of high-strength steels.

Electro-mechanical power steering
The Golf uses an electro-mechanical power steering system which is able to vary the feel at the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.

Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, such as crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Progressive steering (standard on the GTE, GTE Nav, GTI and GTD)
Progressive steering lets drivers make a turn of a given radius with smaller steering wheel inputs than with conventional steering, thanks to a varied (or progressive) steering gear ratio.  On Golfs with standard steering, it takes 2.75 turns lock to lock (500 degrees).  With progressive steering, this is reduced to 2.1 turns (380 degrees).  As well as providing an even more enjoyable and dynamic driving experience, progressive steering requires perceptibly less steering effort in parking and manoeuvring.

Technically, progressive steering differs from the basic steering system primarily by the rack’s variable tooth spacing and a more powerful electric motor.

Braking system
The Golf features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) as standard across the range.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, with solid discs on the rear axle.  On GTI models with the optional Performance pack, the rear brakes are also ventilated discs.

Electronic Stability Control – ESC incorporating XDS
The latest-generation ESC system developed for the Golf has a range of features designed to have a direct and positive effect on active safety.  All models are also fitted with XDS electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling (see Technical highlights section for details on XDS).

Essentially, ESC is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESC reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started.

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESC can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.

The latest generation of ESC fitted to the Golf has a finer response, counter-steering recommendation and offers trailer stabilisation.  This function can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer when a Volkswagen-approved towbar is fitted.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESC purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors.

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESC control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle/trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

The Golf GTI and GTD both feature XDSPlus, a development of the XDS system which also operates on the rear axle, for even greater driving agility.

Hydraulic Brake Assist
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, the latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) (optional on Match Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI, GTI Edition 40 and R)
Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce ride and handling characteristics that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  Enter DCC.

With this system, the suspension’s damping characteristics can be controlled at the touch of a button, via the driver profile selection system.

DCC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the damping is hardened.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving.

As well as altering the damping characteristics, when ‘Sport’ mode is selected on the Golf’s driver profile selection system, the throttle responses are sharpened, and the steering assistance also reduced.  In ‘Comfort’ mode, the steering assistance is increased.  Using the ‘Individual’ mode, the damping, steering and throttle responses can all be controlled individually.  It is therefore possible, for example, to have the steering set to ‘Normal’, the throttle to ‘Sport’, and the damping to ‘Comfort’.

The Golf benefits from the latest generation of DCC.  Cars fitted with DCC have a 10 mm lower ride height, as well as their own specific spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings.  For the latest generation certain parameters were also modified: designs of the wheel displacement sensors were adapted and weight optimised; the body accelerometers were converted from three analogue lines to two digital lines; and the DCC control unit was redesigned in its hardware configuration, components and layout.  At the car’s launch a new generation of processors were introduced.  These operate at 180 MHz and assure control with one-millisecond cycles.

Off-road setting including Hill Descent Assist (Alltrack)
This instantly switches on a group of advanced off-road technologies that work together to give drivers safer control over rough ground.

The Electronic Differential Lock is adjusted to counteract slip earlier, while the ABS is adjusted to give better braking on loose ground.  In addition, gear pre-selection gives optimum engine braking (on automatic gearboxes) while the accelerator pedal is adjusted for finer control of torque in low gears.  The parking brake auto-release helps to reduce clutch wear in hill starts.

Hill Descent Assist supports the driver when driving down a steep incline at the speed elected by the driver by means of actively controlled brake applications.  Hill Descent Assistance will only operate when off road mode is activated, speeds are lower than 30 km/h, the gradient is greater than 10 per cent, the engine is running and the accelerator and brake pedals are not pressed.

Electronic parking brake with auto hold function
All Golf models have an electronic parking brake which is operated via a switch between the front seats, as opposed to the ‘pull up’ handle from the previous generation.  This also incorporates a standard auto hold function.  This is activated via a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic.  In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

If auto hold has been switched on when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched on the next time the vehicle is started.  Likewise if auto hold has been switched off when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched off the next time the vehicle is started.

EQUIIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS
All Golfs are well-equipped and offer more value than the previous generation models they replaced.  Highlights of each trim level are shown below.  For full details please refer to the latest price list.

S trim

Standard items of equipment include:

? ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)

? ESC (Electronic Stability Control) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control)

? XDS electronic differential lock

? Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

? driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch

? curtain airbag system, for front and rear passengers

? front seat side impact airbags

? driver’s knee airbag

? driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints

? three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints

? warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened

? Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)

? electronic engine immobiliser

? automatic door locking, speed related, can be switched off

? remote central locking with two folding keys

? electronic parking brake with auto hold function

? front centre armrest with storage compartment

? driver’s and front passenger’s seat height adjustment

? easy entry sliding seats (for access to rear seats – three-door only)

? height and reach adjustable steering wheel

? split folding rear seat backrest 60:40

? variable boot floor, height adjustable and removable

? multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for improved fuel consumption

? misfuel prevention device (for diesel models)

? Bluetooth connection for compatible telephones

? Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, DAB radio, ‘Think Blue. Trainer’ mode (with information and tips on how to achieve an especially economical style of driving, for example, advising the driver to shut windows if the air conditioning is on), car information display, title and cover art display and, for compatible Android smartphones, SMS text messaging functionality.  Also includes Bluetooth telephone and audio connection for two compatible mobile phones, USB connection, SD card reader and CD player with eight speakers.

? front electric windows

? ‘Climatic’ manual air conditioning

? illuminated and cooled glovebox

? four load lashing points in luggage compartment

? body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators

? battery regeneration and Start/Stop system

? steel space saver spare wheel

? 6J x 15-inch steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres

BlueMotion trim

BlueMotion models add the following to the features of the Golf S:

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 10 mm)

? aerodynamically optimised black front air intake and radiator grille

? uniquely shaped roof spoiler

? unique ‘BlueMotion’ badging

? spoilers on the C-pillars

? 6J x 15-inch ‘Lyon’ alloy wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? tyre repair kit in lieu of spare wheel

Match Edition trim

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match Edition gains the following over S:

? Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, navigation, CD player and DAB radio.  Plus branded points of interest, dynamic navigation based on TMC+, preloaded European navigation data, speed limit display.  Includes three-year Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform’ access, which provides online access to a range of useful information such as traffic, fuel pricing and parking space availability

? Driver Alert system

? ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) including Front Assist, radar sensor controlled distance monitoring system, City emergency braking system and cruise control

? driver profile selection

? black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts

? luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision

? front passenger’s under seat drawer

? leather-trimmed three spoke multifunction steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip

? rear centre armrest with cupholders

? 12V socket in luggage compartment

? rear electric windows (five-door only)

? alarm with interior protection

? automatic coming and leaving home lighting function, plus dusk sensor and automatic driving lights

? rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror

? multifunction computer with 3.2-inch TFT screen

? parking sensors front and rear

? 6½J x 16-inch ‘Toronto’ alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

Match BlueMotion Edition trim

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match BlueMotion Edition gains the following over S:

? Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, navigation, CD player and DAB radio.  Plus branded points of interest, dynamic navigation based on TMC+, preloaded European navigation data, speed limit display.  Includes three-year Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform’ access, which provides online access to a range of useful information such as traffic, fuel pricing and parking space availability

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 10 mm)

? aerodynamic black front air intake and radiator grille

? black radiator grille with chrome trimmed insert

? unique ‘BlueMotion’ badging

? uniquely shaped C-pillar spoiler

? uniquely shaped rear roof spoiler

GT Edition trim

In addition to or different to the Match Edition model, GT adds the following:

? ‘Cherry Red’ rear light clusters

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 10 mm)

? panoramic sunroof, electric, glass sliding/tilting (not GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI or R)

? 65 per cent rear tinted windows from B-pillar back

? internal and external chrome trim

? front sport seats with height and lumbar adjustment

? Alcantara seat centre section with cloth side bolsters

? multifunction steering wheel with paddle shift (DSG models)

? driver profile selection (Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual)

? ambient interior lighting

? electrically foldable door mirrors, with puddle lights and reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on passenger’s door mirror

? Active Cylinder Technology on 1.4-litre TSI for improved economy

? 7J x 18-inch ‘Durban’ alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts

Alltrack

In addition to or different to the GT model, Alltrack adds:

? available as an Estate model only

? four wheel drive – 4MOTION

? alloy wheels, four 6½J x 17-inch ‘Valley’ with 205/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

? increased ground clearance, raised by approx. 15 mm (in lieu of sports suspension)

? off-road suspension

? Alltrack styling pack – uniquely shaped off-road front and rear bumpers

? Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and LED daytime running lights

? matt-chrome effect door mirrors

? matt-chrome effect and anthracite side sill protection

? matt-chrome effect underbody protection, front and rear

? unique ‘Alltrack’ badging

? wheel arch protection, anthracite

? ABSPlus (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution)

? climate control – 2Zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation and allergy filter

? brushed stainless steel door sill protectors with unique Alltrack logo

? brushed stainless steel pedals

? Pavaino decorative inserts in dash, centre console and door panels

? Alltrack cloth seat centre sections with Alcantara side bolsters

? off-road setting, including hill descent assist

R-Line Edition

Additional equipment over GT Edition:

? four 18-inch ‘Marseille’ alloy wheels

? body-coloured rear roof spoiler and rear diffuser with chrome twin exhaust tailpipe

? ‘R-Line’ styling pack – ‘R-Line’ design front and rear bumpers, radiator grille and side skirts

? unique ‘R-Line’ badging

? black rooflining

? front seats embossed with ‘R-Line’ logo on head restraints, ‘Race’ seat centre section and ‘San Remo’ microfiber side bolsters

? ‘Black Lead Grey’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels

? stainless steel pedals and door sill protectors

GTE

Additional equipment over GT Edition:

? four 18-inch ‘Marseille’ alloy wheels

? sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm

? XDSPlus electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling

? ‘GTE’ styling pack

? unique ‘GTE’ badging

? Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, CD player, DAB radio

? driver profile selection – e-mode, Hybrid mode, Battery charge mode, ‘GTE’ mode

? two charging cables, 16-amp and 10-amp

? progressive steering

? multifunction colour display

GTE Nav

Additional equipment over GTE:

?  Discover Navigation Pro system with eight-inch colour touch-screen, branded points of interest, speed limit display, dynamic navigation, three route options (Fast, Short, Eco), 3D map view

GTD and GTI

In addition to or different to the GT model, GTI and GTD models have the following:

? Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, DAB radio, Eco mode (with information and tips on how to achieve an especially economical style of driving, for example, advising the driver to shut windows if the air conditioning is on)

? LED front fog lights

? bi-xenon headlights with static cornering function and LED daytime running lights

? LED rear light clusters with smoked covers

? LED rear number plate illumination

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 15 mm)

? ‘Jacara’ cloth upholstery (‘Jacara Grey’ in GTD)

? red ambient interior lighting

? 7.5J x 18-inch ‘Austin’ alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts (GTI)

? 7.5J x 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts (GTD)

? uniquely styled front bumper with spoiler and rear bumper with black diffuser

? side skirts and rear spoiler

? twin exhaust pipes at left (twin exhaust on GTD)

? dual exhaust pipes, one at either side (GTI)

? honeycomb radiator grille and air intakes

? red trim strip across radiator grille and into headlights (GTI)

? chrome trim strip across radiator grille and into headlights (GTD)

? illuminated door sill protectors

? stainless steel pedals

? contrast stitching on steering wheel, gear lever gaiter and handbrake (red on GTI, grey on GTD)

? ‘Cyclone’ decorative inserts in dash, centre console and door panels

? unique instrument clusters

? progressive steering system

? ‘Red’ brake calipers (GTI), with GTI logo on cars with Performance pack

? ‘Grey’ brake calipers with GTD logo

? limited-slip differential (GTI with Performance pack only)

? XDSPlus electronic differential lock                                                                               

GTI Clubsport Edition 40

In addition to or different to the GTI model, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 models have the following:

? 18-inch ‘Quaranta’ alloy wheels, which are 3 kg lighter than conventional alloys

? 265 PS output

? ‘Overboost’ function – additional 25 PS for 10 seconds during full throttle

? new spring layout, newly tuned dampers and optimised bump stops

? uniquely shaped rear roof spoiler

? uniquely shaped rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with chrome exhaust tailpipes, left and right

? uniquely shaped side sills and front splitter

? ‘Gloss Black’ door mirrors

? Alcantara door panels with red trim

? unique ‘Clubsport’ decal on side skirts

? red stitching on Alcantara trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with red 12 o’clock mark and ‘GTI’ logo

? ‘Piano Black’ centre console

? ‘Clubsport’ cloth seat centre section and Alcantara side bolsters.  Front sports seats with embroidered ‘GTI’ logo

Golf R

In addition to or different to the GTI model, R models have the following:

? four wheel drive – 4MOTION

? four ‘Cadiz’ 18-inch alloy wheels

? Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, DAB radio and CD player

?  ‘R’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm

? bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam, with static cornering function

? ‘Black’ brake calipers

? matt-chrome effect on door mirrors

? unique ‘R’ badging

? ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels

? ’Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in centre console

? blue ambient lighting

? unique ‘R’ design key

SAFETY
As well as making the current generation the most technically advanced Golf, during its design phase the developers were also set the task of making this the safest Golf yet – quite a challenge given the accompanying weight reduction targets.

Earlier sections of this description (Design: weight reduction, and Technology highlights) lay out in detail the measures that were taken to ensure weight reduction did not result in any loss of safety, as well as the full remit of passive and active safety features which are fitted.

Airbag system
Naturally the Golf has seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver’s side.  The special location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle to gently introduce upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Safety Optimised Head Restraint System
Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed its Safety Optimised Head Restraint System to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  This is fitted as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this is the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, the system has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Seatbelt fastening detection for the rear
Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during driving.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx. 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled occupant); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results

The Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency, and received a top five-star rating.  It also won the award for innovations in the area of integral safety at the Euro NCAP Advanced Awards.  Along with Lane Assist and Front Assist, the PreCrash preventive occupant protection and the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System were recognised as pioneering safety innovations.  This is further confirmation of the excellent competitive position of the Golf.

The Golf was awarded top ratings for its occupant protection.  Evaluated here were frontal and side impact tests, a pole side impact test and what is known as the whiplash test, in which loads to the spine are measured in a rear end collision.  Not only adults, but children too can feel safe in the Golf.  This was verified in tests, some of which utilised dummies sized to represent 18-month-old and three-year-old children.  The Golf also impressed testers with its pedestrian protection capabilities.

Insurance groups
Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the Golf secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers), all of which are lower than those achieved by the previous generation model:

S

1.2-litre TSI 85 PS                                                                         7E

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS                                                                     14E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     12E

BlueMotion

1.0-litre TSI 115 PS                                                                      14E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     15E

Match Edition

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS                                                                     15E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     11E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     16E

Match BlueMotion Edition

1.0-litre TSI 115 PS                                                                      14E

GT Edition

1.4-litre TSI ACT 150 PS                                                           19E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     13E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     19E

Alltrack

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     10E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     17E

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS                                                                     20E

R-Line Edition

1.4-litre TSI ACT 150 PS                                                           19E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     20E

GTI

2.0-litre TSI 220 PS                                                                     37E

2.0-litre TSI 230 PS                                                                     37E

GTD

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS                                                                     26E

R

2.0-litre TSI 300 PS 4MOTION                                               34E

These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

WARRANTIES
The Golf has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer-operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

HISTORY OF THE GOLF

Chronology

Mk I (1974 - 1983)
The Golf Mk I was launched in 1974 and was produced until August 2011 – albeit extensively modified – as an economically priced entry-level model in South Africa parallel to the current model range.  Over 7.0 million units have been produced so far.

1974:       Debut of the first Golf

1976:       500,000th Golf in March

1,000,000th Golf in October

First Golf GTI

First Golf with diesel engine

1978:       2,000,000th Golf in June

Debut of the US version Rabbit in July

1979:       3,000,000th Golf in September

First Golf Cabriolet

Minor facelift

1982:       5,000,000th Golf in February

First Golf with turbodiesel engine

Mk II (1984 - 1992)
The Golf Mk II followed in 1983, and in the UK the following year.  Over 6.3 million units of this generation were produced in ten years – on average approximately 630,000 units per year.

1983:       Debut of the Golf MkII

1984:       Debut of the Golf GTI MkII

1985:       7,000,000th Golf in March

1986:       First Golf (GTI) with 16-valve petrol engine

1987:       ABS available for all GT and GTI models

Minor facelift

1988:       Debut of the Rallye Golf G60 – some LHD examples imported to UK

10,000,000th Golf in June

1989:      11,000,000th Golf in October

1990:      All Golf petrol models available with closed-loop catalytic converters from February

1,000,000th Golf GTI in November

12,000,000th Golf in November

Mk III (1992 - 1998)
The Golf Mk III, of which 4.8 million units were built, was launched on to the UK market in 1992.

1991:       Debut of the third Golf

First Golf diesel with oxidation catalytic converter

First Golf with six-cylinder engine (VR6); simultaneously the first model in the lower mid-range with a six-cylinder engine

1992:       13,000,000th Golf in February

Driver and front passenger airbag available from August

1993:       First Golf with turbodiesel direct injection (TDI) engine

Debut of the second Golf Cabriolet

First Golf Estate

14,000,000th Golf in March

Debut of the Golf Ecomatic – the first production Golf with a Stop/Start system

1994:       15,000,000th Golf sold in May

Golf Ecomatic on sale in the UK from July

1995:       First Golf with naturally aspirated diesel direct injection (SDI) engine

1996:      20th anniversary of the Golf GTI / anniversary model of the Golf GTI

First Golf GTI with turbodiesel engine

17,000,000th Golf in November

Mk IV (1998 - 2004)
The Golf Mk IV debuted in 1997, and was launched in the UK in 1998.  Over the last seven years until 2003, 4.3 million units of the best-seller were produced and, on average, approximately 614,000 units were sold per year.

1997:       Debut of the first Golf with fully galvanised body

First Golf with five-cylinder engine (V5)

1998:       Debut of the new Golf Cabriolet

First Golf 4MOTION with Haldex viscous coupling

Introduction of optional ESC (Electronic Stability Control)

1999:      Second Golf Estate launched

First TDI engines with Pumpe Düse unit-injector technology in the Golf

19,000,000th Golf in June

2002:       Golf GTI 180 PS launched as special edition marking the 25th anniversary of the Golf GTI in the UK.

Production of the Golf overtakes the Beetle; at 21,517,415 units it becomes the most-produced Volkswagen model to date

Debut of the Golf R32, the most powerful in production Golf ever with 241 PS 2002 becomes the Golf’s best year in the UK to date, with 72,362 units sold, while it also finishes the year as the country’s best-selling diesel car

2003:       End of year: phase-out of the fourth generation Golf after sales of more than 5.0 million units

Mk V (2004 - 2008)
The Golf Mk V made its international debut in 2003, and was launched in the UK in 2004.

2003:       September – world premiere at Frankfurt Motor Show

2004:       January 30 – UK launch

August – Sport added to model line-up

2005:       January – GTI launched in the UK

November – R32 on sale in the UK

2006:       October – Match replaces SE trim level

2007:       January – 230 PS GTI Edition 30 launched in UK

March – 25 millionth Golf is produced

May – GT Sport replaces GT and Sport trim levels

2008:       February – Golf BlueMotion launched in the UK

April – GTI Pirelli edition returns, 25 years after the original

Mk VI (2009 - 2012)
2008:       October – world premiere at the Paris Motor Show

October – car available for ordering at Volkswagen Retailers

2009:       January 6 – car on sale in UK

May 22 – Golf GTI on sale in UK

June 22 – Golf GTD on sale in UK

September – Golf BlueMotion and 270 PS Golf R shown at Frankfurt motor show

2010:       January – Golf BlueMotion on sale in UK

February – Golf R on sale in UK

2011:       September – Golf GTI Edition 35 on sale in UK

Mk VII (2012 -)
2012:       September – world premiere at the Paris Motor Show

October – car available for ordering at Volkswagen Retailers

2013:       January 7 – car on sale in UK

April 4 – GTI available for ordering

April 15 – GTD available for ordering

May 1 – BlueMotion available for ordering

June 14 – 30 millionth Golf is produced

September – Four-wheel drive Golf R makes debut at Frankfurt motor show. With a power output of 300 PS, it’s the fastest production Golf to date. UK order book opens in November

2014:       January 1 – Golf is named BusinessCar of the Year

March – Golf R deliveries start in UK

July 3 – Match Edition launched

November – Golf R Estate unveiled at LA Auto Show

2015:       February – Golf R-Line launched in UK. Car features revised, sporty styling

                  April – Golf Alltrack goes in sale, and is available in Estate-only form

June 24 – BlueMotion models launched

September 9 – Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 launched to celebrate 40 years of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The car has 265 PS, with temporary ‘Overboost’ allowing 290 PS for a limited time

October 11 – Match BlueMotion Edition launched

2016:       April – Golf GTI Clubsport S launched and sets new lap record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Most powerful GTI yet, with 310 PS, has 19-inch wheels with semi-slick tyres. A total of 400 units are made, with 150 of those sold in the UK from August

Few cars have a history like that of the Golf.  Global sales reached 30 million in June 2013, and in 2015 it was the fourth best-selling car in the United Kingdom with over 78,000 examples finding a home on these shores.

The Golf offers buyers a car that sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency.  The seventh generation was launched in September 2012 in Berlin, and had its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month.

Despite offering more room for passengers and more advanced technological features than previous versions, new production techniques contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaced, helping to make it up to 23 per cent more efficient than before.  On top of this, the latest Golf is also safer than ever, thanks not just to a stronger body structure (which is also 23 kg lighter) but also to a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems.

The current Golf is built on the so-called MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, also known as Modular Transverse Matrix.  This standardises many vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes, and allows access to new powertrains and technologies, including innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until the launch of the Golf MK VII were reserved for vehicles in higher segments.

At 4,255 mm, the Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  This helps to create a 10 per cent improvement in the drag co-efficient, which is now 0.29 Cd (and 0.27 Cd for the BlueMotion model).

Though the car’s dimensions are larger, its overall design is unmistakably that of a Golf, thanks to a design DNA that has evolved through the decades.  Walter de Silva, Head of Design for Volkswagen AG, said: ‘One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its continuity.  There are only a handful of cars with a design that, like the Golf’s, has been refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and thus become timeless.’

Inside the Golf there is also more room than ever.  Rear legroom is improved by 15 mm, and the front seats have been moved 20 mm further back, benefitting taller drivers.  Front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm to 1,420 mm (at the rear it is 30 mm wider) and elbow room by 22 mm to 1,469 mm (20 mm wider at the rear).  There is more room for luggage, too: the boot is 30 litres larger, at 380 litres, with a low 665 mm sill to make loading effortless.

The centre console is angled more towards the driver, giving him or her easier, more ergonomic and direct access to auxiliary controls, including the latest touch-screen infotainment systems that are available on the Golf.  All Golf models have touch-screen systems as standard, starting in the UK with the Composition Media system that comes with a 6.5-inch colour display, and rising to the range-topping Discover Navigation Pro system with an eight-inch colour display.  It operates with finger gestures that will be familiar to smartphone users.  Features include DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information.  Between the front seats, space is increased by virtue of the electronic parking brake with auto hold feature.  Three specification levels were offered from launch – S, SE and GT.  BlueMotion, GTI and GTD models followed in summer 2013, along with the new Golf Estate.

The specification levels available are now S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition and Alltrack.  The performance Golf specifications are the R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and the 4MOTION-equipped R.

The Golf features a number of innovative standard safety systems, while optional systems include many previously only available on vehicles in a class above.  Standard on all Golf models, in addition to ABS, Electronic Stability Control and seven airbags, is XDS (an electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling) as well as the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

Standard (from Match Edition trim upwards) is the PreCrash system that made its debut on the Touareg, Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist, City emergency braking and a Driver Alert system, while optional electronic aids include a camera-operated Lane Assist system and High Beam Assist.  Specify the latest generation Park Assist, and the Golf will even park itself in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle as well as in perpendicular spaces.

For the first time, the Golf also comes (from Match Edition upwards) with driver profile selection, which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Dynamic Chassis Control another mode – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Powering the Golf is a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre TSI 115 PS unit, which returns 65.7 mpg combined and 99 g/km of CO?.  Next is a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS unit returning 57.6 mpg combined and 113 g/km of CO?, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS (54.3 mpg / 120 g/km) and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders under certain loads, and achieves 58.9 mpg and 112 g/km.

The GTI uses a 2.0-litre 220 PS TSI unit with 220 PS or optionally 230 PS. For the Clubsport Edition 40 model, there is a 2.0-litre 265 PS engine and the R is powered by a 300 PS version of the 2.0-litre unit.

The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 110 PS (which returns 74.3 mpg combined and 99 g/km), plus a 1.6-litre 110 PS unit in the Golf BlueMotion (returning 83.1 mpg and 89 g/km), a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit which returns 67.3 mpg and 109 g/km, and a 2.0-litre 184 PS unit which returns 64.2 mpg and 114 g/km in the new Golf GTD.

UK Retailers began taking orders for the new Golf on 18 October 2012; the first customer deliveries took place from the car’s official on-sale date of 7 January 2013.

The latest Golf GTI was unveiled in production form at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013, and is powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine with 220 PS and 350 Nm of torque (up 70 Nm from Mk VI).  For the first time, a second power option is available from the factory with an additional 10 PS, an electrically actuated mechanical front differential lock and larger brakes.  Despite the high power output, the GTI is Euro 6 emissions compliant, and returns 47.1 mpg combined with 139 g/km of carbon dioxide (a fuel economy enhancement of 18 per cent).  It went on sale in April 2013 with first deliveries in June 2013.

The Golf GTD, which was also introduced at Geneva in March 2013, is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged common rail diesel engine (TDI) with 184 PS.  Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – was boosted from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm.  It went on sale in April 2013 with first deliveries following in August.

The Golf established another ‘first’ in 2014 when it became the first car to be available with five power sources: petrol, diesel or CNG engines (not UK), a pure electric drive (e-Golf) and plug-in hybrid (Golf GTE).  The Golf GTE plug-in hybrid made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014, and combines the benefits of electric mobility with the dynamics of a Golf GTI.  Its name reflects its position in the line-up alongside the iconic petrol-powered GTI and the diesel GTD.  Where ‘GT’ stands for ‘Gran Tourismo’, ‘I’ stands for ‘Injection’, ‘D’ for Diesel and ‘E’ for Electricity.

The Golf GTE is driven by two engines: a 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor.  Together, they combine to produce power of 204 PS and a theoretical range of around 580 miles.  Using the electric motor alone, the GTE is capable of speeds of 81 mph.  With the TSI engine as well, the Golf GTE can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 138 mph.  Torque is a remarkable 350 Nm (258 lbs ft).  Alongside this impressive performance, the Golf GTE offers impressive fuel efficiency, with a combined cycle figure of 166 mpg and CO? emissions of 39 g/km.

The latest Golf BlueMotion was also unveiled at Geneva in 2013, and features a completely new 1.6-litre TDI engine with 110 PS which is capable of returning 83.1 mpg with class-leading carbon dioxide emissions of just 89 g/km.  These figures give the Golf BlueMotion a theoretical range of 970 miles, so based on an annual average mileage of 10,000 miles, that means refuelling around 10 times per year.

And the Golf is available as an all-electric model, the e-Golf. Launched in the UK in January 2014, the e-Golf can be charged from a household three-pin socket using the cable provided.  With a standard UK 230-Volt, 2.3 kW supply, this recharges the battery in 13 hours.  An optional wallbox for home use provides 3.6 kW supply and can recharge a flat battery in eight hours.  Through use of the e-Golf’s standard combined charging system (CCS) and a DC supply, the battery can be fully recharged (at levels of up to 40 kW) to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes.

An AC electric motor (85 kW / 115 PS, and 270 Nm) provides drive, linked to the front wheels via a single-speed gearbox.  The lithium-ion battery is integrated into the Golf’s floor and weighs 318 kg.  It consists of 264 cells, together rated at 323 Volts and 24.2 kWh.

Acceleration from 0-62 mph takes 10.4 seconds.  By comparison the Golf BlueMotion, which is powered by a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine with 110 PS and 250 Nm, takes 10.5 seconds.  Top speed for the e-Golf is 87 mph.  Depending on driving style, charge level and ambient conditions, the e-Golf has a range of up to 118 miles.

In 2016, Volkswagen added an Alltrack model to its UK line-up.  First shown at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, this four-wheel drive model features up to 15 mm increased ground clearance, ABSPlus, off-road suspension and an ‘Off-road’ setting which includes hill descent assist.  Combined, these give the Alltrack exceptional ability on loose surfaces.  The Golf Alltrack, which is an Estate model, follows in the tradition of the larger Passat Alltrack and has a bespoke design package that reflects its rugged nature. Among the numerous styling features reserved for the Alltrack model are wheel arch protection trim, matt chrome-effect underbody protection and 17-inch Valley alloy wheels.  Three diesel engines are available for the Alltrack, with outputs ranging from 110 PS to 184 PS.

Summary

  • Latest Golf made Paris Show debut on 27 September 2012, 38 years after the original model (first shown in May 1974) redefined the small family car.  More than 30 million Golfs have been sold worldwide (June 2013), of which over 1.9 million have found homes in the UK (to end 2015)
  • Design of seventh generation is an evolution of Golf styling, demonstrating Volkswagen’s ‘DNA’; under the surface, use of the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix brings fundamental changes
  • At 4,255 mm, the Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  Boot capacity is increased by 30 litres to 380 litres, while a low 665 mm sill makes loading easier
  • Despite being larger, new production techniques and developments contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaced, and up to 23 per cent more fuel efficient; latest Golf is also safer than ever, due to a stronger body structure (which is 23 kg lighter)
  • Safety systems include as standard an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System that automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance or consequences of a second impact
  • Also available is a PreCrash system that, on detecting the possibility of an accident, pre-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure the airbags provide the best possible protection
  • Other electronic aids include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist and City emergency braking (all standard on Match Edition models and above), all of which can reduce or eliminate the chance of accidents occurring.  Also available are a Driver Alert system (standard from Match Edition), a camera-operated Lane Assist system and a High Beam Assist system
  • In the cabin the minor controls have been redesigned and are angled more towards the driver. The latest generation of touch-screen infotainment systems brings the interior up to date with a range of features including DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information
  • The petrol engines are a 1.0-litre 115 PS unit returning 99 g/km and 65.7 mpg, a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS unit returning 57.6 mpg on the combined cycle and 113 g/km, two 1.4-litre TSI units: one with 125 PS (54.3 mpg and 120 g/km) and one with 150 PS which also features Active Cylinder Technology.  This technology can deactivate two of the cylinders under certain loads, allowing it to achieve 58.9 mpg and 112 g/km.  Finally, the GTI features a development of the EA288 2.0-litre TSI engine, with 220 PS or optionally 230 PS.  It returns 47.1 mpg and 139 g/km
  • Diesel engines are a 1.6-litre 110 PS unit, which returns 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km. Next in the range is a 1.6-litre unit with 110 PS in the Golf BlueMotion (returning 83.1 mpg and 89 g/km); a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit which returns 67.3 mpg and 109 g/km; and a 2.0-litre 184 PS unit which returns 64.2 mpg and 114 g/km in the new Golf GTD
  • Available for the first time on the Golf is a driver profile selection facility which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Dynamic Chassis Control a fifth option – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the engine mapping (among other parameters) to the chosen style
  • Other technology that became available on this generation Golf include the latest Park Assist, which allows the Golf to park itself parallel to the kerb in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle, and cope automatically with end-on bay parking.  A universal phone holder with inductive aerial, which increases the signal strength of a phone placed in it, and reduces the drain on the phone’s battery will also be available
  • Specification levels in the UK are S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, Alltrack, GTD, GTI, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and R – with both three- and five-door bodystyles available. Alltrack is Estate only

MARKET INFORMATION
The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased.

Fleet customers account for around 68 per cent of Golfs sold, with 85 per cent diesel-powered.  More than 90 per cent are sold with five doors.  Overall, the 1.6-litre TDI Match Edition five-door is the best-selling model.

In 2015, 78,136 Golf (Mk VII) hatchbacks were sold in the UK.  This compares with 54,900 Polos, 16,904 up!s and 10,755 Passat Estates as the top-selling Volkswagen models.

PRODUCTION
The Golf Estate Mk VII, like the Golf hatch and unlike its predecessor which was produced in Mexico, is produced at Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg. A new state of the art production system with all-new assembly technologies are employed to combine strength, low weight, high quality and low production costs.

Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than 3.7 square miles.  The one square mile taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 46.6 miles long, while the plant’s rail network totals 43.5 miles, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex produces the Golf, Golf Estate, Touran and Tiguan.  About 815,000 vehicles rolled off the assembly lines in 2015.  Apart from car production, component manufacture is another cornerstone of activities at Wolfsburg. The components produced here, including drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, are used in vehicle production in Wolfsburg and at other Group plants.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants.  The aim was to reduce the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants by 25 per cent by 2018, but this was achieved by July 2016.  Specifically, this means 25 per cent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants. It was achieved via the introduction of 5,000 individual measures, which will collectively save far more than 100 million euros.

In line with “Think Blue. Factory.” the Wolfsburg plant has introduced the Modular Production System (MPB), which will make production more environmentally compatible.  Another contribution to sustained energy saving is the Energy Path which features a large number of practical examples showing precisely where and how energy can be saved.  These include an electric vehicle recharging station with photovoltaic panels and wind turbine and the optimisation of heating pumps featuring demand-oriented control to save energy.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate power and heat not only for the Volkswagen plant, but also the city of Wolfsburg.  The two power stations have a power generating capacity of 442 megawatts.  This combined heat and power system converts 53.3 per cent of the heat in the fuel into usable energy against a maximum of 38 per cent for a normal coal-fired power station.  (Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change.)

Every day, around 150 double-deck rail cars and about 160 transporter trucks leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg with a cargo of some 2,600 vehicles.  Incoming deliveries from around 1,900 suppliers arrive at the plant in about 150 or so rail carriages and 700 trucks every day.

HISTORY
Wolfsburg is the location of the Volkswagen Group headquarters.  Volkswagen, founded in Berlin on May 28, 1937, commissioned a factory to be built at the site of what would eventually be the City of Wolfsburg.  The factory was built in 1938/39 as a facility for series production of the Volkswagen car designed by Ferdinand Porsche.  Realisation of this ‘People's Car’ vision was interrupted by World War II, which brought with it a demand for armament production and the Nazi regime’s policy of forced labour.

When the war ended, the British military, under whose trusteeship the factory was placed, commissioned the first production assignment for the factory.  Series production of the Volkswagen began in December 1945.  By 1955, the factory was celebrating completion of the one-millionth Beetle in Wolfsburg.  Until its production was discontinued in 1974, a total of 11,916,519 Beetles were built in Wolfsburg (NB. German production continued in Emden).

A short time later, production commenced on the Golf, a model which would eventually lend its name to a whole vehicle class and which launched a new era for the Volkswagen brand.  With the introduction of the Golf in 1974, Volkswagen put a small, high-speed diesel engine in a mid-class passenger car. In that same year, the one-millionth Golf left the assembly line in Wolfsburg.  This first Golf was replaced by its second-generation successor in 1983, the year which also saw commencement of operations in Hall 54, at the time the world's most highly advanced final assembly unit.

Only five years later, the ten-millionth Golf was built.  In the 1990s, the range of products was expanded to include models such as the Polo III, the Golf Mk IV and the Lupo.  In September 2008, Volkswagen presented its new sixth-generation Golf.  The 15 millionth Golf produced at the plant rolled off the assembly line in September 2010.  To date, about 43 million vehicles have been produced at the Volkswagen plant.

DESIGN
The MQB platform
The Golf was the first Volkswagen model to be based upon the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix.  The introduction of the MQB strategy represented a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines as it standardised many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offered access to new technologies.

The MQB extends from the A0 to the B segment.  At the Volkswagen brand, for example, it covers the following models: Polo, Beetle, Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, Touran, Sharan, Passat and Volkswagen CC.  In the future, all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths.  It will also be possible to produce MQB models of different brands together.

One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines.  Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role here are the modular petrol engine system (MOB) with the EA211 engine series (60 to 150 PS) – this range includes the world’s first four-cylinder production engine with cylinder deactivation (ACT) – and the modular diesel engine system (MDB) with the EA288 engine series (90 to 190 PS).

By introducing these engine series at the same time as the latest Golf went into production, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group was reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice.  On the contrary; in addition to standardising conventional internal combustion engines, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to the pure electric drive.  Volkswagen launched the all-electric e-Golf on the platform in 2014.

The MQB continues to open up new opportunities at the Volkswagen Group, allowing it to produce high-volume and niche models at the highest quality and at extremely competitive costs over the long term and worldwide – vehicles that are individually tailored to the requirements of very diverse markets such as Europe, China and America, as well as emerging markets such as India.  In parallel, the Volkswagen Group significantly reduced vehicle weights with the launch of the first MQB model series and introduced 20 innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which had previously been reserved for higher vehicle segments.  This includes the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System which made its debut in the Golf Mk VII.  The system works by, after an initial collision, helping to reduce the intensity of secondary collisions by automatically braking the car to 10 kph.  This system is standard on all Golf models.

Within the Group, the MQB developed under the auspices of the Volkswagen brand is supplemented by the Modular Longitudinal System (MLB) from Audi, the Modular Standard System (MSB) with Porsche as the competence centre and finally the ‘New Small Family’ – the most compact vehicle model series with the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and ŠKODA Citigo.

Exterior design
In developing the Golf, the teams led by head designers Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand) based their work on a great deal of creative freedom that allowed many different approaches for a new design, while also focusing on the principles of what is now commonly termed, the Volkswagen ‘design DNA’.

Over recent years, Volkswagen designers have crystallised a selection of core elements from the brand’s history, which they term its ‘historic DNA’.  All current Volkswagen designs correspond to this DNA, with the cars conveying a modern, progressive impression, which nevertheless feels familiar.  This DNA includes elements such as the reduced form of the radiator grille crossbeam, the look of the side windows as well as the first Golf’s roofline and the Golf Mk IV’s typical C-pillars and wheel arches.

This DNA creates a unique, unmistakable language of product features and design.  The language of product features leaves a familiar feeling, and yet it creates a new sensation in the eyes of the observer.  The features are visual characteristics such as functionality, robustness, honesty and reliability.  These characteristics are generated by a ‘language of form’ perfected over many years.

‘This language of form,’ explains Bischoff, ‘is logical, solid, product-focused, pure and precise, and it reflects the brand’s design DNA as a perfect model of creativity.  This makes the base architecture of the Golf Mk VII unmistakable.  It comes over as simple, strong, understandable, reliable and safe.  When one begins with the pure element of this clear base architecture, details such as the economical use and placement of sculptural lines seem more like fine nuances.  Another extremely important point is that the Golf’s proportions have changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever before.’

Marc Lichte, lead exterior designer, explains: ‘The proportions have changed, as we have taken advantage of the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) here.  The front wheels, for example, have moved 43 mm further forward.  The front overhang is therefore shorter, while the bonnet looks longer.’  Klaus Bischoff confirms this: ‘Visually, the passenger compartment has been shifted towards the rear, creating what is called a ‘cab backward’ impression.  That’s what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the bonnet is long and the passenger compartment a long way towards the back.  On the Golf, we thus have proportions that you otherwise only get in higher-class segments of the market.’

In pure dimensional terms the Golf Mk VII is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, giving it a more dynamic stance.  Thanks to a longer wheelbase, however, it has more interior space and a larger boot.

Marc Lichte: ‘We sought to emphasise these modified proportions with design elements.  Below the door handles, we have integrated the now clearly visible and very sharp character line.  While this line is interrupted by the wheelarches, it is otherwise continuous and is stylistically reflected in the chrome bars of the radiator grille and headlights and at the back in the white lateral bars of the rear light clusters.  Set deep down all the way around, this line lowers the visual centre of gravity and gives the car a more solid stance on the road.  Another striking element is the line along the side shoulder directly below the windows.  This line begins at the front in the headlight, and then glides under the wing mirror, which is positioned right on the line, all the way through to the rear side window, underscoring the premium proportions of the Golf.’  The wheelarches are particularly prominent as well, and along with the wider track, longer wheelbase and tyre dimensions of up to 18 inches, they make the Golf appear more powerful.

‘Two other features,’ explains Bischoff, ‘are characteristic of the new Golf silhouette: the C-pillar and the roofline.  On the previous Golf, the character line still cut through the C-pillar.  This is no longer the case on the Golf.  The C-pillar runs along one homogenous surface from the start of the roof all the way to the rear wheel arch.  Above the wheelarch, however, it picks up more strongly the entire width of the car – and as a result, when viewed from behind or diagonally from the rear, the Golf looks more powerful.  Viewed from the side, the precision of the C-pillar design catches the eye; it resembles the drawn string of a bow, giving the Golf a look of acceleration even while it is standing still.  At the same time, it pays homage to the Golf Mk II and Mk IV – both design icons.’

On the right-hand side of the vehicle, even the shape of the fuel cap is integrated into this arrow element.  Head Designer Klaus Bischoff continues: ‘The contour of the roofline has also been redesigned.  Here – above the side windows – the Golf now displays another line, which runs from the roof-edge spoiler right through to the A-pillars.  It is one of those features that give the Golf a particularly sophisticated look from the side as well – a line that at first glance may remain unnoticed, yet is a further detail en route to visual precision.’

Front section
The Volkswagen design DNA manifests itself in a ‘face’ that has appealing features.  In addition, in the same way as on the first Golf, it defines horizontally balanced elements that create a certain width.  Together they produce a front section that is recognisable in every rear view window as that of a Volkswagen.  Each Volkswagen class has its own character attributes in this respect.  In the Golf class these include, for example, the slightly upward sweeping headlights and a defined maximum height for the radiator grille.

Compared to its predecessor, the Golf displays completely restructured modulation of its surfaces.  While on the Golf Mk VI the wings were higher than the bonnet – effectively framing it – this is now the other way round.  On the sides, the crease lines form the wings’ lowest points, before the latter transition vertically into the wheelarches.  The top border of the wings is formed by a line, as if cut by a knife, which begins at the A-pillars.  All of the lines together form a V-shaped bonnet.

Beneath the bonnet come the redesigned headlights and the comparatively narrow band of the radiator grille.  At the bottom, the radiator grille is bordered – to the left and right of the chrome VW badge – by a chrome bar, which in the case of fitting with (optional) xenon headlights is continued in the headlight housing.  Particularly striking are the LED daytime running lights of the xenon headlights.  Meanwhile the bottom air inlet, in conjunction with the body-coloured area beneath the headlights, supports the strong horizontal layout of the front section design.  The air inlet is now framed by a body-coloured area that even with the car’s very confident look gives it the typical Volkswagen smile.

Rear section
Typical Golf elements at the rear include the clear geometry of the rear lights, the rear window stretching all the way to the C-pillars and the large uniform surface around the Volkswagen badge.  In fact, even without the badge or model name the seventh generation of this best-seller is instantly recognisable as a Golf.  And yet every line is new.  That applies both to the rear light clusters that terminate narrower on the inside and terminate parallel to the C-pillar on the outside (with striking L-shaped light contours) and to the tailgate, which reaches much lower down and offers one of the lowest boot sill heights in its class (665 mm).

A horizontal light-refracting edge near the bottom of the tailgate, which continues on the bumper, and the boot sill running parallel below this emphasise the sportily full width of the Golf.  These elements also correspond to the lines of the now much more pronounced bumper that is visually ‘pulled out’ towards the rear.  The bumper itself is fully painted right down to the bottom, with only the centrally integrated diffuser, which also incorporates the exhaust pipe, kept black.

GTI and GTD exterior design
Compared to the previous model, the wheelbase was extended 53 mm to 2,631 mm, but at the same time the front overhang was shortened 12 mm.  In parallel, the A-pillar moved further towards the rear, making the bonnet longer and visually shifting the entire vehicle cabin rearwards.  In addition, the height was reduced 27 mm to 1,442 mm.  The car’s length grew 55 mm to 4,268 mm now, and the width grew 13 mm to 1,799 mm.  These dimension changes all give the GTI and GTD a more impressive stance on the road.

Like the very first Golf GTI, the seventh generation also sports typical GTI insignia.  On the model they include the red trim strip on the radiator grille that extends into the standard bi-xenon headlights (on the GTD, this trim strip is chrome).

Also typically GTI (and GTD) are the additional air inlet openings in the front spoiler, the honeycomb structure of the grille; vertical fog lights; a larger rear spoiler, and the distinctive, large tailpipes of the exhaust system that are arranged one at each side on the GTI, and together at the left on the GTD.

The GTI now comes with 18-inch ‘Austin’ alloys as standard, while the GTD features 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ alloy wheels.

At the very bottom of the bumper, beneath the cross panel painted in body colour, the black air inlet is no longer surrounded by another black area, but by surfaces painted in body colour.  In this way, the air inlet makes a stronger impression that is reinforced by the three lateral, high-gloss black aerodynamic fins beneath the headlights.  Standard LED lights front and back also give the GTI and GTD a distinctive light signature.

In addition to the GTI or GTD badges at the front and rear, red plates on the front wings at the height of the character line with the same typographic interpretation of the GTI (or GTD) logo that has been used for decades.

Alltrack exterior design
Based on the Golf Estate, the Alltrack features a host of unique design and styling touches that mark it apart from the rest of the range.  At the front, the Alltrack is distinguished by a low profile, matt-finished radiator grille crossbar that extends into the standard bi-xenon headlights. The radiator grille itself incorporates a honeycomb design and features a chrome Alltrack badge. The lower cooling air intake also has a honeycomb structure.

At the side, the Alltrack sports black wheel arch mouldings that help accentuate the shape of the arch and give the car a more rugged feel. Additional strips of protective trim are incorporated into areas above the side sills, while the 17-inch Valley alloy wheels are unique to the Alltrack. Matt chrome effect door mirrors, roof rails and window trims, along with Alltrack decals on the wing complete the side design.

At the rear, the Alltrack is equipped with matt chrome-effect underbody protection trim, dark red rear lights and sports a more sculpted bumper design. Dual chrome tailpipes on the left side complete the rear end design.

Interior design
As already mentioned, at 4,255 mm the Golf is 56 mm longer than the previous model, while the wheelbase has also been increased by 59 mm to 2,637 mm.  Since the front wheels are also located 43 mm further forward, the interplay of the dimensions of the Golf Mk VII not only creates sportier proportions and an improved crash structure, but also optimises interior space.  At the same time, although the body has been lowered in height by 28 mm (1,452 mm) headroom in the interior is still very good.  At 1,799 mm the Golf is 13 mm wider, and the track widths have been increased by 8 mm in front and 6 mm at the rear.

The slight increases in length and width, as well as increased wheelbase and optimised track widths, have a perceptible effect on space in the passenger cabin, which is 1750 mm long.  Passengers in the rear seating area, in particular, enjoy 15 mm more knee room.  Shoulder room has grown by 31 mm to 1,420 mm and elbow room is increased by 22 mm to 1,469 mm.  In the rear seating area, shoulder room was also improved by an additional 30 mm and elbow width by 20 mm.  All Golfs have a 60:40 split backrest.

Overall, boot capacity has grown by 30 litres to 380 litres; while the variable-height cargo floor can also be lowered by 100 mm.  The loading height of the boot is now class-leading at just 665 mm (-17 mm).  In parallel, the maximum bootspace width has grown by 228 mm to 1,272 mm.  Volkswagen has also increased the width of the bootspace opening by 47 mm to 1,023 mm.

Styling and controls
Significantly more room and even better ergonomics define the driver’s area in the Golf Mk VII. Taller drivers in particular will welcome the seat position that has been moved back by 20 mm compared to the previous model; the steering wheel’s adjustment range has also been modified.  Pedal distances have been optimised as well thanks to the Modular Transverse Matrix, with the space between the brake and accelerator pedals, for example, increased by 16 mm.  Another ergonomic improvement: compared to the previous model, Volkswagen has raised the position of the gearbox controls by 20 mm; the gear shift grip now rests better in the driver’s hand.

In the middle of the centre console, beneath the switch for the hazard warning lights, is the infotainment touch-screen with its menu keys and dials.  Volkswagen is introducing a generation of touch-screens with a proximity sensor and a function that reacts to swiping movements by the fingers (swipe and zoom movements as used on smartphones).  The graphic design of the interface also corresponds to the age of intuitive operation.

Located beneath the infotainment module are the well laid-out controls for climate control, followed by the lower section of the centre console that runs in a line up to the large centre armrest.  The consistent design conveys a sense of sophistication of a premium class model.  To the left of the driver are the buttons for the electronic parking brake and its auto hold function.  Integrated in front of it is a storage compartment which houses the multimedia interfaces (aux-in, USB and iPod interfaces).  The compartment is also big enough to hold a smartphone.  There is a large storage compartment hidden under the centre armrest that can be adjusted by up to 100 mm in length and five stages in height.

The inlays in the door panels have illuminated trim as part of the ambient lighting fitted as standard from GT specification.  The switches for the electric windows are ergonomically easy to access in the armrests; located in front of the door handle on the driver’s side is the control for electric mirror adjustment.  The door trim panels themselves display the motif of two intersecting curved lines, which logically divide the door trim’s functional areas: armrest, door handle, storage bin and loudspeaker.  Elements of the ambient lighting provide for optimal illumination and an elegant atmosphere at night.

Seat comfort
For the Golf Mk VII, all five seating positions have been redesigned, front and rear.  The seats exhibit well-contoured body lines, optimal support for dynamic driving, and a high level of comfort on long trips.  These characteristics were achieved by designing the foam contours to fit body shapes properly and by the optimised springing and damping properties of the cold foam cushioning sections.  The Match Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTI and GTD are equipped with standard two-way lumbar support on the driver and front passenger seats.  The optional 12-way electric driver’s seat offers even greater individual adjustment.

Climate control
The Golf is available as standard with a semi-automatic climate control system known as Climatic.  Using a simple dial control, this maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

While the system’s functions are essentially the same as for the previous generation Golf, the system itself was completely redesigned to reduce noise and weight while increasing efficiency.  Using simulations in the design phase, the cross sections of internal air conditioner components were modified to reduce net pressure losses.  This also resulted in a noise level reduction of up to 5 dB and to a significantly reduced need for electrical blower power – and hence a gain in efficiency.  In addition, the use of a pulse-width modulated blower reduced current consumption by an average 4 Amperes.  A distinct improvement in acoustics was also realised compared to the previous model by specific fluid dynamic studies of the recirculation air flaps.  Partially reduced wall thicknesses of the polypropylene housing, a fastening concept without complicated brackets, and the use of higher performance and weight-optimised heat exchangers led to significantly lower weight of the air conditioner.

The packaging of the air conditioning system in the Golf Mk VII was also improved by such measures as a new filter layout above the blower in the air intake channel which makes it 140 mm narrower in this area.  What’s more this enabled a uniform layout of electrical system components between left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles, and created more space in the footwell area.  A high-performance heat exchanger, as well as reduction of heat losses in the refrigerant cycle, demand-based use of electrical auxiliary heating and an innovative thermal management system, have also had a beneficial effect on heating performance.  Compared to the previous model, the interior of the Golf heats to a pleasantly warm temperature 30 per cent faster.

In addition, the refrigerant cycle was completely redesigned for maximum efficiency gain, weight reduction and manufacturing optimisation.  The refrigerant cycle consists of a highly efficient compressor and condenser as well as an internal heat exchanger.  Design of the refrigerant lines was also perfected resulting in weight savings.  Another benefit of the efficient refrigerant cycle is that it cools the interior significantly faster.

Standard on GTI, GTD and Alltrack models, and optional on Match Edition and GT, is a fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control.  This regulates the Golf’s interior temperature fully automatically via 2Zone temperature control (separate controls for driver and front passenger), and its intensity can be selected as ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Intense’).

The fully automatic control unit operates with various sensors for the sun, air quality and humidity.  The sun sensor detects the intensity and direction of solar radiation, and the system is controlled accordingly.  When the air quality sensor indicates that the concentration of nitrogen oxides or carbon monoxide outside has exceeded a defined limit, then the recirculation flap of the Climatronic system closes.  The addition of a humidity sensor on the Golf means it is also possible to control the heating function with recirculation mode, resulting in significantly quicker heating of the interior without fogging of the windows.

The humidity sensor is also used to run the air conditioning compressor at as low a power level as is needed, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption on hot days.  Here, the Climatronic automatically deactivates the compressor as soon as it is not needed to reach the desired temperature, or if there is no risk of window fogging and a preset limit for humidity is not exceeded in the interior.  For the first time, air conditioning components that are relevant to fuel economy are then only activated when needed and are controlled to optimise energy consumption in all operating modes.  The interplay of all components of the new air conditioning system leads to considerable fuel savings compared to the previous model.

Infotainment systems
The Golf is equipped with the Composition Media radio and CD system, with Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and a 6.5-inch colour touch-screen.  The Match Edition has the Discover Navigation system, which adds satellite navigation.  The SE Navigation and e-Golf have the top-spec Discover Navigation Pro system, which features an eight-inch touch-screen and voice control.

All three systems have a colour touch-screen as standard.  Discover Navigation Pro, with its eight-inch screen, is available with the Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTI, GTD and R trims.

All touch-screens have proximity sensors so as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the system, it automatically switches from display mode to input mode.  The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to just the essentials.  In the operating mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated by touch are highlighted to simplify intuitive operation.  On the eight-inch Discover Navigation Pro system, the displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand.

In designing this generation of devices, Volkswagen’s primary goal was to integrate the most advanced infotainment applications into the Golf, which should be consistently easy to use – despite all of the complexity of today’s systems – i.e. they should be totally intuitive and therefore safe to use while driving.

‘Composition Media’ system (standard on Golf S, BlueMotion and GTE)
With this sophisticated system, there are four buttons to the left and four to the right of the touch-screen.  It works in conjunction with the following features:

  • DAB digital radio
  • Bluetooth telephone connection for compatible units
  • dash-mounted single CD player
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface); SD card reader; AUX-in socket
  • music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • title and cover art display
  • eight speakers, front and rear
  • 4 x 20 watt output
  • car menu
  • Eco function (with tips for economical driving)

‘Discover Navigation’ system (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTD, GTI and R)

  • preloaded European navigation data
  • 2D / 3D map view
  • choice of route options
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones

‘Discover Navigation Pro’ system (standard on GTE Navigation and e-Golf)

  • eight-inch colour touch-screen
  • voice activated control system for telephone and navigation functions
  • branded points of interest
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+
  • preloaded European navigation data
  • speed limit display
  • 3D map view
  • 64 GB solid state hard drive

Optional upgrades to infotainment system
Customers of S, BlueMotion and GTE models can choose to upgrade to the Discover Navigation system, while those with a Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTI, GTD or R can specify the range-topping Discover Navigation Pro package. 

Advanced telephone connection (optional on all except S and BlueMotion)
This not only adds a USB socket in the central under-armrest storage box for mobile phone charging, but also an inductive link to the vehicle’s external aerial, making for better phone reception and reducing the drain on the phone’s battery.

‘Dynaudio Excite’ soundpack (optional on Match Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, Alltrack, GTI, GTD, R and e-Golf)
This tailored sound system includes an eight-channel digital amplifier, 400-watt output and eight speakers.  A boot-mounted subwoofer sits in the spare wheel well.  (NB. The subwoofer sits within the 18-inch space saver spare wheel on GTI and GTD models, but on Match Edition and GT Edition models, which feature a 16-inch space saver spare wheel, a tyre repair kit is provided in lieu of the spare wheel when Dynaudio Excite is specified).

TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS
In addition to the introduction of the MQB platform, the reductions in weight and consequent cuts in fuel consumption and emissions, the seventh-generation Golf is also significant thanks to its enhanced value proposition.  While this is true in the recommended retail price, it is also worth noting how much technology has been added to the car in comparison with previous Golfs.  Features that have historically been the reserve of cars in the premium and luxury segment are now standard on many Golfs, adding significantly to the car’s overall safety and comfort credentials.

ABS, ESC and XDS (standard on all)
The previous generation Golf benefited from standard ABS and ESC plus seven airbags, while the seventh-generation also gains XDS electronic differential lock (formerly only on GTI and GTD) across the range for improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESC system.

Its benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESC sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion.

XDS also compensates for the understeer which is typical of front-wheel drive cars, meaning the Golf’s driving characteristics are significantly more precise and neutral, leading to greater driving enjoyment.

ABSPlus (Alltrack only)
This is a special program of the ABS control unit, which is only active during extreme off-road use and very low speeds (less than 3 mph).

When off-road, the ABSPlus system locks the wheels shortly before the system reduces the brake pressure. This provides a small wedge forming on the ground material (eg. gravel or sand) in front of the wheel, which increases the braking effect. The vehicle remains steerable still at significantly shortened stopping distance.

XDSPlus (standard on GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI and R)
This is a development of the XDS system and works in all unbraked driving states.  The new system improves the vehicle’s agility, reducing the need for steering angle inputs through targeted braking of the inside wheels on both axles through corners.  XDSPlus works on all types of road surface, even snow.

ESC Sport (standard in the GTI and GTD)
In the Golf GTI and GTD, Volkswagen offers the ‘ESC Sport’ function for experienced drivers.  The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the centre console.  If the driver pushes the button once briefly, it deactivates the ASR function (traction control).  When the button is held for longer than three seconds, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the ‘ESC Sport’ mode.  In very fast driving with lots of bends – such as on a race course – the ESC system reacts with a delay, which enables even greater agile handling properties.  As an alternative to activation by the pushbutton on the centre console, ESC can also be activated or deactivated by settings in the Car menu within the infotainment system.

GTI Performance pack (optional on GTI)
The GTI is available optionally with a Performance pack.  This increases engine power from 220 PS to 230 PS, and also adds a limited-slip differential and larger brakes.

The ventilated front brake discs increase from 312 x 25 mm to 340 x 30 mm, while the rear discs, which are 300 x 12 mm solid discs on the ‘standard’ GTI, are changed to 310 x 22 mm ventilated discs.

The front differential was a new development for this latest Golf GTI, and is an electrically actuated mechanical system.  This provides more neutral and agile driving behaviour and allows higher speeds to be carried through curves.  The system consists of a multi-plate coupler between the differential cage and right driveshaft, which controls locking torque electro-hydraulically.

Visually, vehicles with the Performance pack are distinguished solely by ‘GTI’ lettering on the red brake calipers.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (standard on all)
An innovation that debuted on the Golf Mk VII is the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which won a safety innovation award from Germany’s largest automobile club (ADAC).  Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order to significantly reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision.

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even when the automatic braking is active.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Misfuel prevention device (standard on all diesel models)
On vehicles with a diesel engine, there is an insert with a mechanically locking flap on the filler neck for the fuel tank.  The flap prevents a fuel nozzle from being inserted which is not suitable for diesel fuel (in other words a petrol fuel nozzle) thus protecting the vehicle from being filled with the wrong type of fuel.

Driver Alert system (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R, optional on S and BlueMotion)
It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.

The Golf’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated.

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R, optional on S)
The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg.

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist (standard on Match Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
Like the PreCrash system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) had been the preserve of cars in higher segments.  But in the Golf MK VII it is standard from Match Edition upwards.  The system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ACC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG.  In vehicles with DSG, ACC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation.  It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic.  ACC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic.  The system dynamics can be individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector.

Front Assist (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
Front Assist works like ACC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead.  Even with ACC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings.  If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision.  Should the driver, meanwhile, not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised.  The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City emergency braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking (standard on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
The City emergency braking function, first seen on the up! model and now standard on Golf from Match Edition upwards is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor.  It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph).  If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist.  If the driver fails to intervene, City emergency braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact.  In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist (optional on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
The Golf’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane.  The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines).  If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

High Beam Assist (optional on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
High Beam Assist analyses traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Driver profile selection (standard on Match Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, Alltrack, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
For the first time, a driver profile selection is available on the Golf, offering customers up to five different programmes to allow them to match their car settings to their desired driving style.  The standard available programmes are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.

Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.  A fifth profile – Comfort – is also offered on cars which have optional Adaptive Chassis Control (see Running Gear section for details).

The Golf GTE and GTE Nav have unique options on the driver selection menu: e-mode, Hybrid mode, Battery charge mode and ‘GTE’ mode.

Park Assist (optional on Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, R-Line Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI and GTD)
The latest version of the parking assistance system, Park Assist 2.0, facilitates not only assisted parallel parking, but also reverse parking at right angles to the road.  In addition, Park Assist 2.0 is also equipped with a braking and parking space exit function.

The system can be activated at speeds of up to 40 km/h (approx. 25 mph) by pressing a button on the centre console.  Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked.  If, using the ultrasound sensors, Park Assist detects a large enough parking space (a manoeuvring distance of 40 cm, front and 40 cm, rear, is sufficient), the assisted parking can begin: having put the vehicle into reverse, all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake.  The car takes care of the steering.  Acoustic signals and visual information on the multifunction display assist the driver.  If a collision is looming, the system can also actively apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof (standard on GT Edition, Alltrack and R-Line Edition. Optional on Match Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTI, GTD and R)
For the first time on the Golf hatchback a transparent panoramic sunroof is available, which occupies the maximum roof area possible, offers optimal ventilation and opening functions, does not reduce the car’s torsional rigidity and has the visual effect of lengthening the windscreen from the outside.  What is referred to as the light transparency area – the amount of light coming into the car when the roof is closed – was enlarged by 33 per cent compared to a normal tilt/slide sunroof.  The tinted, heat-insulating glass, however, reflects away 99 per cent of UV radiation, 92 per cent of heat radiation and 90 per cent of light.

Keyless entry and start (optional on S, Match Edition, Alltrack, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav. Standard on GTD and GTI)
All five-door Golfs are available with the option of Keyless entry with a start/stop button on the centre console.  When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle.  The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation.  The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Golf.  If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button.  Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car.  For example, to protect children, the Golf cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle.  It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control.  From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.  The Golf can also be unlocked and locked by remote control.  Keyless entry is standard on the Golf GTD and the Golf GTI.

ENGINES
Powering the Golf is a range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Start/Stop technology and battery regeneration systems.  The petrol engines are a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.0-litre TSI with 115 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the four cylinders for enhanced economy; and a 2.0-litre TSI with 220 PS, 230 PS (GTI), 265 PS (GTI Clubsport Edition 40) and 300 PS (Golf R).  The diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 90 PS, a 1.6-litre unit with 110 PS, a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit and a 2.0-litre 184 PS unit.

Petrol engines
The majority of petrol units are from the EA211 series, the family of engines designed specifically for the MQB platform.  This comprises both three- and four-cylinder engines and includes the 1.0-litre engine which was introduced in the up!.  All the EA211 series engines in the Golf are class-leading in terms of their energy efficiency, lightweight design and high torque performance.  Fuel consumption and CO? emissions values were reduced by eight to ten per cent, in part due to reduced internal friction, lower weight and optimised thermal management; in conjunction with the innovative new cylinder deactivation system (ACT), the savings potential can be as much as 23 per cent.

The EA211 engines are also characterised by a new mounting position.  Whereas the EA111 series was mounted with a forward tilt and the ‘hot’ exhaust side at the front, with the EA211, the cylinder head has been rotated and the engines are now tilted towards the firewall (bulkhead between engine compartment and passenger compartment), like the diesel engines.  With the diesel (EA288) and petrol engines now sharing an identical inclination angle of 12 degrees, Volkswagen can now standardise the exhaust, driveshafts and gearbox mounting position.

The EA211 is a complete redesign; only the cylinder spacing of 82 mm was adopted from Volkswagen’s successful EA111 engine series.  The unit is also particularly compact and this is reflected in its mounting length, which has been shortened by 50 mm; as a result the front axle could be shifted forward, resulting in more interior passenger space.

Thanks to an ultra-rigid crankcase made of die-cast aluminium, the petrol engines are especially lightweight at 97 kg (1.2 TSI) and 104 kg (1.4 TSI); on the 1.4-litre TSI, the weight advantage compared to the grey cast iron counterpart from the EA111 series is as much as 22 kg.  This approach to lightweight design extends to the smallest of details: engine developers reduced the main bearing diameter of the crankshaft on the 1.4-litre TSI from 54 to 48 mm; the crankshaft itself was lightened by 20 per cent, while the weight of the connecting rods was reduced by an impressive 30 per cent.  The gudgeon pins are bored hollow, and the aluminium pistons (now with flat piston crowns) have also been weight optimised.

By fully integrating the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head, the engine heats up quickly from a cold start, while simultaneously supplying ample heat to the car’s climate control system to warm up the interior.  At high loads, on the other hand, the exhaust gas is more effectively cooled by the coolant, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent.

To optimise thermal management, Volkswagen engineers designed the EA211 with a dual-loop cooling system.  The base engine is cooled by a high-temperature loop with a mechanically driven coolant pump, while a low-temperature loop, powered by an electric pump, circulates coolant to the intercooler and turbocharger housing as needed.  Passenger compartment heating comes from the cylinder head circulation loop, so that, like the engine, it warms up quickly.

Due to innovative engineering of the exhaust manifold, Volkswagen was able to use a very narrow single-scroll compressor in the turbocharger, resulting in weight reduction for the cylinder head turbocharger component group.  On the EA211, the intercooler is integrated in the induction pipe which is made of injection-moulded plastic, leading to significantly accelerated pressure build-up and hence dynamic performance in downsized engines.

In the seventh generation, Volkswagen has again significantly reduced internal friction in a number of ways.  The overhead camshafts (DOHC) are not chain driven, but employ a single stage, low-friction toothed belt design, a 20 mm wide belt and load-reducing profiled belt wheels.  Thanks to its high-end material specification, this toothed belt’s service life spans the life of the vehicle.  Actuation of the valve gear is through roller cam followers, and an anti-friction bearing for the highly loaded first camshaft bearing, also lead to reduced friction resistances.

To ensure that the engine takes up as little mounting space as possible, ancillary components such as the water pump, air conditioning compressor and alternator are screwed directly to the engine and the oil sump without additional brackets, and they are driven by a single-track toothed belt with a fixed tension roller.

To reduce emissions and fuel consumption further, and to improve torque in the lower rev range, the intake camshaft on all EA211 engines can be varied over a range of 50 degrees crankshaft angle.  On the 150 PS, the exhaust camshaft is variable as well.  It sets the desired spread of control times and thereby allows even more spontaneous response from low revs; at the same time, torque is improved at high engine speeds.

The maximum fuel injection pressure on the EA211 engines was increased to 200 bar.  State-of-the-art five-hole injection nozzles deliver up to three individual injections to each of the cylinders very precisely via a stainless steel distributor bar.  In designing the combustion chamber, Volkswagen also paid particular attention to achieving minimal wetting of the combustion chamber walls with fuel and optimised flame propagation.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS
The entry-level engine in the Golf is a turbocharged, direct injection TSI engine producing 85 PS from 4,300 to 5,300 rpm, with torque of 160 Nm (118 lbs ft) from 1,400 to 3,500 rpm.  Thanks to refinement and weight saving, compared with the equivalent unit in the previous generation, fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced.  This Golf, with a standard five-speed manual gearbox, has a zero to 62 mph time of 11.9 seconds and a top speed of 111 mph.  Combined economy is 57.6 mpg with CO? emissions of 113 g/km.

1.0-litre TSI, 999 cc, 12-valve, 3-cyl, 115 PS
Reserved for the Match BlueMotion Edition, this is the first petrol engine to be fitted in a Volkswagen BlueMotion model.  Remarkably efficient, this powerplant combines performance with economy and is available with both a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed DSG.  It features turbocharging and direct injection and can return 65.7 mpg on the combined cycle with CO? emissions of 99 g/km (manual models)

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 125 PS
For those looking for additional power but still combined with impressive economy the Golf is also available with a turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI with 125 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 200 Nm (148 lbs ft) from 1,400 rpm to 3,500 rpm.  This engine, which is offered with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, enables a top speed of 126 mph and 0 to 62 mph in 9.3 seconds.  Economy is still high on the agenda with a combined consumption of 54.3 mpg (56.5 DSG) and CO? output of 120 g/km (116 DSG).

1.4-litre TSI, 1395 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS with Active Cylinder Technology
This 1.4-litre TSI engine produces 150 PS from 4,500 to 6,000 rpm, 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,500 to 3,500 rpm and, for the first time in a Volkswagen, offers Active Cylinder Technology for lower fuel consumption and emissions.  Also available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox, this engine gives the Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 131 mph.  Combined consumption is 59.9 mpg for manual and DSG, with carbon dioxide emissions of just 112 g/km (113 DSG).

The impressive figures are thanks to active cylinder technology (ACT), a fuel saving innovation that was previously the preserve of large eight or 12 cylinder engines.  By temporarily deactivating the second and third cylinders, over 0.5 litres of fuel per 100 km can be saved, depending on driving style.  This is only possible with TSI technology.

ACT is active over an engine speed range between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm and torques of up to 85 Nm, a broad spread which covers 70 per cent of all driving modes in the EU cycle.  If the driver presses the accelerator pedal hard, cylinders 2 and 3 begin to work again, without a noticeable transition.  The high efficiency of the system does not have any negative effects on smooth running: even with two cylinders the 1.4-litre TSI runs just as quietly and with low vibration as with four active combustion chambers.  All mechanical switchover processes take place within one camshaft rotation; depending on engine speed this takes just 13 to 36 milliseconds.  Accompanying interventions in ignition and throttle valve processes smooth the transitions.  Two-cylinder mode is indicated to the driver in the Multi-Function Display in the instrument binnacle.

Altogether, the components for active cylinder technology system weigh just 3 kg.  Their actuators, the camshafts and their bearing frames are integrated in the cylinder head; two low-friction bearings reduce shaft friction.

2.0-litre TSI, 1,984 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 220 PS (GTI) or 230 PS (GTI with Performance pack)
The engine in the new Golf GTI is a development of the 2.0-litre TSI unit found in the previous generation of Golf GTI.  Codenamed EA888, it has a new cylinder head design which, uniquely for this power class, has a water-cooled exhaust gas circulation loop to the turbocharger that is fully integrated in the cylinder head.  This type of exhaust gas cooling makes a crucial contribution towards improving fuel consumption at full load in the new Golf GTI.  In addition, the 1,984 cc TSI features variable valve timing with dual camshaft adjustment.  The valve lift on the exhaust side is adjustable over two stages.  This enables optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy and low emissions.

This 2.0-litre TSI engine produces 220 PS from 4,500 rpm, and 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,500 to 4,400 rpm.  The 0 to 62 mph sprint takes 6.5 seconds, and the top speed is 152 mph.  It is also available optionally with a power output of 230 PS at 4,700 rpm in the GTI with Performance pack (which also includes upgraded brakes and a limited-slip differential).  The GTI with Performance pack reaches 62 mph from rest in 6.4 seconds and tops out at 155 mph.

With the standard manual six-speed gearbox, all GTI models return combined fuel economy of 47.1 mpg and emit 139 g/km of CO?.  With the optional six-speed DSG gearbox, combined economy is 44.1 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are 139 g/km (145 g/km for the Performance version).

The GTI Clubsport Edition 40 packs 265 PS from its 2.0-litre TSI engine, while the R has a power output of 300 PS.  The manual version of the R has a combined fuel efficiency figure of 39.8 mpg (165 g/km) and the DSG option reaches 40.9 mpg (159 g/km).

Diesel engines
Volkswagen introduced a new series of diesel engines – called EA288 – for the launch of the Golf alongside the new petrol line-up.  Within this series, Volkswagen took its TDI technology, which has been developed over the years, to a new level of sustainability, with reductions in consumption across the range.

As with the petrol engines (EA211), the only dimension of the Golf’s four-cylinder diesels that were carried over from the previous generation is the cylinder spacing.  Many components were designed to be modular within the new modular diesel component system (MDB).  These include emissions-relevant components such as the fuel injection system, turbocharger and intercooler within the induction manifold module.  In addition, a sophisticated exhaust gas recirculation system is used (with a cooled low-pressure AGR), while the layout of emissions control components sees them located closer to the engine.

To fulfil various emissions standards worldwide, an oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter and NOx storage catalytic converter are all implemented in the Golf.

Various other design modifications optimise fuel economy and comfort significantly as well.  Volkswagen has tuned all sub-assemblies of the TDI engine for minimal internal friction.  These elements include piston rings with less pre-tension and the use of low-friction bearings for the camshaft (drive-side) and − in the 2.0-litre TDI − for the two balancer shafts.  In the oil circulation loop, energy usage was optimised by an oil pump with volumetric flow control.

During the TDI’s warm-up phase, an innovative thermal management system utilises separate cooling circulation loops for the cylinder head and the cylinder block as well as a deactivatable water pump, meaning operating temperatures are reached considerably faster.  One additional benefit of this is that the interior of the Golf also gets warmer more quickly in the winter.  Another independently controlled cooling loop enables on-demand control of inlet air temperature with additional emissions control benefits.

The diesels not only have very low emissions, high fuel-efficiency and torque, but they also run very smoothly for optimum refinement.  This is achieved in a number of ways, for example, the 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS employs two low-friction bearings in its balancer shafts to eliminate free out of balance forces that are a characteristic of any piston engine systems.

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS
The 1.6-litre common rail TDI is also available with a more powerful output of 110 PS between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 2,750.  Available with a choice of five-speed manual or, in Match Edition guise, optional seven-speed DSG gearbox, it gives this Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 10.7 seconds and a top speed of 119 mph.  Frugality comes as standard: on the combined cycle it returns 74.3 mpg (72.4 DSG) while emitting 99 g/km of CO? (101 DSG).

1.6-litre TDI, 1598 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS (Golf BlueMotion)
The 1.6-litre common rail TDI used in the Golf BlueMotion produces 110 PS between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, and 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm.  Available with a six-speed manual only, it gives this Golf a 0 to 62 mph time of 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph.  This is the most efficient internal combustion-engined Golf available: on the combined cycle it returns 83.1 mpg while emitting just 89 g/km of CO?.  Extra-urban fuel economy is 88.3 mpg and urban fuel economy 72.4 mpg.

Various measures such as reduced internal friction, an innovative thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation, cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold result in successfully reducing fuel consumption and emissions.  To reduce emissions values further, Volkswagen has also implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS
This 2.0-litre engine produces 150 PS (10 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous generation) from 3,500 to 4,000, and 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) of torque from just 1,750 up to 3,000 rpm.  Customers choosing this engine can opt for a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.  Performance is impressive but does not come at the expense of economy.  The Golf’s 2.0-litre TDI completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.6 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 134 mph (131 DSG).  Combined economy is 67.3 mpg (62.8 DSG) with a carbon dioxide output of 109 g/km (117 DSG).

2.0-litre TDI, 1968, 16-valve 4-cyl, 184 PS (Golf GTD and Alltrack)
The 2.0-litre diesel engine used in the Golf GTD produces 184 PS (14 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous GTD).  Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – has risen from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) in the previous model to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm.

Acceleration from zero to 62 mph takes just 7.5 seconds, while the top speed is 142 mph, yet the new Golf GTD consumes just one gallon of fuel every 64.2 miles, making for CO? emissions of only 114 g/km.  With the optional six-speed DSG, in three-door mode, fuel consumption is 60.1 mpg and CO? emissions 124 g/km.

BlueMotion Technology
For the past few years, Volkswagen has been producing and developing a range of vehicles that strikes a balance between the highly focused BlueMotion vehicles and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying the ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badge, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

All Golf models are equipped with ‘BlueMotion Technology’ modifications and feature a multifunction computer which includes visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption, as well as Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems.

The Golf’s automatic Start/Stop system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.  With the DSG gearbox, the Start/Stop system is activated through the brake pedal.

A battery regeneration system helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for rapid recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.  The 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI also features Active Cylinder Technology to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

BlueMotion
The Golf BlueMotion, now in its third generation, is the most efficient Golf available. Available in diesel form, it delivers exceptional fuel economy and low CO? emissions.

It uses an even more efficient 110 PS version of the 1.6-litre TDI engine and returns an incredible 83.1 mpg while emitting just 89 g/km of CO?.

On top of the BlueMotion Technology modifications that are standard on all Golfs, the BlueMotion model features aerodynamic modifications including sports suspension that is lowered by 10 mm, a modified radiator grille and front air intake, and unique spoilers on the roof and on the rear of the C-pillars.  These help reduce the Golf BlueMotion’s Cd figure from the standard Golf’s already low 0.29 to 0.27.

Eco mode: driver profile selection
Match Edition, GT, Alltrack, GTI and GTD Golf models have a standard driver profile selection facility (see Technology highlights section for details) which allows the driver to choose an operating mode which suits their style and journey.  One of the available modes is ‘Eco’, whereby the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.  Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring better utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.

Gearboxes
As detailed above, most of the Golf’s engines can be paired with a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).  This is either a six- or seven-speed DSG, depending on maximum engine torque, and both are designed to offer the best combination of fuel-efficiency and shifting dynamics.  In addition to the number of gears, the six- and seven- speed ’boxes differ in their clutch types.  While two dry clutches are used in the seven-speed DSG, the six-speed DSG has a dual clutch that runs in an oil bath.

First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.  The six-speed, DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Theoretically, it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.

Seven-speed DSG
This gearbox uses a pair of dry clutches to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel, the gearbox is remarkably compact.

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and refinement levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent. The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the seven-speed system.

4MOTION
Standard on Alltrack and R models, Volkswagen’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive system offers exceptional grip at all times.

When under a relatively low load or when coasting, forward drive comes primarily from the front axle, and the rear axle is decoupled which saves fuel.  If needed, however, the rear axle is seamlessly and instantly engaged by a multi-plate coupling, activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and controls via activation of the oil pump how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed.  The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates proportional to the desired torque at the rear axle.  So, the level of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to vary continuously the magnitude of the transmitted torque.  Even when driving off and accelerating, the Passat’s wheels are prevented from spinning, because the control unit regulates the torque distribution as a function of dynamic axle loads. 

Activation of the coupling is based primarily on the engine torque demanded by the driver.  In parallel, what is known as a driving status identification system within the all-wheel drive control unit evaluates parameters such as wheel speeds and the steering angle.  If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.

When manoeuvring or going around tight corners any build-up of pressure on the drive train is avoided by reducing the torque exerted on the coupling.  The opposite happens in the event of heavy and rapid acceleration: in this case the coupling torque is increased with corresponding speed.  Meanwhile, at high speeds the pre-control of the coupling, which is based on engine torque, is disabled in order to minimise fuel consumption.  In this case front-wheel drive dominates.  However, even in this situation 4MOTION remains a permanent all-wheel drive system, as the rear axle is instantly re-engaged as soon as any slippage registers on the front axle or the Passat is driven with increased lateral acceleration.

SERVICING
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Golf.  They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold start
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, with an oil change service after one year or 10,000 miles or, whichever is soonest.  And an inspection service after two years or 20,000 miles, whichever is soonest, and then every one year or 20,000 miles, whichever is soonest.

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx.) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due after two years of ownership or after 20,000 miles, whichever is soonest. Subsequent services will be every 20,000 miles or one year, whichever is soonest.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR
In developing the running gear for the seventh generation Golf, engineers set out to exploit the advantages of the new Modular Transverse Matrix (or MQB platform – see separate section for full details), and certain specific proven components were further advanced to perfect the car’s ride and comfort properties.  At the same time, weight reduction was defined as a clear priority, in order to maximise the reductions in fuel consumption and enhance ride comfort.

In order to allow the greatest possible weight reduction, a new modular lightweight rear suspension system was developed for Golf Mk VII models with under 122 PS, which weighs just 38 kg.  For the more powerful versions, the further developed modular performance suspension was used, weighing 49 kg.

Front axle
At the front the Golf uses a strut-type suspension system (spring struts) with lower wishbones that were newly developed for optimal handling and steering properties.  All components were reworked for improved functionality as well as reduced weight and costs.  The result, despite not using aluminium components, was a weight saving of 1.6 kg, made possible, for example, by the use of high-strength steel in the transverse links and an innovative ‘bionic’ (ie. designed based on features from the natural world) design approach to the pivot bearings.  A centrally positioned front subframe − designed for maximum rigidity − handles loads from the engine mountings and steering as well as front suspension loads.

The now universally employed tubular anti-roll bar has a stiffness that has been adapted to the requirements of different running gear layouts.  Its rubber bearings are vulcanised directly into the painted anti-roll tube to ensure the best acoustic properties.  For use with 16- and 17-inch wheel brakes, a new aluminium pivot bearing was also developed.  The use of aluminium and the ‘bionic’ design of this pivot bearing resulted in weight reduction of 2.8 kg.

GTI with Performance pack front differential lock
The Golf GTI Mk VII is the first GTI to be available with an optional Performance pack.  Among other changes, this adds a limited-slip differential.

The front differential is an electrically actuated mechanical system.  This provides more neutral and agile driving behaviour and allows higher speeds to be carried through curves.  The system consists of a multi-plate coupler between the differential cage and right driveshaft, which controls locking torque electro-hydraulically.

Modular lightweight rear suspension
The new modular lightweight rear suspension system consists of a transverse torsion beam that is open at the bottom, into which an insert plate is welded at the outer ends.  Different torsional stiffness rates for different versions are attained by different lengths of the insert plates.  This yields a considerable weight saving compared to a welded tubular anti-roll bar.  The use of a transverse profile that is open at the bottom also enables optimal roll/steer behaviour and high transverse rigidity.  By using high-strength steels and innovative design methods, Volkswagen succeeded in significantly increasing rigidity compared with previous suspension systems of this construction type.  Despite this, its weight was reduced.

Modular performance rear suspension
The multi-link rear suspension of the seventh generation Golf was further developed to give clear improvements in kinematics, acoustics, weight and modularity.  However, nothing has changed with regard to its fundamental approach of consistently separating longitudinal and transverse rigidities.  The low longitudinal rigidity has been preserved by the soft axle control of the trailing link; this was a necessary precondition for further improving ride comfort.

Furthermore, compared with the previous generation, Volkswagen successfully improved the transverse rigidity of the modular performance suspension, which is important for steering behaviour, by a new tie rod bearing tuning.  Tracking and camber values are individually tuned by screws on the spring link and at the upper transverse link according to requirement for each vehicle type.  Key design changes to the rear suspension are the connections of the tubular anti-roll bar and the suspension damper, which are now made at the spring link.  This reduces forces within the suspension, while in addition the suspension was made 4.0 kg or eight per cent (depending on model) lighter thanks to structural optimisations of many components and the use of high-strength steels.

Electro-mechanical power steering
The Golf uses an electro-mechanical power steering system which is able to vary the feel at the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.

Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, such as crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Progressive steering (standard on the GTE, GTE Nav, GTI and GTD)
Progressive steering lets drivers make a turn of a given radius with smaller steering wheel inputs than with conventional steering, thanks to a varied (or progressive) steering gear ratio.  On Golfs with standard steering, it takes 2.75 turns lock to lock (500 degrees).  With progressive steering, this is reduced to 2.1 turns (380 degrees).  As well as providing an even more enjoyable and dynamic driving experience, progressive steering requires perceptibly less steering effort in parking and manoeuvring.

Technically, progressive steering differs from the basic steering system primarily by the rack’s variable tooth spacing and a more powerful electric motor.

Braking system
The Golf features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) as standard across the range.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front, with solid discs on the rear axle.  On GTI models with the optional Performance pack, the rear brakes are also ventilated discs.

Electronic Stability Control – ESC incorporating XDS
The latest-generation ESC system developed for the Golf has a range of features designed to have a direct and positive effect on active safety.  All models are also fitted with XDS electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling (see Technical highlights section for details on XDS).

Essentially, ESC is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESC reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started.

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESC can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.

The latest generation of ESC fitted to the Golf has a finer response, counter-steering recommendation and offers trailer stabilisation.  This function can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer when a Volkswagen-approved towbar is fitted.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESC purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors.

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESC control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle/trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

The Golf GTI and GTD both feature XDSPlus, a development of the XDS system which also operates on the rear axle, for even greater driving agility.

Hydraulic Brake Assist
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, the latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) (optional on Match Edition, GT Edition, Alltrack, R-Line Edition, GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI, GTI Edition 40 and R)
Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce ride and handling characteristics that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  Enter DCC.

With this system, the suspension’s damping characteristics can be controlled at the touch of a button, via the driver profile selection system.

DCC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the damping is hardened.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving.

As well as altering the damping characteristics, when ‘Sport’ mode is selected on the Golf’s driver profile selection system, the throttle responses are sharpened, and the steering assistance also reduced.  In ‘Comfort’ mode, the steering assistance is increased.  Using the ‘Individual’ mode, the damping, steering and throttle responses can all be controlled individually.  It is therefore possible, for example, to have the steering set to ‘Normal’, the throttle to ‘Sport’, and the damping to ‘Comfort’.

The Golf benefits from the latest generation of DCC.  Cars fitted with DCC have a 10 mm lower ride height, as well as their own specific spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings.  For the latest generation certain parameters were also modified: designs of the wheel displacement sensors were adapted and weight optimised; the body accelerometers were converted from three analogue lines to two digital lines; and the DCC control unit was redesigned in its hardware configuration, components and layout.  At the car’s launch a new generation of processors were introduced.  These operate at 180 MHz and assure control with one-millisecond cycles.

Off-road setting including Hill Descent Assist (Alltrack)
This instantly switches on a group of advanced off-road technologies that work together to give drivers safer control over rough ground.

The Electronic Differential Lock is adjusted to counteract slip earlier, while the ABS is adjusted to give better braking on loose ground.  In addition, gear pre-selection gives optimum engine braking (on automatic gearboxes) while the accelerator pedal is adjusted for finer control of torque in low gears.  The parking brake auto-release helps to reduce clutch wear in hill starts.

Hill Descent Assist supports the driver when driving down a steep incline at the speed elected by the driver by means of actively controlled brake applications.  Hill Descent Assistance will only operate when off road mode is activated, speeds are lower than 30 km/h, the gradient is greater than 10 per cent, the engine is running and the accelerator and brake pedals are not pressed.

Electronic parking brake with auto hold function
All Golf models have an electronic parking brake which is operated via a switch between the front seats, as opposed to the ‘pull up’ handle from the previous generation.  This also incorporates a standard auto hold function.  This is activated via a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic.  In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

If auto hold has been switched on when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched on the next time the vehicle is started.  Likewise if auto hold has been switched off when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched off the next time the vehicle is started.

EQUIIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS
All Golfs are well-equipped and offer more value than the previous generation models they replaced.  Highlights of each trim level are shown below.  For full details please refer to the latest price list.

S trim

Standard items of equipment include:

? ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)

? ESC (Electronic Stability Control) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control)

? XDS electronic differential lock

? Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

? driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch

? curtain airbag system, for front and rear passengers

? front seat side impact airbags

? driver’s knee airbag

? driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints

? three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints

? warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened

? Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)

? electronic engine immobiliser

? automatic door locking, speed related, can be switched off

? remote central locking with two folding keys

? electronic parking brake with auto hold function

? front centre armrest with storage compartment

? driver’s and front passenger’s seat height adjustment

? easy entry sliding seats (for access to rear seats – three-door only)

? height and reach adjustable steering wheel

? split folding rear seat backrest 60:40

? variable boot floor, height adjustable and removable

? multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for improved fuel consumption

? misfuel prevention device (for diesel models)

? Bluetooth connection for compatible telephones

? Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, DAB radio, ‘Think Blue. Trainer’ mode (with information and tips on how to achieve an especially economical style of driving, for example, advising the driver to shut windows if the air conditioning is on), car information display, title and cover art display and, for compatible Android smartphones, SMS text messaging functionality.  Also includes Bluetooth telephone and audio connection for two compatible mobile phones, USB connection, SD card reader and CD player with eight speakers.

? front electric windows

? ‘Climatic’ manual air conditioning

? illuminated and cooled glovebox

? four load lashing points in luggage compartment

? body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators

? battery regeneration and Start/Stop system

? steel space saver spare wheel

? 6J x 15-inch steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres

BlueMotion trim

BlueMotion models add the following to the features of the Golf S:

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 10 mm)

? aerodynamically optimised black front air intake and radiator grille

? uniquely shaped roof spoiler

? unique ‘BlueMotion’ badging

? spoilers on the C-pillars

? 6J x 15-inch ‘Lyon’ alloy wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? tyre repair kit in lieu of spare wheel

Match Edition trim

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match Edition gains the following over S:

? Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, navigation, CD player and DAB radio.  Plus branded points of interest, dynamic navigation based on TMC+, preloaded European navigation data, speed limit display.  Includes three-year Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform’ access, which provides online access to a range of useful information such as traffic, fuel pricing and parking space availability

? Driver Alert system

? ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) including Front Assist, radar sensor controlled distance monitoring system, City emergency braking system and cruise control

? driver profile selection

? black front air intake and radiator grille with chrome trimmed inserts

? luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision

? front passenger’s under seat drawer

? leather-trimmed three spoke multifunction steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip

? rear centre armrest with cupholders

? 12V socket in luggage compartment

? rear electric windows (five-door only)

? alarm with interior protection

? automatic coming and leaving home lighting function, plus dusk sensor and automatic driving lights

? rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror

? multifunction computer with 3.2-inch TFT screen

? parking sensors front and rear

? 6½J x 16-inch ‘Toronto’ alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

Match BlueMotion Edition trim

Among a number of additional items of equipment Match BlueMotion Edition gains the following over S:

? Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, navigation, CD player and DAB radio.  Plus branded points of interest, dynamic navigation based on TMC+, preloaded European navigation data, speed limit display.  Includes three-year Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform’ access, which provides online access to a range of useful information such as traffic, fuel pricing and parking space availability

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 10 mm)

? aerodynamic black front air intake and radiator grille

? black radiator grille with chrome trimmed insert

? unique ‘BlueMotion’ badging

? uniquely shaped C-pillar spoiler

? uniquely shaped rear roof spoiler

GT Edition trim

In addition to or different to the Match Edition model, GT adds the following:

? ‘Cherry Red’ rear light clusters

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 10 mm)

? panoramic sunroof, electric, glass sliding/tilting (not GTE, GTE Nav, GTD, GTI or R)

? 65 per cent rear tinted windows from B-pillar back

? internal and external chrome trim

? front sport seats with height and lumbar adjustment

? Alcantara seat centre section with cloth side bolsters

? multifunction steering wheel with paddle shift (DSG models)

? driver profile selection (Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual)

? ambient interior lighting

? electrically foldable door mirrors, with puddle lights and reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on passenger’s door mirror

? Active Cylinder Technology on 1.4-litre TSI for improved economy

? 7J x 18-inch ‘Durban’ alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts

Alltrack

In addition to or different to the GT model, Alltrack adds:

? available as an Estate model only

? four wheel drive – 4MOTION

? alloy wheels, four 6½J x 17-inch ‘Valley’ with 205/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

? increased ground clearance, raised by approx. 15 mm (in lieu of sports suspension)

? off-road suspension

? Alltrack styling pack – uniquely shaped off-road front and rear bumpers

? Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and LED daytime running lights

? matt-chrome effect door mirrors

? matt-chrome effect and anthracite side sill protection

? matt-chrome effect underbody protection, front and rear

? unique ‘Alltrack’ badging

? wheel arch protection, anthracite

? ABSPlus (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution)

? climate control – 2Zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation and allergy filter

? brushed stainless steel door sill protectors with unique Alltrack logo

? brushed stainless steel pedals

? Pavaino decorative inserts in dash, centre console and door panels

? Alltrack cloth seat centre sections with Alcantara side bolsters

? off-road setting, including hill descent assist

R-Line Edition

Additional equipment over GT Edition:

? four 18-inch ‘Marseille’ alloy wheels

? body-coloured rear roof spoiler and rear diffuser with chrome twin exhaust tailpipe

? ‘R-Line’ styling pack – ‘R-Line’ design front and rear bumpers, radiator grille and side skirts

? unique ‘R-Line’ badging

? black rooflining

? front seats embossed with ‘R-Line’ logo on head restraints, ‘Race’ seat centre section and ‘San Remo’ microfiber side bolsters

? ‘Black Lead Grey’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels

? stainless steel pedals and door sill protectors

GTE

Additional equipment over GT Edition:

? four 18-inch ‘Marseille’ alloy wheels

? sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm

? XDSPlus electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling

? ‘GTE’ styling pack

? unique ‘GTE’ badging

? Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, CD player, DAB radio

? driver profile selection – e-mode, Hybrid mode, Battery charge mode, ‘GTE’ mode

? two charging cables, 16-amp and 10-amp

? progressive steering

? multifunction colour display

GTE Nav

Additional equipment over GTE:

?  Discover Navigation Pro system with eight-inch colour touch-screen, branded points of interest, speed limit display, dynamic navigation, three route options (Fast, Short, Eco), 3D map view

GTD and GTI

In addition to or different to the GT model, GTI and GTD models have the following:

? Discover Navigation system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, DAB radio, Eco mode (with information and tips on how to achieve an especially economical style of driving, for example, advising the driver to shut windows if the air conditioning is on)

? LED front fog lights

? bi-xenon headlights with static cornering function and LED daytime running lights

? LED rear light clusters with smoked covers

? LED rear number plate illumination

? sports suspension (lowered by approx. 15 mm)

? ‘Jacara’ cloth upholstery (‘Jacara Grey’ in GTD)

? red ambient interior lighting

? 7.5J x 18-inch ‘Austin’ alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts (GTI)

? 7.5J x 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts (GTD)

? uniquely styled front bumper with spoiler and rear bumper with black diffuser

? side skirts and rear spoiler

? twin exhaust pipes at left (twin exhaust on GTD)

? dual exhaust pipes, one at either side (GTI)

? honeycomb radiator grille and air intakes

? red trim strip across radiator grille and into headlights (GTI)

? chrome trim strip across radiator grille and into headlights (GTD)

? illuminated door sill protectors

? stainless steel pedals

? contrast stitching on steering wheel, gear lever gaiter and handbrake (red on GTI, grey on GTD)

? ‘Cyclone’ decorative inserts in dash, centre console and door panels

? unique instrument clusters

? progressive steering system

? ‘Red’ brake calipers (GTI), with GTI logo on cars with Performance pack

? ‘Grey’ brake calipers with GTD logo

? limited-slip differential (GTI with Performance pack only)

? XDSPlus electronic differential lock                                                                               

GTI Clubsport Edition 40

In addition to or different to the GTI model, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 models have the following:

? 18-inch ‘Quaranta’ alloy wheels, which are 3 kg lighter than conventional alloys

? 265 PS output

? ‘Overboost’ function – additional 25 PS for 10 seconds during full throttle

? new spring layout, newly tuned dampers and optimised bump stops

? uniquely shaped rear roof spoiler

? uniquely shaped rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with chrome exhaust tailpipes, left and right

? uniquely shaped side sills and front splitter

? ‘Gloss Black’ door mirrors

? Alcantara door panels with red trim

? unique ‘Clubsport’ decal on side skirts

? red stitching on Alcantara trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with red 12 o’clock mark and ‘GTI’ logo

? ‘Piano Black’ centre console

? ‘Clubsport’ cloth seat centre section and Alcantara side bolsters.  Front sports seats with embroidered ‘GTI’ logo

Golf R

In addition to or different to the GTI model, R models have the following:

? four wheel drive – 4MOTION

? four ‘Cadiz’ 18-inch alloy wheels

? Composition Media system with 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, DAB radio and CD player

?  ‘R’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15 mm

? bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam, with static cornering function

? ‘Black’ brake calipers

? matt-chrome effect on door mirrors

? unique ‘R’ badging

? ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels

? ’Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in centre console

? blue ambient lighting

? unique ‘R’ design key

SAFETY
As well as making the current generation the most technically advanced Golf, during its design phase the developers were also set the task of making this the safest Golf yet – quite a challenge given the accompanying weight reduction targets.

Earlier sections of this description (Design: weight reduction, and Technology highlights) lay out in detail the measures that were taken to ensure weight reduction did not result in any loss of safety, as well as the full remit of passive and active safety features which are fitted.

Airbag system
Naturally the Golf has seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver’s side.  The special location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle to gently introduce upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Safety Optimised Head Restraint System
Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed its Safety Optimised Head Restraint System to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  This is fitted as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this is the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, the system has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Seatbelt fastening detection for the rear
Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during driving.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx. 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled occupant); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results

The Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency, and received a top five-star rating.  It also won the award for innovations in the area of integral safety at the Euro NCAP Advanced Awards.  Along with Lane Assist and Front Assist, the PreCrash preventive occupant protection and the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System were recognised as pioneering safety innovations.  This is further confirmation of the excellent competitive position of the Golf.

The Golf was awarded top ratings for its occupant protection.  Evaluated here were frontal and side impact tests, a pole side impact test and what is known as the whiplash test, in which loads to the spine are measured in a rear end collision.  Not only adults, but children too can feel safe in the Golf.  This was verified in tests, some of which utilised dummies sized to represent 18-month-old and three-year-old children.  The Golf also impressed testers with its pedestrian protection capabilities.

Insurance groups
Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the Golf secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers), all of which are lower than those achieved by the previous generation model:

S

1.2-litre TSI 85 PS                                                                         7E

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS                                                                     14E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     12E

BlueMotion

1.0-litre TSI 115 PS                                                                      14E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     15E

Match Edition

1.4-litre TSI 125 PS                                                                     15E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     11E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     16E

Match BlueMotion Edition

1.0-litre TSI 115 PS                                                                      14E

GT Edition

1.4-litre TSI ACT 150 PS                                                           19E

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     13E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     19E

Alltrack

1.6-litre TDI 110 PS                                                                     10E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     17E

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS                                                                     20E

R-Line Edition

1.4-litre TSI ACT 150 PS                                                           19E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS                                                                     20E

GTI

2.0-litre TSI 220 PS                                                                     37E

2.0-litre TSI 230 PS                                                                     37E

GTD

2.0-litre TDI 184 PS                                                                     26E

R

2.0-litre TSI 300 PS 4MOTION                                               34E

These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

WARRANTIES
The Golf has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer-operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

HISTORY OF THE GOLF

Chronology

Mk I (1974 - 1983)
The Golf Mk I was launched in 1974 and was produced until August 2011 – albeit extensively modified – as an economically priced entry-level model in South Africa parallel to the current model range.  Over 7.0 million units have been produced so far.

1974:       Debut of the first Golf

1976:       500,000th Golf in March

1,000,000th Golf in October

First Golf GTI

First Golf with diesel engine

1978:       2,000,000th Golf in June

Debut of the US version Rabbit in July

1979:       3,000,000th Golf in September

First Golf Cabriolet

Minor facelift

1982:       5,000,000th Golf in February

First Golf with turbodiesel engine

Mk II (1984 - 1992)
The Golf Mk II followed in 1983, and in the UK the following year.  Over 6.3 million units of this generation were produced in ten years – on average approximately 630,000 units per year.

1983:       Debut of the Golf MkII

1984:       Debut of the Golf GTI MkII

1985:       7,000,000th Golf in March

1986:       First Golf (GTI) with 16-valve petrol engine

1987:       ABS available for all GT and GTI models

Minor facelift

1988:       Debut of the Rallye Golf G60 – some LHD examples imported to UK

10,000,000th Golf in June

1989:      11,000,000th Golf in October

1990:      All Golf petrol models available with closed-loop catalytic converters from February

1,000,000th Golf GTI in November

12,000,000th Golf in November

Mk III (1992 - 1998)
The Golf Mk III, of which 4.8 million units were built, was launched on to the UK market in 1992.

1991:       Debut of the third Golf

First Golf diesel with oxidation catalytic converter

First Golf with six-cylinder engine (VR6); simultaneously the first model in the lower mid-range with a six-cylinder engine

1992:       13,000,000th Golf in February

Driver and front passenger airbag available from August

1993:       First Golf with turbodiesel direct injection (TDI) engine

Debut of the second Golf Cabriolet

First Golf Estate

14,000,000th Golf in March

Debut of the Golf Ecomatic – the first production Golf with a Stop/Start system

1994:       15,000,000th Golf sold in May

Golf Ecomatic on sale in the UK from July

1995:       First Golf with naturally aspirated diesel direct injection (SDI) engine

1996:      20th anniversary of the Golf GTI / anniversary model of the Golf GTI

First Golf GTI with turbodiesel engine

17,000,000th Golf in November

Mk IV (1998 - 2004)
The Golf Mk IV debuted in 1997, and was launched in the UK in 1998.  Over the last seven years until 2003, 4.3 million units of the best-seller were produced and, on average, approximately 614,000 units were sold per year.

1997:       Debut of the first Golf with fully galvanised body

First Golf with five-cylinder engine (V5)

1998:       Debut of the new Golf Cabriolet

First Golf 4MOTION with Haldex viscous coupling

Introduction of optional ESC (Electronic Stability Control)

1999:      Second Golf Estate launched

First TDI engines with Pumpe Düse unit-injector technology in the Golf

19,000,000th Golf in June

2002:       Golf GTI 180 PS launched as special edition marking the 25th anniversary of the Golf GTI in the UK.

Production of the Golf overtakes the Beetle; at 21,517,415 units it becomes the most-produced Volkswagen model to date

Debut of the Golf R32, the most powerful in production Golf ever with 241 PS 2002 becomes the Golf’s best year in the UK to date, with 72,362 units sold, while it also finishes the year as the country’s best-selling diesel car

2003:       End of year: phase-out of the fourth generation Golf after sales of more than 5.0 million units

Mk V (2004 - 2008)
The Golf Mk V made its international debut in 2003, and was launched in the UK in 2004.

2003:       September – world premiere at Frankfurt Motor Show

2004:       January 30 – UK launch

August – Sport added to model line-up

2005:       January – GTI launched in the UK

November – R32 on sale in the UK

2006:       October – Match replaces SE trim level

2007:       January – 230 PS GTI Edition 30 launched in UK

March – 25 millionth Golf is produced

May – GT Sport replaces GT and Sport trim levels

2008:       February – Golf BlueMotion launched in the UK

April – GTI Pirelli edition returns, 25 years after the original

Mk VI (2009 - 2012)
2008:       October – world premiere at the Paris Motor Show

October – car available for ordering at Volkswagen Retailers

2009:       January 6 – car on sale in UK

May 22 – Golf GTI on sale in UK

June 22 – Golf GTD on sale in UK

September – Golf BlueMotion and 270 PS Golf R shown at Frankfurt motor show

2010:       January – Golf BlueMotion on sale in UK

February – Golf R on sale in UK

2011:       September – Golf GTI Edition 35 on sale in UK

Mk VII (2012 -)
2012:       September – world premiere at the Paris Motor Show

October – car available for ordering at Volkswagen Retailers

2013:       January 7 – car on sale in UK

April 4 – GTI available for ordering

April 15 – GTD available for ordering

May 1 – BlueMotion available for ordering

June 14 – 30 millionth Golf is produced

September – Four-wheel drive Golf R makes debut at Frankfurt motor show. With a power output of 300 PS, it’s the fastest production Golf to date. UK order book opens in November

2014:       January 1 – Golf is named BusinessCar of the Year

March – Golf R deliveries start in UK

July 3 – Match Edition launched

November – Golf R Estate unveiled at LA Auto Show

2015:       February – Golf R-Line launched in UK. Car features revised, sporty styling

                  April – Golf Alltrack goes in sale, and is available in Estate-only form

June 24 – BlueMotion models launched

September 9 – Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 launched to celebrate 40 years of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The car has 265 PS, with temporary ‘Overboost’ allowing 290 PS for a limited time

October 11 – Match BlueMotion Edition launched

2016:       April – Golf GTI Clubsport S launched and sets new lap record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Most powerful GTI yet, with 310 PS, has 19-inch wheels with semi-slick tyres. A total of 400 units are made, with 150 of those sold in the UK from August

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