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Seven up for VW's jewel in the crown

CAR OF THE WEEK: Golf GTD 2.0 TDI DSG; Price range: £34,995 (as tested)

THE POPULARITY of the iconic Golf since the original was launched back in 1974, means that more than 33 million have been sold, which works out to about one every 40 seconds.

The seventh edition of this particular Volkswagen may not prove to be so popular as the latest Golf does not dominate its class in the way some previous versions did. However, that’s down to the competition upping its game rather than Volkswagen’s standards slipping.

To keep the Golf’s act as polished as possible, it was given a comprehensive makeover in early 2017, gaining the latest infotainment and safety technology. A wider range of exterior colours has been introduced, including Turmeric Yellow Metallic and Peacock Green Metallic. A total of 12 exterior colours are available from launch.

But even more noteworthy than the Golf’s exterior colours is the drive. The Golf, as ever, provides a moderate driving experience. It is comfortable on most surfaces, yet still capable of negotiating more challenging roads. The Golf has always offered impressive interior quality and recent models are even better in this regard. Interior materials are fi rst-class and the handsome dashboard is clear and logical, while interior space is reasonable for a car of this size.

The Volkswagen Golf is a motoring institution, but it didn’t become one by standing still. Instead it has evolved, taking account of exactly what buyers want – essential if it’s to stay competitive with such established rivals. With that in mind the options list was tasty. There were too many to mention on my evaluation vehicle but some truly stood out.

You get Lane Assist Plus with Dynamic Light Assist – Lane Assist, a camera controlled warning system should the vehicle drift out of its lane. Side scan, a radar sensor controlled warning system for lane changing and blind spots with visual warning via light in the door mirror housing. All infotainment systems feature larger screens than before with the minimum screen size now 6.5 inches.

The range-topping Discover Pro has a 9.2-inch touchscreen a resolution increase from 117 dots-per-inch to 155 dpi. Also available is Active Info Display, an instrument binnacle-located TFT screen.

The latest version of the Golf is of a usual high standard but you get the impression that the open road it once dominated is getting a tad busier.

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