You know how Apple had the iPhone 6 and then they released the 6S? Well, that's what Volkswagen have done with the latest Golf.
The new Golf 7.5 may look very much like the previous Golf Mk7, but like the iPhone, the Golf 7.5 is packed with loads of new tech and it’s had a subtle face-lift.
Visually the new design cues are cleaner, more style-focused front and rear bumpers with refreshed LED rear lights, similar to what was previously only available on the flagship Golf R. Our test, the 110TSI Highline came in R Line spec which included 18” alloys, a host of gloss black accents, side skirts, a front splitter and rear defuser, a flat bottomed sportier steering wheel and lowered sports suspension.
Inside it feels much more high end than others in this class, and if anything, the quality and atmosphere is really starting to knock on the doors of far more premium brands with the actual ergonomics about as good as it gets at any price point. The Vienna leather seats are soft and supportive and everything you touch feels of the highest quality.
Practicality is typical Golf with loads of cup holders and cubby holes, a big boot, multiple USB ports, flat folding rear seats and even felt lined storage bins to stop your stuff rattling about.
Now, to the new tech.
Our test car came with the optional Infotainment package featuring a huge 12.3 inch digital instrument display. No more traditional dials, this display is totally customised so you can choose from a host of layouts, from the tradition speedo and tacho to a gear indicator and tacho to name a few, but you can also select to have the sat nav or music or phone settings displayed between the two gauges.
The Infotainment option also comes with an ultra high resolution 9.2 touch screen that can control Volkswagens Sat Nav Pro, Discover Media Pro, the audio and phone settings and it comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link but the real party trick is gesture control. Just wave your hand left or right near the screen to change songs or vehicle settings. No need to take your eyes off the road to to change stations or songs.
Safety and driving tech are equally as impressive from what we found including:
- Adaptive cruise control,
- Driver fatigue detection,
- Blind spot monitoring,
- High definition rear view camera,
- Parking sensors,
- 7 airbags,
- A 5 star ANCAP safety rating,
- Park assist and Front assist,
- and a kitchen sink....Just kidding, the kitchen sink is optional.
The premium feel carries over to the driving experience. It’s that reassuring almost glued to the road feel that the Golf has become famous for and like the Mk7, the body control, even over pretty average roads, is superb. The lowered sports suspension is firm but completely compliant and comfortable and even more aggressive potholes fail to upset the cars composure.
Our Highline test car came with a new 110kW 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine and the extra horsepower over the Mk7 is instantly noticeable. It’s no hot hatch, buy a Golf GTi or Golf R if you want serious performance but there's more than enough power and torque for around town or out on the freeway. It may be a small capacity engine but it manages to give the best of both worlds by being fuel efficient (especially when you've selected the Eco drive mode) and entertaining, (especially when you've selected the sport drive mode). It’s just so easy to drive, so refined and does everything so right.
Drive is delivered through the front wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and the shifts are almost instant and can be controlled via the steering wheel mounted paddles for some more driver involvement.
It looks like Volkswagen have pushed the hatchback benchmark ahead even further. The Golf 7.5 is about as good as cars in this class can get.
If you're after a hatch back, or any small to medium sized car for that matter, get into Kloster Volkswagen, book in a test drive and check out the new Golf because it should be well and truly at the top of your list. I just hope the new iPhone is equally as impressive.
Starting from $35,990 Driveaway*
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