2021 Volkswagen Golf review: New small hatch shows its class

This European compact car has long been at the top of its class, and now the latest version has landed in Australia with some shocks for buyers.

For over a decade, Volkswagen Golf has been the standard for measuring small cars. However, during that time, admission to golf clubs became increasingly expensive.

With a basic manual format of $ 29,350 and on-road (about $ 33,600 driveaway), or a car driveaway price of about $ 36,350, the new 8th generation model is about $ 10,000 more expensive than its predecessor. I am.

This is a common theme in the compact car market, where manufacturers are abandoning the cheapest models and favoring more well-equipped variations with greater profit margins.

The new Golf, at least in Australia, has the same engine and foundation as the previous generation car, but looks very different inside and out. The biggest change is the significantly redesigned cabin, which eliminates most of the physical buttons and features a huge central touchscreen and steering wheel touchpad that provide tactile feedback.

Volkswagen’s Australian Army says substandard regional fuel standards have resulted in a new model of carryover engine. We also miss interesting technologies found in Europe, such as a “Car-to-X” connection that alerts drivers to road hazards, the ability to use a smartphone as a car key, and a new service that allows online shopping to be delivered directly to. .. car.

Standard equipment includes a 16-inch alloy, an 8.25-inch touch screen with smartphone mirroring, a digital dashboard, and front and back LED lights.

All golf includes eight airbags and an advanced driver aid that includes autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control, lane keeping, and a new “Travel Assist” feature that reduces highways and congestion with automatic braking, steering and acceleration. there is.

Cabin plastic is significantly cheaper than previous efforts, but it’s also due to the spacious rear with dedicated 3-zone climate control and twin USB outlets.

The mid-grade golf life model tested here comes standard with an automatic transmission and features a 10-inch infotainment screen with satellite navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, and smartphone charging. Android Auto is available, but requires code. It costs just under $ 39,000 for a driveaway at no additional charge for options such as metallic paint ($ 900 as shown), heads-up display ($ 1500), and sunroof ($ 2000). It pushes the price far beyond $ 40,000 and to what was the Golf GTI’s money.

A regular car will be in time with the familiar 1.4-liter turbo petrol unit, which requires an unleaded 5.8L / 100km premium to make 110kW and 250Nm. Due to the shift from the dual clutch automatic transmission, it is thirsty than the car going out.

Instead, Golf is now equipped with a traditional 8-speed automatic similar to that used by BMW and Volvo in compact cars.

It’s a smoother unit in town, without the occasional stop-start hesitation that plagued older dual-clutch units. On the contrary, sport mode and shift paddles help to deal with it, but at full throttle it’s a less sharp shift.

The engine continues to provide a comfortable protrusion while being quieter than its non-turbo rivals.

Quiet golf at highway speeds is a great ally of well-judged driver aids, making highway driving a more relaxing offer without getting in the way.

The faster steering and slightly stiffer suspension of the new car also contributes to the involved hatch, which represents one of the best driver cars in its class. More tense than some options, golf’s superior precision and consistently weighted controls provide a sophisticated drive.

It’s a car that stimulates the confidence to have a strong debate in favor of traditional vehicles, as opposed to pitching corners and wobbling SUVs that pop out.

Still, VW says golf’s best-selling era is over, as customers are likely to be attracted to family-friendly Tiguan SUVs or Amarokute.


Sophisticated, engaging and tech-packed, Volkswagen continues to be a benchmark in its class, but rising prices and less relevant hatchbacks hinder sales.

Volkswagen Golf Life Vitals

price: Drive away for about $ 39,000

engine: 1.4 liter 4-cylinder turbo gasoline, 110kW / 250Nm

Warranty / Service: 5 years / unlimited km, $ 1900 in 5 years

safety: 5 stars, 8 airbags, automatic emergency braking, active cruise control, lane keeping and blind spot assist, rear cross traffic alert

thirst: 5.8L / 100km

cargo: 374 liters

Spare: Space saver

Place of origin2021 Volkswagen Golf review: New small hatch shows its class

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