Volkswagen’s mainstay, the Golf, is now in its seventh generation. While the new 2015 Golf might look similar to the previous model, it’s an all-new car and 51 pounds lighter than the Mk6. It’s also bigger (2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider) and has more interior space.
The Golf is the first Volkswagen to be released in the U.S. based on the MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, on which the Audi A3 will also be based.
The Golf has been updated with high-level technology, such as a universal phone holder with inductive aerial under the center arm rest, a touchscreen infotainment screen that is angled towards the driver, adaptive cruise control and an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System that applies the brakes if the car is involved in a collision in order to reduce residual kinetic energy. It also has automatic dimming headlights and comes with Park Assist, which parks the car itself.
Like the current version, the 2015 Golf will be available in three versions. The standard Golf comes with a 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder TSI engine, which will be built at a new plant in Mexico and produces 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The Golf TDI Clean Diesel has a 2.0-liter turbodiesel that produces 150 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The GTI gets a 2.0-liter TSI engine with 210 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Volkswagen promises improved fuel economy for all engines, but has yet to release any figures.
The standard transmission in all versions is a 6-speed manual with a 6-speed DSG dual clutch automatic as an option. As standard across the range is variable assist steering, which makes for easier lower speed steering but a more involved drive with sharper steering response at speed.
The previous Golf handled pretty well, but the new one should be better, with the use of an XDS electronic differential lock, which detects wheel slip and transfers torque where required. This was used in the previous GTI, but is now available as standard across the range.