Turmeric is all the rage now, isn’t it? Chips and lattes, creams, salads and soaps. Even cars, it seems. That was the colour of the Golf Comfortline we picked up for the week. Or so the brochure said.
Having a mother with Indian heritage, turmeric played a starring role in our household long before celebrities started adding it to their chai.
We had it mixed in water to settle upset tummies, sprinkled on cuts to help healing and combined with a touch of coconut oil for a paste for skin and hair.
I am turmericed out, people, and not once in all those years have I seen the spice the colour offered up in this Golf. Mustard, though, that could work.
It is a good thing, then, that this tumeric Golf 7.5 has so many redeeming qualities.
It is often the case that mid-cycle updates bring marked exterior changes, but the Golf’s new LED headlights, tweaked bumpers and revised front guards play a supporting act to the real stars of the show here – trendy technological changes and a boost to performance.
The cabin retains that restrained classy air with piano black highlights and brushed metal touchpoints adding interest to the darker palette. The Golf feels quite spacious for a small car and while room in the rear may not match that offered by some rivals, two tallish adults will have no problems. Kids, of course, will have more room to stretch and there are two IsoFix anchor points should you need them.
In-cabin storage is available but unobtrusive and served by cupholders, both front and back, a usable glove box and lidded bin. The boot (380-litres) is decidedly larger than you expect, growing to 1270-litres with the 60:40 rear seatbacks folded flat. Luggage hooks and an adjustable floor add practicality.
Volkswagen has worked hard at heightening the value-for-money proposition here and our mid-range Golf Comfortline was more than suitably equipped with luxurious features. Auto headlights and wipers are par for the course as is dual-zone climate control and voice activated satellite navigation.
The new 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen not only peps up the centre console but is also rather intuitive and easy to use. Smartphone mirroring obviously helps matters here offering a familiar standard screen and functionality for those who can’t be parted from their mobiles.
There is reliable Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and audio streaming as well as inputs for USB, Aux and an SD card. The screen is a great tool for the reverse camera, the high resolution allowing for a good picture even in the dark.
An Infotainment Package adds a 9.2-inch touchscreen with gesture control, a digital instrument display with active info display and a more powerful sound system.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The Golf features two engines, a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol available in our test car and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel limited to the Highline. The petrol comes with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG auto transmission while the diesel is available with DSG only.
They are both great little units with the petrol offering up a handy 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque.
Automatic Emergency Braking is available standard across the Golf range. It operates both at city and highway speeds, warning of potential collisions and stopping the car automatically if the driver isn’t paying attention and takes no action.
Golf Comfortline also has seven airbags, anti-lock brakes and driver fatigue monitor.
A Driver Assistance Package ($1500) adds adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitor, park assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
Cloth covered seats show quality in fabric and generosity in width. They could do with a bit more bolstering but are comfortable enough for the usual daily forays.
As is Volkswagen’s way, the console is functional and uncluttered with a logical three-step design and easy-to-grip dials and buttons.
Excellent driving dynamics has long been a Golf strongpoint and this latest edition is true to form. With great balance, good steering feedback and enthusiastic intent, the Golf is an enjoyable little number to drive.
The ride itself is fairly quiet and the ride refined with the Golf managing to soften the edges around bumps despite its firmer suspension.
It can be a bit slow to respond from standstill but quickly gains composure once it gets going, with pretty much linear power delivery as soon as the boost really kicks in at around 3000rpm.
Our turbo-petrol test car used 5.7L/100km during our week in the hot seat, close enough to the claimed 5.4L/100km for us to be impressed.
Braking is good, it changes direction easily and is of course super easy to manoeuvre around tight city streets.
The Golf is backed by Volkswagen’s three-year unlimited kilometre warranty with service intervals at 12 months or 15,000km.
Success is all about the one percenters, right? And with attention to detail, increased technical capability and incrementally improved performance, Volkswagen has given the Golf the sort of boost that is difficult for buyers to ignore.
Even in a segment filled with appealing competitors, this Golf manages to shine. Whatever its colour.
AT A GLANCE
VW Golf 110TSI Comfortline pricing and specifications:
Price: from $28,990 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol
Transmission: Seven-speed DSG auto, FWD
Fuel: 5.4/100km (ADR Combined)
Warranty: Three years unlimited kilometres
Safety Rating: Five Star ANCAP
What we liked:
Quality and value
What we didn’t:
Premium unleaded only
Styling a touch bland