Is the­re a Golf in your fu­tu­re?

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Front Page - ANICA KRÜGER

If the ans­wer is yes, you may want to mo­ve up the da­te! Au­to­de­a­ler spent so­me qua­li­ty ti­me with the bold and broody new Golf GTI on a test d­ri­ve to Ca­pe Town. We found it qui­te exhi­la­ra­ting and the fu­el con­sump­ti­on a trifle bet­ter than the of­fi­ci­al fi­gu­re.

The up­da­ted Volks­wa­gen Golf was laun­ched in South A­fri­ca with a re­vi­sed en­gi­ne li­neup, mo­re techno­lo­gy, new in­fo­tai­n­ment, im­pro­ved con­necti­vi­ty and re­vi­sed sty­ling. We re­cent­ly u­sed the GTI for a jour­ney to Ca­pe Town and back w­he­re we could ex­a­mi­ne the ma­nu­fac­tu­rer’s con­fi­dent claims of a car that sets ben­ch­marks in com­fort, practi­ca­li­ty, sa­fe­ty and ef­fi­cien­cy.

The o­ver­all po­pu­la­ri­ty of Golf tells most of the sto­ry - it has been e­mer­ging from Volks­wa­gen fac­to­ries a­round the glo­be for 43 y­e­ars and one is said to be com­ple­ted e­very 40 se­conds. In South A­fri­ca, the sta­tis­ti­cs are al­so in­te­res­ting - glo­bal sa­les are well o­ver 33-mil­li­on in o­ver four de­ca­des and he­re 350 750 ha­ve been sold.

The up­da­ted ver­si­on of the se­venth ge­ne­ra­ti­on Golf brings “big car techno­lo­gy” to the com­pact fa­mi­ly car. Volks­wa­gen re­gards it as part of its foun­ding spi­rit of de­mo­cra­ti­sing qua­li­ty and va­lue a­cross the ran­ge.

We know we can’t tell Golf ent­hu­si­as­ts a­ny­thing new a­bout the in­tri­ca­cies of Golf’s se­venth ge­ne­ra­ti­on, so we won’t go in­to the de­tails of w­hat the ran­ge of­fers. But it was a ple­a­su­re to d­ri­ve a com­pact car with the wi­de­a­wa­ke re­spon­se t­his GTI mo­del has un­der the bon­net.


De­sign mo­di­fi­ca­ti­ons in­clu­de new bum­pers front and re­ar; new ha­lo­gen he­ad­lig­hts with LED day­ti­me run­ning lig­hts or full LED he­ad­lig­hts - stan­dard on GTI and op­ti­o­nal in ot­her de­ri­va­ti­ves - inste­ad of xe­non he­ad­lig­hts; new front wings; and new full LED re­ar lig­hts as stan­dard for all Golf ver­si­ons.

New w­heel de­signs and bo­dy co­lours com­ple­te the ex­te­ri­or up­da­te, whi­le fresh trim pa­nels and ma­te­ri­als al­so up­gra­de the in­te­ri­or of the Golf.

The up­da­ted Golf has a lot of un­der­sta­ted ap­pe­al thanks to sub­t­le de­tails such as re­de­sig­ned bum­pers and new he­ad­lig­hts, new tail lig­hts and new w­heels.

At the front, the ra­di­a­tor gril­le and he­ad­lig­hts ha­ve been de­ve­lo­ped to ta­ke the sty­le of its pre­de­ces­sor to a new le­vel. On the GTI, the lo­wer chro­me strip of the ra­di­a­tor gril­le is con­ti­nu­ed to the left and rig­ht as a red and chro­me e­le­ment that ex­tends through the LED day­ti­me run­ning lig­hts and in­to the full-LED he­ad­lig­hts.

The re­ar has al­so been re­de­sig­ned to be mo­re as­ser­ti­ve with full-LED tail lig­hts. The Golf’s new tail lig­hts now don’t use any con­ven­ti­o­nal lig­ht bulbs and the GTI’s full-LED tail lig­hts ha­ve a­ni­ma­ted in­di­ca­tor functi­ons. Al­so, the Golf GTI has in­di­vi­du­al chro­me tail pi­pes on the left and rig­ht.

The 2,0 GTI de­ve­lops 169kW, pe­trol en­gi­nes are tur­bo­char­ged u­nits with di­rect fu­el in­jecti­on (TSI), which me­ans the new GTI has si­mi­lar po­wer out­put as the out­going GTI Per­for­man­ce. The 0 to 100km/h clas­sic sprint is a­chie­ved in 6,4 se­conds and top speed is li­mi­ted to 248km. With DSG trans­mis­si­on, GTI has a clai­med com­bi­ned fu­el con­sump­ti­on of 6,4 lit­res per 100km, which we ma­na­ged to re­du­ce to

6,3 lit­res on the o­pen ro­ad u­sing the a­dap­ti­ve crui­se con­t­rol and plan­ned o­ver­ta­king be­t­ween Ge­or­ge and Ca­pe Town.


The Golf sets a new ben­ch­mark for as­sis­tan­ce sy­s­tems in its class, em­ploying techno­lo­gy that will do a lot to im­pro­ve sa­fe­ty. The­se in­clu­de a blind spot mo­ni­tor with re­ar traf­fic a­lert as well as a­dap­ti­ve crui­se con­t­rol with front as­sist and an au­to­no­mous e­mer­gen­cy bra­king sy­stem.

In com­bi­na­ti­on with the dis­play of the ra­dio

or na­vi­ga­ti­on sy­stem, the in­for­ma­ti­on dis­play cre­a­tes a vir­tu­al, flex­i­ble hu­man-ma­chi­ne in­ter­fa­ce (HMI) which ma­kes it pos­si­ble to com­mu­ni­ca­te through hand mo­vement.

In fact, the car of­fers so much that one is temp­ted to pur­cha­se it just to ha­ve the fun of ex­plo­ring it in full. Con­cen­tra­ting on a lon­ger dis­tan­ce, the­re was no in­cen­ti­ve to un­pack all the toys. Cu­ri­o­si­ty kil­led the cat, as t­hey say, so it was bet­ter to con­cen­tra­te on the im­me­di­a­te con­trols.

All of the in­stru­ments are dis­play­ed vir­tu­al­ly via soft­wa­re on the co­lour screen. The­re are fi­ve dif­fe­rent in­for­ma­ti­on pro­fi­les, in which the kind of in­for­ma­ti­on and graphi­cs dis­play­ed c­han­ges in cer­tain a­re­as. The di­gi­tal dis­play is cle­ar with all the in­for­ma­ti­on one needs rig­ht the­re. So­me of the screen in­for­ma­ti­on is dis­play­ed in two smal­ler si­de screens, so the d­ri­ver does not ha­ve to look to­wards the midd­le of the con­so­le.

The d­ri­ver can se­lect from “Clas­sic”, “Con­sump­ti­on & Ran­ge”, “Ef­fi­cien­cy”, “Per­for­man­ce & D­ri­ver As­sis­tan­ce” or “Na­vi­ga­ti­on”.

Da­ta such as te­lep­ho­ne con­tact i­ma­ges and CD co­vers are dis­play­ed and in the Golf GTI, red is u­sed as a con­tras­ting co­lour.

Dri­vers can as­sign the functi­ons t­hey wish to the­se two smal­ler dis­play pa­nels. For in­stan­ce, the ra­dio or me­dia li­bra­ry can be po­si­ti­o­ned on the top pa­nel and pho­ne fa­vou­ri­tes on the bottom pa­nel.

The ran­ge of e­quip­ment of­fe­red al­so in­clu­des an am­pli­fier with 4 x 20W of out­put po­wer, a DVD d­ri­ve, one USB port (Ap­ple CarPlay com­pa­ti­ble), two SD card slots, an AUX-IN port, an SSD d­ri­ve with 10GB of stora­ge and a full ran­ge of mu­sic play­back ca­pa­bi­li­ties.


Stan­dard fe­a­tu­res on GTI in­clu­de: a sport sus­pen­si­on, exhaust chro­me twin tail­pi­pes, am­bient lig­hting with lig­ht strips in red, pro­gres­si­ve s­teer­ing and 18” al­loy w­heels, au­to­ma­tic air-con­di­ti­o­ner, he­a­ted front se­ats, au­to high-be­am, LED he­ad­lig­hts and dy­n­a­mic cor­ne­ring lig­hts. It al­so co­mes with an 8” me­dia sy­stem with tou­chscreen, Blu­e­tooth Con­necti­vi­ty and eig­ht spea­kers, App Con­nect and voi­ce con­t­rol.

The new Golf mo­del ran­ge can be cu­s­to­mi­sed with op­ti­o­nal fe­a­tu­res in­clu­ding a pa­no­ra­mic sun­roof, Acti­ve In­fo Dis­play, Re­ar As­sist with re­ar view ca­me­ra, blind spot mo­ni­tor with re­ar traf­fic a­lert, a­dap­ti­ve crui­se con­t­rol with front as­sist au­to­no­mous e­mer­gen­cy bra­king sy­stem, park dis­tan­ce con­t­rol at front and re­ar, park as­sist, key­less en­try and start and a­dap­ti­ve chas­sis con­t­rol, in­clu­ding d­ri­ver se­lecti­on.

The pri­ce in­clu­ding VAT and e­mis­si­ons tax for the 2,0 TSI GTI DSG is R545 900. The en­ti­re Golf mo­del ran­ge co­mes stan­dard with a fi­ve y­e­ar or 90 000km ser­vi­ce plan, three y­e­ar or 120 000km war­ran­ty and a 12 y­e­ar an­ti­cor­ro­si­on war­ran­ty. Ser­vi­ce in­ter­vals are at e­very 15 000km.


The p­roof of the pud­ding is w­het­her one en­joys it or not. I en­joy­ed dri­ving the Golf GTI a lot. “In a Golf you pay for a lot of t­hings you don’t see,” a col­le­a­gue of mi­ne is fond of saying w­hen I let my in­ner che­ap­ska­te e­mer­ge in dis­cus­si­on. T­his car ma­de me re­a­li­se I should lis­ten mo­re in­tent­ly in fu­tu­re. Plus, the red de­tail in the dis­play gi­ves the car just that spor­ty ed­ge.

The Golf GTI was ma­de a­vai­la­ble for the test d­ri­ve cour­te­sy of Mos­sel Bay Volks­wa­gen: 044 691 1302.

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