We loved the Volkswagen Golf 7 so much so we awarded it the 2014 EFTM Best Hatch of the year. At the time we gushed about how it was the epitome of the perfect ride combined with a driver focused cabin, sensational fit and finish and ample space. This week in the EFTM Garage we’ve had the top-spec Highline Wagon variant, it’s a case of basically more Golf for your buck without departing from the acclaimed winning formula.
Engine / Transmission: 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol with 7-speed DSG transmission.
Vital Stats: 103kW@4,500 rpm – 6,000rpm / 250Nm @1500rpm – 3500rpm
Volkswagen Claimed Fuel Economy: 5.2l / 100km (Wagon)
EFTM Claimed Fuel Economy: 6.2l / 100km
Manufactures List Price (MLP): From $33,840
Wow Factor: Even in wagon mode the Golf 7 remains a driver’s car with a beautifully plush yet dynamically charged ride and handling package. The Golf Wagon cabin, while a little dark and ominous is one of the best examples of what a genuine quality interior represents. The in your face dramatic design elements of some others are absent, but what is presented is a classically designed, highly functional dash and centre console which you just know has been crafted with the highest levels of quality control enforced. The cloth and Alcantara seat trim on the Highline model is a further nod to the luxurious nature of this vehicle.
Most Impressive: This is one of the more elegant wagons around, but it’s not just all about the expert craftsmanship. The rear cargo bay has increased in space by 100-litres up to 605-litres, and that’s with the rear seats up. With the rear pew down an Ikea flat pack swallowing 1,620-litres is on offer. A standard cargo space cover and shade is included and can be stored beneath the cargo floor when not in use, however on our test car it did have an annoying rattle to it.
A 5.8-inch infotainment touch screen features a proximity sensor feature, bringing up menus as it detects an impeding finger swipe.
I love the ride of the Golf 7 and the wagon is no different. Many European cars struggle with the acne-like state of our roads, the Golf is one of the most graceful riding cars around. The suspension setup dispatches just about every road surface with ease. Sharp, yet comfortable balanced steering is what every keen driver longs for and the Golf Wagon delivers in spades.
The 103 TSI unit available for the top-spec Highline grade has a stack of up and go and easily keeps up with traffic flow, never feeling strained or under pressure.
Least Impressive: The DSG gearbox just keeps getting better, but some will still struggle with its “unique” characteristics. Once moving the 7-speed box is a lighting quick unit, you only need to glance at the tacho needle to see just how blindly quick yet almost imperceptible the gear changes are. However from a standstill, especially when combined with the fuel saving Stop / Start feature there’s still a little too much odd lurching and hesitation going on. I see it as a tradeoff for what is simply a brilliant box, others will see it as an annoyance.
The infotainment screen certainly isn’t one of the brightest most colorful whiz bang readouts around, occasionally it even appears to flicker or stall while you navigate through menus. But overall it does fall in line with the German feel of the cabin.
Early Verdict: Of all the cars I drive for EFTM the Volkswagen Golf is something I always look forward to driving. The wagon is no different and deserves to be the multi award winning vehicle it is.