This is the best safety-equipped Volkswagen Golf yet seen. Safety provision in the new Golf includes front, side and head airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. Front seatbelt pre-tensioners and rear seatbelt load limiters are also provided.
Comfort and Refinement
High marks to the new Golf for its comfort and refinement. It is very good from both aspects. Noise levels are low, with a pleasant-sounding and subdued level of engine noise, minimal wind noise and very little aural evidence of tyres and suspension doing their work. Credit is due to Volkswagen’s engineers for doing a good job in minimizing NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) which is much more evident in other less well-sorted cars.
The design and fitment quality of the cabin is high, close to that of premium models. Materials used throughout are high class, pleasingly tactile and well-chosen for colour and harmony. It all makes the car interior looks quite upper-crust. Minor controls on the dash have been revised and are now more angled towards the driver. Ingeniously, some can detect and respond to finger movement as soon as you are in close proximity, fractionally before you actually touch them.
The satnav and infotainment screen is positioned at around chest level, just a bit lower than would be ideal. There are, however, repeater instructions on the dash display between the instruments to offset that small criticism.
Safety and Security
This is the best safety-equipped Volkswagen Golf yet seen. Safety provision in the new Golf includes front, side and head airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. Front seatbelt pre-tensioners and rear seatbelt load limiters are also provided. The car has already been tested under the Euro NCAP crash test scheme and passed with a five star rating. Electronic stability assistance is standard, and safety options include lane assist to help prevent a distracted driver from inadvertently straying into another lane. Also available on this latest generation Golf is a new multi-collision braking system that automatically applies the brakes if the car is hit from behind, to try to stop you from being shunted into another vehicle in front. There is also a pre-crash safety system designed to react to an imminent collision by pre-tensioning the seatbelts and closing any windows and the sunroof, so that the airbags can work to their full effect.
Sound quality from the standard Volkswagen audio system is very good. Options include high beam assist, park assist, adaptive chassis control, a rear-view camera, Discover Pro navigation system with eight-inch colour touchscreen, keyless entry and a panoramic sunroof. Even the entry-level car has a media system that includes a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, a CD player, iPod and MP3 connection, Bluetooth telephone preparation, audio streaming and eight speakers. Also standard is ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning. On the options list is a universal mobile phone holder with an inductive aerial, which both charges and boosts the signal strength of a phone put into it.
- Ford Focus
- Vauxhall Astra
What We Liked
- Smart looks
- Exceptional driving calibre
- Very refined
- High class cabin
- Quality as good as it gets for a car this size
What We Disliked
- Quite pricey
What We Would Like To See
- Lots of Golfs on the road
This latest generation Golf is evolutionary from previous models, but at the same time it takes a step forward is quality and driving calibre. With is taut handling, tidy manners and excellent refinement, the Golf is the car to beat amongst models of a similar size. We love it.11 January 2013
Volkswagen Golf Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Golf GT 2.0 TDI 5 door|
|Body Type||5-door Hatchback|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||134 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||78.5 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5-Star|
|Warranty||3 Years / 60,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 11/01/13)||£23,210|