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I'm sitting on the pool deck of my boutique hotel in Barcelona, with this vast city all in sight. Barcelona is famous for its laid-back culture; its sexiness resonates with its people, its food, and architecture. Perhaps most iconic are its buildings by Antoni Gaudi.
Their masterful creations are physical odes to nature - mountains interpreted as a dragon’s tail and the Sagrada Familia, the cities icon Cathedral, draped in fruit. Gaudi, before he died, wanted onlookers to spot his creations in the city. If looking north, east, south or west - there is a 360-degree outlook of his creations.
Likewise, Volkswagen has created a legend in their Golf. A symbolic replacement for the Beetle, “the people's car”, with one Golf produced every 40 seconds. That means over Golf’s 43-year history, there have been over 33 million produced that are presumably roaming our planet’s roads. Look north, east, south and west – you’ll be sure to spot a Golf.
They say “practice makes perfect” - I'd have to agree. With over four decades to perfect the ideal car - quick, agile, comfortable, practical, economical and sold at value related price - the Golf is the best car in its class. And now there is version 7.5.
The Golf has recently been facelifted - to remain at the forefront of its class. Most of the upgrades are aesthetic - new front and rear bumper designs, new LED headlamp and taillight designs, sexy new rims, and a few new body colours. The changes are subtle but effective.
On the inside, you'll notice the optional fully electronic instrument panel. Well worth the R8000.00 price tag. There's also a larger touchscreen infotainment system, starting with the 8.0-inch unit and the ultimate being 9.2-inches. Keeping up with the proverbial Jones (or bigger cars) means the Golf also offers gesture control. Others include Blind Spot Monitors with Rear Traffic Alert as well as Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking. If you'd like the Golf to park itself, even with a trailer, you can option it!
On the engine front, there is the debut of the 1.0 TSI engine, offering 81kW with a claimed fuel consumption of 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres. This unit is offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The 1.4 TSI remains; it is tried and tested. This petrol unit offers an adequate 92kW. It’ll get you to 100km/h in a respectable 9.1 seconds and sip 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres. You can choose this model in either manual or automatic.
Recently added, the GTD is Golf’s answer to diesel motoring. Being a “GT” model, it should be quick. It is. You’ll hit the fun mark in 7.4 seconds while barely consuming fuel – at 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres. The GTD is offered with a 7-speed dual-clutch box.
The best-selling unit, the GTI, now develops more power, 7kW's in fact. Now, 169kW. You’ll be smiling at 6.4 seconds in this baby and VW claim a fuel consumption figure of 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres. Funny – I never got close to that. Rather my combined highway and urban driving cycle yielded a figure around 10.8 litters per 100 kilometres.
Finally, there is the R. The boy racer of the group. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine has been tuned to an incredulous 228kw and hit 100 km/h in an eye-popping 4.6 seconds.
The Golf is a joy to drive in any of the engine options. But the best-selling unit, the GTI, is the sweet spot and the best balance Golf in the range.
An all in one car.
Its popularity makes it common.
Opel Astra, Peugeot 308, BMW 1-Series, Mercedes-Benz A Class and Audi A3.
1.0 TSI 81kW Trendline Manual - R289 900
1.0 TSI 81kW Comfortline Manual - R304 200
1.4 TSI 92kW Comfortline DSG - R356 400
2.0 TDI 130kW GTD DSG - R506 700
2.0 TSI 169kW GTI DSG - R545 800
2.0 TSI 228kW R DSG - R647 300
Service and warranty
The new Golf model range comes standard with a five year/90 000km Service Plan, three year/120 000km warranty, and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Interval is 15 000km.
2.0 TSI 169kW GTI DSG - R545 800
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