Car Reviews

Overview: VW Golf MK7.5 range in 2020

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF. The hatchback is absolutely iconic after decades of production and continues to offer a slick city car for the masses and a great hot hatch for enthusiasts. Now getting late into its lifecycle and with plenty of tweaks to the MK7.5 seventh-generation model lineup, it offers good safety, technology and packaging. Here is the full rundown if you’re considering buying a new VW Golf.

What’s the price and what do you get?

The Golf range starts at $24,990 drive-away for the entry-level 110TSI Trendline manual and grows to $57,990 drive-away for the high-performance Golf R model. 

Up from the 110TSI Trendline is the automatic-equipped 110TSI Comfortline from $29,990 driveaway. Standard inclusions are 17-inch alloys, fabric trim seats, sat nav, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, carpet mats and an additional 12V outlet in the luggage compartment.

Volkswagen Golf 7.5

The 110 Highline at $34,990 driveaway adds comfort features such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, leather seat trim, special 17-inch alloys and comfort sport seats with heating.

Pricing jumps up to $47,990 driveaway for the iconic GTI hot hatch, which adds a powerful 2.0L engine, bigger brakes, active chassis tune for sporty driving and a 12.3-inch driver’s display in the dash, among other parts.

VW GOlf GTI

At the top is the Golf R, which is the most powerful vehicle in the lineup and comes with all-wheel-drive. It also has 19-inch alloys, dynamic headlights, 9.2-inch infotainment system and LED ambient cabin lighting.

What’s the interior like?

From the driver’s seat, you can reach all the main controls, which in typical Volkswagen fashion are all neatly laid out and easy to understand. There’s Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link connectivity, which makes connecting your phone and using its functionality a cinch. You must remember, that Car Play and Android Auto will only work when connected via USB and not Bluetooth.

There’s a 12.3-inch driver’s display available and it looks really neat. Not many cars, particularly in this segment, have such technology yet, so it feels special if you opt for it. Elsewhere, the interior design is very chic, and it looks good from any seat in the cabin. The seats themselves are figure-hugging in sporty models and laid back in base (more affordable) city variants, and they’re all comfortable. 

What’s the passenger space like?

There’s a good amount of room up front, despite this being a hatchback. In the back, the middle seat is more of a perch than a real seat but the outer two seats are fine for adults and children alike. Speaking of which, there are ISOFIX mounts for the two outboard seats and a booster seat fits easily, without the need to remove the headrest to get it to sit snug against the backrest. This is not the case in all small cars, so that’s useful for families.

2017 Volkswagen Golf 7.5 interior vents

The boot offers 380 litres of storage space which is a decent amount for this sort of vehicle. Underneath the boot floor is a space saver spare which allows the boot to offer two height levels. And the Golf’s boot space offers just as high a quality and attention to detail as the front of the car.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Golf 110TSI uses a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, while a 1.8L turbo powers the 132TSI with 132kW/280Nm. The sporty GTI and Golf R (which is the only all-wheel drive available), uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol to produce 180kW and 370Nm (GTI) and 213kW and 380Nm (Golf R).

Volkswagen Golf GTI engine

While there is a range of engines available, all motors offer all the real-world usability you’d expect from a zippy hatch. Even more so the GTI and hotter versions, which pop and crackle on overrun. Indeed, the best way to describe the hot hatches are cars that always feels like their straining at the leash. 

What’s it like on the road?

The entry-range vehicles have nice compliance in the suspension and ride smoothly around city roads. Even on gravel streets or bumpy corrugations, the Golf feels at home – it’s a versatile hatch. And despite not being considered ‘hot hatches’, the 110TSI and 132TSI get along well, with a spirited vibrancy from the engine and taught handling if you feel like enjoying a twisting country road.

Volkswagen Golf GTI driving

It is, however, at the top end where the Golf lays claim to being an enthusiast car. The GTI and Golf R enjoy a cult following and driving one of these you’re sure to get some head nods at the traffic lights. The 2.0L engine is a cracker and gets along very quickly, providing a pleasant, throaty soundtrack from the exhaust. The handling is exceptional and even the front-wheel drive GTI makes for a great part-time track car.

On urban roads, both the GTI and R are comfortable too, using adaptive damping to change from firm to soft, depending on your requirements.

MY18 Volkswagen Golf GTI driving fast corner

What about safety?

There are seven airbags: driver and passenger front; driver’s knee; driver and passenger side; and curtain airbags front and rear. There’s an alarm that includes a tilt sensor – it was common for car thieves to simply drag a car up onto a flatbed to get around the car alarm.

It also offers adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alert, city emergency braking, rear parking sensors, and reversing camera with static guidelines.

2020 Volkswagen Golf pricing (driveaway)

Golf Trendline 110TSI6-speed manual$24,990
Golf Trendline 110TSI 7-speed DSG$26,990
Golf Trendline 110TSI Wagon 7-speed DSG$29,990
Golf 110TSI Comfortline$29,990
Golf 110TSI Comfortline Wagon$32,990
Golf 110TSI Highline$34,990
Golf 110TSI Highline Wagon$36,990
Golf Alltrack 132TSI$37,990
Golf Alltrack 132TSI Premium$41,990
Golf GTI$47,990
Golf R$54,990
Golf R Wagon$57,990

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Practical Motoring

Practical Motoring