2017 Volkswagen Golf and Golf GTI Performance now available to order
The updated Volkswagen Golf and Golf GTI are now available to lease, with the refreshed variants featuring more advanced infotainment options, as well as an all-new ‘intelligent’ 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The existing model doesn’t look dated, but minor tweaks will keep it looking and feeling fresh in the highly competitive hatch market.
Up front, there’s new LED headlights, while more angular bumpers and a wider front will help mark the facelifted version out. As is the Volkswagen way, when it comes to styling, it’s very much “evolution, not revolution”.
It’s a different story on the inside however, where clever new infotainment system tech takes centre stage. Screen size has been enlarged across trim levels and, where there was once rows of buttons, there’s now “gesture control” – a first from Volkswagen, that claims it will keep driver distraction to a minimum.
A 12.3in digital monitor is now available as an option to replace the traditional analogue dials, and is essentially the same system as Audi’s “Virtual Cockpit”.
While the ever-popular GTD and R sport models will use the same performance power plants, a new 1.5-litre ‘Evo’ petrol engine has been added to the line-up and features Active Cylinder Management – a system that saves power when appropriate.
Two versions of the new unit are available, producing 128bhp and 148bhp respectively. Both can be specified with Volkswagen’s excellent six-speed manual, too.
The tech, which has been seen before, shuts down cylinders to help increase mpg and decrease emissions without adversely affecting performance.
As for the GTI, it still utilises the 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, but an increase of 12bhp means it’s now faster than ever, reaching 62mph from rest in 6.2 seconds and going on to a top speed of 155mph.
Following last year’s Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen has been focusing heavily on improving its environmental credentials, and this Golf is likely to be the best insight yet into the kind of powertrains we can expect to see from the company in the future.
With Volkswagen claiming the new Golf “will democratise progress yet again”, it will be available to order from 2 February, with deliveries commencing in the coming months.
With list prices commencing from £17,625, a new entry-level Golf is actually over £500 less expensive than the equivalent outgoing model.