Volkswagen Golf 2017 car review

By Cade Wilson

We can confidently label the VW Golf as a bit of an icon; after all it is the most successful Volkswagen ever. Thirty-two million units spanning over four decades speaks for itself. The latest update cements its hold even further, offering more enhanced safety and premium technology than ever before.


We had the pleasure of testing the top three Golfs back to back, starting with the R-Line and it only gets better from there. The new ‘standard across the range’ now consists of Front and Lane Assist, 8-inch glass-covered touchscreen (with navigation from highline models up), hot-looking LED tail lamps on all, with dark red 3D running indicators(R-line up), and five new colours of which a favourite of mine was Turmeric Yellow (also the hero colour). 

The R-line was a strong favourite of mine, particularly because the look and feel was outstanding, the sleek lines, bodykit style and 18” wheels made the car look similar to the $75k R from the outside, and a lot also translated into the cabin. With “R” printed bolstered sport seats, flat bottomed sports steering wheel, and paddle shifting DSG gearbox. The R-Line has the smaller but still adequate 1.4ltr TSI turbo engine as fitted to the Tiguan, making for a light-footed almost-hot hatch with a smaller price tag. 

The Cheque fabric laden GTI has had the wick turned up a notch (+7kW) to be exact, now with 169kW of front wheel squealing power. Comfort/ Normal modes are just that, good for stuck in traffic driving or hiding what lurks below. Sport mode lights the wick and lets the car breathe a little more, I felt a silly grin appearing on my face followed by sporadic moments of acceleration, shortly followed by that annoying look from my wife in the passenger’s seat (you know the one..) 

The R, well it’s blue with silver mirrors, has 4-Motion so no shortage of traction, a lot more power from the same 2ltr turbo engine, 228kW which is 7kW up from the last model. And best of all it has a “race” button, do I actually need any more encouragement? I had visions of “Ken Block”ing it around our empty concrete underground carpark, but left it at that, a dream. 

The new Golf actually comes in 5 variants in total, with diesel and wagon versions, Comfortline and Highline for the all-round vehicle, with the R-line up for those craving move from the Golf family. 

At a glance  
Models  R-Line, GTI, and R
Engine 1.4TSI, 2.0TSI
 Price  From $43,390
 ANCAP safety rating  5-star (4-Motion not tested)
 Power  From 110kW
 Transmission  7-Speed DSG
 Fuel economy  From 5.4L/100km Combined
Towing capacity   1500kg Braked (R-line)
2WD/4WD/AWD   2WD, (AWD-R)
Seating capacity   5
Luggage capacity / payload  Unknown 
 Safety systems 
 Front assist, Side assist  Lane Assist
 Airbags, ABS, ESP  Adaptive Cruise Control
 Rear Traffic Alert  Park Pilot

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