5 reasons why a VW Golf Mark 7 is a solid buy in Singapore – and one reason why it always will be
Yes, we know the Volkswagen Golf Mark 8 has been announced, but the current Volkswagen Golf, the Mark 7, is still the best European hatchback on the market, and we tell you exactly why right now.
A car like the Volkswagen Golf does not come about by happenstance, but through 46 years of constant improvement and clever evolution – ‘clevolution’ if you will.
Seven generations on, the Mark 7 Golf is still immediately recognisable as a member of this accomplished line, which all began with Giorgetto Giugiaro’s groundbreaking design that was, and still is today, the perfect blend of sportiness with practicality.
But you might think – ‘hey, this Golf looks sportier than before.’ And that’s because this is the R-Line version: It packs an R-Line Front Bumper with black air intakes and unique honeycomb structure (like a GTI),
C-signatures, Sill extensions , R-Line bumper with diffuser and trapezoidal tailpipe trim. Rounding out the sharper suit is a high-tech suite of full LED lights – headlights, DRLs, taillights, dynamic turn signals.
The Golf performs like it looks: It doesn’t sunder the tarmac with in-your-face power, but brings enough to put a smile on your face, and makes the most of what it brings too.
VW has long pioneered the responsive power and efficiency of its turbo engines matched with dual-clutch gearbox tech, and the Mark 7 is no different.
With its turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI engine making 125hp and 200Nm of torque, and a super-fast seven-speed DSG, the Golf displays the quick, torquey response and acceleration VWs have become known for. 0-100km/h in 9.1 seconds is quick, though no match on a GTI or Golf R – but try finding another car that quick for the same money.
At the same time the inherently efficient nature of the drivetrain, plus the additional Eco driving mode, enables the Golf to consume only 5.5L/100km on average, meaning a theoretical range of 900km from one full tank.
A Golf is always up for any sort of driving, that’s what seven-generations of development and models including the GTI have brought to the table. But if you want more fun without spending too much, the Golf is ready for that.
The R-Line model also brings additional dynamism to the mix: It has larger wheels and a lowered, sport suspension setup to match its looks, and the result is more precise handling for the driver, but one that still delivers on comfort for passengers.
Since it’s a Golf we’re talking about, there’s more to it than what you see or feel: There’s an Advanced Electronic Differential Lock (XDS) that allows the Golf for even more precision in corners.
Clevolution is also one of the first things you see once you’re in the cockpit of the Mark 7 Golf, since the driver’s Active Info Display at a large 12.3-inches is probably the first thing you’ll notice. That’s still a standout in this segment, and a boon to any driver who likes to see exactly what they need – navigation cues, maps, speed, or more – with just one glance.
Then there’s the 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment system with navigation on board, what we described in our review as possessing ‘crisp, responsive graphics that are pretty much industry-leading’. The system also plays nice with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so you’re on the leading edge when it comes to information.
Naturally the Mark 7 Golf scored top marks for its Euro NCAP safety test, so its safety credentials are top notch.
Here, the Golf also comes with Driver Steering Recommendation, a system that hints at the right direction to steer in during an emergency, and also a Blind Spot Sensor with Rear Traffic Alert, since you can never be too careful #becauseSingaporealwaysgotcarseverywhere. There’s also six airbags, a driver fatigue warning system, and rear view camera.
We know we said five reasons, but here’s a bonus point.
The Golf is one of those cars that have achieved a certain status. When you think ‘European hatchback’, it’s likely to be the first, and for many of us the only, thing that comes to mind.
It’s been celebrated for its design and performance for nearly five decades, it’s one of the cars that brought higher-level motoring to the masses, even democratised high-performance with the Golf GTI, and the list goes on and on.
It’s hard to sum it up in just words, and one of them is the
experience a Golf delivers, especially if you’ve never driven or owned a Golf.
But what does that mean for a person who actually uses one, or buys one? It’s a hatchback that maximises what it has, makes the best use of whatever it can, and can keep up with cars costing much more – even its fellow Germans.
For you, the buyer, it simply means that getting a Golf means getting the best hatchback in the class, no matter which generation.