VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 7
Not only was the Golf 6 the winner of countless awards the world over, but it was a brilliantly designed, almost flawless compact passenger vehicle. Over it's rich history, the Golf has reached sales of over 29 million, in fact, it is the worlds best selling car since 1974. The challenge (and expectations) are definitely high for Volkswagen with the release of the Golf 7: How are they to improve on something that is already so brilliant?
The answer is simple. Reduce the weight of the vehicle, improve fuel economy, include various assistance systems as standard across the range and all the while, maintain a very competitive and affordable price.
An innovative light-weight steel design makes the vehicle 23kg lighter, as does a lighter dashboard, module cross member and air-conditioning unit. After an ever increasing trend of "heavier" vehicles with each generation, VW have swam against the tide and delivered a lighter car than its predecessors.
VW Golf 7 - First Look
Throughout the engine range, there are also drastic reductions on chassis weight.
- 0.4kg: Engine Mount
- 3.4kg: Front Axle (MacPherson Front Axle continued)
- 3.0kg: Aluminium Subframe
- 4.0kg: Multi-Link Rear Suspension
- 2.5kg: Steering System
- 4.0kg: Brakes
And by no means do these reductions in weight hinder performance or quality of the product. The only difference noticeable to drivers, is the fuel efficiency of the Golf Range. A maximum of 16% fuel efficiency (dependent on engine) improvement is made possible through the tweaks to the Golf 7.
Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg spoke to a packed Golf 7 media launch about the changes to the Golf range and the updates to its strategy for shared modular construction. VW's Modular Transverse Kit provides customised body and trim modules to the highest quality possible, whilst also keeping complexity and costs to a minimum. The Modular Transverse Kit, in lay mans terms is basically a strategy that VW have evolved for shared construction of it's front engined vehicles.
"The Golf is the mother of the Modular Design System" Dr. Hackenberg.
VW Golf 7 - Modular Transverse Kit
The Golf 7 is available in both TSI and TDI engines. The base model 90TSI replaces the 77TSI of the series 6 and it doesn't cost a cent extra! Here is the full Golf range:
- 90 TSI 6-Speed Manual
- 90 TSI 7-Speed DSG
- 90 TSI Comfortline 6-Speed Manual
- 90 TSI Comfortline 7-Speed DSG
- 103 TSI Highline 7-Speed DSG
- 110 TDI Highline 6-Speed DSG
The mid-range Comfortline variants provide a few added luxuries to the base models, including; a Rear View Camera, Parking Sensors, Auto Headlights and Dual Zone Air-Conditioning. The top of the range Highline includes Satellite Navigation, as well as aesthetic improvements, improved wheels and more upmarket materials and finishings.
Inside the cabin and a 5.8 inch capacitative touch screen is standard throughout the range (even on the base model). Think 'Smart Phone' when you think Golf 7 touch screen as the similarities are obvious. Unlike previous touch screens whereby users would need to apply sufficient force, the Golf 7 Capacitative Touch Screen is very sensitive to the users touch. Occupants can slide through options, glide through menus and access navigation and media, much like one would a Smart Phone. A proximity sensor can sense when a hand approaches the screen and the screen automatically switches to operating mode.
Interior Space is also improved with the Golf 7. An Electronic Parking Brake takes over from the previously standard Hand Brake, thus clearing up loads of room in the centre console. With an overall increase in length (150mm) and width (14mm), combined with the restructure of the interior cabin, improved leg room is a benefit for front and rear passengers. Space is also increased by 30L in the boot for a total of 380 litres.
Multi-Collision Brake System is one of many safety upgrades to the Golf 7 and is standard throughout the range. The Multi-Collision Brake System will automatically brake the vehicle during an accident to reduce the likelihood of a secondary accident and reduce accident severity. Considering statistics show 1 in 4 road injuries are due to multiple collision accidents, the implementation of this system throughout the entire range is a credit to VW. Of course, the driver can overide this system if required.
VW Golf 7 Multi Collision Brake System
Proactive Occupant Protection is also a safety feature that VW is applying to all classes. This protection occurs when a driver slams on their brakes unexpectedly. In preparation for an accident, the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned and the windows and sunroof are closed for optimal protection.
Adaptive Cruise Control is now available for the Compact Class. Formerly available only for the higher segments, ACC is now available as an option for the Golf Range (Comfortline and Highline models). As part of the Driver Assistance Package ($1,300), ACC allows drivers to maintain a preselected speed at a safe distance to the vehicle ahead.
Also available with the Drivers Assistance Package is Front Assist. Front Assist detects vehicles travelling in front of the vehicle via radar sensors. Front Assist will precondition the braking system and alert the driver as to the necessary steps to take during a critical situation.
Fatigue Detection is a standard safety for all vehicles. This technology can detect sporadic driving, for instance, slowly fading in and out of the lines then quickly correcting ones line. The Fatigue Detection System will alert drivers to a fatigue warning via visual and audio cues.
The introduction of the XDL Electronic Differential Lock to all Golf 7s as standard is awesome news for future Golf 7 owners. Previously developed for the Golf GTI (and we all know how well that car drove), XDL delivers exceptionally improved and first class handling and traction. Cornering at speed, and the vehicle grips the road to maintain optimal traction.
The Diesel engine comes with Incorrect Fuel Filling Protection. The fuel entry point has safeguards that recognise and block the petrol nozzle from releasing fuel into the vehicle fuel tank.
From the outside, the trademark wide C pillars are evident. The VW Golf 7 also sports a long roof line and characteristic front and rear sections. The designers at VW have also implemented very sharp character lines to enhance the side profile of the vehicle. These character lines are positioned beneath the door handles.
The Volkswagen Golf 7 is simply an amazing car in all aspects. I was sceptical at first as to how VW would improve on such a brilliant Golf 6, that scepticism is long gone. The Golf 7 is Awesome!