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Volkswagen updates the Golf MkVII. Image by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen updates the Golf MkVII
New looks, fresh engines, loads of additional tech... and a 230hp GTI for the Volkswagen Golf 2017MY.
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Newer articles featuring 2017 Volkswagen Golf

2017-11-19: Driven: Volkswagen Golf R
2017-02-04: First drive: Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Highline
2016-11-17: Updated e-Golf gets longer range

What's all this about?

It's midlife model facelift time for the phenomenon that is the Volkswagen Golf, currently in its MkVII iteration that was launched in 2012. Quite a bit has been done to this extremely successful machine during the overhaul.

But not to the looks, right?

Correct; subtle design tweaks are the order of the day for the MkVII, which is no bad thing as it's a fine-looking vehicle as it is. Check out the new front and rear bumper designs, lights front and rear that feature a larger quotient of LEDs (either as standard or optionally; Xenons, by the way, have bit the bullet in the Golf range), some fresh alloy designs and body colours and a few sundry trim updates inside. Nothing radical, but the Golf still looks a classy, handsome machine. However, there's a lot more tech to choose from now.

Such as?

Within, Volkswagen is offering its 12.3-inch TFT Active Info Display instrument cluster (it's Wolfsburg's take on Audi's Virtual Cockpit) for the first time, as well as much improved in-car infotainment and connectivity, all handled by new touchscreens in the centre console that are bigger than before - they range from 6.5- to 9.2 inches and they're covered by a flush sheet of glass to make them look more neatly integrated into the car. Go for the full 9.2 inches on Discover Pro infotainment and Volkswagen is claiming a first-in-class for the revised Golf: gesture control. Yup, the same sort of tech as seen on a BMW 7 Series is now in a C-segment hatch. Other interesting gewgaws include wireless smartphone charging to the Qi standard, the ability to turn the Golf into a WiFi hotspot and updated Volkswagen Car-Net connectivity (including MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

Snazzy stuff. What about the mechanicals?

There's a new 150hp/250Nm 1.5-litre TSI 'Evo' engine with Active Cylinder Technology, which replaces the old 1.4-litre TSI with 140hp and ACT. This new Evo unit will be capable of 57.6mpg and 110g/km CO2, although a more frugal BlueMotion model with 130hp - and returns of 61.4mpg and 104g/km - will follow soon after. Talking of fuel saving, the six-speed DSG transmission is being replaced by a new seven-speed dual-clutch unit across the board. And there's some good news for performance fans, too.

Is there? What is it?

The iconic GTI is getting a modest power hike as part of the updates. All the hotter versions of the Golf (the GTD, GTE, GTI and R) are facelifted like the regular hatchback and Estate ranges, but it's just the 2.0-litre GTI that sees any output increases. The regular GTI goes from 220hp to the 230hp of the old Performance Pack model, while the 2017 GTI PP climbs from 230- to 245hp. That should make it a seriously punchy hot hatch.

All sounds good. And is that it for now?

Apart from additional automated safety systems, such as Traffic Jam Assist, Pedestrian Monitoring (for Front Assist with City Emergency Braking), Trailer Assist and Emergency Assist, yup, that's about it for now.

Matt Robinson - 10 Nov 2016

2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.

2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen Golf. Image by Volkswagen.    - Volkswagen road tests
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