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Published on October 31st, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Volkswagen Golf Mk7 TSI 2013 Model Test Drive Review

The all new Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is coming to Malaysia and many current Golf owners, enthusiasts and lovers of the VW Golf are thinking, should I buy one or not? Here are some quick answers to your possible questions answered by us after a test drive in Sardinia Italy last week.
Question: Is this an ALL NEW Car?
Answer: Yes it is……is has an all new platform which VW will share with its other brands (Audi, Skoda, Seat) and also some interesting new models to come in the next few years.

Question: is there a new engine?
Answer: Yes. The Golf Mk7 comes with an all new smaller and lighter petrol engine (code name EA211), now using an efficient turbocharger instead of a supercharger working with a turbocharger like in the previous Mk6 Golf TSI.
Question: What about the gearbox, is it new?
Answer: This Mk7 Golf uses the same tried and tested 7-speed DSG gearbox with steering mounted paddle switches like before.

Question: Is the new Golf larger…in size and cabin space?
Answer: The new Golf Mk7 comes with a longer wheelbase by 59mm with the cabin space stretched to offer more cabin space in front as well as the rear. There are also more features now in the cabin.
Question: The car looks lower. Is it?
Answer: Yes, it is lower, and the ride height is also lower by 28mm offering better headroom and also legroom.

Question: What are the best new features in the cabin?
Answer: There is a new 5.8-inch touch screen navigation system that comes with added functionality and a proximity sensor. Let me explain. You can now just move a finger near to the touchscreen and the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode. The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to just the essentials. In the operating mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated by touch are specially highlighted to simplify intuitive operation. The display also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a wipe of the hand and allows the driver to select the desired drive mode Comfort, Normal, Sport, ECO and Individual with just a swipe of the finger. There is also an electronic parking brake (just a button to activate) and this frees up more space in the centre console.

Question: Is the fuel efficiency better now?
Answer: yes it is…. as the car is more than 100kg lighter now and has a more efficient engine that comes with a 2 cylinder de-activation (shutoff) system. Let me explain…..At creeping traffic speeds of 30km/h or so the 2nd and 3rd cylinder goes off (sleep mode) to offer the fuel consumption of a 2-cylinder car and the 1st and 4th cylinder only works. At highway cruising speeds of 130km/h and more the same principal applies and this returns almost hybrid like fuel efficiency.

Question: Are there more safety features in the new Golf?
Answer: Yes there are. Features previously found in the Touareg and CC are now incorporated into the new Golf. There is Lane Assist which ensures you stay in your lane (using a camera Lane Assist will correct the driver’s steering: as soon as it becomes evident that the driver is leaving the driving lane or is driving over the lane markings without setting the direction indicator, the system gently steers the other way. Then there is Dynamic Light Assist (using a camera on the top of the windscreen, the system analyses the traffic ahead and the oncoming traffic and it automatically comes on at speeds of over 60 km/h and stays on. With the help of the camera, the main beam modules of the bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering lights are masked only in those areas that the system has determined could potentially disturb other road users). Last but not least, the Auto Hold function prevents unintentional rolling backwards from a standstill position.
Question: Is the car better to drive?
Answer: Yes it is as the steering feel is more direct and returns more feel to the driver. The handling is also much better and we find the car to be a lot livelier even with the larger size. We can’t wait to test drive the GTI.
Question: How much will the car cost when it arrives in Malaysia?
Answer: Well, in Europe, the price is no different from the previous Mk6 Golf. For Malaysia we predict that the price might go up a little as there are more features and safety equipment added and this increases the tax on the car so price will surely go up a little. Maybe 5-8%.
Question: When will this new Golf Mk7 arrive in Malaysia?
Answer: Probably early next year…..sometime after Valentine’s Day.
Question: Would I buy one to replace my Golf Mk5?
Answer: Yes, if I could afford it.
Question: If I currently own a Golf Mk6 TSI, should I trade it in for the new Golf?
Answer: Yes, but depends on how good a deal you can get on your trade in……if your car is below 2 years old then best to wait a little….4 years and above, definitely yes. Order it today after reading this.


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