The Volkswagen Golf is a clear segment leader. It’s not only everywhere on Perth roads, but it’s everywhere in numerous iterations. The Golf, GTI, R, wagon, cabriolet and even the Jetta (for those willing to concede it as the Golf’s sedan) consistently outperform the competition. With a heritage that goes back seven marks, it’s clear that the Germans have the VW Golf down to a fine art and drivers Australia-wide are thanking them for it.
But you might be wondering: could the perennial best-in-class hatchback get even better? Or is the Golf set to go the same way as the Honda Civic or Nissan Pulsar – will it lose its shape, its cool factor and become just another run of the mill hatch?
The most recent movements from VW would suggest that the Golf is here to stay on top of its game, with its latest on-board tech most recently flaunted at CES Asia.
VW’s first appearance at the show earlier on in the year gave the world its first glance at the VW Golf R Touch, with a long list of innovations expected to be made available to consumers through the Golf line in late 2016 – early 2017 in the land down under.
The upgrades will come as part of the Mark VII’s mid-life upgrade including features borrowed from the VW stable such as a digital display, like the one in the all new Audi TT. But the virtual dash could be shrugged off as a minor upgrade when compared to the whopping 12.8” touch display which replaces most of the Golf’s current cockpit buttons.
The 2560×1700 resolution screen will be one of the largest available, apart from Tesla’s gigantic control panel and Volvo’s XC90, packing even more value into the already specced up Golf. From this screen you’ll be able to control the infotainment system with a slide bar beneath for adjusting levels.
Under this sits a second 8” touchscreen for climate control and other secondary functions with haptic feedback – providing a light buzz to fingers when touched. This is pitched as a way of improving driver safety to keep eyes on the road.
But the biggest breakthrough is VW’s new gesture control that allows drivers and passengers to operate the sunroof, infotainment system, navigation and audio with hand swipes. The system is customisable allowing a driver to select which settings are displayed as priorities – which is great if you are a little fidgety with the air-conditioning or music track. All of this follows the company’s philosophy “make it easy.”
Watch a demonstration
Another two exciting tech teasers from VW that we could see in Golfs of the future are the Digital Key and Perfect Park system. These technologies mean we may eventually be able to send a digital car key to our friends and family via smartphone or watch, which would allow them to unlock and operate the vehicle. The company is also currently taking their park assistance system to the next level, experimenting with vehicles that could potentially park themselves without a driver or passengers on board.
All of this sounds like a lot of tech being bundled into one little car, but that’s the advantage of purchasing from the VW stable. As one of the world’s leading car makers each vehicle benefits from a trickle down effect, making Golfs a great purchase for anyone looking for an affordable car with a great reputation and advanced technology. What we see from VW shows that the company is future-proofing its best models, making sure that any Golf purchased is a timeless investment.