The invention of the hatchback is too a large extent credited to Volkswagen. Volkswagen invented the hatchback over four decades ago and despite the milestones accomplished in the industry, the automaker has barely altered its shape. The Golf brand continues to set standards in this segment. The Golf has grown to include two-door hatchbacks, 4-door hatchbacks, sporty hatchbacks and for the first time a wagon hooked up with AWD as standard. The new addition is dubbed the “Golf Alltrack”. Ideally, it is a Golf SportWagen with a taller suspension and VW’s 4Motion AWD system. The system diverts up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels when front wheels start slipping. Except for the AllTrack, the Golf lineup continues almost unchanged from the 2016 lineup. The 2017 Volkswagen Golf has some good ratings in terms of safety and performance across all trims, not forgetting a well-trimmed cabin with plenty of cargo space for a car its size.
2017 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
Although the exterior has not changed very much, traditional fans will have a hard time getting used to the new changes, which are more evolutionary than revolutionary.
At the front, the Golf gets LED headlights for all trims as standard features. LED DRLs have also been revised. A closer look will also indicate that the front bumper has been revised slightly. The bumper is integrated with air ducts that channel cooling air to the engine and brakes. In addition, the air ducts create an impression that the car’s width is wider than it actually is. For extra refinement, the front fascia features a wide strip of chrome that starts from the headlight clusters and stretches across the grille. The line is painted blue on the GTE Plug-in and red on the GTI while on the fully electric e-Golf, the blue strips combines with a closed-off grille.
Volkswagen has done away with the not so attractive black box that held the radar and sensors for the automatic EBS and adaptive cruise control systems. The radar and sensors are now concealed behind the VW badge. The rear end features minor changes. All models get LED taillights along with dynamic indicators that appear to “sweep” across the light clusters in the direction indicated by the driver. VW uses this same system on the latest Audi models.
2017 Volkswagen Golf Interior
Most changes on the new Golf have taken place on the inside. The automaker has added new technologies to make various features easily accessible. For example, the automaker has added gesture controls which use cameras and sensors to interpret various hand signals to control the infotainment system, climate system settings and the sunroof.
The gestures control feature is however available on models equipped with the advanced Discover Pro infotainment system which feature a 9.2-inch touch-screen mounted on the dash. The system is standard on the e-Golf. In fact, the Golf is the first mainstream family hatchback to use this kind of advanced technology, which goes a long way to show the strong credentials of the Golf. Such features have been a preserve for luxury sedans and SUVs.
Connectivity has also been given top priority on the Golf lineup. On-board internet, wireless phone charging, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink are standard. A Media Control app is also available to enable passengers to control some aspects of the infotainment system. The automaker also offers the Virtual Cockpit similar to ones used in Audis as an option. The system, which is dubbed Active Info Display, allows information display on a 12.3-inch TFT screen.
In addition to the numerous technologies, the automaker also features a range of driver assistance systems such as traffic jam assist available on models with DSG dual-clutch, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control (the three system work together to maneuver the car automatically in stop-go traffic). The Golf also features an Emergency Assist system, which is capable of automatically bringing the car to a halt under certain circumstances such as when the driver is incapacitated at the wheel. It brings the car to a managed stop if the driver fails to make any inputs.
Engine specs and performance
Under the hood, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf is offered with a choice for two drive-trains. However, the engines are tweaked to produce varying amounts of power output. The base models will be powered b a 1.8 L, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 170 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. The mill is paired with the automaker’s 6-speed automatic transmission system. A 5-speed manual gearbox is optional on some trims.
For more power, VW offers a turbocharged 2.0 L engine, which adds 40 hp or 50 hp depending on the trim chosen. The engine is paired with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed dual clutch transmission system. The GTI is hooked up with this version of the mill. However, if this power is not enough for you, the same engine is tweaked to produce 292 hp on the Golf R. The engine on the Golf R is paired with a Haldex AWD system for better performance. In addition, Golf GTI and Golf R feature adjustable dampers that fine-tune response.
The lineup will also feature a hybrid and fully-electric drive-trains. Details on these environment-friendly drive-trains is yet to be released by the automaker.
Price and release date
Pricing details for the entire lineup has not been released. However, don’t expect the prices to vary significantly from that of the outgoing models. The base Golf has an MSRP of $22,480. Expect the price to exceed $30,000 for top-of the-range trims. The models will go on sale early next year.