The launch of a brand new Volkswagen Golf remains to be an vital one for the corporate in Australia, although it’s not fairly as crucial because it as soon as was.
It isn’t the early Nineteen Nineties anymore, the place Volkswagen Australia bought solely Golfs, vans and a handful of Passats. Since that point, as the corporate’s fortunes have grown in Australia, so too has its vary of merchandise.
Now, Volkswagen says the Golf is however a single pillar in its colonnade of profitable automobiles, from the Tiguan – anticipated to change into the model’s greatest vendor domestically – to the Amarok ute and the just lately launched T-Cross and T-Roc crossovers.
For a lot of patrons, Golf stays synonymous with Volkswagen. To that finish, the corporate remains to be providing a variety with its redesigned Mk8 mannequin. The high-riding Alltrack wagon could also be gone from Australia, however there are nonetheless hatch and wagon choices within the core vary, plus the warmer GTI hatch and the most popular R hatch and wagon (coming 2022).
Volkswagen by no means rocks the boat an excessive amount of with its Golf redesigns. Whereas a few of us bristled on the sight of the Mk8 Golf when it was revealed in 2019, its finally fairly evolutionary styling is hardly controversial. That mentioned, to some the outgoing Mk7.5 is arguably prettier.
Pricing is up for the brand new Mk8 in comparison with the final automobile, however Volkswagen factors on the market’s been a commensurate improve within the degree of normal package. We’ve put the mid-range 2021 Volkswagen Golf 110TSI Life hatchback to the take a look at to see the way it stacks up.
How a lot does the Volkswagen Golf value?
The Mk8 Golf vary opens at $29,350 earlier than on-road prices for the unnamed base mannequin with its commonplace six-speed guide transmission. Including an auto raises the value to $31,950 earlier than on-roads.
The auto-only 110TSI Life on take a look at prices $34,250 earlier than on-road prices, with the sportier trying $37,450 110TSI R-Line the final cease earlier than you attain the $53,100 GTI.
Rivals for the Golf Life embrace the Kia Cerato Sport+ ($31,690), Hyundai i30 N Line auto hatch ($31,420), Mazda 3 G25 GT auto ($35,290), Honda Civic RS ($35,600), Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S ($31,490) and Toyota Corolla ZR hatch ($32,695, add $2000 for the hybrid).
Maybe its most direct rival is one in every of its fiercest rivals again house in Europe: the Ford Focus. In ST-Line trim it undercuts the Golf at $30,990 earlier than on-roads, although including the $1250 Driver Help Pack narrows the hole considerably.
The Skoda Scala 110TSI Monte Carlo, priced at $33,390, could also be based mostly on the smaller Volkswagen Polo’s MQB A0 platform but it surely options the identical energy and torque outputs because the Golf. Nonetheless, you should shell out one other $4300 to get a comparable degree of security tools to the Golf.
The Golf Life is painted in Alpine White as commonplace, with premium paint a $600 possibility for Atlantic Blue, Dolphin Gray and Reflex Silver metallic finishes and Deep Black Pearl.
As for our tester’s end, they name it Pomelo Yellow (fairly rightly!). This shade actually does resemble that of a pomelo or, for those who haven’t heard of the citrus, it’s maybe closest to Lemon-Lime Gatorade. It prices $900.
All up, with its vibrant paint color and each out there possibility packages, our tester rang up at $38,650 earlier than on-road prices.
The Life replaces the Mk7.5’s 110TSI Comfortline spec. Strip away the choice packages of our tester and its value remains to be $4460 than the outdated Comfortline. It isn’t fairly that easy, although.
What do you get?
With the brand new Mk8 vary, a raft of lively security and driver help options – marketed below the IQ. Drive banner – at the moment are commonplace throughout the vary as an alternative of being a part of a $1500 possibility package deal.
That narrows the value gulf to $2960, although there are different options that weren’t on the outdated Comfortline. These embrace:
- LED headlights, tail lights and daytime operating lights
- 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Professional digital instrument cluster
- 10-colour ambient lighting
- Wi-fi Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
Different commonplace package on the Life consists of:
- 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- Keyless entry
- Illuminated exterior door handles
- Puddle lights
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Entrance seatback map pockets
- Rear seat centre armrest
- Six-speaker sound system with centre speaker
- Entrance seat lumbar adjustment
That’s along with options discovered on the base degree, corresponding to:
- Keyless begin
- Automated headlights
- Tri-zone local weather management
- Leather-based-wrapped steering wheel
- Paddle shifters
- Rain-sensing wipers
There are two out there possibility packages, each of which have been fitted to our tester.
The $1500 Sound and Imaginative and prescient package deal provides a head-up show and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon 480W sound system.
The $2000 Consolation and Fashion package deal provides microfleece-trimmed sport seats, 30-colour adjustable ambient lighting, and what Volkswagen calls a panoramic sunroof. It’s not – it’s scarcely greater than a traditional, single-pane unit.
These seats, nonetheless, look unbelievable. They’re considerably harking back to the seats within the Skoda Octavia RS, and handle to really feel each comfortable and supportive. Whereas we think about the common material seats are completely advantageous, the Consolation and Fashion package deal is sort of well worth the outlay only for these. If solely you can simply get the seats and the head-up show in a single pack!
What you get
Greater value, longer function checklist
Whereas there’s been a soar in value, a number of beforehand optionally available security tools is now commonplace
Put aside the choice packages and the Ford Focus ST-Line provides the same degree of specification to the Golf Life, no less than when you add the Driver Help Pack. Whereas it misses out on a digital instrument cluster, a head-up show and semi-autonomous parking help, it has automated high-beam and visitors signal recognition in its favour.
The Koreans don’t line up as neatly with the Golf. For barely lower than the Golf Life, you will get a much less highly effective Kia Cerato Sport+ or a extra highly effective however much less well-equipped Hyundai i30 N Line hatch. In order for you a Korean that has the identical or extra energy and torque than the Golf Life and a comparable degree of apparatus, you’re spending over $36,000 earlier than on-roads.
The Toyota Corolla ZR additionally misses out on a fully-digital instrument cluster, but it surely has extra audio system (9), heated entrance seats, a head-up show and an influence driver’s seat. As for the Mazda 3, even in G25 Evolve trim it packs an influence driver’s seat and head-up show, however step as much as the GT and also you get leather-based upholstery and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.
Is the Volkswagen Golf secure?
As talked about, the Golf now comes commonplace throughout the vary with the IQ. Drive suite of know-how. That features:
- Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
- Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian/bicycle owner detection and junction help
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane-keeping help
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Reversing digicam
- Entrance and rear parking sensors
- Semi-autonomous parking help
That’s a big soar up from the outdated 110TSI Comfortline, the place solely AEB was commonplace and nearly all the pieces else was bundled into an possibility package deal.
Life and up add secure exit warning and Emergency Help, although you should step as much as the R-Line to get automated high-beam.
All Golf fashions additionally embrace entrance airbags plus aspect and curtain airbags for each rows.
There’s additionally Journey Help and Site visitors Jam Help, which each use the adaptive cruise management and adaptive lane steerage to offer partially autonomous driving.
The intelligent Emergency Help will carry your Golf to a cease, unlock the doorways and activate all the inside lights if it detects no driver exercise even after it’s prompted you.
The AEB system, which Volkswagen calls Entrance Help, works at speeds of between 5 and 250km/h for automobiles and cyclists and between 5 and 85km/h for pedestrians.
The Golf has a five-star ANCAP ranking based mostly on testing carried out by Euro NCAP in 2019.
It scored 95 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 89 per cent for little one occupant safety, 76 per cent for weak street person safety, and 80 per cent for security help.
What’s the Volkswagen Golf like on the within?
The Golf’s inside presents as considerably spartan and austere in images. In individual, nonetheless, it’s refreshingly minimalist, trying recognisably Volkswagen whereas additionally trying fittingly fashionable.
It’s additionally a vastly nicer place to take a seat than the cabin of a T-Cross or T-Roc. Tender-touch plastics are used for the highest of the dashboard and the entrance door trims, with upholstered inserts on all 4 doorways.
Felt nonetheless traces the bottle holders. There’s additionally enticing, metal-look trim to offer distinction.
The minimalist look has been achieved primarily by the elimination of bodily local weather controls, which we felt to be the cabin’s largest disadvantage.
Contact-capacitive controls are used in all places, from the headlight controls to the appropriate of the steering wheel to the menu shortcuts (local weather, parking and driver help) beneath the centre stack and even the sunshine switches on the roof. Whereas these look neat, their advantages over typical buttons are doubtful, significantly as they lack haptic suggestions.
At the least these contact controls are much less often used than the local weather controls. There’s no bodily button or dial for fan pace, so that you’ll must press the Local weather button to regulate that through the touchscreen.
The temperature zones are managed through a refined slider beneath the touchscreen which is sort of simple to by chance set off ought to you could have a behavior of resting your fingers beneath the display when you’re utilizing it.
It’s an instance the place a extra high-tech strategy to a automobile’s cabin isn’t essentially one of the best strategy, and also you want look solely at firms like Ford and Normal Motors within the US who rolled out related touch-capacitive controls within the mid-2010s solely to roll them again just some years later.
In the end although, we really feel that you’re going to get used to it fairly shortly however bodily buttons have remained a desire for us and that’s unlikely to alter.
Other than that, the remainder of the Volkswagen Golf’s in-car tech is top-notch. The touchscreen infotainment system has a cultured person interface, sharp response occasions, a correct house display, and wi-fi smartphone mirroring that makes nice use of the display’s actual property.
Then there’s the digital instrument cluster, which in Life fashions and up options satellite tv for pc navigation, permitting you to view your environment with out ever needing to look over on the touchscreen. That’s commendable in a phase the place most rivals nonetheless lack the choice of digital devices.
They’re fairly customisable, too. You may have a traditional dial structure, or you possibly can change it with a large map view with two small packing containers overlaid. For instance, you possibly can have the pace displayed within the right-hand aspect field and, say, your common gas economic system on the left-hand aspect. It’s all very slick and simple to customize, and all the pieces could be very clear and legible.
The pinnacle-up show can be very informative and simple to learn, although we’d prefer to see visitors signal recognition within the Life.
Minimalist to a fault
The inside has a clear, fashionable look however we query whether or not eradicating typical local weather controls was a sensible selection
The elimination of typical local weather controls means the centre stack is scarcely a stack in any respect. Apart from the aforementioned three touch-capacitive menu buttons, there are two USB-C retailers after which nothing till you attain the wi-fi charging pad.
The centre console is raked upwards in the direction of the charging pad, and features a rubberised storage space, the electrical park brake, and the beginning button. It additionally homes the Golf’s shifter, which very like the one you will discover within the new Porsche 911, we’re nonetheless getting use to.
It doesn’t take up that a lot much less centre console actual property as an everyday shifter but it surely takes a while to regulate to and it seems a little bit peculiar. Give us a dial or an everyday shifter as an alternative.
Nonetheless, we recognize the minimalist aesthetic Volkswagen was going for and the centre console does look completely fashionable. There will not be any soft-touch plastic or leatherette on the edges, however the supplies used are nonetheless fairly good.
Aft of the shifter space are two cupholders plus a centre console bin, although we want the lid/armrest for this was a little bit increased because it’s too low to essentially lean on.
In case you have a bigger bottle that received’t match within the cupholder, you’ll discover the entrance door pockets can simply accommodate 1L bottles.
Shifting to the rear, the Golf nonetheless proves to be well-packaged, with the Mk8 that includes a 16mm wheelbase stretch.
There’s ample headroom, even with the Life’s sunroof, whereas a 180cm tall passenger can sit behind a similarly-sized driver, though any taller and also you may run into some legroom points. The centre-seat passenger will discover house a bit tight, because of the centre tunnel and a centre console that juts out.
Rear seat occupants get two USB-C retailers, rear air vents plus their very own local weather management zone, adjustable through controls on the rear of the centre console.
The boot has 374L of house, increasing to 1230L with the rear seats folded.
It’s simple to load and unload, although if you need extra space Volkswagen will promote you the Golf Wagon – a uncommon physique fashion in any phase, significantly on this one.
The Life provides a 12V energy outlet to the boot, and all fashions include a space-saver spare.
What’s below the bonnet?
The core Mk8 Golf vary in Australia is powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, making 110kW of energy and 250Nm of torque.
It’s mated to an eight-speed torque-converter automated transmission, although a six-speed guide is on the market on the bottom mannequin. All Australian-market Golfs, bar the upcoming R, are front-wheel drive.
Volkswagen claims a 0-100km/h time of 8.5 seconds for automated 110TSI fashions, which feels about proper.
The Golf’s energy and torque figures stack up effectively in opposition to rivals, just like the Focus ST-Line (134kW/240Nm), Mazda 3 G25 GT (138kW/252Nm), Impreza 2.0i-S (115kW/196Nm) and Civic RS (127kW/220Nm).
The i30 N Line has an edge, nonetheless, with 150kW and 265Nm.
How does the Volkswagen Golf drive?
It’s exhausting to fault the way in which the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf drives.
Whereas the swap to a torque converter automated could appear to be a backwards step for some, the eight-speed automated is well-matched to the automobile. It shifts shortly and easily and takes benefit of the Golf’s 1500-4000 rpm torque band, whereas feeling a little bit smoother off the road than a DSG.
If shifts weren’t fairly as snappy at increased speeds as with a DSG, that wasn’t abundantly clear. There’ll all the time be folks firmly within the dual-clutch camp, however for our cash the brand new transmission is praiseworthy, if not higher suited to a metropolis automobile on this spec.
The turbocharged 1.4-litre isn’t a rocketship however there’s loads of energy for a small hatch. It’s smoother and extra refined, too, than the powertrains present in rivals just like the Hyundai i30 and Mazda 3.
You don’t must wring the Golf fairly as a lot as you’d, say, a 2.0-litre Cerato. Do you have to accomplish that, it has a extra nice engine observe and doesn’t sound coarse. That’s partially because of the lack of a petroleum particulate filter which fortunately (for fanatics) Volkswagen nonetheless will get away with in Australia.
The spectacular degree of total polish anticipated of a Golf remains to be current within the Mk8, whether or not you’re driving on a pockmarked metropolis avenue or on a winding nation street.
The Golf shortly quells giant bumps and ruts and experience high quality all the time stays comfy. Volkswagen has employed an unbiased, four-link rear suspension with coil springs, whilst rivals just like the Mazda 3 have moved to a less complicated torsion-beam rear axle.
Flip-in is sharp, whereas the steering is satisfyingly hefty and communicative. The Golf stays flat in corners and boasts good, impartial dealing with, and there’s sufficient driving enjoyment to be discovered right here that you just’ll need to take it to a mountain street.
Volkswagen provides its “Journey Help” system as commonplace on the brand new Golf and we discovered it somewhat spectacular throughout our testing on Sydney’s twisty roads. It’s a quite simple function to allow, with only one button on the steering wheel.
It simply maintained its set pace, inside its lane and with a wholesome distance to the automobile in entrance. It’s among the best instance of Degree 2 autonomous driving know-how within the phase.
In all, the Golf Life provides a excessive degree of experience consolation, dealing with skill and efficiency for the phase.
How a lot does the Volkswagen Golf value to run?
We averaged an indicated 7.3L/100km in principally city driving, in opposition to an ADR mixed gas economic system determine of 5.8L/100km. The Golf requires 95RON premium unleaded gas.
The mixed determine is up 0.4L/100km in comparison with the Mk7.5 with the 1.4-litre and DSG.
The Golf is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee. Servicing is required each 12 months or 15,000km and Volkswagen provides three- and five-year pre-paid service packages for $1100 or $1900 respectively.
By comparability, a Mazda 3 G25 GT prices $1692 over 5 years, whereas a Corolla ZR’s first 4 providers are capped at simply $180, a Focus ST-Line’s first 4 providers are $299 a pop and an i30 N Line’s first 5 are $299 every. That places the Golf on the pricier finish of the phase.
CarExpert’s Tackle the Volkswagen Golf
The brand new Volkswagen Golf’s redesign maybe isn’t as controversial because it first appeared.
The styling is extra resolved in individual, whereas the inside is luckily far faraway from that of the T-Cross and T-Roc and is each extra enticing and better-made.
We don’t just like the over-reliance on the touchscreen and on touch-capacitive controls that lack haptic suggestions, but it surely’s under no circumstances a deal breaker and the in-car tech is in any other case top-notch.
Whereas the Volkswagen Golf is pricier than earlier than, it nonetheless stacks up effectively in opposition to its competitors (particularly in opposition to its Skoda rival, funnily sufficient) and packs extra commonplace tools than the outdated automobile. That the IQ. Drive suite of know-how is commonplace from the bottom degree is commendable.
There’s additionally nonetheless that primary Golf goodness, with a refined experience/dealing with steadiness and a clean powertrain that’s none the more serious for having dropped the dual-clutch auto.
The Golf has lengthy been a benchmark within the European C-segment plus a constant top-seller. A better base value and rising motion to SUVs over right here in Australia could dent Golf gross sales however the Mk8 ought to nonetheless be on the high of your checklist for those who’re out there for a circa-$35k hatchback.
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