The next generation of Volkswagen's best-selling car was unveiled at a press conference in Berlin, Germany.
The bigwigs at Volkswagen say that the new Golf brings new levels of comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency to the class.
Despite being bigger than the previous generation, the Golf7 is 100kg than its predecessor, thanks to new production techniques. The weight saving will also make the new vehicle 23 percent more efficient.
At 4255mm long, the new Golf is 56mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59mm longer wheelbase of 2637 mm. The front wheels are 43mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13mm wider, at 1799 mm, and 28mm lower, at 1452mm. This helps to create a 10 per cent improvement in the drag co-efficient, which is now 0.27 Cd.
Inside, the MkVII is roomier than ever. Rear legroom is improved by 15 mm, and the front seats have been moved 20mm further back, benefitting taller drivers. Front shoulder room is improved by 31mm to 1420mm (at the rear it is 30mm wider) and elbow room by 22mm to 1469mm (20mm wider at the rear). There is more room for luggage, too: the boot is 30 litres larger, at 380 litres, with a low 685mm sill to make loading effortless. The front passenger seat can also optionally fold fully forward, creating a loadspace which is up to 2412mm long.
The latest incarnation of VW's iconic car is also stuffed with innovative safety gizmmos. Standard on all new Golf models is a multi-collision brake system. This automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision, to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance of a second impact. Also standard is the PreCrash system that made its debut on the Touareg. If it detects the possibility of an accident, it pre-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure the best possible protection from the airbags.
Other electronic aids include Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist, which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop and operates at speeds of up to 150 km/h; and City Emergency Braking, which operates at up to 30 km/h, and can reduce or prevent the chance of accidents occurring.
For the first time, the Golf is also available with driver profile selection, which allows the driver to choose from four modes - Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual; with a DSG gearbox a fifth option - Comfort - is also offered. Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style.
Under the bonnet, the Golf is powered by a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems. At launch, the petrol engines are a 1.2-litre TSI 62.5kW unit returning 4.9l/100 km, and a 1.4-litre TSI 103kW unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders, and achieves up to 4.8l/100 km. The launch diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 77kW, which returns 3.8l/100 km, and a 2.0-litre 110kW unit which returns 4.1l/100 km.