Ever since Volkswagen launched the Golf in 1974, it has been so successful that this category of large hatchbacks is called the Golf segment. Now, it’s time for the seventh generation version — the newest, most-loaded and perhaps the best Golf made yet. It is based on VW’s much talked about MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform, one that is also responsible for the new Audi A3 and a dozen or so cars (including some compact SUVs) to come. India may or may not be the target audience that VW has in mind with the Golf, but cars based on the Golf definitely do have a strong potential in the country. The Jetta, for example, is a Golf-based sedan and the next Jetta will definitely have a lot in common with the car you see here.
Now, to tell you about the Golf itself. Three engine options are available as of the moment — two petrols (84 bhp, 1.2 and 138 bhp, 1.4 TSI) and a diesel (103 bhp, 1.6 BlueMotion) all of which are claimed to be extremely fuel-efficient and significantly low on emissions, too. How does 24 kpl for the 1.2 petrol and 37 kpl for the 1.6 diesel sound? Claimed figures, of course, but cylinder-deactivation technology (ACT, which shuts off two out of four cylinders on the 1.4 TSI when it detects no need for extra grunt) and overall weight reduction by roughly 100 kg has got to have its advantages, right?
That’s not all — the number of driving aids in this car will put some high-end luxo-barges to shame! Four driving modes — Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual — are on offer throughout the range, although a Comfort mode is present in addition to the four modes on the DSG gearbox-equipped variants.
To address safety, the Golf has a PreCrash system and a multi-collision braking system (that makes its debut on the Golf), essentially helping the car brake and arrive at a stable halt post-collision. In addition to this, the Golf features an XDS electronic differential, adaptive cruise control, automatic city speed emergency braking, lane assist, automatic parking assist and dynamic lighting assist.
The exterior stays true to VW family design ethics — understated and modern — while leaving room for sporty add-ons for when the GTI version rolls out. For the millions of VW loyalists and hatchback lovers, all of this definitely sounds hard to resist and while you may not be able to buy one off the shelf in India — not just yet — it will be interesting to see what VW makes of this platform and presents to us in its upcoming range of products.