POWER AND THE FASH­ION

GTI makeover brings more grunt but the tar­tan seat trim re­mains

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - MOTORING - PAUL & ALI GOVER

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.

THE PICK-UP

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.

THE BAG­GAGE

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.

THE COM­MUTE

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.

THE SHOP­PING

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.

SUN­DAY RUN:

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.

THE FAM­ILY:

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.

THE TICK:

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.

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