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The new Golf – further perfection in every detail

  • Sharpened design and filled with technological innovations
  • 1.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine available for the first time
  • Increased power output for GTI and R models


For more than four decades, Volkswagen has been further developing the Golf design, reinventing it in its details, and making it more precise. This has made the Golf an original: often copied, but never equalled. Now, the new Golf is available in Singapore - it comes with state-of-the-art engines, a sharpened design, and a new generation of infotainment systems. The Golf debuts with four equipment levels - TSI, Comfortline, Highline, and R-Line. The range is completed with the Golf GTI and Golf R models.

With over 33 million units sold to date, the Golf has always been an icon among compact cars. It is spacious, and the design of the Golf makes it timeless, helping it move beyond class boundaries. Now, the iconic design of the facelifted Golf has even more charisma: design modifications include new front and rear bumpers, as well as new headlights (halogen and LED) with LED daytime running lights. All Golf models come with new full-LED tail lights as standard - on the Highline and R-Line variants, the tail lights have an animated indicator function and a concise dynamic switchover between the tail lights and the brake light. New wheel designs and body colours round off the update of the exterior.

On the inside, the new Golf is studded with technological innovations. Volkswagen Singapore is introducing a new base model, the Golf TSI - even this version has features such as LED daytime running lights and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. For the first time in the compact class, the new Discover Pro infotainment system can be operated via gesture control. Sporting a 9.2-inch touchscreen, it forms a single conceptual and visual unit with the Active Info Display, a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster, which also debuts in the Volkswagen hatchback  segment on the Golf.

Overall, the features content has been improved in all models - for example, safety features such as the proactive occupant protection system are included from the Golf Comfortline. This ensures that the range satisfies a wide variety of expectations and budgets. The new Golf also heralds a new range of infotainment systems; each unit has been redesigned with a bigger screen and is based on the Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB). Even the Golf TSI is fitted with the new Composition Colour infotainment system (6.5 inches).

At launch, Volkswagen is offering the Golf TSI that is powered by a 110 PS TSI engine with 200 Nm of torque. The Golf GTI and Golf R are also available; these flagship models represent the top of the Golf range in Singapore. All models are also equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode (BlueMotion Technology).

In the following weeks, buyers can also opt for the Golf in the Comfortline, Highline, or R-Line equipment levels. A summary of the full Golf line-up is as follows:

  • Golf TSI (110 PS)
  • Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline (125 PS)
  • Golf 1.4 TSI Highline (125 PS)
  • Golf 1.4 TSI R-Line (150 PS)
  • Golf GTI 2.0 TSI (230 PS)
  • Golf R 2.0 TSI (290 PS)


In detail: Exterior design
According to Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, "There are hardly any comparable cars in the world whose design has been continually refined from generation to generation as the Golf. Vehicles in which an evolution of design succeeds over decades have the potential of being celebrated as an icon someday. The most prominent example of such a development is the Porsche 911; meanwhile, in the field of high-volume production models, the Golf is a member of this automotive hall of fame." The iconic design of the updated Golf has even more charisma with a number of new detailed solutions. The team, led by Bischoff, redesigned the bumpers and conceptualised new headlights (halogen and LED), new LED tail lights, and new wheels.

Impressive Golf front end. At the front, it is the alliance of the radiator grille and headlights in particular that has taken the style of the original to a new level of perfection. The slit-like design has characterised every generation of the Golf, and it remains as one of the most important styling properties. The lower chrome strip of the radiator grille is continued to the left and right as a chrome element (GTI: chrome/red, R: gloss black) which extends through the LED daytime running lights and into the headlights. The cooling air openings in the lower section of the bumper, which have also been redesigned, emphasise the width of the car more than ever.

A strong side profile.
Another identifying property of the Golf is its independent C-pillar, which essentially forms the backbone of the car. The C-pillar sits extremely solidly on the rear wheel arch, and is surrounded by the graphic image of the door and rear lid. These two lines follow in parallel, forming a core part of the design - DNA of the Golf. The C-pillar is fittingly c-shaped, and is stretched like a bow that shoots the 'arrow' - the car - forward.

Even more dynamism at the rear.
The rear was also designed to be more charismatic. Take the full LED tail lights, for example: all versions of the Golf are now equipped with full-LED tail lights. For the Highline models and above, the full-LED tail lights have animated, or 'flowing', indicator functions - visually, this version can be recognised by a translucent white LED stripe that turns orange when indicating. Furthermore, these versions are distinguished by a striking, dynamic visual transition between the LED tail light and the LED brake lights when the brakes are applied.

The sports cars of the model series are also distinguished from one another by the configuration of their chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes. The Golf GTI can be made out by individual tailpipes left and right; the Golf R has distinctive twin tailpipes on both sides, and they have been placed further out to the sides, giving the car a wider appearance.

In detail: Interior design
The update of the Golf is especially distinctive in the interior. The digitalised display concept has been extended to more and more areas in the Golf, making it one of the most progressive cars of its class. The Golf is also the world's first compact car with gesture control.

At the forefront of digitalisation.
The Golf is the first hatchback in the Volkswagen line-up to offer the Active Info Display (AID). This is a fully digitalised instrument cluster with numerous interactive functions. All of the instruments are displayed via software on the 12.3-inch colour screen, and navigation data can be displayed in 2D or 3D. The 1,440 x 540 pixel resolution also enables extremely precise and sophisticated representation of all details.

At the same time, Volkswagen has updated its whole range of infotainment options with new designs and larger touchscreens. The Golf debuts with the latest generation of infotainment systems with display diagonals that range from 6.5 to 9.2 inches - these glass-encased devices are as sophisticated as high-end smartphones, giving the interior a technical, clear look.

The infotainment flagship, Discover Pro, has a completely new design. Spanning across the entire front surface is a continuous, elegant glass surface. Conventional controls are a thing of the past; the system is now operated via the touchscreen and 5 capacitive touch buttons along the left border of the screen.

For the first time, the system offers a configurable home screen. Always arranged in a large field on the left side of the display is the navigation function; on the right, two smaller fields are available, one above the other. These fields, which are also interactive, can be assigned functions by the driver - functions that are especially important to them personally.

As mentioned, the Discover Pro system can now be operated by gesture control. A swipe gesture of the hand is all it takes to move the horizontally arranged menu items to the left or right. This enables the driver to scroll through the main menu, change radio stations, scroll through the playlist or browse in the Picture Viewer and in the music albums (Cover Flow). A light sheen and a visualised "hand symbol" indicate the contexts in which gesture control can be used, with a sound effect acknowledging a successful swipe.

Control from the back. Debuting in Singapore is an interface to the infotainment system for mobile devices via the Volkswagen Media Control app (available from the Apple iTunes store or Google Play store). Passengers can connect their device to the Discover Pro system via the car's WiFi hotspot, and control all audio and video sources (e.g. radio, USB, CD, DVD, hard drive), as well as the navigation system. They can also execute an Internet-based address search and use the results as destination inputs. What's more, rear seat passengers can now send calendar events or address book entries from their device to the infotainment system for use as navigation destinations. This makes Media Control a mobile extension of the infotainment system and provides a truly interconnected experience for all passengers.

Connectivity for today's Apple and Android smartphones is also available via App-Connect - when the phone is connected via a USB cable, approved apps can be used over the infotainment system. App-Connect is fitted as standard from the Golf Comfortline version and above.

An overview of the new infotainment systems is as follows:

  • Golf TSI - Composition Colour (6.5-inch display)
  • Golf Comfortline - Composition Media (8.0-inch display)
  • Golf Highline, Golf R-Line, Golf GTI, and Golf R - Discover Pro with gesture control (9.2-inch display)


In detail: New drivetrains
Debuting in Singapore is the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged TSI petrol engine, producing 110 PS of power. This engine is standard on the Golf TSI, and has a torque peak figure of 200 Nm, which is particularly impressive for its engine power class. Maximum torque is available between 2,000 - 3,500 rpm, guaranteeing sprightly performance throughout a broad engine speed range. The Golf TSI has a top speed of 196 km/h and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. Yet, it has a combined fuel consumption of just 5.0 L/100km, and emits a low amount of CO2 (114 g/km).

The Golf GTI and Golf R have been fortified with a higher power output of 230 PS and 290 PS respectively. These 2.0-litre turbocharged engines are among the most agile four-cylinder units in the segment, and have been given a power bump of 10 PS compared to their previous generations.

For the Golf GTI, Volkswagen engineers made changes to the materials of the previous engine to compensate for the higher power output. With a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) as standard, CO2 emissions have also been decreased from 153 g/km in its predecessor to 151 g/km in its latest iteration.

Like all previous Golf R models, this new version also features a permanent all-wheel drive system (4MOTION). The dynamic chassis control system (DCC) with a driving profile selector is also standard on the car. The Golf R features a newly-developed 7-speed DSG gearbox known as the DQ381. This succeeds the 6-speed DSG gearbox in the Golf R, and the two clutches of the DQ381 run wet in an oil bath. The Golf R provides a peak 380 Nm of torque within a wide band of 1,850-5,300 rpm, and top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. Fuel consumption in the combined cycle is at 7.1 L/100km, and CO2 emissions are at 163 g/km.

In detail: Safety features

Volkswagen democratises progress in the Golf. In particular, safety systems that were previously found only on high end models have become the norm for everyone thanks to this affordable car. It all began with the basics, such as well-engineered head restraints and a safe chassis. This was followed by crash-optimised bodywork, airbags, and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). According to analyses by Volkswagen, the introduction of ESC has led to saving 1,000 lives annually in Germany alone. With such safety features, including a network of 7 airbags including a curtain airbag system for rear passengers, the Golf has achieved the full 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests.

The proactive occupant protection system. The Golf is one of the first cars in its class to feature a proactive occupant protection system. If the system detects a potential accident situation, such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant, the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt systems. When a highly critical and unstable driving situation is detected - such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention - the side windows and sunroof are also closed, except for a small gap. This allows for the head and side airbags to absorb crash energy optimally and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness. This feature is fitted as standard from the Comfortline trim and upwards.

Blind Spot Sensor with Rear Traffic Alert. Newly available on the Golf Highline and above is Blind Spot Sensor with Rear Traffic Alert. This blind spot monitoring system is active at speeds above 30 km/h and monitors traffic behind for a range of 20 metres via radar sensors. If, during the intended lane change, the radar detects a vehicle in the area not visible to the driver or that is approaching fast from behind, the system alerts the driver with a visual signal in the exterior mirror. Rear Traffic Alert comes to the driver's aid when reversing out of a parking space with restricted visibility - it detects approaching vehicles within a certain area and sounds an audible warning. If need be, the system can even brake the vehicle within its own limits to ideally prevent a collision or at least reduce the severity of the impact.

Park Assist. The semi-automated parking assistance system manoeuvring into or out of tight parking spaces is featured on the Golf R-Line and Golf GTI. Manoeuvring with pinpoint accuracy into perpendicular and parallel parking spaces - and back out again - is made a lot easier. The driver simply needs to operate the accelerator and brake and keep an eye on the surroundings; the system takes care of steering, within its limits. At any point in time, the driver can interrupt the parking manoeuvre and regain control of the steering wheel. Also, the integrated ParkPilot system uses warning tones to alert the driver, within the system's limits, as the car gets closer to an obstacle. The latest generation of Park Assist also allows for assisted head-in perpendicular parking.