The Volkswagen Golf is back for its seventh go around and it’s a formula that’s tried, tested and popular with British buyers.
This latest car feature a chassis with a choice of two rear suspension set ups, and a brilliant 1.4 TSI petrol engine that can run on just two cylinders when required.
Get under the skin of this latest Golf and you’ll find a chassis that’s a lot stiffer and is almost infinitely customisable.
Interior refinement has improved enormously, with very little road noise filtering back into the cabin. Tyre noise and engine sounds have also been muted to the sort of level you’d have expected from a Phateon limousine not so long ago.
There are a number of engines to choose from, the petrol units comprising a four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI unit producing 85 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI with 105 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS motor and the very clever 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS engine with Active Cylinder Technology.
This powerplant can deactivate the central two cylinders under modest throttle loads in order to improve economy.
The two diesel engines offered are a 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS and a 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS unit. Both are four cylinder units that feature common rail diesel technology for power and efficiency.
The Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 is an interesting vehicle and it’s not always quite as up-front as you expect.
The lower specification torsion-beam suspension that’s fitted to less powerful models is certainly a step backwards but it’s one that many buyers shopping through the lower order trim levels won’t care very much about.
In most other areas, the Golf forges inexorably onwards.
Less weight and more space is always a good combination and a number of efficiency measures have brought the petrol engines, especially the excellent 1.4 TSI with Active Cylinder Technology, back into sharp relevance.
The styling is evolutionary but includes a number of interesting details, cabin quality is well up to par and residual values look promising.
In short it’s a Golf. A more polished, smarter Golf, but still a Golf. Reassuringly so.