Volkswagen Golf reinvented with more powerful GTI

In reaction to criticism of the outgoing Golf’s poor ergonomics, the touch slider for the temperature and volume control below the infotainment screen has been revised so that it is now backlit and new software provides it with speedier reaction times.

The upgraded Golf also brings Volkswagen’s 360deg View, Park Assist Plus and Park Assist Pro systems as options for the first time, which means that it can be parked remotely via a smartphone.

The engine line-up is exclusively four-cylinder, with all initial models adopting a traditional front-wheel-drive layout.

Included are 114bhp and 148bhp turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol units – with and without mild-hybrid technology – in a quartet of 1.5 eTSI and 1.5 TSI models.

There is also a reworked turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with an added 13bhp, at 201bhp, in the upgraded 2.0 TSI – and 20bhp more in the 262bhp GTI, which is no longer available with a manual gearbox.

Volkswagen hasn’t revealed any performance claims for the GTI, but Wolfsburg insiders say its 0-62mph time undercuts the 6.2sec of its predecessor. Top speed remains limited to 155mph.

The diesels get a further developed version of Volkswagen’s turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, offering 114bhp and 148bhp in a pair of 2.0 TDI models.

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