Volkswagen Golf R-Line CL 1.4 TSI (DSG) Review
R-Essential

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
14 Aug 2020
 

One of the key features in Volkswagen cars is their carry-over of quality in their interiors

Some of you might wonder what a Volkswagen Golf, near the end of its production run is doing here. Well you see, the Mk7 Golf is arguably one of the better-engineered Golfs built by VW.

The Mk8 which is probably going through its final round of approvals before being released here (we predict within the first half of next year), will be loaded with even more tech, which means that it should cost you a handful of cash more.

So before we say goodbye to the current generation VW Golf, here is one more review of their simplest Golf available... which now has a little more to offer.

The Volkswagen Golf R-Line CL, is really a Comfortline trim car, upgraded with R-Line bodykit, and now has a set of snazzy 17” rims.

Iconic and attractive styling cues, like its independent C-pillar, and slit-like front design, are synonymous with the Golf, since its introduction.

Inside

One of the key features in Volkswagen cars is their carry-over of quality in their interiors, especially in their recent cars, and the Golf is no exception. Panels fit well, and switches, knobs and buttons feel like they can belong in a more premium vehicle.

The 8” infotainment screen does a good job of displaying its various functions, and offers (wired) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Even as a compact hatch, the Golf’s 2,620mm wheelbase translates to very good accommodation for all. Front passengers enjoy their very own climate control, while those at the rear sit in comfort, benefitting from left and right air-conditioning blowers.

The boot with 380 litres available, has a party trick of an adjustable floor, which adds a little more space and flexibility, handy if you are packing taller items. With the rear 60:40 seats folded, this expands up to 1,270 litres.

The Drive

Volkswagen’s 1.4 litre turbocharged engine drives the front wheels, via their quick-shifting 7-speed DSG gearbox; which is truly the highlight of the Golf, since gear changes are seamless, translating to a refined and smooth drive. Power is rated at 123bhp, which places this lovely hatchback within Singapore’s more affordable Category A COE rating. Torque at 200Nm, steps in at 1,400rpm and tapers off after 4,000rpm; meaning that apart from some inherent lag at the beginning, the Golf feels responsive.

Under its normal drive mode, the steering seems a tad light for my liking, though switching over to “Sport” does weigh it down a little. Handling-wise, the Golf is simply gold around the turns, exuding its high-performing GTI sibling’s DNA. The suspension, while dialed down for a comfortable drive, is firm enough to take a few good directional changes at speed. While it does a respectable 9.1 second century sprint, where the Golf shines is how it picks up from between city to highway speeds.

Flick the Golf’s drive mode to “Economy”, and the DSG transmission will switch up earlier, keeping the revs down and will dis-engage when you lift off the throttle, allowing you to coast for long distances; ideal for longer journeys up North, where longer, uninterrupted stretches of road will allow you to sip on fuel, and can help you to attain figures south of the VeeDub’s claimed combined 18.2km/l.

With its compact dimensions, the Golf is easy to maneuver in tight areas. All-round visibility is good, and its reverse camera, hidden neatly in the rear VW emblem, activates when you click the car into reverse, making it easier for you to to back up.

Safety-wise, the Golf is equipped with 7 airbags, including side-impact modules for front passengers, and curtain airbags to protect both in the front and rear.

Our Thoughts

For those who are looking for a premium value buy, the Volkswagen Golf R-Line CL is quite an attractive deal at $110,400. For this you do also get a larger set of 17” rims and the attractive R-Line bodykit thrown in.

While cars the the Mazda 3 Hatchback does offer excellent build quality, a refined drive and its trick mild-hybrid technology, the Golf is simply a more engaging experience.

In Summary

We Like

Iconic styling. Build quality. Engaging drive. Decent list of features. Nicer 17” rims and fancy kit.

We Don't

Steering is a little too light for my liking.

Verdict

This is the Mk7 Golf’s last hurrah... and a pretty good one it is.

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1395cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Bore x Stroke (74.5x80)mm
Power 123bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 1400rpm

Performance

Acceleration 9.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 204 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 20.0 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type 5 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4258 x 1799 x 1492) mm
Wheelbase 2620 mm
Turning Circle 10.9 metres
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs