Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TSI R 3dr - Low Miles, Adaptive Cruise & Parking Sensors Hatchback (2016) at Maidstone Suzuki, Honda and Mazda

01622 914 995

£21,000

WAS £23,000, SAVE £2,000

Offered in Tornado Red, Sports Seats, Adaptive Cruise Control, Parking Aids Front and Rear, Satellite Navigation, Electric Windows, Power Steering, ABS brakes, 18 inch Alloys, Quad Exhaust Finishers,Front Cup Holders, 6.5in Colour Touch-Screen 8 Speakers, Front and Rear Bluetooth Telephone and Audio Connection for Compatible Devices, Carpet Mats - Front and Rear, Climate Control, Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, DAB Digital Radio Receiver, Driver and Front Passenger Seat Height Adjustment, Electric Windows, Front, Front Center Armrest,Gloss Black Centre Console, Heated Rear Windscreen, Height and Reach Adjustable Steering Column, Lumbar Support for Driver and Passenger Seat, MDI via USB, Multifunction Colour Display, Rear Tinted Glass, Single CD Player, MP3 Music Playback, SD Card Reader, Split Folding Rear Seat Backrest 60:40, Storage Compartment in Centre Console, Upholstery - Race Cloth Seat Centre Sections and Grey Alcantara Side Bolsters, ABS (Anti - Lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), Alarm, ASR (Traction Control),Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Front Assist, Radar Sensor Controlled Distance Monitoring System, City Emergency Braking System and Anti-Tramp Function, Centre Rear Seat Belt, Driver Alert System, Drivers Airbag, Drivers and Front Passengers Safety Optimised, Adjustable Head Restraints, Drivers Knee Airbag, Dusk Sensor, Automatic Driving Lights, Electronic Engine Immobiliser, Electronic Parking Brake, ESC (Electronic Stability Control),Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Front Fog Lights Incorporating LED Technology, Front Passengers Airbag with Deactivation Switch,Height - Adjustable Front Three - Point Seat Belts with Tensioners,High Level 3rd Brake Light, Isofix Child Seat Preparation,Parking Sensors - Front and Rear, PreCrash Preventive Occupant Protection,Progressive Steer, Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator, XDSPlus Electronic Differential Lock, Ambient Lighting Pack, Convenience Pack Discover Navigation.

19/11/2016

24268

Manual

Petrol 39.8 combined MPG

RED

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Darren Murphy

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Manager's Comment

Low mileage and stunning VW Golf R offered in superb condition and finished in a sporty colour choice.

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Emissions and Fuel

CO2:
165 g/km

MPG:
39.8

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* Price does not include road fund license

V5 Document

V5 Document

MOT Certificate

MOT Certificate

Manuals

Manuals

Body Glass

Electric front windows, Heated rear windscreen, Rain sensor, Rear windscreen washer and wiper with interval delay, Windscreen wipers/ intermittent wipe + 4 position delay

Brakes

ABS, Automatic post collision braking, Black brake calipers, Electronic parking brake with auto hold, ESP with EDL + ASR, HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)

Chassis/Suspension

Lowered sports suspension

Communication

Bluetooth Telephone preparation

Driver Aids

ACC - Adaptive cruise control with front assist, forward collision warning, distance monitoring, city emergency brake and speed limiter, Driver alert system, Driver profile selection, Progressive power assisted steering, Ultrasonic front and rear optical and audible parking sensors

Driver Information

'Lights On' Reminder warning buzzer, Brake pad wear indicator warning light, Exterior temperature gauge, Flat tyre indicator, Infotainment system, Instrument cluster in white, Multi function display colour screen, Multifunction computer, Rev counter, Trip and service interval display, Warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts unfastened

Driving Mirrors

Auto dimming rear view mirror, Electric folding door mirrors with puddle lamps, Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, Reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on passenger's door mirror

Embellishment Trims

Carbon decorative inserts in dash and door panel, Chrome air vent surrounds, Chrome-plated light switch surround, Gloss black decorative inserts in centre console

Entertainment

CD/MP3/WMA, USB and SD card reader, aux-in, Composition media system, DAB Digital radio, MDI with USB/iPod connection cables

Exterior Body Features

Black rear diffuser, Body colour bumpers, Body colour door handles, Chrome louvres in grille, Rear roof spoiler, Twin chrome exhaust tailpipes

Exterior Lights

Automatic coming/leaving home lighting function, Automatic headlights, Bi-Xenon headlights and headlight washers with LED daytime running lights, Dusk sensor + auto driving lights, LED rear lights, Range adjustable headlights

Heating/Cooling/Ventilation

Air conditioning - 2 zone electronic climate control, Dust/pollen filter

Interior Features

12V socket in luggage compartment, 3 spoke steering wheel, Bag hook in luggage compartment, Black headlining, Boot lashing points, Chrome-plated electric mirror adjustment switch surround, Chrome-plated electric window button surround, Cover for storage compartment in centre, Front centre armrest with storage box and rear air vents, Grab handles, Height/reach adjust steering wheel, Illuminated door sills, Load through provision, Lockable, illuminated, cooled glovebox, Luggage compartment cover, Multifunction leather steering wheel with leather gear knob/handbrake grip, Passenger underseat drawer, Rear centre armrest with 2 cupholders, Rear cupholder, Stainless steel pedals, Storage box in luggage compartment, Storage compartment in roof console with cover, Storage compartments in doors, Variable boot floor, height adjustable and removable

Interior Lights

Ambient lighting, Courtesy light delay, Front footwell illumination, LED reading lights, Luggage compartment lighting, White adjustable panel illumination

Packs

Styling pack - Golf R/R-Line

Safety

3 point height adj front seatbelts + pretensioners, 3 rear 3 point seatbelts, Door open warning reflectors, Driver/Front Passenger airbags, Driver/Passenger whiplash optimised head restraints, Drivers knee airbag, Electronic tyre pressure monitoring, Front and rear curtain airbags, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front side airbags, Fuel cut off safety device, Pre crash system, Warning triangle and first aid kit holder

Seats

3 rear headrests, 60/40 split folding rear seat, Driver/front passenger seat height adjustment, Easy entry slide seats (access to rear seats), Front seat back storage pockets, Isofix preparation for 2 rear child seats

Security

Alarm with interior protection, Anti-theft wheel bolts, Electronic engine immobiliser, Remote central locking with 2 remote folding keys

Transmission

XDS plus electronic differential lock

Vanity Mirrors

Illuminated vanity mirrors

Wheels - Spare

Steel space saver spare wheel

General

Badge Engine CC: 2.0
Badge Power: 300
Based On ID: N
Coin Description: TSI
Coin Series: R
Generation Mark: 7
Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 34E
Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 94
NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 89
NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 65
NCAP Safety Assist %: 71
Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
Service Interval Mileage: 10000
Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

Emissions - ICE

CO2 (g/km): 165
Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6

Engine and Drive Train

CC: 1984
Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
Cylinders: 4
Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
Gears: 6 SPEED
Number of Valves: 16
Transmission: MANUAL

Fuel Consumption - ICE

EC Combined (mpg): 39.8
EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: True
EC Extra Urban (mpg): 47.9
EC Urban (mpg): 30.1

Performance

0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.1
Engine Power - BHP: 300
Engine Power - KW: 221
Engine Power - PS: True
Engine Power - RPM: 5500
Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 280
Engine Torque - MKG: 38.8
Engine Torque - NM: 380
Engine Torque - RPM: 1800
Top Speed: 155

Tyres

Alloys?: True
Space Saver?: True
Tyre Size Front: 225/40 R18
Tyre Size Rear: 225/40 R18
Tyre Size Spare: SPACE SAVER
Wheel Style: CADIZ
Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

Height: 1436
Height (including roof rails): N
Length: 4276
Wheelbase: 2630
Width: 1799
Width (including mirrors): 2027

Weight and Capacities

Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 55
Gross Vehicle Weight: 1960
Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1233
Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 343
Max. Loading Weight: 599
Max. Roof Load: 75
Minimum Kerbweight: 1361
No. of Seats: 5
Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.9

THROTTLE OPEN WIDE & SAY R (used) 11/02/2020

By Jonathan Crouch

Introduction

With the Volkswagen Golf R, the Wolfsburg brand tried to provide the definitive super hot hatch. This post-2013 version was the second Golf R model we'd seen from the company and it came equipped to cause some serious waves in the fastest part of the shopping rocket sector, featuring 4WD and packing 300PS, enough to reach 62mph from rest in just 4.9s. It'll also register better than 40mpg on the combined cycle. Your everyday supercar is right here.

Models

3dr/5dr Hatch

History

The GTI might be the definitive sporty Golf but there are those for whom even this iconic sports hatch doesn't quite deliver the goods. They want more. More grip, more speed, more presence, just more. The thing is, the market for exactly this sort of thing was turned on its head at the end of the Noughties by BMW's M135i. Here was a car that delivered more. 306PS to be exact, and delivered a premium badge in the process for less than £30,000. It was a game changer. Volkswagen needed to respond and deliver a vehicle that could put the upstart M135i in its place. The GTI couldn't do it. But Wolfsburg delivered a hot hatch that could. Step up the Golf R, launched first in 2009 in 270PS form, then re-launched as part of the MK7 generation Golf range in 2013 with 310PS. Both R models boasted 4WD - but it's the later post-2013 car we look at here as a potential used buy. This era Golf R was lightly facelifted in 2017, at the same time as power from its 2.0 TSI turbo petrol engine was marginally uprated to 310PS, then reduced again to 300PS near the end of the production run in 2019 to meet ever-tightening emission regulations.

What You Get

Apart from that hoovered-to-the-tarmac ride height, the Golf R is distinguished by its revised front bumper assembly, indented with massive air inlets, a modified radiator grille with 'R' logo and daytime running lamps that are integrated into the standard bi-xenon headlights. Move round to the side and you'll clock the aggressive body-colour sills and matt chrome-capped door mirrors. From launch in 2013, the R came as standard with a tasty set of 18-inch 'Cadiz' alloy wheels wrapped in 225/40 tyres, but many owners chose the optional 19-inch 'Pretoria' alloys. The brakes are ventilated discs all round, measuring 30mm by 340mm at the front and 22mm by 310mm at the back. A big part of the Golf VII design process was a determined weight loss plan and the R benefitted from this by shedding around 45kg from the kerb weight of its predecessor. Its kerb weight of 1,476kg might seem quite hefty for a family hatch sized car but factor in the all-wheel drive transmission and it doesn't seem quite so bad. The interior features cloth sports seats with Alcantara bolsters (leather upholstery was available as an option), while the instrument dials are unique to the R and include some smart touches such as blue needles. If you come to this post-2013-generation R model fresh from its direct predecessor, you'll find yourself feeling slightly more comfortable at the wheel but perhaps unable to precisely reason why. Let us tell you. The brilliantly comfortable seat was shifted back for the posr-2013-era model, at the same time as the pedals were made a little more widely spaced and there was more adjustment possible from the leather-trimmed, flat-bottomed multi-function steering wheel, through which you view lovely instrument dials reminiscent of high-end chronometers. Start the engine and the needles swing once to the end scale position and then back. Lovely. In between the gauges is a centre display with carousel-style graphics that deliver everything from sat nav information to a lap timer. Some of this information is also replicated on the 8-inch colour infotainment touch screen that dominates the centre of the dash and will be the biggest cabin change for buyers of the previous 2009-2013-era R model, a feature you can control merely by swiping your finger across its surface as you do on a smart 'phone. This display is the starting point for operation of the Driver Profile selection system that can alter the throttle mapping and engine management set-up to suit your chosen driving style. More conventionally, there's access to the stereo with its DAB digital radio, the trip computer and all manner of Bluetooth telephony - enough to make your mobile device feel right at home. Especially if your car has been fitted with the 'Advanced telephone connection' option that'll enable you to link it in to the car's external aerial for improved reception. Thankfully, ventilation controls were left off the menu of screen functions, operable instead by three chunky dials below. Stabbing away at a touchscreen every time you want to change the fan speed or cabin temperature is a modern innovation most owners, we think, could do without. A bit like the electronic handbrake in fact, something you have to have here. In the back seat, you'll most notice the improvements wrought through the introduction of the hi-tech MQB platform - and the 53mm wheelbase increase it allows. Rear legroom rose with this post-2012 R model by 15mm, despite the change we mentioned earlier, that of the front seats being moved further back to better suit taller drivers. Shoulder and elbow-room were both improved too and headroom's also quite adequate, despite this generation model's small reduction in exterior roof height. As usual in this class, three adults would be a little squashed here but a trio of kids will be quite happy. Out back, there's more space for luggage than there was in the 2009-2012-era Golf R, the cargo bay 30-litres larger than before at 380-litres - that's 10% bigger than a Megane Renaultsport from this time and 20% bigger than a Focus RS from this period. It's easier to use too, with probably the lowest loading sill height in the class, a wide hatch aperture and a wide base on the dual-height luggage floor. There's a ski hatch too for longer items. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats down and you get useful 1270-litres - again one of the biggest spaces in the class from this era.

What You Pay

Refer to Car & Driving for an exact up-to-date valuation section. Click here and we will email it to you.

What to Look For

Most owners of this 2013-2019-era Golf R model we surveyed were very happy with their cars, but inevitably, there have been those who have had problems you'll want to look out for. There have been a few reported issues with the DSG auto gearbox, so make sure the gearbox changes properly. Timing chains fitted to the 2.0 TSI petrol engine have been known to snap prematurely; this can cause a lot of damage - and more than that if the car isn't regularly serviced, so insist on a fully stamped-up service record. Golf R models can also suffer from high oil consumption, so it's vital to keep checking the oil level, even between services. If the level gets too low, it can cause damage to the engine or timing chain. One owner reported squeaky noises coming from the suspension over speed humps. Another noted that his steering wheel made a slightly wheezy noise when going round bends slowly. There were reports of the boot juddering when closing. And fuel caps that were difficult to open, making re-fuelling a struggle. One owner reported vibration from the door cards at the front and the rear. And another reckoned that his infotainment system was choosing not to function in very cold weather - and at times, was choosing to control itself. As for mechanical stuff, well we came across one owner who'd had a clutch go after just 4,600 miles - but that's very unusual. Another experienced faulty injectors. And another experienced a power failure related to his DSG auto gearbox. Also look out for smearing wipers, problems with the cabin air blowers and a rattle from the gearbox over speed humps.

Replacement Parts

[based on a 2017 model Golf R ex VAT] An air filter will be priced in the £13 to £20 bracket, an oil filter will sit in the £5 to £15 bracket. A radiator will likely cost between £95 and £115. The front brake discs we came across commonly sat in the £50 to £70 bracket, with pricier-branded discs costing between £120 and £250. The rear brake discs we came across commonly sat in the £40 to £86 bracket, with pricier-branded discs costing up to around £115. Front brake pads are in the £27 to £65 bracket for a set but for pricier brands, you could pay up to nearly £75. Rear pads cost in the £20-£37 bracket. A thermostat is around £19. A water pump is around £53-£73,. A radiator is around £152-£158. Wiper blades cost around £9.

On the Road

That 300PS power output is the headline number as far as the Golf R is concerned (upgraded to 310PS at the time of this car's 2017 model year facelift but then subsequently reduced to 300PS again). Delve a little deeper into this car's stats though and you'll find some other facts that will stop you in your tracks. In manual form it gets to 62mph in 5.3 seconds, but unleash its potential with a DSG twin-clutch sequential transmission and it rockets through that benchmark in just 4.9 seconds. Power is delivered through a fifth-generation Haldex all-wheel drive system, which sends drive to the front wheels during modest throttle loads, but can then direct almost 100 per cent of drive to the rear axle if required. Top speed is limited to 155mph. The ride height is 20 mm lower than the standard Golf's and 5 mm lower than the GTI's, while Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) was a popular option. This offers a 'Race' mode, which increases damping, reducing body movements in the process. In conjunction with the driver profile selector, Race mode also sharpens the throttle response and alters the shift pattern of the DSG gearbox.

Overall

The 2013-2019-era Volkswagen Golf R might seem a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, it's a four-wheel drive, 300PS, two-litre turbo road rocket; the sort of car that you thought had gone out of fashion with the demise of the Subaru Impreza WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. On the other, it's a wholly civilised, beautifully built family hatch that can better 40mpg and emits less carbon dioxide than a VW Lupo GTI. That, more than its incredible performance figures, shows us how times have changed and how fast hatches have needed to rehabilitate themselves or die. Offering a strong value proposition and no shortage of capability, it's easy to see how the Volkswagen Golf R found such a ready market amongst more mature hot hatch fans. Whether it's for you though, will very much depend on how you like your sports hatches.

DEPENDABLE QUALITY (used) 20/01/2017

By Jonathan Crouch

Introduction

Volkswagen's Golf is the family hatchback against which all others are judged - and never more so than in this lighter, larger, quieter and more efficient seventh generation guise, where it proved to be cleverer and more usable than ever before. If you're shopping for a secondhand example, you might be asking yourself why you should buy one. But perhaps the more pertinent question is whether there's really any reason why you shouldn't.

Models

3 & 5DR HATCH, ESTATE (1.2,1.4,2.0 PETROL / 1.6, 2.0 TDI DIESEL)

History

Volkswagen's modern era 'Peoples' Car', the Golf family hatchback, has been bought by an awful lot of people. Launched back in 1974 to replace the iconic Beetle, it was the car that saved the company through 29 million sales and six generations that by 2013, brought us to this MK7 model. At launch, this was the first truly new Golf we'd seen since just after the turn of the century, the previous sixth generation version having been merely a light re-skin of the old MK5 model. And it arrived at a time when the marque needed to step up its game. Volkswagen's in-house Skoda and SEAT brands were offering Golf technology for less, the South Korean competition was improving and more familiar mainstream family hatch rivals were adding premium quality and technology that, in the words of their marketeers, made them 'more Golf-like'. But, as Volkswagen has always argued, there's no substitute for the definitive article - and this, we're told, is exactly it. Stiffer, plusher, safer, smarter, more efficient and higher-tech than its predecessor, the MK7 Golf model's goals lay far beyond simply being better than a Focus or an Astra. This car aimed to move above that, aspiring to appeal to buyers who might be considering premium-badged compact hatches from brands like BMW, Audi or Mercedes. Not everyone bought into that and predictably, throughout its lifetime, the Golf MK7 sold to people who wanted a nicer version of something Focus or Astra-sized. Volkswagen substantially upgraded this design in early 2017, but it's the original version of this generation model that we evaluate here as a secondhand buy.

What You Get

Design-wise, virtually everything seventh generation model changed but in many ways, virtually nothing was different. The same thick rear C-pillar and near vertical tail. The same sharp crease line above the flanks. The same horizontally-barred grille. Look more closely though and important differences begin to emerge. In MK7 guise, this car is 56mm longer and 13mm wider than its predecessor, the idea being to create more interior space. And it was also lower to create a more dynamic stance. The front wheels were moved further forward too, reducing the front overhang, visually lengthening the V-shaped bonnet and moving the passenger compartment a little towards the rear. The result is a gym-toned look that's particularly nice at the side, with the C-pillar design supposed to resemble the drawn string of a bow, giving the Golf a look of acceleration even when it's standing still. Overall then, a confident, assertive piece of design. But it's under the skin where the biggest changes took place, with the adoption of new MQB (or 'Modular Transverse Matrix') underpinnings that helped to shave 100kgs off the weight of this car. And made it possible for the longer wheelbase that facilitates the larger cabin that Volkswagen was determined this 7th generation Golf should have. You notice it most at the back, where there's 15mm more rear legroom than was provided by the MK6 Golf, despite the front seats of the seventh generation model being moved further back to better suit taller drivers. Shoulder and elbow-room are both improved too and headroom's quite adequate, despite this generation design's reduction in exterior roof height. As usual in this class, three adults would be a little squashed across the back seat but a trio of kids will be quite happy. In the boot, there's more space for luggage too, the cargo bay 30-litres larger than it was in the previous model, at 380-litres - that's 10% bigger than an Astra and 20% bigger than a Focus. The designers made this area easier to use too, with probably the lowest loading sill height in the class, a wider hatch aperture and a wider base on the dual-height luggage floor. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats down and you get useful 1270 litres - again one of the bigger spaces in the class. And behind the thinner multi-function steering wheel? Well, nobody does it better than this. It isn't that it feels especially plush - though the quality of materials used is excellent - and far better, incidentally, in this Wolfsburg-constructed Golf than Volkswagen's similarly priced but Mexican-built compact Jetta saloon. It's just that everything is of just the right quality and feels absolutely fit for purpose. The carpet that lines the storage boxes so that your keys don't scrape around on the move. The upholstered material used for the upper section of the dashboard that's lovely to the touch. The central armrest that adjusts for length and five stages of height. The way the gearbox lever has been raised so that it sits more comfortably in your hand. And the option of a 2Zone climate control system that can even adjust itself according to the direction of the sun. Original owners could make the interior feel even nicer by specifying acoustic lighting and contrasting colours for the lower parts of the dash and the doors. For Golf regulars, the biggest change with the MK7 model will be the adoption of the centrally-placed 5.8-inch colour infotainment touch screen that was supplied as standard across the range and which you can control by swiping your finger across its surface as you do on a smart 'phone. In basic form, it allows you to control audio and Bluetooth 'phone functions, but further up the range, it can display anything from 3D navigation to speed limit signs as you pass them.

What You Pay

Refer to Car & Driving for an exact up-to-date valuation section. Click here and we will email it to you.

What to Look For

Most Golf MK7 owners we surveyed were very happy with their cars, but inevitably, there have been those who have had problems you'll want to look out for. One owner reported squeaky noises coming from the suspension over speed humps. Another noted that his steering wheel made a slightly wheezy noise when going round bends slowly. There were reports of the boot juddering when closing. And fuel caps that were difficult to open, making re-fuelling a struggle. One owner reported vibration from the door cards at the front and the rear. And another reckoned that his infotainment system was choosing not to function in very cold weather - and at times, was choosing to control itself. As for mechanical stuff, well we came across one owner who'd had a clutch go after just 4,600 miles - but that's very unusual. Another experienced faulty injectors. And another experienced a power failure related to his DSG auto gearbox. Also look out for smearing wipers, problems with the cabin air blowers and a rattle from the gearbox over speed humps.

Replacement Parts

(approx based on a 2013 1.6 TDI) An air filter will be priced in the £13 to £20 bracket, an oil filter will sit in the £5 to £10 bracket and a fuel flier will cost in the £9 to £20 bracket, though a pricier brand could cost you up to £35. A radiator will likely cost between £95 and £115. The brake discs we came across sat in the £50 to £70 bracket, with pricier-branded discs costing between £80 and £135. Brake pads are in the £18 to £30 bracket for a set but for pricier brands, you could pay up to nearly £80. A drive belt is around £12, though go for a pricier brand and you could pay as much as £60 for one. A timing belt is around £60, though go for a pricier brand and you could pay as much as £110 for one. Wiper blades cost around £8, though go for a pricier brand and you could pay as much as £30 for them. Tyres sit in the £35 to £40 bracket.

On the Road

Effortlessly rapid. That's how we'd sum up this Golf to drive. Often, you don't actually think you're going that fast when you're out on the road with it, but such is its combination of stability, poise and control that you find journey times shrinking rapidly. We'll get to that in a minute but right up front, we'll tell you about the first thing that we noticed behind the wheel - perhaps the first thing you'll notice. The refinement. The previous MK6 version was already a class leader in this respect, but that wasn't good enough for the folk in Wolfsburg. Adopting the all-new MQB platform that this car shares with its SEAT Leon, Skoda Octavia and Audi A3 group stablemates gave them a chance to create a substantially stiffer structure. And a stiffer structure is a less creaky one. Add in the cleverer engine and suspension mounts that are part of it, the extra attention to engine installation and the sound-deadening acoustic windscreen and you can begin to understand just why after using this car, a drive in an ordinary mainstream Focus-class family hatch seems so noisy. Even the humblest diesel variant, the 105PS 1.6 TDI which is the British best selling Golf variant, is far quieter than its direct predecessor was. Otherwise, the engine's not much different - the main development work on it went into creating an eco-conscious 110PS BlueMotion variant. Still, in either form, it's a unit that's acceptably rapid for its modest station in life, with 62mph from rest in the ordinary version occupying 10.7s on the way to 109mph, with 250Nm of torque to zip you through the five-speed gearbox. It certainly seems to have a bit more about it than the lower-order petrol variants can manage. We'd avoid the least powerful of these, the 85PS 1.2-litre TSI, which doesn't really have enough about it to properly exercise this Volkswagen's lithe responses and shift along 1.2 tonnes of Golf. The 105PS version of this engine is better, improving the rest to 62mph time from 11.9 to 10.2s and raising the maximum speed from 111 to 119mph. Alternatively, there's a 122PS 1.4-litre TSI variant which delivers the sprint benchmark in 9.3s and manages 126mph. All of this represents the most affordable segment of a Golf model line-up that in MK7 form was effectively split into two halves by the engineering decision to adopt two quite different rear suspension set-ups across the range. MK5 and MK6 generation Golfs were always distinguished by their sophisticated multi-link rear suspension set-up that provided such an exemplary ride and handling balance. With this MK7 model, the Wolfsburg bean counters decreed that only variants with more than 120PS could have it. If you were to get straight from a pokier Golf into a lower order one and drive over a particularly poor surface, you'd certainly notice the difference. And the same would be true if you tried both and threw them around on your favourite country road. But at least in this latter respect, compensation is provided for buyers of lower-order models in the form of the standard fitment across the range of the XDS electronic differential lock system that was originally developed for the MK6 generation Golf GTI. Like a rival Ford Focus's Torque Vectoring system, it lightly brakes the inside front wheel through tight bends, sharpening turn-in and ensuring that all the power gets onto the tarmac. And it works, with sharp incisive corner turn-in and well controlled bodyroll helped by the lighter kerb weight that both make this car a rapid cross-country tool if you need it to be. In other words, there's the basis here for a very enjoyable driver's car indeed, even if the electric power steering isn't quite as rich in feedback as that of a Focus. And you can develop things further with all manner of electronical trickery. Beyond the entry-level trim level, most models feature what Volkswagen calls 'driver profile selection' - essentially the same as Audi's 'drive select' system. Here, four available programmes - 'Eco', 'Sport', 'Normal' and 'Individual' - alter the throttle mapping and engine management to suit your chosen driving style. Add the optional ACC Adaptive Chassis Control system, which enables you to tweak the suspension to suit the road and your mood, and there's a fifth 'Comfort' mode. In truth, you'll need one of the pokier engines - and hence the inclusive more capable multi-link rear suspension set-up that goes with them - to really be able to enjoy all of this dynamic potential to the full. The majority of British buyers will gravitate towards the 150PS 2.0 TDI diesel which uses an elastic 320Nm of torque to deliver 62mph from rest in 8.6s on the way to 131mph. And there's a 184PS version of this unit in the GTD model if that's not quick enough. Arguably a better bet though is a Golf variant that most customers probably won't even consider - but surely ought to: the petrol-powered 1.4 TSI ACT, or 'Active Cylinder Technology' model. Pokey mid-range petrol Golfs have always been hi-tech: the previous range employed one that used both turbocharging and supercharging at the same time. But this ACT variant is cleverer still with the ability to run on only two of its four cylinders at low to mid-range throttle. Plonk down your right foot though and its performance stats are almost identical to the 2.0 TDI. If it's performance you want though, it's a Golf GTI you'll be drawn to. In MK7 model guise, the 2.0 TSI engine managed 220PS - with a 10PS upgrade if buyers wanted it.

Overall

In the words of a previous Volkswagen Group Chairman, the only mistake a Golf can really make is to stop being a Golf, a failing you could never level at this seventh generation model. All the reasons you might want to buy one are satisfied here. It looks like a Golf and functions with all the quality you'd expect from the Western hemisphere's most recognised and most desired family hatch. This is what happens when all the resources of Europe's leading auto maker are focused n creating the definitive expression of conventional family motoring. True, it could be more exciting in its more affordable forms and you certainly wouldn't call it inexpensive in comparison with mainstream models in this segment. But then, this isn't a mainstream model any more, as good in every meaningful respect as the premium compact hatch models from the fancy brands that are much pricier. It is, in short, a Golf made good. Which, if you're shopping in this sector, makes it very desirable indeed.

THE ORIGINAL & THE BEST? (used) 04/02/2020

By Jonathan Crouch

Introduction

The Volkswagen Golf GTI wears one of the most iconic badges around and this post-2012 Mk7 model proved to be a class act. It was bigger, quicker, better built and more efficient than its predecessor, offering a choice of three doors or five, standard or 'Performance Pack' models and manual gearbox or DSG semi-auto transmission. This car proved to be the best all-rounder from its era in the hot hatch division. But does it make sense on the used market?

Models

3dr/5dr Hatch (GTI, GTI Performance Pack, GTI Clubsport S)

History

Before Volkswagen dreamed up the Golf GTI, there was no such thing as a 'hot hatchback'. Today of course, the phrase has entered everyday parlance and virtually any manufacturer that has a hatchback also has a hot one - or a warm one at the very least. It was 1976 when the original version of this car was born and since then, through continual generations and with the help of countless imitators, it has brought performance, handling and fun to the masses on an unprecedented scale. The Golf GTI we look at here was the mark seven version and claimed to be the best yet at its original launch in 2012. But did that mean 'best of breed' or 'best in class'? This car, after all, may define the hot hatch genre but prior to 2012, it had rarely been recognised as the most accomplished car in its sector. In fact, to be brutally honest, there have been some distinctly average Golf GTI models over the years, the low point reached in the Nineties with unremarkable third and fourth generation models. All that changed though, in 2005 with a completely re-developed fifth generation version that also lent its platform and most of its 2.0-litre turbo mechanicals to the slicker MK6 design that followed in 2009. For the first time since the Seventies and early Eighties, a hot Golf was a credible driver's choice once again. By 2012 though, Volkswagen's iconic shopping rocket was beginning to be overtaken by a whole host of rivals, all of whom offered more firepower and greater technical superiority. Another big step forward was called for - and this seventh generation Golf GTI claimed to represent exactly that. Wolfsburg's hi-tech MQB platform made it lighter and more efficient, there was hi-tech suspension and steering, plus extra power up-front (220PS) along with the option of a pokier Performance Pack (boosting output to 230PS) if that wasn't enough. A rorty three-door GTI Clubsport S version with 310PS was launched in 2016. And the standard GTI was facelifted, along with the rest of the Golf range, for the 2017 model year, an update that boosted power of the standard model to 230PS and that of the 'Performance Pack' variant to 245PS. In 2018, the standard 230PS model was phased out and only the 'Performance Pack' variant remained until the end of the production cycle in 2019.

What You Get

What do you think of in terms of the small but significant distinguishing features that have always marked out a Golf GTI from its ordinary stablemates? The red stripe around the radiator grille? The black border around the rear screen? The smaller sports steering wheel, golf ball-shaped gear knob or tartan-trimmed seats? All of these things have characterised this model line for nearly forty years and back in 2012 when this MK7 Golf GTI was first launched, Volkswagen wasn't about change them. But subtle evolution was required for this seventh generation version - and that's exactly what we got. One glance might suggest that this car isn't much different from what went before. Take another. A new MQB platform gave this model a sportier, more dynamic stance. That's down to the way that the front wheels were moved further forward, reducing the front overhang, visually lengthening the V-shaped bonnet and moving the passenger compartment a little towards the rear. The result is a gym-toned look that's particularly nice at the side, with the C-pillar design supposed to resemble the drawn string of a bow, giving the Golf a look of acceleration even when it's standing still. Confident and assertive then, without being overly showy - but then this has never been a model to champion lairy spoilers and drainpipe exhausts. Instead, you get a car that sits 15mm lower to the road than its humbler siblings, the lovely 18-inch alloy wheels with their red callipers filling the arches purposefully. As is usually the case, the three-door version looks a bit better than its five-door counterpart, the longer doors having the visual effect of lengthening and lowering the profile. On to the detail visual changes made to the MK7 Golf GTI. At the front end, you get a red styling line that extends not only across the grille but also clean through bi-xenon light clusters that sit above three lateral high gloss black aerodynamic fins sitting either side of the honeycomb-trimmed screen that covers the lower air intake. At the side, there are red-on-chrome 'GTI' wing vents that begin the stronger of the two character profile lines, a crease that flows down the flanks into a silver centre section of smoked LED tail lights marking out a rear hatch styled to continue the understatedly purposeful theme. The roof spoiler is supposed to be larger than that found on any ordinary Golf but you wouldn't know it. More obvious are the twin chromed tailpipes that sit either side of a black diffuser. Take a seat inside and there's just enough differentiation to justify this car's heritage and substantial asking price. We've already mentioned the three features that brand aficionados will expect - the chunky three-spoke sports wheel, the tartan seat coverings and the golf ball-shaped gear knob. But this cabin is anything but a throwback, with buttons and switches precisely where you'd want to find them and everything just as it should be. The carpet that lines the storage boxes so that your keys don't scrape around on the move. The upholstered material used for the upper section of the dashboard that's lovely to the touch. The central armrest that adjusts for length and five stages of height. And a 2Zone climate control system that can even adjust itself according to the direction of the sun. It's better than a BMW from this era, every bit as good as an Audi from this period and it all means that if you were to sit in a Ford Focus ST or a Renaultsport Megane from this time after driving one of these, it'd be a bit like stepping from Harvey Nichols into Primark. Could it be a little more showy? Perhaps, but the red stitching, the dark roof fabric, the GTI trim strips and the stainless steel pedal caps do just enough to set the performance theme. Can the same be said of the red ambience lighting? We think it a little 'Hamburg night club': you may disagree. At least Volkswagen resisted the urge to slather this cabin with carbon fibre, material that at one point was going to be used for the entire roof section - until the idea was abandoned due to the production complications it would have created at the Wolfsburg and Zwickau factories. If you come to this seventh generation model fresh from its direct MK6 predecessor, you'll find yourself feeling slightly more comfortable at the wheel but perhaps unable to precisely reason why. Let us tell you. The brilliantly comfortable seat was shifted back for the seventh generation model, at the same time as the pedals were made a little more widely spaced and there was more adjustment possible from the leather-trimmed, flat-bottomed multi-function steering wheel, through which you view lovely instrument dials reminiscent of high-end chronometers. Start the engine and the needles swing once to the end scale position and then back. Lovely. In between the gauges is a centre display with carousel-style graphics that deliver everything from sat nav information to a lap timer. Some of this information is also replicated on the colour infotainment touch screen that dominates the centre of the dash and will be the biggest cabin change for buyers of previous GTI models, a feature you can control merely by swiping your finger across its surface as you do on a smart 'phone. In early MK7 Golf GTI models, it was 5.8-inches in size as standard but could be upgraded to an 8-inch item if, as was mostly the case, the original buyer opted for the more sophisticated sat nav option. The 8-inch screen was standardised after the 2017 model year facelift. This display is the starting point for operation of the Driver Profile selection system that can alter the throttle mapping and engine management set-up to suit your chosen driving style. More conventionally, there's access the stereo with its DAB digital radio, the trip computer and all manner of Bluetooth telephony - enough to make your mobile device feel right at home. Especially if your car has been fitted with the 'Advanced telephone connection' option that'll enable you to link it in to the car's external aerial for improved reception. Thankfully, ventilation controls were left off the menu of screen functions, operable instead by three chunky dials below. Stabbing away at a touchscreen every time you want to change the fan speed or cabin temperature is a modern innovation most owners, we think, could do without. A bit like the electronic handbrake in fact, something you have to have here. In the back seat, you'll most notice the improvements wrought through the introduction of the hi-tech MQB platform - and the 53mm wheelbase increase it allows. Rear legroom rose with this MK7 model by 15mm, despite the change we mentioned earlier, that of the front seats being moved further back to better suit taller drivers. Shoulder and elbow-room were both improved too and headroom's also quite adequate, despite this generation model's small reduction in exterior roof height. As usual in this class, three adults would be a little squashed here but a trio of kids will be quite happy. Out back, there's more space for luggage than there was in the MK6 Golf GTI, the cargo bay 30-litres larger than before at 380-litres - that's 10% bigger than a Megane Renaultsport from this time and 20% bigger than a Focus ST from this period. It's easier to use too, with probably the lowest loading sill height in the class, a wide hatch aperture and a wide base on the dual-height luggage floor. There's a ski hatch too for longer items. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats down and you get useful 1270-litres - again one of the biggest spaces in the class from this era.

What You Pay

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What to Look For

Most Golf GTI MK7 owners we surveyed were very happy with their cars, but inevitably, there have been those who have had problems you'll want to look out for. One owner reported squeaky noises coming from the suspension over speed humps. Another noted that his steering wheel made a slightly wheezy noise when going round bends slowly. There were reports of the boot juddering when closing. And fuel caps that were difficult to open, making re-fuelling a struggle. One owner reported vibration from the door cards at the front and the rear. And another reckoned that his infotainment system was choosing not to function in very cold weather - and at times, was choosing to control itself. As for mechanical stuff, well we came across one owner who'd had a clutch go after just 4,600 miles - but that's very unusual. Another experienced faulty injectors. And another experienced a power failure related to his DSG auto gearbox. Also look out for smearing wipers, problems with the cabin air blowers and a rattle from the gearbox over speed humps. There have been a few reported issues with the DSG auto gearbox, so make sure the gearbox changes properly. Timing chains have been known to snap prematurely and cause major engine damage - yet another reason why a full service history is critical. GTI models can also suffer from quite high oil consumption, so it's important to keep an eye on the oil level, to avoid damage to the engine or timing chain.

Replacement Parts

[based on a 2017 model GTI 2.0 TSI ex VAT] An air filter will be priced in the £13 to £20 bracket, an oil filter will sit in the £5 to £15 bracket. A radiator will likely cost between £95 and £115. The front brake discs we came across commonly sat in the £50 to £70 bracket, with pricier-branded discs costing between £120 and £250. The rear brake discs we came across commonly sat in the £40 to £86 bracket, with pricier-branded discs costing up to around £115. Front brake pads are in the £27 to £65 bracket for a set but for pricier brands, you could pay up to nearly £75. Rear pads cost in the £20-£37 bracket. A thermostat is around £19. A water pump is around £53-£73,. A radiator is around £152-£158. Wiper blades cost around £9.

On the Road

So. Just how quick does a Golf GTI really need to be? Performance-wise, this car certainly has to fit into a very tightly-defined slot. This MK7 model had to be faster than any of the conventional models in the range of course - and of course it needed to be able to duke it out with the rest of the hot hatch brigade. But it couldn't be so rapid that Volkswagen had nowhere to go with the even more focused 4WD Golf R that by 2012 had superseded the GTI as the Golf model line-up's flagship. Within these constraints, you think you know exactly what you're going to get with the GTI and yet... well, we'll get to that in a minute. It's certainly true that the engine stats are reasonably predictable. The original version of this car back in 2012 offered 220PS - or 230PS in 'Performance Pack' form. As part of the facelift changes in 2017, those stats were changed to 230PS and 245PS. Either way, you're looking at more than double the kind of power that was generated by the original MK1 Golf GTI we saw way back in 1976. You might think that still doesn't sound very much given that all this car's direct rivals from this period offer more - a Ford Focus ST from this era has 250PS, a Megane Renaultsport 265PS. But this Volkswagen's efficient MQB platform means that both these cars are heavier - the Ford 100kgs more portly, which is one reason why this Golf, even in 220PS form, can pretty much duplicate their performance, rest to sixty two mph occupying 6.5s en route to 152mph. Still not convinced? Then opt for the 'Performance Pack' version that as well as the power hike comes with bigger brakes and an electronically controlled locking front differential. Whichever version you go for, you'll appreciate the 2.0-litre TSI direct injection turbocharged engine that was further refined for this 7th generation model. OK, so it doesn't have too much aural personality, either on start-up or under hard acceleration, but you can readily forgive it that for the way it goes. Like all the best turbo installations, this one actually feels like a bigger normally-aspirated powerplant. There's no lag and lunge, just a smooth and flexible surge that swells at around 2,500rpm before gradually tailing off as you edge past 4,000rpm, confirming that wringing the thing out to the redline isn't the most effective way to drive this car. Besides that, mid-range punch is what you want for overtaking and merging into fast-moving traffic flows. So it's fast enough - but that you expected. What's more of a surprise is the ride and handling balance on offer here. We used to think Ford were the only brand with a real handle on making a sporting family corner tightly yet ride beautifully. By 2012 though, it was clear that Volkswagen had mastered the art too. Or perhaps you just better notice the dynamic step forward this Golf made in this form thanks to its standard Driver Profile Selection system, essentially the same as Audi's 'drive select' set-up. Here, the four available programmes you can select from the centre dash colour touchscreen - 'Eco', 'Sport', 'Normal' and 'Individual' - alter the throttle mapping and engine management to suit your chosen driving style - gearshift times too if you've opted for a DSG automatic model. Add the optional DCC Dynamic Chassis Control system, which enables you to tweak the suspension to suit the road and your mood, and there's a fifth 'Comfort' mode. We're not actually sure that the standard set-up really needs the extra cost assistance of the Dynamic Chassis Control electronics, so incredibly supple and well balanced is it but if you do choose a car whose original owner specified the DCC option and select the 'Comfort' mode, then you'll get yourself a Golf GTI that tackles urban roads with more composure than some luxury saloons we've come across. Which is nice because no matter how much of a driving enthusiast you are, it's tiresome to saddle yourself with a hot hatch that constantly, wearingly has to remind you of its red mist pretensions when you've had a long day, you just want to get home and the whole of the road network seems to be infested with infernal speed humps. If that's a common scenario for you, then you'll probably be one of those considering a version of this car fitted with the 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. We'd think twice before doing that. OK, so this Golf is a more sensible and mature proposition than more track-orientated rivals from this era like Renaultsport's Megane or Vauxhall's Astra VXR but it's still a package that has the potential to thrill and excite, so damping it down with auto transmission - even one as good as Volkswagen's DSG system - doesn't do it any favours. True, you can set DSG into a Sport mode to hold gears longer and there are steering wheel-mounted paddles but it's still an auto 'box - and one with a slightly irritating tendency to climb straight into sixth gear in order to save fuel. In any case, the six-speed manual transmission is a joy to use, with a short clickety-click action that makes you want to flip up and down the 'box just for the fun of it. Another pleasant surprise is the 'Progressive' steering system, slick, fairly light, unerringly accurate and designed to reduce the amount of lock you have to put on through the corners without you noticing. True, the set-up could offer a touch more response and feedback. Along with the reduced size door mirrors, it's one of the few things we don't like about this car and the feel on offer at the helm certainly doesn't encourage you to switch off all the control systems, fling the car into a corner and see what happens. You have to learn where the limits of the front end are by gradual experimentation rather than through an intuitive connection through the wheel. But once you have, this can be an astonishingly rapid back road brawler. Focus yourself, select 'Sport' on the Driver Profile selection system and on a typical British B road and at typical British B road speeds, the Golf GTI feels ruthlessly good, the suspension artfully tuned so as not to continually upset the car or its traction control systems. Throw a Megane Renaultsport down a fast, twisting, bumpy country lane and you'd likely emerge at the other end a bit sweaty-palmed with your adrenal glands waving the white flag. The Golf might arrive a tenth or a second or two behind but it's driver would be serene, relaxed and with enough mental capacity in hand to enjoy a play on Radio 4. And therein lies the joy of this car.

Overall

When the Golf GTI was first launched in 1976, Volkswagen wondered whether it would struggle to sell an early production run of 5,000 vehicles. By 2012, two million sales later, the issue the issue the brand faced was not whether this car would sell, but who might buy it. After all, previous to 2012, this model had mainly sold to folk who, if they were honest, would probably admit to having out-grown the shopping rocket genre it originally created. In 7th generation form, this car needed to return a little to its roots - add an old fashioned dose of fun into the mature mix. It did. You might not know that from the figures. In all the dynamic measures that tend to matter to hot hatch drivers - 0-62mph acceleration, top speed, lap times, lateral grip, braking performance and so on - this Golf never really seriously bothers the class best. You might not be immediately arrested by the looks either, or the initial experience on the drive round the block. But persevere. Forty years of experience in creating a car of this kind has to count for something. It does. Importantly, Wolfsburg didn't here make the mistake of developing this GTI for the track rather than the road, so bumpy British tarmac doesn't bother it. You're always confident in pushing the performance envelope in a way that few rivals can match, yet that's possible without the sweaty palms that usually characterise red mist motoring. MK5 and MK6 Golf GTI models were also accomplished in this way, but with its extra power, lighter lithe responses and brilliantly sorted suspension, this MK7 version can not only be a confident performance car but a credibly exciting one too. So yes, it should sell to folk who want a proper hot hatch experience as well as a very mature one. The very first generation version set out to define a fundamental standard for performance that was more precise than any other compact car. So it is here. Long after the novelty of some rivals has worn off, this GTI will always feel a class act. Crucially though, in this form, it's also a very entertaining one.

Volkswagen Golf average rating: 4/5 (5 reviews)

Mr Simon Dabell - 11/12/2018, owner of a Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Tech SE 2dr

User rating: 4/5

User comment:
Very pleased with the car and glad to have found an almost replica replacement for my previous VW Golf cabriolet with low mileage.

Mr Graham Earwood - 13/08/2018, owner of a Volkswagen Golf Gti S-A

User rating: 4.5/5

User comment:
All going well after pick up on 24th July. Had some difficulties with the infotainment system and the satnav but getting on top of it now. Taken the car to the West Country and went well.

Mr Raymond Hurricks - 13/07/2018, owner of a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 125 Match Edition 5dr

User rating: 5/5

User comment:
The VW Golf is excellent in every respect - quality of build, driveability, comfort and installed accessories. Total peace of mind in taking out a maintenance contract including warranty 4life and AA cover, perfect. My thanks to Keith Gordon of Doves Southampton.

Read all Volkswagen Golf Reviews

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