Fleet News

First Drive: Golf GTI DSG

Volkswagen
BIK List Price
£27,720
Volkswagen Golf BIK list price
BIK Percentage
21%
Volkswagen Golf BIK Percent
CO2
148g/km
Volkswagen Golf CO2
Combined MPG
44.1
Volkswagen Golf MPG

Review

A raft of advanced engineering touches look set to win significant new fleet business for Volkswagen's ultimate Golf.

Changes that have delivered sharper performance while also allowing a dramatic cut in tailpipe emissions promise to drive the latest GTI onto many more company choice lists, believes head of fleet Michael O'Shea.

“Like its predecessors, the last GTI was regarded as an icon by driving enthusiasts but a CO2 figure of 176g/km was way above the ceiling for many companies and effectively ruled it out of the policies. But the work to cut back on emissions means the potential to increase our business has been improved.

“Add to that the fact that engine output has been boosted by 10bhp means we have best of both worlds benefits to talk about – I think we'll soon be back on the lists in a big way,” he told Fleet News.

Speaking as the latest version of the classic hot hatchback was launched in France, O'Shea predicted a surge of interest from user-choosers and added: “The seventh version of the Golf has been positively received by company drivers since it was launched in January and these engineering benefits will build on the strong sales we've achieved so far this year by making the range stronger and a more appealing proposition to leasing companies and end users alike.”

As before, the car advertises its performance credentials by sitting on lowered suspension and retains distinctive red brake callipers and two big exhaust pipes to deliver a throaty roar from its brawny motor. But the signature radiator grille red stripe feature extends into the headlights for a more dramatic appearance, backed by daytime running lights and smoked LED units at the rear.

For the first time, GTI aficionados are being offered a factory-fit higher output option to boost power to 226bhp and raise top speed to 155mph - but most drivers should be satisfied with the standard car's performance, which sends the speedo needle swinging to the 62mph mark in just 6.5 seconds in the DSG version.  
But fleet chiefs are likely to be more impressed with the 14% economy improvement from the latest TSI motor and five band lower insurance premiums achieved by a raft of safety equipment including post-collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes after an accident to reduce the chance of a second impact, city emergency braking, radar cruise control and front assist, a feature that alerts the driver if the car gets too close to the vehicle in front.

Combined with a 40kg weight reduction and lower drag, the higher power heightens the driving pleasure of a model that has been a hot hatch trailblazer ever since it was introduced in 1976.

Excellent detailing gives an even more upmarket air to a package that combines speed with spaciousness and practicality. Add impeccable balance, superb handling and quicksilver response and the latest version is a delight that even comes with a new progressive steering system to provide greater alacrity through the bends while still managing to make parking less of a chore.

By Maurice Glover

Fuel costs
A new cylinder head design is the major efficiency improvement that makes the DSG-equipped GTI 14 per cent more fuel efficient than the previous two-litre turbocharged TSI engine. The new design features water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation, a unique innovation in the sector which improves fuel consumption, particularly during full load operation.
CO2 emissions
Variable valve timing allows more precise control of the charge exchange process on the dual camshaft engine to promote low emissions, and reduced friction has been achieved by the use of revised crankshaft bearings and a new oil pump that operates only when needed.
Residual values
The GTI has always held rock-solid residuals. Backed by excellent driving characteristics, the low fuel consumption and emission values of the new car are set to maintain this performance.
Driver appeal
Fast and responsive, the new GTI is a car that will reward the enthusiastic driver and it fully lives up to the reputation established by its predecessors.
FN Verdict
Volkswagen's GTI has always been the model that set the benchmark in hot hatch motoring and the seventh-generation version is no exception. It scores high marks in all the crucial areas and is as much at home on the school run as it is in long-distance business motoring.
Top Speed
152mph
Volkswagen Golf Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Volkswagen Golf Ved
Fuel Type
Volkswagen Golf Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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