In Review: Volkswagen Golf MK7

VW Golf

VW GolfThe Volkswagen Golf has long been the car of choice for many speed freaks up and down the country.

Now in its seventh iteration, the hatchback powerhouse shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. But what makes the Golf such a popular option for all kinds of motor enthusiasts? The answer lies in its all-around performance, setting the benchmark for all family cars.

The concept of the Golf has always been focused on solid and reliable performance, and the latest version is no different. While its market price may seem a little steep at first glance, that shouldn’t register when you consider it may be the only car you’ll ever need to own. The simple fact is that, no matter your motor needs, the Golf will usually have you covered. It offers reliability, performance and acceleration when it matters most to rival all its competitors. The MK7 continues to build on these principles to deliver a fantastic choice for anyone looking at buying a new car.

Not only does it take on the mantle of what has made the Golf so popular in years gone by, but it proudly improves on its predecessors immeasurably. Volkswagen have long had a reputation for innovation, but they aren’t reinventing the wheel here. Instead, they’re taking a proven formula that works and fine tuning it to make the perfect driving experience.

That isn’t to say that the MK7 is without its faults. Aesthetically, the car can be a little uninspiring, especially without any custom work done. Compared to its rivals, the interior isn’t quite as spacious as it could have been. These downsides, however, are certainly not the measuring stick. Or they shouldn’t be, at least. Because for all its faults, the new Volkswagen Golf is about as refined as you can get.

Even without an abundance of space, its interior design is stunning. With the latest model, Volkswagen have embraced the latest automobile trends. While previously they could have been criticized for lacking style, there’s no such complaints this time around. Instead, it offers luxury leather seats, a stunning dashboard, and it’s all topped off with Discover Media.

Discover Media is a 5’8” touch screen interface that combines user assistance with entertainment. The navigation system is equipped with a sophisticated GPS system. What you’ll find here is an extremely useful navigation tool that gives you options. Imagine that. No longer are you restricted to a satellite navigation system relying on the same outdated premise. Discover Media gives you the choice of three routes – long, short, and eco-friendly. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a hurry or want to take the scenic route. It’s all there for you.

VW GolfIt also comes with a built-in entertainment centre. Here, you’ll find all the usual suspects. Radio frequencies, CD output, and file reading software. If you buy the car new, you’re covered for map updates free of charge for a period of three years. That’ll give you all the latest roads, routes and locations in and around Europe. Another nifty feature is the way in which the navigation brings up places of interest. If you find yourself driving down the motorway in need of sustenance, you can take a glance to find the nearest service station. I’m sure we can all find an appreciation of that.

The selling point of any Golf model is in its customisation options. Volkswagen have long since set the precedent for custom cars, and it’s no different this time around. To get the best out of whichever model you choose, you’ll want to build it from scratch. If you’re anything like me, you might even find yourself playing around with the ‘Build My Golf’ tool just to bring your dream car to life to pass the time. And it’s a good job. Because, if you want to get the best out of this car, you’re going to need to do a little work on it. Some might see this as a negative, but being the eternal optimist I am, I’m spinning that as a positive.

Which isn’t to say that the default settings of the MK7 are terrible. Far from it. You could buy the latest version as it comes and it’ll see you through for potentially a lifetime. But the more gear headed among us will likely spend hours just exploring the options available to us. If you asked any car owner to name the best all-around car they can think of, they’ll answer ‘Golf’ more often than not. While it may not be the flashiest, most fun, or practical car on the market, it’s a jack of all trades. The working man (or woman’s) car.

Take a look at Volkswagen’s competitors for proof. Golf has been setting the standard for forty years now, and its influence can be clearly seen in some of its rivals. This time around, VW have opted to produce a more lightweight car. It took some time to get used to this. It doesn’t have the same sharpness or snappiness that the Golf used to be renowned for. Given the rest of the benefits it offers, though, it’s easily forgiven. In my estimation, it’s something you’ll grow used to pretty quickly and never look back.

As always, the latest Golf iteration comes with a wealth of models to suit almost any kind of driver. There’s the standard family hatchback, which is always a dependable choice. There’s the legendary GTI for those that want something a little more turbocharged. There’s even the fuel-efficient BlueMotion for the eco-conscious among us.

The Golf MK7 is without a doubt Volkswagen’s best effort so far. We’re seven generations into the life of the Golf, and the models keep getting better with age. This time, things are going to be a bit different than you’ve grown to expect, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you keep an open mind and embrace change, the MK7 could be the car that sticks with you for life. No matter what kind of driver you are.

Written by