Sun | May 31, 2020

Auto Review - The Golf remains timeless

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2020 | 12:00 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator

The Golf has been in VW’s showroom since 1974 and has spanned eight generations. Some may know it as the Rabbit. Whatever the name, this front-wheel-drive vehicle has always been fun to operate.

Its compact size makes it easy to manoeuvre, and this is evident by the fact that it is VW’s best-selling model.

The silhouette remains the same, with, overall, sleeker edges that help to future-proof it for years to come. The bonnet and front bumper compress the front grille into a thin strip, with the VW badge in the centre. Despite being very minimal, the red radiator grille louvres give the Golf a sporty appearance. At the ends are the angular headlights that run into the side panels, with the LED indicator lights stopping short over the wheel arches.

A cool feature that it comes with is a headlight washer, which is concealed in the bumper and protrudes when it is activated. It works in scenarios where the headlight gets dirty due to excess dust or dirt and needs to be cleaned off.

Even though it is a hatchback with a much smaller canvas to work with, the architectures deplete the vehicle with unique touches throughout. Like the stylishly shaped roof spoiler at the rear or the two chrome exhaust tailpipes.

Completing the hot hatch look is a grand sunroof that tilts and slides. It has a black tint, which provides a compelling contrast to the white colour of the vehicle without looking imposing.

 

 

Stitching - an outstanding interior

Stepping into the vehicle, the layout is very clean and familiar, with some folks asking for an upgrade from VW. The first thing that stood out was the heavily padded leather bucket seats with red stitching, which exudes performance racing. They are also very comfortable, with the added feature of height adjustment. This meant that when I was going around the corners of Junction, St Mary, I was not sliding about, and my back felt comfortable.

 

The snugness continues with the leather -wrapped steering wheel, which has a distinguishable flat base and a circular horn cover. It is sprinkled with chrome accents that create a welcome diversity to the red and black colour scheme.

 

The steering-mounted controls are simple and easy to understand even if you are not techno savvy. On one side, you can control the music and media content, and on the other side, the buttons are there for driver-related information.

 

Like the headlight washer, the car has some nifty features like the glove compartment, which has a cooling system. There is an air-conditioning vent in there, which means that you can put a drink in the storage area and it remains cool.

 

There is also red ambient lighting throughout the interior. Sadly, the colour cannot change, but the intensity can be adjusted. This concept also extends to the front footwell and sets a calming mood.

 

Another visual cue is the 8.5” high-definition colour display, which is uniformly placed in the centre console. Despite it being a bit lower than most current displays, it is angled towards the driver, making it easy to view. It is complemented by an eight-speaker arrangement that has a penchant to project mid-range frequency, which is excellent for vocals.

 

Below this screen is the dual-zone air-conditioning system with three designated knobs. What was most surprising is that a car this small comes with rear air-conditioning vents, something that many SUVs still don’t have as a standard feature. Needless to say, the car cools down very quickly

 

 

Making Driving fun

The GTI stands for Grand Touring Injection, which simply means that it is a high-performance engine, with a fuel-injector system. This is something that VW has prided itself on for years, and it has the performance record to prove it. The dual-clutch transmission works smoothly as the gears change with rapid timing and in a confident manner. It almost feels like a CVT engine when driven casually.

 

With 230 horsepower available, it gets to a high speed very aggressively when manual mode is selected. And to enhance the experience. there is a speed-sensitive power- assisted steering. When I started to go at very fast speeds, the steering stiffened to give me better control of the vehicle.

 

The technology also extends to the headlights, which have dynamic range control and cornering lights. If the road is very dark, it will automatically extend the light further, and when going around corners, a side light is activated.

 

This was a fun vehicle to drive, and the features prove that the engineers were thorough when designing it. The seats are cushiony and the handing was impressive.

 

 

Price of tested model: $,6,900,000.00

Engine: 2 Litre 230hp

Transmission: FWD 6-Speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox)

Competition: Honda Civic, Subaru WRX, Hyundai Veloster

 

Standout features:

“GTI” Sports Styling Package

LED headlights with static cornering lamps, bending lights, automatic range adjustment

Tilting and sliding sunroof

Glove compartment with cooling system

Rear a/c vents

 

https://www.facebook.com/gleanerjamaica/videos/199990611291063/

 

Vehicle was provided courtesy of ATL Automotive Ltd (876) 754-0013, vwSales@atlautomotive.com

 

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