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GOLF THAT'S SIMPLER BUT MORE EFFICIENT (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The best selling British version of the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf is the 1.6 TDI diesel. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 51
The Volkswagen Golf offers a formula that's tried, tested and popular with British buyers. This latest car features a smarter look and upgraded infotainment and, in this form, a slightly more powerful 1.6-litre TDI desel engine. Otherwise, things are much as before. So there's class, quality and a certain understated style.
Backgroundword count: 171
After six model generations, 38 years and 29 million cars, it would perhaps be a little surprising if Volkswagen didn't have the hang of building Golfs by now. You certainly wouldn't expect anything radical or off-beat with the Golf Mk 7 and, without wishing to destroy a cliffhanger of a plot line, so it proves. This is a well-honed formula that works. Why mess with it? So how have we come to this point, this incrementally bigger, sleeker and more sophisticated take on an established favourite? Its predecessor, the Golf Mk 6, had been one of the more successful Golf models. Introduced in 2008, it built on the foundations of the Mk 5, offering better safety, better efficiency but a lower build cost. The Mk 7 might look like another refinement of that vehicle, but despite the evolutionary styling, it's completely fresh from the ground up but still unambiguously a Golf. And it's in the 110PS 1.6-litre TDI diesel form we look at here, that most British-bound Golfs will be ordered.
Driving Experienceword count: 265
Get under the skin of this latest Volkswagen Golf and you'll find the same stiff, sophisticated MQB chassis this 7th genration model was launched with. As before, interior refinement is impressive, 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. The 1.6-litre TDI diesel variant we look at here now puts out 115PS, 5PS up on before. Otherwise, the engine's not much different - the main development work on it went into creating an eco-conscious BlueMotion version. Still, in either form, it's a unit that's acceptably rapid for its modest station in life, with 62mph from rest in the ordinary model around 11s on the way to around 110mph, with 250Nm of torque to zip you through the five-speed gearbox. The ride suffers a little with the adoption of a less sophisticated torsion beam rear suspension for lower order Golf models like this one, but you only really feel it over very poor surfaces or when pushing on hard. On the move, there's a standard XDS electronic differential lock for sharper corner turn-in and, on all but the entry trim level, a so-called 'driver profile selection' system. Here, four available programmes - 'Eco', 'Sport', 'Normal' and 'Individual' - alter the throttle mapping and engine management to suit your chosen driving style. Add the optional ACC Adaptive Chassis Control system, which enables you to tweak the suspension to suit the road and your mood, and there's a fifth 'Comfort' mode.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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