Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

Golf is selling so well at European level that German designers and engineers have absolutely no reason to change this car radically. Not even one. In fact, the only challenge comes from the Dieselgate scandal, which has made TDI engines crucified worldwide. However, Golf 7 has returned to the facelift with so much enthusiasm that the TDIs are no problem in the range, that German engineers have put themselves to work and have slightly reduced their emissions.

So here is the new 2.0 TDI on the facelift Volkswagen Golf 7. In a new presentation.

Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

Engine / Transmission

Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

The TDI acronym is part of the auto industry culture, and for many it has become equivalent to diesel engines regardless of brand. No one else, but when you hear “Kia Cee\’d TDI diesel” you realize that German technology has come to be used as a common noun, according to Adidas or Xerox.

But all of the TDI technology was also the basis of the biggest scandal in the last decades of the automotive industry, the Dieselgate story being well-known by all those who eat their car on bread.

Under these conditions, what could you possibly add over everything that is known and said about a 2.0 TDI engine in the 150 hp version? It\’s like trying to explain to a ward who tastes the charm.

And yet, we have some interesting news to note with the facelift of Golf 7. First, the engine\’s maximum torque has increased from 320 to 340 Nm, but the 5% increase in engine torque at 1750 rpm will not feel when you are driving. Then another change comes from the emission area, where 117 grams of CO2 / km from the pre-facelift version turned into 114 grams of CO2 / km. Again, we are not talking about a change you will feel at the wheel, but certainly the German engineers have worked hard on this subject. The reason is not hard to deduce.

The greatest novelty is, however, under these conditions, the emergence of a 7-speed automatic gearbox DSG that replaces the old six-transmission transmission. Theoretically, this should have a direct effect on consumption, but the Germans offer the same figures in mixed mode: 4.4 liters / 100 km. Even though urban and off-road consumption dropped by 0.1 liters / 100 km each.

At a dynamic level, you will not feel any changes to the version before the facelift. But that does not necessarily mean a bad thing, because Volkswagen\’s 2.0 TDI managed to get the most of the challenges that a normal driver on the road could do. Like the 6-speed box, the new DSG 7 offers a Sport mode that wakes up the transmission and the engine by rising 500 rpm the speed at which the TDI finds its idle.

Otherwise, it remains as we have established: the DSG transmission remains one of the most successful response levels across the non-premium area of ​​the automotive industry, and the 2.0 TDI has high resources that are still felt at 1500 rpm and are kept close of the red area.


Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

Although the compact class is one of the richest in the offer, there are not many options when it comes to choosing a diesel engine with a power of around 150 hp and bringing an automatic box in the landscape.

Still, the cars on the client\’s shotlist are big names: besides Golf, we have, in alphabetical order of the brands, Focus, Cee\’d, Astra, 308, Megane, Leon and Octavia. It is a tough fight, because each of these models has an army of fans ready to jump to the throng of others explaining why the advantages of the X are more important than the disadvantages of the Y machine.

In terms of consumption, the Golf 2.0 TDI with the 7-speed automatic DSG offers, as mentioned above, an average of 4.4 liters / 100 km in mixed mode. An average value in a segment where the absolute champion is Peugeot 308 2.0 HDI 150 hp (4.0 liters / 100 km) and the highest consumption is only 4.6 liters in the case of Megane 2.0 dCi 165 hp, a model that has , however, 15 more horses. It also consumes the Octavia 2.0 TDI and the Opel Astra 1.6 CDTI.

In other words, the builders do not have a lot of maneuver in the segment of consumption, because any “exit in the decor” would turn that model into the class repetition from this point of view.

In our test, Golf showed an extra-urban consumption of 5.5-6.0 liters, depending on how far I pressed the pedal, and the city increased these figures by 1.5 liters / 100 km. Normal values ​​for a 150 hp diesel that does not stand out either on the plus or minus.


Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

150 horsepower are many for a compact. Perhaps the hot hatching area of ​​300 horses has now made a car of a similar shape that develops “150” only to be no longer regarded as a variant in which performance is over. But the truth is that you will rarely use the 150 horses that such a car offers, and if you use your car in 90% of the time in the city, you will likely not reach 150 HP than when you do ITP and when you go on holiday.

That being said, we look at the list of comparable cars and we see interesting things. Like the fact that Golf 2.0 TDI with DSG7 accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.6 seconds, a value that only two competitors can beat. “Concerns” between quotation marks, in fact, because the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI (8.4 seconds) and the Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI (8.5 seconds) are built on the same platform and are largely using the same subassemblies. Do not ask how it came to the moment when Octavia and Leon are better on accelerating than the Golf. I did not have a clear answer.

Otherwise, the Peugeot 308 rises to the same values ​​as the German camodel, and the Renault Megane GT diesel fails to take advantage of the extra 15 hp and delays 0.2 seconds in the sprint 0-100 km / h. Ford Focus, Opel Astra and Kia Cee\’d close the platoon in the same order.



Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

The interior of the Golf facelift will be the reason why the car will be chosen by many customers who will be looking for a car in this segment. Because the model built by Volkswagen succeeds – at least in the Highline version tested by us – to be a solid, solid car that has little to reproach you about material, quality or attention to details and joints.

It is equally true that there are no spectacular reasons when it comes to interior design or creativity inside Golf. It\’s useless to say that you do not knock at the right door if you\’re the type of client looking for color and fireworks inside the car.

But this time there is a difference in the approach of the Volkswagen. If so far they seemed to avoid any risk and play a card that fits all the continents when it comes to design, with the Golf facelift relying on technology to animate its cabin. This is how the two huge displays that feature the functions of the car have appeared.

The one that takes the place of the clocks has a diagonal of 12.3 inches and makes you feel like being teleported by history when you climb later in a car with analog dials. The center of the test car, the most advanced of the three variants available on the Golf, is 9.2 inches and uses a good graphics and high resolution plus proximity sensors that reconnect your fingers to make you You thank the god of technology and the fact that accelerating innovation in the field has made this stuff accessible to a compact class model.

I really liked the way this last display is embedded in the board: fine, subtle, in-your-face and zorzoane that usually only lowers the level of perceived quality. But if I find a defect in these screens, that\’s how the volume control of the audio system has been integrated: two ” ” and “-” touchpads located at the edge of the center display. A solution that will never have the efficiency of a classic rotating knob and that will annoy you so much that you never use it. After all, you have dedicated orders on the steering wheel.

At the level of the materials, I really liked the chairs and the Alcantara-textile blend that they were upholstered with. Germans do not rebate when it comes to the way they put together the materials, and that is seen with the naked eye and turns into obvious advantages.

The Golf\’s trunk offers 380 liters, the same value as the ante-facelift version. An average in a segment where the absolute top is Octavia, which takes advantage of the “fake sedan” body with a tailgate instead of a lid in the luggage compartment to add 570 liters.

Purchase price

Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

Volkswagen Golf has never wanted to be the most affordable car in the past three generations. With a conservative aesthetic approach, but with a top-class technology offering in the segment, Golf has relied on the excellent image of the model to reward customers when it comes to budgeting.

In the case of Golf 7\’s new facelift version, things remain as we left them. Golf is positioned at a price level between its non-premium and premium rivals, trying to fish customers from both groups.

Let\’s take as an example the top highline equipment on our tested engine: 2.0 TDI 150 hp with DSG7. The price of this car is 24,400 euros, plus a series of optional cars that raise the final price to just over 30,000 euros. As you can guess, the other competitors are positioned below just under 20,000 euros if it comes to the Kia Cee\’d 1.6 Turbo of 136 hp in city equipment and automatic transmission.

The closest competitor is the Renault Megane GT diesel, which offers its 165 horses in very generous equipment for a sum of 300 euros less than that of Golf.

But there are also “strangers”. For example, a car that far exceeds the price level demanded by Volkswagen. Exciting or not, this is the Octavia 2.0 TDI special version of Laurin & Klement, which offers ultra-complete equipment at a higher price even than Octavia RS: 29,000 euros.


Volkswagen Golf 7 was tested by EuroNCAP in 2012 right after launching the new model. In the test at that time, Golf achieved the overall five-star overall rating and a degree of protection of 94% for adult passengers, 89% for pedestrians and 65% for pedestrian protection.

Seven airbags are offered in the standard equipment, including the knee airbag, plus electronic assistance systems that do not lack the ABS and the ESC Traction Control System.

Optionally, customers can pay for rear side airbags, dead angle monitoring, a proactive protection system that identifies potentially dangerous situations, and tightens the driver\’s and front passenger\’s seat belts in front and automatically closes the windows and sunroof.

The Facelift also features a pedestrian monitoring system with the option of activating the emergency brake. This function would reduce the consequences of an accident involving pedestrians.

The Emergency Assist feature, also introduced on facelift, detects the driver\’s health problem and can no longer react. If it does not respond to the car alerts, the Golf 7 facelift can stop alone in a safe area and activate the hazard warning lights.

For those who love a caravan vacation, Golf 7 facelift gets Trailer Assist, also installed on Tiguan.

Keep on the road

Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

As with any adaptive suspension vehicle, Golf\’s dynamic behavior radically changes between the two extremes of the “segment” offered by the Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport modes. Plus Individual, which lets you blend in between the other four settings if you want atypical stuff like a sporty direction, but an ultra-comfortable suspension. Or vice versa.

Run modes are available if the adaptive chassis commands, that is, the DCC acronym package, and help you get three machines in one. There is no premise in the compact area, there is no major innovation in the 2017 grace year, but the adaptive suspensions help you a lot in a country like Romania, where a long way through the country can surprise you over surprises day after day. So it\’s good to have in the “pantry” a comfortable suspension besides the sport you just use on the serpentine.

Direction is balanced and very enjoyable to use, without exaggerating “weight” when it comes to a sporting approach to the problem.


With a conservative exterior design, it goes without saying that glazed surfaces do not change to a mid-generation update, as it is. This means that the facelift gives you as much “ventilation” as the variant before the minor aesthetic change.

The golf is big enough and wide to help reverse gears, and the last row of pillars does not bother.

Side mirrors are also well proportioned and, despite their sharp shape, can guarantee a fairly good posterior visual field. For room technology help, check the dedicated packages in the list of options. We will talk about them below.


Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

If it is to choose a category that Volkswagen has put all the money with this facelift, that\’s the one on board technology. Golf 7 facelift receives so many new systems that we witness an obvious contrast between the progressive approach emphasized from this chapter and the aesthetic linearity from the inside and outside.

You do not even know what to do: by listing the active safety systems already discussed in the Safety chapter or the hi-res displays we spoke about inside? Let\’s take care of the latest, because the 9.2-inch high-definition center (Discovery Pro) brings in the compact class a technical craft that has so far been seen in the automotive world just on the BMW 7 Series and the 5 Series: gesture control of the multimedia system . You\’ve probably seen it already promoted by Volkswagen on commercials in cities and on television. There is an opportunity for the Germans to boast an absolute plus.

And yet, you can live without gestures that control the volume or change the radio station. You\’ll even get better without them. Because, unlike the system offered by BMW, Volkswagen has moments of perplexity in not responding to any orders. And you still get to the classic buttons. And to avoid any involuntary loud discussion with your parents\’ parents and legal holidays, it\’s best not to try this at home.

That being said, we do not forget to announce the emergence of LED headlamps replacing the old Bi-Xenon or Car Net, which packs the car into a WiFi router for passengers to access the Internet without limits wherever they are.

Traffic Jam Assist is the first step Golf takes towards a world where cars will be autonomous . It operates up to 60 km / h and automatically maintains the distance from the front car to the stops and stops at the traffic light, controlling the acceleration, the brake and the direction. I tested the system and it works, and its activation is easy.

Obviously, the landscape can not lack the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto mirroring services, which will make you feel in the car in front of your own phone. Without having to lift him out of his place while walking.

What\’s missing from Golf? A Head-up Display (the Germans say the implementation of the digital display makes it unnecessary to use one, but I personally do not think the two are mutually exclusive) and an advanced camera system for capturing the advanced images of the car that would pigeon help the maneuvers parking.


Volkswagen Golf 7 facelift Test Drive

If you have trouble looking for the differences between the old Golf and the New Golf, do not worry: the problem is not with you. Although, as I explained at the beginning of this text, the source of this conservative approach can hardly be called a problem, on the contrary.

I help you: LED headlamp shapes are modified, the front bar and grille have been remodeled, the brand logo turns into a “undercover” radar, and the tailposts gain LED lights. In addition, on the upper equipment there is a redesigned rear spoiler that elegantly integrates the exhaust system endings. See in the next photos what it is about.

That\’s all. Because Golf remains the same boy early home who is neither the class athlete nor the high school nurse nor the guy who was late every day and was passing at least twice a year to the director\’s office. He is present at the Olympiad, will have a happy family and will be the accountant in a multinational.

For other typologies, call France or Japan.

We did not like it

  • Conservative design
  • Interior with fad design
  • Gesture control
  • High in segment

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