Now in it’s 7th generation, the official car for the people that want a car but don’t know what they want, the VW Golf VII came here to restore the shoddy image of the classic hatchback. Here’s how they did it, in today’s article.
VW Golf VI was the official car of the appliances built to last only as much as the warranty said so. I think that this was their main objective back in Germoney: Build a car that lasts only up to the warranty period, and not one mile more. Many cases have been reported of Golf VI’s that broke down after 1 month outside of the warranty. It’s really hard to have such precision without trying.
But this ideea backfired and kicked VW in the nads, with many people losing their faith in the german automaker. And then came 2015 with the dieselgate scandal which didn’t really help the brand much. Now VW was forced to make once again reliable cars and rebuild their reputation. They had to learn that respect and reputation is hard to maintain and easy to lose.
So what’s new about the VW Golf VII in comparison to the old VI?
- First things first, the VW Golf VII is a massive step forward in terms of reliability. New engines, new transmission and better interior quality. It’s a much sturdier car which takes you back to the not-yet-defunct VW Golf IV, which itself was an Nokia 3310 in a smartphone world.
- Out with the middle range and the VW Golf VII was catapulted into the premium area, stealing technology from much more expensive steel, with a highlight being the flowing LED lights taken straight from the Audi A8. Now you get a standard infotainment system and an interior that reminds you of the Passat B8. Sure it still has modest roots, but it can quickly become an elegant and pompous car if you start throwing money at it like Oprah does in her shows.
- Big change on the turbocharged petrol engines, with VW throwing down the toilet the timing chain engines and going back to the timing belt system. The 1.2 TSI and 1.4 TSI needed this change as badly as I need Primator 24 Double beer every 30 minutes.
- Out with the old DSG6 and hello DSG7, which is more reliable and less prone to problems than a chav that had 5 pints, went to a pub full of bikers and starts a “party”. Still, they’re not indestructible.
VW Golf VII engines
- 1.0 TSI of 115 bhp – The latest addition to the range, that does it’s job in an honorable fashion. No huge problems on this engine, as they already had Ford to find out what happens when you install a 1.0 litre turbocharged petrol on a larger chassis.
- 1.2 TSI of 85 and 105 bhp – Now it’s got an timing belt so now it can finally be used. The 85 bhp version is just as weak as a college girl, so stay in school and buy the 105 bhp one.
- 1.4 TSI of 122, 125, 140 and 150 bhp – Known as the toilet engine, this disaster of the engine on the Golf VI receives an timing belt system and it’s good to go. Too bad it got retired just before it became good.
- 1.5 TSI of 150 bhp – A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. With 4 cylinders and cylinder-deactivation technology, this was supposed to be the favoured son of the range. Too bad that it’s over-complicated, fragile and the old oil consumption issue seems to have returned.
- 2.0 TFSI of 220, 230 and 300 bhp – Booked only for the GTI and R versions, this celebrated engine still has oil consumption problems, but what do you care? You got atleast 220 bhp at your fingertips. Or toes?
- 1.6 TDI of 90 and 105 bhp – After the trainwreck caused by soot, EGR, turbos and DPFs, the 1.6 TDI promises that now it’s a good guy and that he won’t be troubling us anymore. We shall see, young 1.6 TDI. We shall see.
- 2.0 TDI of 110 and 150 bhp – The village bicycle 2.0 TDI couldn’t avoid the Golf. Much improved on reliability and performance, this is now the safest of the safest. If it were a building, it would be a bunker. If it were food, it would be meatpie. If it were a woman, it would be Serena Williams.
- 2.0 TDI of 184 bhp – I placed this one in particular because it’s the powerplant for the GTD version. Somehow they managed to make this engine drink up oil, even if the standard ones are just fine. But why should you buy an sports diesel? It’s like going to the club wearing military boots. It’s like ordering potato soup at an Michelin rated restaurant. It’s like going to the cinema and watching the Weather Channel, without Yanet Garcia.
1.4 TSI GTE + electric of 205 bhp – The very first electric Golf comes with the furious 1.4 TSI of 150 bhp and another 100 bhp electric engine. By their powers combined, they reach 205 bhp but watch out as VW is not known for reliable implementation of new technology.
VW Golf VII general issues
- Plagued by it’s past, the DSG automatic gearbox has now been replaced with a newer model, the DSG7. It’s still not bulletproof so make sure to change the oil and filter every 60000 kms.
- When I talked about stealing technology from the more expensive metal, the infotainment system is the old MMI from Audi and it’s not the brightest unit on sale.
- Adaptive Cruise Control is standard and has the nasty habit of braking by itself, which can be amusing, frustrating or deadly. If you somehow got alive out of it (it can brake at 2 km/h or 200 km/h) then go to the service and have it updated.
- Door seals are stolen from an recycling center so you can 1. Lose them and 2. Have it rain in the car. Since we’re talking about rain, water and flood, the Air Conditioning vents can get clogged and you’ll find water at the pedals.
VW Golf VII verdict
It’s new rough and tough car, which has something of the charm of the earlier Golfs. For most people, a VW Golf VII might just be all the car they’ll ever need. It’s a multifunctional like a printer, it can do just about everything an average motorist asks of it. Personally I like it, because now it’s a premium car that has the vibe of a smaller Passat B8.
It’s no longer the people’s car though. All the luxury and technology have catapulted the Golf outside of the average price in it’s segment. It can get so bad that a Golf can be more expensive than other cars from classes above it. Don’t judge it by it’s starting price point, because there you only get a pigly 1.0 TSI of 85 bhp and a plaque sewn on the interior which says “You should’ve worked harder”.