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Volkswagen reveals revamped ‘digitised’ Golf

Revised Mk7 model due in showrooms in April 2017

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Volkswagen has unveiled a major facelift for its best-selling Golf, focusing on new engines, an updated interior and particularly new infotainment technology.

The revisions to the seventh-generation Golf have been revealed during an event at VW’s Wolfsburg, Germany headquarters with three and five-door, estate and GTI variants on show.

Updating a model now four years old, the visual changes are subtle, with reprofiled front and rear bumpers, LED daytime running lights and full headlamps, replacing the previous halogen versions, revised front wings and LED tail lights, alongside new wheel and colour choices.

A new TSI turbo petrol engine joins the range, a 1.5-litre 150hp four-cylinder unit with Active Cylinder Management – already seen in cars from sister brand Audi, this shuts down two cylinders when they are not needed.

A Bluemotion version of this engine with 130hp will follow, while the GTI model will see its power increase by 10hp to 230hp in stock form and 245hp in Performance variants.

VW also intends to replace the current six-speed automatic transmission with a seven-speed version – again, already in cars from Audi.

A GTI version of the new model was included in the unveiling.

The main focus of the new car however will be major increases in technology, particularly connectivity, in a bid to better compete with more recently launched cars from rival brands.

VW states that it is ‘digitising’ the Golf with a completely new generation of infotainment systems. Topping these will be the Discover Pro system which features a larger nine-inch display screen and can be operated by gestures – VW saying that this is a first in the car’s segment. The previous five-inch screens in lower spec models have been replaced by six-inch versions.

Larger infotainment screens dominate the interior.

A larger range of online services and apps will also be available for the Golf, in ‘Connect’, ‘Security & Service’ and ‘Guide & Inform’ categories.

The safety package has also been upgraded with more driver assistance systems added – Golf owners will be able to specify technologies such as City Emergency Braking with new Pedestrian Monitoring function, the new Traffic Jam Assist that allows partially autonomous driving at up to 35mph, and Emergency Assist – also claimed to be a segment first, this will stop the car if it detects the driver is no longer controlling it.

The facelifted Golf will make its public debut at the Los Angeles motor show on 14th November and is due on UK roads in April 2017. Prices are yet to be announced but industry sources suggest they will rise due to more equipment being offered on the cars.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.