Already enjoying the advantages of the highly valued options are the Golf, Beetle, Tiguan and Touareg. Now an R-Line optional package, in both Golf hatch and wagon models, builds on the standard equipment of the Highline 103 TSI and 110 TDI Golf models.
For more than half a century the iF product design award has been a globally recognised hallmark, honouring outstanding design achievement. An international jury of 49 design experts judged more than 3200 entries and rewarded the Golf wagon with the 2014 iF gold award in the Transportation Design category.
In its official statement the jury said: “The Golf wagon has a very clean and original design that is unmistakable and significant for the brand. The design is so superb because it does not cry out for any exaggerated emotionality. Rather it shows how even with simple means it is possible to achieve a perfect result in product design. The car simply oozes quality.”
Our test vehicle this week was the Golf wagon 103 TSI Highline with R-Line package and DSG automatic transmission. It sells for $33,840, plus on-road costs.
A solid base for the package is provided by 18-inch Salvador alloy wheels, topped off with R-Line exterior body styling including rear spoiler, front and rear bumpers and side sills. These complement the sports suspension
Inside the cabin there’s an R-Line steering wheel with paddle shifters, interior trim complete with sport seats featuring R-Line badging, and stainless steel pedals.
Wagon practicalities are not ignored with 100 litres more cargo space, up to 605 litres, than its predecessor, the Golf 6 wagon. When loaded to the backs of the front seats and up to the ceiling, cargo capacity grows to 1620 litres over the previous model’s 1495 litres.
As with the Golf Hatch, the wagon is fitted with a new-generation radio and satellite navigation system and 5.8-inch touchscreen as standard.
Cleverly, proximity sensors detect as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a hand near to the touchscreen and the system automatically switches from display to input mode.
The display mode shows only the essentials, while in the operating mode, elements that can be activated by touch are highlighted to simplify intuitive operation. The display also has a function that lets users scroll through lists with a swipe of the hand.
Bluetooth connectivity and all the latest in-car communication systems are a given in the latest Golf wagon.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
The 103 kW TSI engine of the Golf wagon dishes up maximum power between 4500 and 6000 rpm and has a claimed combined urban / highway fuel consumption of only 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres.
The 16-valve four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which has a maximum torque of 250 Nm on tap between 1500 and 3500 rpm, has the wagon running from rest to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds.
The Golf Wagon includes all the latest in active and passive safety features, including cameras and parking sensors, and offers the added advantage of a Driver Assistance Package, with an impressive safety and convenience systems, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist with City Emergency Brake, Proactive Occupant Protection System, Park Assist 2 and Driving Profile Selection.
There are strictly automobile ‘economists’, those who eschew vehicle performance in lieu of fuel savings; then there are owners who crave both. Needless to say, the automobile manufacturers have been listening.
Volkswagen is one of these and, with the use of the latest in turbocharging technology, produces a range of petrol and diesel engines to suit most circumstances. I must admit to being ambivalent about the 103TSI motor, which seemed to vary in the way it performed, especially off the mark.
On the other hand, progressive steering offered a new-found direct and agile response in dynamic driving. Fuel consumption during our testing was 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the motorway – but almost twice that in town. This makes a mockery of the official combined figure of 5.2 litres per hundred kilometres claimed by Volkswagen.
Comfort and convenience are of high quality. I’m afraid the rake of the touchscreen almost completely wiped it out in reflection from bright sunlight. Annoying.
Ride and handling in general, plus the interior comfort, of the Volkswagen 110 TDI Highline DSG Golf wagon with R-Line package goes far beyond that expected of a $38,540 priced German vehicle.
AT A GLANCE
Golf 103TSI Highline with R-Line package: $34,490 (automatic)
Golf 110TDI Highline with R-Line package: $36,990 (automatic)
Golf Wagon 103TSI Highline with R-Line package: $36,040 (automatic)
Golf Wagon 110TDI Highline with R-Line package: $38,540 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local VW dealer for drive-away prices.
18-inch Salvador alloy wheels
R-Line steering wheel with paddle shifters
R-Line interior trim complete with sport seats with R-Line badging
Stainless steel pedals and sports suspension
Front and rear bumpers and side sills
SPECIFICATIONS (Volkswagen Golf Highline 103TSI 1.4-litre petrol five-door wagon)
Configuration: In-line 4-cylinder turbocharged, fuel injected
Bore / stroke: 74.5 mm / 80.0 mm
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Maximum Power: 103 kW @ 4500-6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 250 Nm @ 1500-3500 rpm
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive, 7-speed DSG automatic transmission
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4657 mm
Width: 1799 mm
Height: 1496 mm
Wheelbase: 2620 mm
Track: 1550 mm (front), 1520 mm (rear)
Tare mass: 1312 kg
Seating capacity: 5
Cargo capacity 605 litres, 1620 litres (rear seats folded)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
Turning circle: 10.9 m
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES:
Suspension: Independent, MacPherson struts with lower A-arms. Anti-roll bar (front); Independent, four-link with coil springs. Anti-roll bar (rear).
Brakes: Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear). Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD),
Brake Assist and Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP). Brake energy recuperation
Steering: Electric power assisted rack and pinion
Wheels / tyres: Alloy wheels (Salvador) 18×7½in with 225/40 R18 tyres
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 8.9 sec
Top speed: 213 km/h
Fuel type: 95 RON
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 5.2 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 121 g / km
Emission rating: Euro 5
GREEN VEHICLE GUIDE RATINGS:
Greenhouse Rating: 8.0 / 10
Air Pollution Rating: 7.5 / 10
Three years / 100,000 kilometres