Golf SE 1.6 TDI 5-dr
Golf is Volkswagens biggest
selling model range so a new
generation Golf is a big occasion,
not just for VW but as the benchmark
model in the C-segment where it
competes against the Ford Focus
and Vauxhall Astra...
NOW IN ITS SEVENTH GENERATION, the Golf will set the standard for others to
match or better in every aspect from fuel efficiency, space, handling, comfort,
specification, running costs, price and brand desirability.
And while that's good news for the potential 58,000 UK customers who buy a new
Golf hatchback each year in the UK, it's bad news for the competition
because the all-new Golf is not only the most refined, sophisticated and roomiest
Golf to date; it is now the best overall product available in its sales sector
when price and value for money is taken into account.
With prices more or less the same as the outgoing sixth generation Golf (£16,285
rising to £24,880), the all-new platform gives an even more composed and compliant
ride, the handling is sharper, the steering more responsive, the engines are
more fuel and CO2 efficient and the specification across the board is higher.
for the styling, even though the dimensions have grown, the new Golf still looks
like a Golf from the outside. At 4,255mm the new Golf is 56mm longer with a
59mm longer wheelbase giving more rear passenger legroom.
The all-new Golf platform gives an even more
composed and compliant ride, the handling is sharper, the steering more
responsive, the engines are more fuel and CO2 efficient and the specification
across the board is higher...
The front wheels are 43mm further forward giving more front interior space and
the new model is 13mm wider at 1,799mm and 28mm lower at 1,452mm, so overall
it looks longer and sportier with its lower roofline.
Happily rear seat headroom remains acceptable. The boot capacity is increased
by 30 to 380 litres with the rear seats in use, and up to 1,270 litres with
them folded down.
More good news: the blandness of the old model's interior has gone and there
is much more specification and equipment as standard. The new Golf has a sporty
cockpit-style fascia with the centre console angled towards the driver, making
things easier to see at a glance.
All seventh-gen Golf models come with seven airbags (including a driver's knee
bag), five three-point seatbelts and Isofix preparation for two rear child seats,
ABS braking with ESP stability control and VW's XDS electronic differential
The entry-level S version has a Composition Media system that includes a 5.8-inch
colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, a CD player, MDI interface (for connecting
iPod or MP3 player), Bluetooth telephone preparation and audio streaming and
Standard too is semi-automatic air conditioning, electric front windows and
electrically-operated and heated door mirrors, electronic parking brake with
auto-hold, multifunction computer and 15-inch steel wheels with a space saver
up from S to SE trim brings Automatic Distance Control with Front Assist and
City Emergency Braking (which can, if necessary, even bring the vehicle to a
complete halt), a Driver Alert System, PreCrash preventative occupant protection,
Driver Profile Selection, rain-sensitive wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror
and dusk sensor (automatic driving lights), leather-trimmed multifunction steering
wheel and 16-inch alloy wheels plus a space-saver. Five-door models also get
rear electric windows.
of the most impressive features is the Driver Profile Selection which allows
the driver to choose from four modes: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. With
the Adaptive Chassis Control option, a Comfort setting is additionally available.
This package really puts the new Golf into a higher class than before
very close to what can be found on premium brand models, and one of the many
features that, for me, makes the new Golf the best car in its sector.
Golf GT wears 17-inch alloy and has a lowered sport suspension, front fog lights,
'Cherry Red' rear light clusters, heat-insulating dark-tinted rear glass, electrically-foldable
door mirrors with puddle lights, and front and rear parking sensors with visual
The best Golf yet!
With more sophistication,
more interior space,
classy and desirable
image, better fuel
economy, lower taxes.
And more or less the
same price as outgoing
Inside you'll find gloss black inserts, Alcantara and cloth sports seats, LED
reading lights, ambient lighting and the Discover Navigation media system with
5.8-inch colour touchscreen.
With its larger wheels and lowered suspension, the GT's ride comfort is much
you could say sporty
so I can appreciate why the majority of customers will choose the more affordable
and comfortable SE version.
The best selling new Golf will be the five-door 103bhp 1.6-litre TDI turbodiesel
in SE spec. This costs £20,500 with a five-speed manual 'box (or £21,915 with
the seven-speed DSG auto). Decent torque (184lb ft from 1,500rpm) makes it a
responsive performer, flexible through low- to mid-range speeds and really fuel-
and tax-efficient: top speed is 119mph; zero to 62mph takes 10.7 seconds; and
the official fuel consumption is 74.3mpg
56.5mpg on my test drive using country A roads.
CO2 emissions of just 99g/km are very tax efficient so there is currently no
VED road tax to pay. For company car drivers, Benefit-in-Kind tax is 13%.
Not really an 'against' but some engine options are not available with all specification
levels which would particularly appeal to retail customers
for instance, the highly-rated and excellent-to-drive 103bhp 1.2-litre petrol
engine is not available with the best-selling SE specification.
For: The best Golf yet! With more sophistication, more refinement, better specification,
more interior space, more comfort, classy and desirable image, better fuel economy,
lower taxes. And more or less the same price as outgoing versions.
In every way the new seventh-generation lighter weight Golf is definitely no
'lightweight' when it comes meeting the demands of what today's motorists need
from a family-sized modern car. Above all it's a Golf
but an even better one!
Volkswagen Golf SE 1.6 TDI 5-dr | £20,500
Maximum speed: 119mph | 0-62mph: 10.7 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 56.5mpg
Power: 103bhp | Torque: 184lb ft | CO2 99g/km