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05 Oct 2018

Facelift (What's New)
Updated R-Line styling package includes new bumpers, side sill extension and 18-inh alloy wheels
9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment system with gesture control
Active Info Display digital instrument cluster
Blind Sport Sensor with Rear Traffic Alert

Subtle updates to the Golf Variant has made it more comfortable and refined than before, and is an alluring alternative to the typical hatchback.

The Volkswagen Golf has been a stalwart in the car industry for the longest time - it delivers a combination of space, practicality and driveability that has made it the quintessential hatchback for many drivers.

The new generation lineup features a total of four hatchback variants. You can choose from a 1.0-litre variant, as well as the 1.4-litre with two trims levels - Comfortline and Highline.

The Golf Variant rides on stylish 18-inch rims

However, if you are looking for something a little more left-field, why not consider this instead - the updated Volkswagen Golf Variant

Wait, it looks the same...

Looking at the updated Golf Variant, you would be forgiven for thinking it's identical to before. Visually, it looks remarkably similar to its predecessor, but squint a little and some subtle differences emerge.

The 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment is sleek and easy to use

The front end is slightly more aggressive, thanks to additional black detailing as part of the R-Line package. At the back, there is a new rear bumper with its R-Line diffuser and trapezoidal chrome trim.

Inside, the updates are much more apparent. Yes, the space is still entirely familiar, in terms of design, ergonomics and materials, but you now get the new 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment system and Active Info Display with its 12.3-inch high-resolution display. The panoramic sunroof also adds to the sense of roominess inside the car.  

The Active Info Display digital cluster can be used to display key information like the navigation map

How is it like to drive?

Drive the Golf Variant a little and you will notice that it offers more pliancy than before. The suspension has been tweaked slightly, offering a well-damped yet comfortable ride. Noise insulation in the cabin is also quite good, so all in all it's a serene and quiet drive.

The 1.4-litre engine delivers 123bhp and 200Nm of torque, which is ample enough punch that makes for smooth and easy acceleration. Yes, the sound isn't great when you rev the engine hard, but nonetheless, it's a drivetrain that's certainly easy to live with. 
The gearbox has also been tuned slightly, and it's smoother and more seamless now. Gearshifts are barely perceptible, and when you get hard on the throttle, the gearbox kicks down multiple gears quickly and intelligently.

The 1.4-litre engine pumps out 123bhp and 200Nm of torque

Why should I even consider this?

With this facelift, the Golf Variant hasn't changed drastically. Subtle tweaks have made the car more comfortable and refined, and the updates to the cabin definitely make it feel more modern and up to date.

If you wanted to buy a Golf, the cheapest choice is of course the 1.0-litre version (which we understand is selling fast). Between the two 1.4-litre variants, the Comfortline is cheaper, but you get less equipment. 

605 litres of boot space should easily accommodate all of your belongings

Honestly, though, it's hard to imagine why you would buy the Golf Highline over the Golf Variant. They are almost identical as far as equipment is concerned, and with the Variant you get a (literal) butt load more space for just $4,000 more. 

At the same time, you're not compromising in terms of driveability, comfort or even convenience. You get similar wheelbases as well as rated fuel economy for both cars so manoeuvrability shouldn't be a concern. And while the Variant is 309mm longer than the hatchback, its overall 4,567mm length is actually still shorter than a sedan like the Mazda3.

The Golf Variant is a practical, sensible and economically viable alternative to the hatchback

So yes, while hatchbacks may be a dime a dozen on our roads, the Golf Variant is a clear example of why sometimes it's a good idea to pick something a little different. 

Also read our comparison article on:
Peugeot 308 SW vs Volkswagen Golf Variant
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors
Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.4 TSI DSG R-Line (A)
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Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap





92kW (123 bhp) / 6000 rpm



200 Nm / 4000 rpm



7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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