POWER AND THE FASHION
GTI makeover brings more grunt but the tartan seat trim remains
The midlife update to the Volkswagen Golf has inevitably brought improvements to the GTI.
There is more power to tempt shoppers and a fresher look around the nose and tail. Volkswagen Australia has returned a three-door Golf GTI to the range, while pricing the new model from about $46,500 on the road.
ALI: Why is this car called the Golf 7.5? It’s just another Golf GTI.
PAUL: It’s Volkswagen’s way of saying the car has had a midlife update. The body and basics are the same as before, but there are some extra frills like a sharper nose with LED headlights, bigger display screens and a bit more power. ALI: So is there anything I have to worry about? Anything special? PAUL: The infotainment system is much better and it’s now got the digital dashboard display for the driver, which I love. Power is up to 169kW, so you should feel more punch. ALI: That’s all nice, but I’m worried about the price. The basic Golf is not cheap and this sounds like it’s going to be getting up there. PAUL: It’s a bit over $46,000 drive-away, but this one has some extras. The Drive Assistance package is another $1600 and Infotainment Package is $2300. So we’re looking at $53,224 all-in, on the road.
ALI: It’s not a big car but, for a small car, there is room. You don’t feel like you’re sardined in. ELI: It’s fine if you put the seat a bit forward on the passenger’s side, mum. ALI: It doesn’t have as much space as the Skoda Octavia RS, though. PAUL: That’s because Skoda makes its cars a bit bigger than the equivalent Volkswagen, even if they are virtually identical under the skin. ALI: It’s all finished nicely inside, although I always wonder about these sports wheels that have a flat bottom. It just seems like marketing, not practical. PAUL: I like the sports seats and I’m a fan of the tartan seat trim, but how do you feel about it? ALI: It is different. While I like different, I worry it will age the car prematurely. The seats are comfortable, though. PAUL: The boot space is pretty good and there is lots of storage space in the cabin but I’m not a fan of spacesaver spares.
ALI: It’s smooth. One of the big things I really like about Volkswagens is the smooth ride and the way they just get along with no hassles. PAUL: It is firm, because it’s a hot hatch, but I don’t find it too bumpy. And the response from the engine is good. ALI: It definitely has some go, although there’s no point in using Sports mode in traffic. It’s just wasting fuel. ELI: I like when it pops and bangs out the exhaust. That’s fun. ALI: I find the aircon very moody in this car. Some days 21 feels cold, and other days it’s blowing hot. Otherwise the cabin is really good.
ALI: It’s a good size for parking, visibility is clear all around, and there are those safety systems to warn you about cross traffic in the back.
PAUL: It passes the Eli scooter test without having to fold the back seat. Volkswagen says 380 litres in the boot, and 1270 if you fold everything flat.
ALI: It’s fun to drive. PAUL: I like the way it can just roll along, or really honk if you push hard and put it into the Sport setting. ALI: I tried that, too. It makes a real difference. PAUL: It’s really accessible, not like a supercar where you have to be doing 160km/h or more to feel like it’s fast. It grips really well and even with 169kW it’s not overpowered. ALI: I’m no expert on mechanical stuff, but I still have questions about the gearbox. It’s fine when you take off smooth and easy, but if you need to slow down fast at a roundabout it seems to clonk a bit as it goes down the gears. PAUL: That’s because it’s really a manual gearbox with two clutches. So if you’re hustling it goes more aggressive on the downshifts. It’s also why it can have a bit of a delay when you’re doing a three-point turn, because the clutches are doing the work and it’s not like a pure auto.
ALI: If you’re the kind of family that doesn’t require a lot of carry-on, and would like nicer creature comforts than some of the Japanese models, it would be a good choice. ELI: I love it. It’s cute and really nimble. PAUL: The size is right for us, not too big and not too small. And I like that it can be sporty or just a shop-a-bout. ALI: It’s really good on the school run. You can zip in and out and get into tight parking spots.
ALI: Yes from me. ELI: Do I get a vote, because I really like this car. PAUL: It’s a definite yes for me. All that we need, some nice frills, but still solid value.
for purchase. So bring your wallet or your willpower.
This is an event for Lego lovers, by Lego lovers. In fact, Brick Events is a private company organising, conducting and managing exhibitions made up of Lego creations in the regional centres of Queensland.
The company has joined forces with Lego specialty shop Bricks ’n’ Fun, as well as the members of the Queensland Lego Users Group (QLUG), to work with AFOLs (Adult Fans of Lego) to showcase their individual Lego creations, called MOCs (My Own Creations).
So be prepared when you visit: you are entering the world of some hardcore Lego-holics.
But if you just happen to be an AFOL and have MOCs that you think are good enough to put on public display, then have a chat to organisers. They are always looking for new potential exhibits and will even pay you to exhibit if they use your MOCs in exhibitions. So get on that, ASAP.
WHERE: Gold Coast Event Centre (Gold Coast Turf Club), Racecourse Drive, Bundall
CONTACT: 0409 511 177 or www.brickevents.com.au
PRICE: Adults $14.50; Children (315yrs) $9.50; Family (2 Adults and 3 children) $53.00
made from Lego bricks at the Gold Coast Event Centre today and tomorrow from 9am to 4pm.