TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR
While it’s not an all-new model, the Volkswagen Golf 7.5 nevertheless is an improvement on Golf 7, while maintaining its reputation for quality and excellent handling.
The 110 TSI Comfortline sits in the middle of the range and is powered by the 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine found across the non-performance Golf models coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Comfortline retails for $28,990 as standard, though the vehicle we tested also came with a $1500 Driver Assistance Package which includes adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist, plus $2300 infotainment package with active info display dashboard. The addition of Turmeric Yellow premium metallic paint tips the price beyond $33,000 before on-road costs.
- Standard equipment is plentiful and includes automatic emergency braking, an 8-inch infotainment screen with reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, cruise control and speed limiter, premium cloth seats, a leather upholstered steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, driver fatigue alert, tyre pressure sensors, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, auto headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lights, heated power-adjustable external mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, voice controlled satellite navigation and dual-zone climate control.
- The driver’s seat is a nice place to be, with controls and buttons laid out intuitively and a comfortable driving position on the cloth-upholstered and manually-adjusted seats. This includes the infotainment system which is easy to navigate and has a simple and quick Blutooth connection.
- The rear seats are also roomy and comfortable with good, leg, head and elbow room for two adults. The doors open wide making getting in and out easy while the rear windows are nice and big - even children will be able to see out.
- It’s great to drive too with excellent chassis control, precise steering and independent rear suspension that combine for excellent roadholding and minimal body roll. Unlike some small hatchbacks, the Golf Comfortline loves winding roads. It handles bumpy roads with aplomb too, despite the relatively firm ride.
- The 110 TSI engine experiences some turbo lag when you put the foot down, but it provides more than enough power once it winds up. It's a flexible powertrain despite its size, with plenty of pulling power in a torque-rich midrange.
- The 380-litre boot is a decent size for a small hatch and extends to 1270 litres with the 60-40 seats folded down.
- It’s every bit as sophisticated looking at its bigger brothers such as the Passat and Tiguan
- The Infotainment Package really makes this car feel seem a lot more expensive than it is, with the Audi-style digital dashboard display, larger 9.2-inch touchscreen and excellent premium sound system with sub-woofer. It's an option worth paying for, if you value cutting-edge technology.
- There’s no manual version of the Comfortline, which is a shame as the 110TSI with manual gearbox is almost as enjoyable to drive as the Golf GTI.
- As well as that turbo lag it’s a little sluggish off the mark because of the dual clutch auto, which is a little stiff and slow to respond in stop-start traffic. Make sure you factor that in if you need to pull out into fast-moving traffic.
ARE THERE ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER
The circa $30,000 retail price may seem a little high, but Volkswagen has shifted the Golf 7.5 more upmarket which makes the 110TSI Comfortline pretty good value against entry-level premium hatches such as the Audi A1, BMW 1 Series, Infiniti Q30, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Mini Cooper.
You’ll have to look at the higher-spec versions of its traditional rivals for suitable alternatives which offer more by way of creature comforts if not technology. These include the Holden Astra RS-V, Ford Focus Titanium, Honda Civic VTi-L, Hyundai i30 Elite, Mazda 3 SP25, Renault Megane Zen, Subaru Impreza 2.0s and Toyota Corolla ZR.