First Drive: Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf TSI 2017

Volkswagen’s perennial Golf  has been refreshed for 2017 writes Suzanne Keane

What is it? Volkswagen’s best seller the Golf has been a familiar sight on our roads since the 1970s and this version looks set to continue the trend with a wide choice of models to suit different requirements.

First impressions of the new Golf? At a glance the new Golf doesn’t seem all that different from the previous versions although there are subtle styling changes if you look closely. Extended chrome detailing and elongated headlights give a wider look to the front end while full LED taillights are now standard across all models. Of course, the GTi version has retained its iconic red stripe on the grille.

What about the interior?  The focal point of the dashboard in the models tested was the Discover Navigation Pro radio option which comes with a 9.2” screen and features gesture control along with a large range of apps and services. The seats were comfortable and there’s plenty of legroom for both front and rear passengers. The interior is a little dull but practical and good quality materials are used throughout.

The iconic Volkswagen Golf has been around since 1974

And on the road?  Behind the wheel it’s easy to see why the Golf has been such a success for VW. On the road it feels extremely solid and well built. If you’re looking for excitement the 4 motion Golf R offers 310bhp and with its subtle styling fades into traffic, that is until you get an open stretch of road. Let off the accelerator and some subtle popping will remind you what’s under the bonnet.

If practicality and economy are your priority the 1.6TDi model has adequate power for everyday driving while keeping running costs low.

How much? The new Golf starts from €21,670 OTR for a 1L TSI 3 door Trendline model rising to €30,170 for a 1.6TDI 5 door Highline version. A 3 door 4-motion Golf R will cost €47,730 OTR. CO2 emissions range from 40 on the PHEV model to 180 on the Golf R with the most popular 1.6TDI version producing 106g/km.

How safe? Standard safety equipment on the new Golf includes ESC, curtain airbags for front and rear passengers, fatigue detection, hill hold control and post collision braking system.

What about my options?  The Trendline, Comfortline and Highline specifications remain. Petrol engine options include a 1.0 TSI with 85bhp or 110bhp, a 1.4TSI with 150bhp or a PHEV version with 204bhp, a 2.0 TSI as a GTi with 230bhp or R with 310bhp. Diesel versions are available as a 1.6TDI with 90 or 115bhp or 2.0TDI with 150bhp or 184bhp (GTD).

Standard equipment on the Trendline spec includes a cooled glove compartment, LED tail lights, LED daytime running lights and a 6.5” touchscreen radio system with Bluetooth connectivity. Upgrading to Comfortline will get you lumbar support on the front seats, 16” alloy wheels, 8” touchscreen with 8 speakers, Voice control and adaptive cruise control. Highline versions also come with sports seats, 17” alloys, rear tinted windows, sports suspension and park distance control.

VW are offering innovation packs with the current 171 offer – if you opt for Trendline €399 will add in 15” alloys, Front fog lights and cruise control (saving €725), on Comfortline €399 will get you Park Distance Control, High Beam Light Assist, a light and vision package and folding mirrors (saving €880) and for Highline, GTI, GTD and R models a €599 pack gets you Discover media, High Beam Light Assist, Rear view camera and a winter pack with heated seats (saving €1,100).


3 words to describe the new Golf?  Solid, Reliable & Iconic.

For more information check out the Volkswagen Ireland website or their Facebook page 


Suzanne Keane

12th April, 2017


Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for Retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @g60girl

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