by Bob Flavin 08/01/13
The Golf is the most important car in the world, now there’s a statement. It’s true though, there’s no other car that sets the benchmark quite so high. Every car maker in the world wishes they could have what the Golf delivers; classless style.
In a world where you can be judged by what kind of shoes you wear the Golf allows you to be whom you want to be. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t drive a Golf, from Doctors to potless everyone enjoys driving one from any era. You can just as easily drive to the local take away as you can rock up too the most posh dinner party in a Golf because it’s all things to all people.
Volkswagen were very conscious of this when they made the 7th version of the Golf, its evolution not revolution is the key phrase in the VW design room. It has to look like a new Golf but from a distance it needs to be recognised as part of the family tree.
Leaving aside the looks for a bit there’s actually a lot of changes going on under the covers. For a start there’s the new XDS system, this used to be the reserve of fast cars but VW are fitting it as standard. Simply put it’s a very advanced traction control that monitors the amount of power going to each wheel and can move it to the wheel with the most grip. Most of you won’t notice it doing the job but for the more enthusiastic of you it’s brilliant because there’s no difference in what happens in the tight corners. You just chuck it in and the electronics sort it out with no real loss of power or speed.
There are the engines too; the new 1.4 tsi is a sweet little engine that has cylinder shut down. This allows the engine to shut the fuel off for two of the four cylinders while cruising thus saving fuel. You can also plump for the 1.6 tdi which is a great mix of fuel economy and power, if you need more power there’s the 2.0ltr diesel with 150 bhp it’s no slouch but you do need to keep the revs up or there’ll be lag. The last engine on offer is the 1.2 tsi with 85bhp, this is meant for city driving but it does lack any grunt which means it has to work hard to get up to speed because the Golf isn’t exactly a small car. I’d go for the 1.4 tsi for the town millage and 1.6 tdi if I spent most of the time on the motorway.
The Golf has done it again, it’s the benchmark of the segment. It’s still the car that Ireland needs because it can do anything. From the way it handles I can’t wait to have a go in the GTI model when it comes out next year but for now I’m happy to say that the Golf is still the king.
Prices start at €19,995