More than ever the standard scale

With this seventh-generation Golf, Volkswagen has completely revised its 38-year-old icon, without losing an ounce of what it made and still bolstering its power today. It even sets new standards in this category. The new adaptation of this success story has been in theaters since November 17.

Between its presentation at the Paris Motor Show and the start of its marketing in mid-November in key European markets, including France, Volkswagen has already registered more than 40 thousand orders.

Volkswagen is undoubtedly the most “watched” brand in Europe. In fact, almost all manufacturers, whether they admit it or not, are benchmarking “standard” VW-branded products, and that will be even more true with this new generation of Golf as Volkswagen has set very high standards. From all points of view. Indeed, if the fairway from the Golf 5 to 6 is not sealed with the change seal and gives hope to a potential “catch-up” competition, the arrival of this seventh generation sets things straight. Golf at the top. Martin Winterkorn Don’t doubt it: “The golf gives direction to the Volkswagen brand and even cars. Although the group rests on many pillars, it is our ambassador in the world. As a result, a lot is expected of us!” The arrival of this golf also sets the tone for Wolfsburg productions. The new one, which will also be based largely on the MQB platform (see JA No. 1157), which largely explains the many changes. Changes in style already, with slightly revised proportions make the model more convenient. If it’s a little longer, it’s also wider and lower, with fewer overhangs and a longer wheelbase. The DNA Golf is by no means tarnished because we find this horizontal front face and wide rear shaft very distinctive. Paternity is obvious, it may seem very powerful at first glance, but seeing the last two generations side by side, the transformation is clear.

to the smallest detail

The change is in the technical class as well, as the seventh golf composition has nothing to do with the previous things. Wolfsburg engineers also began working on the coil from the beginning of 2008, after the launch of the Golf 6. Not only will we return to the MQB platform and the new possibilities it offers, especially in terms of flexibility, equipment and savings, but it also allows the Golf to offer two new families of more efficient petrol and diesel engines. Thus, the Golf 7 1.6 TDi has CO2 emissions of 99 g / km, which is the value of the Golf BlueMotion of the previous generation. The BlueMotion 7 version, available in early 2013, will offer 85 g / km, that is, a consumption of 3.2 liters per 100 km. Thus, the average consumption of the range decreases by 14%, and this decrease can reach 23% for those equipped with a block of 1.4 TSi 140 hp with the cylinder disabled. We will return to this mechanism. These results are also attributed to the system experienced by golf. In fact, you can lose up to 100 kg depending on the model and thus return to the level of the Golf 4 (1997-2003). Without being comprehensive, it is worth noting that the new platform allows savings of up to 26 kg, the chassis 23 kg, the front and rear seats 7 kg, all electrical systems 6 kg, the air conditioning unit 2.7 kg, the front axle contributes 1.6 kg and even the instrument panel With 400 grams less. This may not sound like much, but it’s 20% less than before and shows that no part of this craving for comfort has escaped. After theory and practice. Once installed on the steering wheel, this pursuit of lightness in no way detracts from a good overall impression. There is no doubt that this golf performs much better than its predecessor. Martin Winterkorn spoke about the “attention to detail” when submitting the form and we were able to check it out. The materials, the finishes, the comfort, the equipment, everything has improved even more. This Golf, although offered at a general price, at least at a Volkswagen price, flirts with the world of Premium in many respects. A good example is the new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Not to mention the impressive list of comfort and safety equipment it offers (standard or optional) such as, in particular, the multi-collision braking system, the anticipatory occupant protection system, the ACC active radar with emergency braking in the city, but also all the “assistants”, whether they are Monitors white lines of the road, signs, parking spaces, or driver alertness.

Technique with MQB . Sauce

Under the hood, this seventh generation also offers the best of the bunch and, as mentioned, two new families of mechanics: the EA211 for the TSi and the EA288 for the TDi. If TDi blocks are to dominate French sales, the gasoline offering, particularly the 1.4 TSi with cylinder deactivation, deserves more attention with its combined consumption of 4.7 liters per 100 km and emissions of 109 grams of CO2 when paired with the DSG7 box. Although it might suggest that it is an evolution of the previous 1.4 TSi, this block, which is also available with 122 hp and 140 hp without disabling the cylinder, features a completely new design (only the cylinders, 82 mm caliber, remain unchanged). It is made entirely of aluminum, and is 22 kg lighter. If disabling the cylinders increased the weight by 3 kg, then its benefits largely justify this choice. In fact, active from 1400 to 4000 rpm, up to 85 Nm of torque, it reduces the average consumption by up to 0.5 liters because cylinders 2 and 3 can be cut in 70% of the cases of the European cycle. We know this cycle doesn’t really reflect reality and we weren’t in that perspective of minimal consumption during our testing of the Mustang, but nevertheless the two cylinder mode was regularly activated. In cases where the four cylinders were burnt unleaded, the 140 hp of this mechanism, but also its torque of 250 Nm from 1500 to 3500 rpm, made this Golf a formidable road car that did not prevent fun because the road behavior was always up to the rest . However, our Golf is equipped with a DCC active damping system and a multi-link rear axle, but that won’t be the case for the majority of Golfs sold in France. In fact, DCC remains an option and this rear axle will only be installed on versions over 122 hp. The less powerful range, including the 1.6 TDi 105 hp that should dominate the French mix, will have a “modular lightweight construction” rear axle, i.e. a rear axle with a deformable cross member. With 38kg on the scale, it’s actually 11kg lighter than the multiple arm donated to the strongest golfer who lost 49kg by 4kg. Everything has really changed with the arrival of the MQB platform!

Queen of charters in Europe and imported in France

On the other hand, one thing does not change: Volkswagen’s commercial ambitions for an icon have already sold to more than 29.1 million in the world, including 1.915 million in France. The Golf remains the undisputed leader of compact sedans in Europe and intends to remain so. Thus, in 2011, more than 480,000 (-1.7%) golf players set out in Europe, thus registering a market share of 3.5% on the continent. Its share in its class was 12.6%, despite the growing role of SUVs in the world of compact vehicles, which account for 28% of European sales. In France, where an average of 50,000 golf courses have been sold each year since 1974, ambitions are also strong, even if the German has to deal with French agreements. It often ranks fourth in its class behind the C4, Mégane and 308, yet it manages to climb up the monthly podiums in this segment. This has happened several times in recent months despite the announcement of the arrival of the new generation. Cumulatively since January, the Golf, with its 28,265 sedans (- 15%), lags behind even the 308 sedans that have a combined score of 29,263 (- 23.1%). The five-door Mégane isn’t far off with 30,742 units, while the C4 sedan dominates the rankings with 34,538 units (-10.1%). Over the entire past year, in 2011, the Golf remained the leading imported sedan in its class with 36,615 units, more than double its successor, the Focus sedan, with 15,095 units. Since January, the gap has widened even more in a declining segment, with 28,265 golfers already registered against only 9,871 saloons! With this new composition, Volkswagen France intends to consolidate its position further in the compact car segment, which had total sales of more than 296,000 in 2011, or 13.5% of the French market. In this context, the Germans had a sectoral share of 12.3%. But for 2013, Jacques Revole, Brand Manager in France, is aiming for a 15% penetration, or about 40,000 sales, with this new generation, but with the help of the sixth-generation SW, Plus and Cabriolet versions (about 3,000 units since January). ).

Can Volkswagen achieve this goal? The brand has all the elements to get there, including the main one, a product that is virtually flawless, as we stop at emissions levels, equipment, behavior and even price. There are plenty of arguments that will particularly appeal to individuals looking for reassurance, but also professionals who account for one in four sales of the model. And it seems to have been a good start for the Golf since, between the Paris Motor Show and the launch of the model in mid-November, Volkswagen announced that it had registered more than 40,000 orders in Europe.

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Golf 7 in brief

launch date: November 17
Segment of the market: compact sedan. About 300,000 units/year in France
France’s goal: 15% of the incorporated sector, which is approximately 40,000 units in a full year.
The main competitors of the Golf 1.6 TDi 105 bhp Confortline: €25,390:
Citroën C4 1.6 HDi 110 Comfort: 23,650 euros;
Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 110 Titanium: €24,450;
Renault Megane 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique: 25,350 euros;
Price 5 places:
From 18,580 euros to 29,050 euros – petrol
From 23,340 euros to 31,420 euros – diesel

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