Motoring News

2017 mid-life features to keep VW Golf legend alive

  • Mid-life upgrades for VW Golf VII
  • Superior screens, audio for each model
  • Whole range of fuel-efficient engines
2017 Golf GTI. Image: VW SA
2017 Golf GTI. Image: VW SA

THE evolution of Volkswagen’s seemingly everlasting Golf series – it’s now more than 40 years old! –  continued this week in South Africa with the introduction of a revised engine range, more technology, new infotainment, better connectivity and revised styling.

The cheapest of the 2017 range will cost R290 000, a very far cry from the R1 348 of the first model which stirred the SA automotive market (and the hearts of the nation’s younger buyers!) back in 1975 though it only had what today would be regarded as totally inadequate “features” and a 1.2-litre engine.

2017 Golf. Image: VW SA
2017 Golf. Image: VW SA

So, for the price of the car today, a fleet of 215 could have been bought back then. That’s inflation for you – not to mention a rand that’s today worth about 12% against what it was worth back then against major international currencies. It also shows how far the Golf has come from fun basic transport to the luxury vehicle of today.


Some publications have dubbed the car the Golf Mk.VII.5; VW SA says it continues to be a car that benchmarks the market for  comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency while “democratising quality and value – a longstanding Volkswagen tenet”.

Now standard across the range are diode-lit tail lights and each derivative offers a new generation of larger, more sophisticated, touchscreen infotainment systems and “sparkles with technical innovation”.

READ MORE VW features on Carman’s Corner

For the first time in the compact class (though The Corner would say the modern Golf is somewhat larger than ‘compact’) a Discover Pro radio/satnav system can be operated with hand gestures over its 23cm touchscreen.

2017 Golf. Image: VW SA
2017 Golf. Image: VW SA

It also shares its underpinnings with the Passat and latest Tiguan and comes with a cornucopia of pro-safety technology that includes blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise-control that doubles as an alert for auto braking, and trailer parking guidance.


The base 999cc turbo engine now makes 81kW and spins a six-speed manual transmission that holds the promise of a possible fuel consumption of 4.8 litres/100km. The GTI version, however, makes 169kW – up seven kW from its predecessor.

There’s also a 1.4 TSI, an 81kW two-litre turbodiesel and a Golf R with 213kW. An all-new 130kW GTD will come later in 2017.

Every  model have stop/start and brake-energy storage – otherwise called regenerative braking. (Features lists and prices below image.)

2017 Golf. Image: VW SA
2017 Golf. Image: VW SA



The Trendline comes with:

ESP with hill-hold
Electronic parking brake
Electronic adjustable heated side mirrors
Electronic windows (front & rear)
Manual airconditioner
Cloth seat covers “Basket” design
Fatigue detection
Diode tail lights
16.5cm Composition Colour radio system with touchscreen, USB, Bluetooth Connectivity and eight speakers
15″ Lyon alloy wheels rims
Leather-wrapped  multi-function steering-wheel
Diode daytime running lights

In addition to the Trendline standard features:
Drawer under front passenger seat
Front centre armrest
Front-seat lumbar support
Cloth upholstery
Front foul-weather lights
16″ alloy wheel rims
Cruise control
Rain sensors
Auto-dimming mirror
Auto headlights with leaving/coming home function

Standard are:
Sport suspension
Exhaust chromed twin tailpipes (right and left)
Ambient lighting (red light strips)
Progressive steering
18″ alloy wheel rims
Automatic aircon
Heatable front seats
Auto high-beam
Diode headlights
Dynamic cornering lights
20cm Composition Media Radio System with Touchscreen, USB, Bluetooth Connectivity and eight speakers
App connect
Voice control


These include a swivelling tow-ball, sunroof, 20cm Composition Media Radio/CD system, 23cm Discover Pro Navigation, rear camera, parking radar and keyless locking.
Comfortline options offer an R-Line exterior package, 17″ alloy wheel rims, rear diffuser and trapezoidal chrome trims and spoiler.

Prices (inc VAT and emissions tax)
1.0 TSI 81kW Trendline – R289 900
1.0 TSI 81kW Comfortline – R304 200
1.4 TSI 92kW Comfortline DSG – R356 400
2.0 TSI 169kW GTI DSG – R545 800

Each will be delivered with a five-year or 90 000km service plan, three-year or 120 000km warranty and the promise of at least 12 years of anti-rust through.

Service intervals 15 000km.

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