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Refreshed 2017 Volkswagen Golf revealed

The refreshed 2017 Volkswagen Golf has been revealed overnight, showing tweaks to the interior and exterior, a new engine and a more powerful GTi.

THE REFRESHED 2017 VOLKSWAGEN Golf has been revealed overnight boasting slight exterior and interior tweaks, a new 1.5-litre turbocharged engine and a more powerful Golf GTi. Deliveries are expected to begin next year ahead of a more heavily revised ninth-generation Golf in 2019.

Tweaks to the exterior of the refreshed Golf, include new bumpers at the front and rear, new halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, new full LED headlights instead of xenon headlights, new front wings, new full LED tail lights – which come as standard for every version of the Golf – as well as new wheels and colours.

VW themed the refreshing of the Golf as the ‘digitalisation’ of it and with key improvements to active safety features and a gesture controlled 9.2-inch infotainment and communications system it might be right. Basic touchscreens start from 6.5 inches and go up.

But, we’ll come back to technology shortly. The updated Golf comes with a new 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine joining the family which makes 110kW and 250Nm of torque from 1500rpm and offers active cylinder management, meaning it can shut down cylinders when cruising. And the tweaked GTi variant will now run the full 169kW that was previously the output amount for GTi Performance, and which Skoda has just announced as the output for its limited-edition Octavia RS 230. The GTi Performance will see output jump to 180kW. And VW’s seven-speed DSG, it said last night, will “gradually replace the six-speed DSG as a high-efficiency gearbox for the Golf”.

Back to technology… this was probably the key change to the Golf with the thing following in the footsteps of other recently-released VW models, like the Tiguan. The Golf now offers a 12.3-inch Active Info Display which can replace the traditional analogue display. The top of the line system for the Golf, Discover Pro, adds gesture control to the mix (the first time in a VW) – as your hand approaches the screen menu items appear.

There are five different profiles for the Active Info Display which can display navigation information in either 2D or 3D, and these are: “Classic”, “Consumption & Range”, “Efficiency”, “Performance & Driver Assistance” or “Navigation”.

“Depending on the model, the graphics can be customised: in the Golf GTI, for example, the graphics use GTI red as a contrasting colour, while the Golf GTE uses GTE blue to help the instruments blend in with the look of the plug-in hybrid”.

The updated Golf expands the models range of assistance systems, adding Traffic Jam Assist, a new Pedestrian Monitoring for Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Trailer Assist, “which is the first time ever that a trailer manoeuvring system has been available in the compact class”, and Emergency Assist. The passenger protection system (PreCrash) has also been refined, Volkswagen said.

Traffic Jam Assist is built on the same principle as Lane Assist (lane departure warning system) and ACC (automatic distance control) for all Golf models with a DSG gearbox. By combining various assistance systems, the Golf is, for the first time, capable of partially automated driving. It works at up to 60km/h. Lane Assist is able to countersteer to make corrections if the car is about to leave its lane, but, with adaptive lane guidance enabled, it also keeps the Golf in the middle of the driving lane or in the driver’s preferred position. ACC is also integrated in Traffic Jam Assist as a second assistance system, because, with ACC, braking and accelerating is automatic even at stop-and-go speeds. ACC and Lane Assist thus merge into Traffic Jam Assist, which means that the system enables assisted lateral and longitudinal guidance. The car steers, accelerates and brakes automatically, within the system’s boundaries, but only under the condition that the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel and participating in steering, so that the driver can intervene at any time.

Volkswagen has announced pricing, but it has said the trim lines will remain the same when this refreshed model is released next year. Given the technology and safety equipment improvements we can expect the price to rise.

Question: Does the refreshed Golf now appear to be the pick of the small car segment?

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5 years ago

Looks very nice, the GTi is very tempting. Tell me is there is GTi wagon variant?

Only thing I don’t understand is why VW refuse to use the excellent 1.8l turbo and fit a model between the 110kW and 169kW. That’s a huge gap and the 1.8 is used by Skoda and Audi and at around 132kW would make a perfect intermediary model and is easy to tune.

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober