D as blue Light? It's been four wolves. The all-wheel drive? Is six wolves behind. GTI? Was seven Gölfen ago, the TDI before five. The bottle opener is three, the adaptive dampers two, the modular system one. Sometimes it was a detail that characterized progress, sometimes a bold idea that democratized it, rarely even enjoyable irrationality that accelerated it. But every Golf remained at the top of the compact class and thus remained true to itself and its standards. In generation eight, the Golf modernized itself more resolutely than before and clearly won against Kia Ceed, Opel Astra and Renault Mégane. Now it's against A 200 d and 118d. So go ahead!
BMW: 1 Series for everything
Whereby the 1 Series approached its renewal with more daring radicalism. In 2019, after two rear-wheel drive models, he switched to the transverse motor front-wheel drive platform UKL2. The 2-series tourers as well as mini country and clubman build on this. On the one hand, the change in the drive layout may require the marketing department to revamp the chain of arguments. On the other hand, the platform optimizes both the costs at BMW and the space available in the 1 Series. In terms of functionality, it now comes close to a golfiness that he used to find stuffy. The rear seat backrest now folds forward in three parts, accommodating rear passengers comfortably and undisturbed. Shelves, variable loading floor, easy entry? Everything is there too, plus the best service.
The 1er organizes them via voice control, touchscreen andRotary handle with which even tricky infotainment menu depths can be explored. There are also real buttons, including one for the assistance systems. The digital cockpit, on the other hand, shows not only flickering values, but above all how perfect the earlier analog instruments were.
Much more, the earlier can be glorified in the 1 Series when it starts. This is hardly noticeable on the autobahn, because the 118d is on the move with inconspicuous aplomb - without the once unsteady directional stability. But on the country roads between the monastery and the river, on which we were so much fun with earlier 1ers, the current one drives a bit - sorry, but it's true - irrelevant.
With the sharp, appealing, jittery one Steering he only stages agility, instead of real feedback, it primarily plays back drive influences. Even the wheel slip limitation close to the actuator, which, according to BMW, virtually compensates for the front-wheel drive's dynamic deficits, does not quite get the scraping of the front wheels in tight turns under control. And even if it indulges in gentle load-changing urges in curves with high driving safety, the 1 Series never feels as thrillingly agile as it once did. In any case, this would not have required such tight set-ups, with which the 118d reacts stiffly to unevenness and cushions hard.
The two-liter diesel really gets going - and right away when you start driving. It pushes forward homogeneously and is optimally coupled with the automatic system, which switches through its eight levels with precision, in a hurry and only in sport mode. But when it comes to safety equipment, the 1 Series is less open than the others, and with all the extras relevant to the test, it is the most expensive. Whether that will be something like that, the 1 Series in first place?
Mercedes: Who dares A
In the fervor of the realignment, even the 1 Series cannot compete with the A-Class. Yes, the BMW started with rear-wheel drive in 2004, but at that time the little Mercedes was rolling around in the second generation with a sandwich floor. He made sure that the seat was high and that it was never difficult to get out of the car. In 2012 he reinvented himself and decided toDynamic, has found more balance as the W 177 since 2018. With adaptive dampers and the well-balanced spring set-up, the A 200 d can cope with rough bumps despite the tight basic mood. In addition, the engineers have softened the sharpness in the steering, which is now no less precise and direct, but more supple.
In sport mode, it tightens the characteristic curve, as does the damper, engine and dual clutch transmission. This brings the driver and the car closer together. In the meantime, the transmission shifts more quickly and the engine revs up. Which is not in his mind, because the OM 654q has all its power at 1,400 and all its power at 3,400 tours. In addition, he nails more immoderately than his rivals when turning out. When it comes to performance, the A 200 d is a little more urgent, and just as economical in terms of consumption as its competitors (BMW 6.1 l /100 km, Mercedes 6.0, VW 5.8). All three cars are confident, fast and economical.
Despite 13.5 cm more length and eleven more in the wheelbase, the Mercedes doesn't create more space inside than the Golf. The flat roofline reduces the load volume, and so that the interior height in the rear is sufficient, the technicians have positioned the rear seat low. The A integrates pilots and co. Deeply, comfortably and in an elegant ambience. Whereby the elegance doesn't exactly promote the operation. So it is important to configure the well-positioned assistant armada - except for the lane holder via brake intervention - using fiddly swipe buttons on the steering wheel, to hit small icons on the touchscreen or to finger the map scale with the touchpad. Many, even small, personal concerns ('I'm cold', 'I'm hungry') can be resolved with confidence using voice control. Well, let's have a word with the Golf.
VW: A real piece of golf
Let's jump back to 2004, when the first 1 Series and the second A-Class started. It was the era of the Golf V, which continued a dynasty that, before and after, knew no overturns or ruptures. Now, with the Golf VIII, they would have thought so one meantDeveloper recently, you have to trust yourself a little. One can also understand that the urge to take risks was not too pronounced. In fact, much is as it was before - and just as good. The basis remains the particularly space-efficient modular transverse construction kit, and in the smallest of dimensions the Golf creates space that is sufficient for five people including luggage. All-round view, entry, storage - everything is as functional, practical and just as golden as always.
Little of this applies to the new operating structure. There are no longer any real buttons; instead, functions are not always grouped logically on buttons. For example, the defroster function of the ventilation is in the lighting department instead of in the air conditioning menu, and the touch slider for volume and temperature control is not illuminated. In order for the seat heating to warm, it is necessary to tap around on the touchscreen.
Its configuration as well as the setting of the digital instruments allow even the experienced motorist to get lost in submenus. This begs the question of how good the idea was to start the operating revolution with the Golf. Doesn't he give up his effortless operation, which always ensured that people could drive him who put a vehicle into operation without any previous experience or special interest in it.
This is possibly a bigger defect than the simpler materials. Yes, there used to be more attention to detail and high quality in the Golf, and it had a knee airbag. But it was never equipped in a higher class - as a style with LED, bad weather and cornering lights, brilliant comfort seats and a complete range of assistance equipment up to active lane guidance and cruise control. And: It never drove better than now.
When it comes to comfort, the adaptively damped VW is in a league of its own, cushions even desert empty, gently removes short bumps, hardly swings after long waves, swaying little. When loaded, it doesn't do much better than its rivals, but the comfort curve is actually always right. For celebrating small country roads, we recommend the sport level, which offers more pleasant comfort with tighter characteristics for steering, throttle response and dampers - with effortlessly agile handling. Almost steadfastly safe to drive, the Golf turns quickly and unobtrusively in corners, does not allow itself to be provoked by load changes, jerks into understeer late. The progressive steering guides him precisely and directly, and provides finely sorted feedback. One could describe the combination of driving safety and handling as not very challenging. More suitable would be: Harmonious and almost perfect.
This also applies to the newly developed two-liter diesel EA 288 evo with two SCR cats connected in series to minimize nitrogen oxide emissions. However, the TDI currently only complies with Euro 6d-Temp and will only be certified for Euro 6d later. After a short slow start, in which the otherwise so accurate double clutch transmission also contributes, the four-cylinder starts homogeneously, pushing forward particularly vehemently after 2,000 tours. The eco-laps show how efficient all three diesels are: 4.4 to 4.5 l /100 km - that is extremely cheap.
'Inexpensive' also fits here with the price of the VW. Adjusted equipmentit is around 6,600 euros under the A 200 d and almost 7,200 under the 118d. With this he extends his lead to 30 points. Before you get into your archive and start leafing through: It was only one Golf ago that such a clear debut win against the A-Class and 1 Series