The least costly Golf, the 110TSI, has cloth-covered seats, manually controlled air-conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, the petrol engine, and the equipment in every Golf. A manual gearbox is standard, with the auto an extra-cost option. You can get this car only as a hatch.
Spend some more for the 110TSI Trendline and you can have a hatch or a wagon. Headlights switch on by themselves when it’s getting dark, and the windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains. Front seats can be adjusted for lower-back (lumbar) support. Front and rear parking sensors help you judge your distance from obstacles, and the rear seat has a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders.
Spend more again on a 110TSI Comfortline and you get more appealing cloth trim on the seats, and various cosmetic touches inside that lift the feel of the cabin. There is satellite navigation, which responds to voice commands. Dual-zone climate control maintains independent ventilation temperatures for the driver and front passenger. The wheel diameter rises to 17 inches, and tyres are lower in profile and wider (for marginally more direct steering, and extra grip). Auto transmission is standard (and the only option).
If you want more luxury, you can pay still more for a Golf 110TSI Highline, which gets you leather trim in the cabin, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and a memory for the driver’s seat and exterior mirrors (which makes it easy to restore your adjustments after a companion has driven the car). You can unlock your Golf Highline and drive away without removing its proximity key from your pocket or bag. Headlights use very bright and long-lasting LEDs, and a powered glass sunroof can help you enjoy the car on fine days.
At extra cost, you can have a similarly equipped Golf 110TDI Highline, which brings you the stronger and more frugal diesel engine.
Optional on all Trendline, Comfortline and Highline Golfs is a $1500 Driver Assistance Package that brings several active driver aids. Perhaps chief among these is Adaptive cruise control, which will slow you automatically to match the speed of a car ahead on the highway – resuming your pre-set speed when the way is clear. You also get lane-keeping assistance, a blind-spot monitor, and a rear cross-traffic alert, among other features.
An Infotainment Package available on Comfortline and Highline Golfs expands the central touchscreen to 9.2 inches (with control by gesture available), and supplies a more powerful sound system with bass-boosting sub-woofer. It also substitutes a digital display for the conventional dials in the instrument binnacle behind the steering wheel – which permits you to emphasise the information you need most, and customise its presentation.
An R-Line Package available only to Golf Highline customers gets you 18-inch wheels, firmer suspension, progressive speed-sensitive steering, tinted windows, and sportier aesthetics inside and out.