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VW Golf GTI 2.0 TSI DSG: Updated and ready for action

You want value for money? Then the updated Volkswagen Golf, with a revised engine line up, more technology, new infotainment, improved connectivity and revised styling, might just be for you.
The new Golf now offers even more value, style and desirability into what is aptly referred to by many as the ‘Golf Class’. The latest updated Golf continues to offer customers a car that sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency. What more could you ask for?

Safety, safety, safety

The new Golf creates a new benchmark for assistance systems in the compact class, employing technologies that will significantly improve safety. These include the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert as well as Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking System.

Optionally available across the range, and ordered in conjunction with the swivelling towbar, Trailer Assist including Park Assist neatly demonstrates the new Golf’s practical yet technically advanced nature.

The system helps reverse a trailer or caravan with a weight of up to 1,800kg into a parking bay or entrance from the street. To operate, I merely engaged the reverse gear and activated the system via a push button. The driving angle and subsequent possible driving angles were then displayed on the instrument cluster.

All I had to do thereafter is to operate the accelerator pedal and brake, while the system automatically controlled the direction of the car, using Park Assist to move the trailer backwards into the required position. Artificial intelligence at its best!


The iconic design of the updated Golf now has even more understated appeal by virtue of a number of new details. The exterior design of the Golf, which has been carefully evolved over a period of more than 40 years, has been consciously advanced in this new model with a continuation of the enduring classless appeal that has come to represent the essence of Volkswagen.

At the front, the radiator grille and headlights have taken the style of its predecessor to a new level. The lower chrome strip of the radiator grille is continued to the left and right as a chrome element (GTI: chrome/red) which extends through the LED daytime running lights and into the full-LED headlights.

The rear has also been redesigned to be more charismatic. Now, all derivatives of the Golf will be equipped with full-LED tail lights. In contrast to many standard LED tail lights, none of the functions of the Golf’s new tail lights now use conventional light bulbs.

Also, the GTI’s full-LED tail lights have animated, or ‘flowing’, indicator functions. Last but not least, the GTI is distinguished by a striking, dynamic visual transition between the LED tail light and the LED brake lights when the brakes are applied.

Petrol power

All the Golf’s petrol engines are turbocharged units with direct fuel injection (TSI). I tested the 2.0 TSI with 169kW. The iconic Golf GTI has been given more power. The new GTI now has similar power output as the outgoing GTI Performance at 169kW. The 0 to 100km/h classic sprint is achieved in 6.4 seconds and the top speed is limited to 248km/h. With DSG transmission, GTI has claimed combined fuel consumption of 6.4 l/100km. You can feel the added power.

Info display

Five different views are available for the 12.3-inch Active Info Display. The Golf’s Active Info Display is a fully digitalised instrument cluster with numerous interactive functions. All of the instruments are displayed virtually via software on the 12.3-inch colour screen. The navigation information can be displayed in 2D or 3D.

Gesture control

Gesture control works in various menus and is easy to operate. A swipe gesture of the hand is all it takes to move the horizontally arranged menu items to the left or right. This enables the driver to scroll through the main menu, change radio stations, scroll forward or back through the playlist or browse in the Picture Viewer and in the music albums.

Standard features

The standard features on GTI include: Sport suspension; exhaust chrome twin tailpipes (right and left); ambient lighting (light strips in red); progressive steering; 18-inch ‘Milton Keynes’ alloy wheels; automatic air-conditioner ‘Climatronic’; heated front seats; auto high-beam; LED headlights; dynamic cornering lights; 8-inch Composition Media Radio System with Touchscreen, USB, Bluetooth Connectivity and 8 speakers.

Asking price?

Price (VAT and emissions tax included):
2.0 TSI 169kW GTI DSG: R558,000.

The new Golf model range comes standard with a 5 year/90,000km Service Plan, 3 year/120,000km warranty and a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Interval is 15,000km.
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About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on .