VOLKSWAGEN’S Golf is an automotive icon, and one of the world’s best selling small cars. Updated for 2018, the range now opens with the Volkswagen Golf 110 TSI Trendline, the only standard model that also comes as a manual.
It’s a simpler list of variants as VW works to meet tough new emission testing standards, which also means diesel power is off the menu. The change has also seen a revision of the Golf R and GTI performance hatch model ranges.
Fitted with the optional 7-speed DSG, our Golf 110 TSI Trendline takes to the market from $24,990 plus on-roads, bringing with it an 8-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
It also gets front and rear parking sensors, 16-inch alloys and safety features such as autonomous emergency braking, with a 110kW turbocharged 1.4-litre four cylinder engine pushing out 250Nm of torque to the front wheels.
The level of refinement, smoothness and luxury are right on the money with the Mark 7.5 version of the Golf, but it’s probably been surpassed by the likes of Hyundai and the i30 among others, for performance, steering and handling.
The 1.4-litre turbo suffers only a fraction of lag from right at the lower reaches of the tachometer, while conversely it starts to sound harsher than expected when wound out to the tachometer’s red-line.
Fortunately, anywhere above 1200rpm there is surplus response, and the 8.2 second 0-100km/h claim feels entirely realistic. Add a quick throw and decisive manual mode from the DSG into the experience and there’s some subtle sportiness to be enjoyed as well.
Plus it’s really quite frugal. And while loftier Golf models with broader tyres can suffer from some road noise; particularly notable on coarse chip roads, the 110 TSI uses its modest Continental footprint to its great advantage and disadvantage.
It’s comfortably the most hushed in the segment, you might say class leading, but those tyres, they’re great in the dry, but no so much in the wet. We can safely say nothing rides more beautifully than the entry-level Volkswagen for anywhere near it’s price tag.
Even more impressive is that the suspension manages to be both soothing and controlled. Nowhere does it lack compliance, and never does it feel spongey. The steering could benefit from the sportier set up reserved for the R and GTI though.
It feels soft and vacant on centre response, yet everywhere else the Golf’s steering is immaculately direct and responsive. There’s a real impervious-ness, and even luxuriousness, about the way the Golf 110 TSI goes about its business.
While the Golf 110 TSI looks holistically competitive, there are a couple of dips in the equipment detail. A Hyundai i30 Active includes auto headlights, a digital radio and integrated satellite navigation, which are all missing in the Volkswagen, for example.
But it all depends on what features an entry level buyer prefers, because that rival conversely misses out on a leather wheel and active emergency braking. There is a digital widescreen dashboard in the Golf though along with the full driver assistance pack.
The new touchscreen is brilliantly simple to use, with effortless sweep and swipe intuition just like a smartphone. And in this day and age, connecting via CarPlay and using its navigation (data and signal permitting) is easier than most SatNav systems.
We did however find the voice command controls hard to use. That aside, there are soft touch surfaces everywhere inside the 2018 Volkswagen Golf 110 TSI, along with subtle white mood lighting for one of the best interiors in its class.
There are little appointments, too, such as rear air vents, the level of quality in the cloth trim, and supportive seating both front and rear that enhance the driving experience, and the two tier boot is cavernous at 380-litres.
The only corner cutting we could find to bring down the whole experience was a lack of rear seat map pockets and some hard plastics on the rear doors, but overall, it kicks a lot of goals for an entry level small car.
Our 2018 Volkswagen Golf 110 TSI Trendline was provided by Volkswagen Australia. To find out more, contact your local Volkswagen dealer.