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Golf 7 test drive

Text by Deborah Tan, Material World.

The kind folks at Volkswagen lent me the Golf 7 for Material World's road-trip up to Malacca over the weekend. It was my first road-trip and I really wanted a reliable car that I would not have too much difficulty driving. As I'm already an owner of the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI, I was glad they lent me the Golf instead of an SUV like the Toureg or the Touran. Given the tight parking spaces along Jonker Walk, I don't think people would have appreciated having a giant of a car taking 20 minutes to park.

The Golf (and most of VW's newer models, in fact) comes with Park Assist - the car detects a lot in a parallel or reverse parking situation and parks itself. I, however, am the "old-school" type who refuses to allow a machine to help me park my car. I tried Park Assist once … and it was a heart-stopping experience I didn't relish.


I briefly tested the Golf 7 at its media launch at Sentosa last year. The 10-minute drive around lil' Sentosa didn't leave a deep impression so I'm glad for the chance to get reacquainted with the car through a 2-hour drive up north.

After the initial "getting to know you" five minutes, I felt right at home driving the Golf. I loved the handling, I loved how smooth the transmission was, and most importantly, I loved how spacious the car was. My two-hour drive to Malacca was utterly enjoyable. Although we drove through a pretty bad haze (Muar apparently recorded a PSI of 700 that very afternoon!), the car kept us safely ensconced from it. I was able to nimbly change lanes (to give way to a crazy-fast Ferrari and a number of super aggro Audis) without feeling like I was endangering anyone's life.

But in my two-and-a-half days with the car, however, I could not figure out why the sound system recognised my iPod just ONCE. When I unplugged it and plugged it back in, nothing I did got the system connected to the iPod ever again. The "iPod" option I saw had totally vanished! I ended up streaming music via Bluetooth from my iPhone … because plugging in my iPhone did not get the music to work either. Anyway, small matter … it's nothing further reading of the owner's manual could not fix (I just lack the patience).

How can you dislike a Golf?!?

When you keep working on something, you're bound to get it one step closer to perfection. VW's newest Golf is the result of this long-standing commitment to the car maker's most iconic creation. I really want to say it's PERFECT. Can I?

Love the space!

So the Material Girls aren't exactly plus sized but we are all of healthy proportions! The Golf's spacious cabin held our party of 5 comfortably.

Fuel economy is tops!

So we took the car all the way to Malacca. From Singapore to the Malaysian state, all the car used was just under a quarter of a tank! Even though it was loaded with five people (and our bags), the car never once felt "heavy"or loaded down. It pretty much felt like we were flying to Malacca!

Love the navigation system, yo!

I'd not consider driving to Malaysia if it weren't for the navigation system. The interface is incredibly easy to use. Not only that, you can control the radio and the driving mode using the touch-screen too.

It's "World Car Of The Year!"

Other reasons why I think this car is a big WIN!

It beeps if it thinks you could bump into something

When I pulled up to a toll booth or if I was trying to park in a corner lot, an alarm would go off and the screen would show me just how close I am to bumping into the wall or a booth.

The drive is flawless even at a speed of 160km/h

On the Malaysian highway, we took the car all the way up to 160km/h. The car remained unfazed and drove steadily and quietly - even though it lost 100kg in weight in this makeover.

The Start/Stop makes it slightly friendlier to the environment

If you leave the Start/Stop switched on, the car's internal combustion engine switches off to keep the enging from idling for too long. This is  great for reducing CO2 emissions and for saving fuel.

Read the original article here.


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