NEW FOR 2015:

– All new model.

At last, Volkswagen’s critically acclaimed seventh-generation Golf has arrived on Canadian shores. In production globally since late 2012, the world-beating Golf arrives fit to compete in the crowded and highly competitive compact class – and it’s been well worth the wait.

The Golf rides on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which is simultaneously lighter and stronger than the outgoing model. It’s shared with the Audi A3 and the upcoming TT sports car, as well as the second-generation Tiguan. Power for most three-door and five-door models comes from a 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo engine developing 170 hp. Five-door models can be had with an enhanced version of the venerable 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI that makes 150 hp. The TSI gas model is paired to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, while the TDI uses six-speed manual and dual-clutch gearboxes. The high-performance GTI is also back for 2015, but it’s covered in a separate report.

Having learned its lessons from the Jetta, Volkswagen has put great effort into instilling the Golf with a premium driving experience. The smartly styled cabin is spacious, and the Golf is as good to drive as it’s ever been thanks to nicely weighted steering, standard XDS cross differential, and a supple ride. Gas models receive a fully independent rear suspension setup, while TDI models use a more compact torsion beam design to accommodate the AdBlue exhaust treatment tank.

The Golf three-door is available exclusively in Trendline trim; the five-door hatch can be had in Trendline, Comfortline, and Highline trims.

Features on the Trendline three-door hatchback include body colour mirrors with integrated turn signals, power heated mirrors, body colour bumpers, chrome grille, rear spoiler, variable cargo load floor, 15-inch alloy wheels, intermittent front and rear wipers, air conditioning, alarm, armrest with storage compartment, rear armrest, two 12-volt power outlets, floor mats, cargo cover, trip computer, remote keyless entry, illuminated vanity mirrors, 5.8-inch touchscreen display audio system with AM/FM/CD/satellite radio, SD card reader, MDI media device interface (iPod connectivity) and eight speakers, eight-way manually adjustable front seats, easy-entry for access to rear seats, 60/40 split folding rear seat, tilt and telescoping steering column, locking glove box, Bluetooth, cloth upholstery, Dark Aluminum interior trim, power windows, and rear air vents.

Cold Weather Package adds heated washer nozzles and heated seats.

Cruise Control Package adds cruise control and leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel.

Trendline five-door hatchback adds illuminated glove box, power mirrors, heated front seats, partial power seat (six-way manual, power recline).

Cruise Control Package adds cruise control and leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel.

Comfortline adds 16-inch wheels, cruise control, reverse camera, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, shift knob, and handbrake grip, leatherette upholstery, and fog lights.

Convenience Package adds panoramic sunroof, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control, and automatic headlamps.

Multimedia Package adds eight-speaker 400-watt Fender stereo system, navigation, and adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights.

Highline adds 17-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, LED map lights, interior ambient lighting, KESSY proximity key with push-button start, 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat, sports seats, leather upholstery, matte chrome interior trim, automatic high beams, panoramic sunroof, and rain-sensing wipers.

Multimedia Package adds eight-speaker 400-watt Fender stereo system, navigation, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, and forward collision warning.

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