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Test drive in a new Golf VII

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by h5djr, May 17, 2013.

  1. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 17, 2013]
    I've had a Golf VII 1.6TDI DSG SE for the day today and I must say I was not that impressed. It was obviously well down on power and torque compared with my current A3. It had a 7-speed DSG without and steering wheel paddles which was strange as I use the paddles all the time when I'm driving. It seemed to need a lot more gear changing but that may well be down to the lower torque level. The rear suspension was the torsion bar type rather than the multi-link version and again did not seem as comfortable as my A3 despite both being SE versions.

    The seats were fine as was the steering and I liked the slightly fatter steering wheel. I tried the new Adaptive Cruise Control and found it very strange but something I could probably get used to, but I'm not sure I would order it over a normal cruise control if I have the choice. No problem with the electronic hand-brake and it was fitted with hold-assist which seemed to work well.

    When I took the Golf back I called in to the Audi dealer just down the road and sat in a new A3. The general quality of the interior of the Golf was good but I think I'm going to have to eat my words and say I don't think it's quite as good as the new A3. I quite liked the touch screen but I have to admit it did seem to have a mind of it's own at times scroling sideways when I just tapped a different radio station button. I'm not a great fan of the MMI system on the new A3 but, as I rarely play the radio or any music when I'm driving and would not buy a new A3 with built-in Sat/Nav preferring to stick to my TomTom, it's not something a would need to use that often.

    All I need now is an A3 2.0TDI Sportback SE s-tronic to test drive and a similar version of the new A3 Saloon. Obviously the Saloon is not going to be avaialble to try until around September and 2.0TDI Sportbacks with s-tronic are a bit thin on the ground at the moment. It's a good job my current A3 is only 15 months old so still plenty of time to continue to test various models.
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  3. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [May 17, 2013]
    Nice little writeup/review Dave.
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  4. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    [May 17, 2013]
    I knew you'd come around on the interior.

    The Golf is a cracking car but just doesn't have that 'special' feel of the A3. The only things I'd argue the Golf trumps the A3 on is interior space (particularly rear headroom) and overall ride quality.

    Have you tried calling Audi customer services to locate an S-Tronic demo?
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  5. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 17, 2013]
    I did before I bought my current A3 and they said they had no idea what dealers were running as demonstrators.

    I leave to my current guy. He usually comes up with the goods in the end and I'm in no hurry. I might even try a Sport version as you can know delete the Sports suspension just to see how I get on with the Sports seats. Being a bit on the large side I have never found them that comfortable in the past but as I would want 17" wheels and climate control and I do prefer the 3-spoke wheel to the 4-spoke the Sport may work out a better option. A Sport version may be easier to find to test drive than an SE.
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  6. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 17, 2013]
    Like you, I was critical of the new A3 when I first saw it, but I still ended up buying one !

    The interior of the new Golf does appear to be as good as the A3 superficially, but when you actually inspect the cars close-up, the A3 is definitely markedly better. I looked at the new Golf before ordering the A3, but it just didn't seem very special at all. It was just too dull really.

    I've owned my new A3 for a couple of weeks now, and it's a cracking car. Smooth, quiet, refined, comfortable, superb handling, and fabulous build quality.
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  7. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 17, 2013]
    My main problem with the new A3 is the MMI system. The rest of the car is fine but having spent a day using the alternative provided by the Golf, I don't think either of them are as good as the set-up on my current A3. But when I thought about it during the day I will use the MMI so little apart from setting things to how I want them initially I will probably not use it much at all after that. I don't very often listern to the radio or other music when I'm driving and I don't even own a smartphone and don't have any intention of ever buying one so none of those will be a problem. My main use for a Sat/Nav is locating speed cameras so I will continue to use my TomTom for that. I will see what I think when I have the right spec A3 for the day.
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  8. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [May 17, 2013]
    Interesting to hear your perspective on the Golf and kudos for being objective and admitting your initial perceptions may have been changed by the experience.

    I'm happy to confess that I'm not that enamoured with all aspects of the new A3 but overall I still find it a big improvement on the 8P.

    As for the MMI - if you don't actually use it that often then perhaps the ability to hide the popup screen would actually be an advantage to you? Just leave it hidden all the time and, when you do need to change radio stations or whatever, just use the DIS instead?
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  9. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [May 17, 2013]
    If I'm listening to the radio I tend to have the screen down and out of the way. I didn't think I'd hide the screen as much as I have been doing, but it's really nice to hide any distractions when required.
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  10. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    [May 18, 2013]
    Just out of interest, which parts are you unimpressed with?

    I could have written a page full of issues on my A4, but I'm struggling with this one. Being picky, for me it'd be the way the sun shines through the gap above the rear view mirror (they've missed some black stuff there) and it could do with more interior storage.

    I agree about the 8P. The 8V really is a different car, as you'd expect for technology 10 years on. The 8P was a great car in its time, but I couldn't have had another. I considered the RS3 but figured that after the novelty wore off a little, I'd be left with a dated 8P that drinks petrol. I know that's simplistic as the RS3 is an awesome package but it niggled away just a little too much.

    I think I may just have an 8V S3 though in a year or so.... :kissmyrings:
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  11. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    [May 18, 2013]
    Welcome back Dave :)
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  12. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 18, 2013]
    At the moment I've only sat in several new A3s. It will be interesting to see how I feel after actually driving one. Certainly a lot of the new technology available appeals but in some cases I'm not sure I could justify the extra cost, even to myself. My list of 'required' options is already over £6000 to get a car of similar spec to my existing A3.
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  13. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 18, 2013]
    Yes, I didn't like the MMI concept at first, but when you actually use it, I found that it is better than a touchscreen in practice. In normal driving, you rarely need to use the MMI wheel, because the main functions are catered for by the two rocker bars next to the wheel, and the steering wheel controls (buttons + rollers). It really does work very well in practice. The pop-up screen is good too, and doesn't obscure your view. No doubt a separate sat nav would work just as well, but to me, it seems a bit of an amateurish bodge compared to an integrated system.

    I went for an up-spec'd SE rather than a Sport, because I particularly wanted light coloured cloth upholstery and door panels, but this is only available on the SE. The cloth upholstery on the Sport and S-Line models is predominantly black. I was concerned that the SE seats wouldn't be supportive enough (sideways), but actually they are, although the side bolsters are not as pronounced as the sports seats.

    I tried the Sport version before ordering, and although the suspension was absolutely fine on normal A roads, it got a bit jarring on rough roads. As I live in a village, a lot of my driving is on very rough roads, so the standard suspension was better for me. That said, the difference between the standard and sports suspension on the 8V is a lot less than it was for the 8P. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking the SE has a sports suspension, albeit a very comfortable one, because the handling is so good with minimal body roll.
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  14. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 18, 2013]
    The biggest problem with the built-in Sat/Nav is it's inability to accept custom POIs. I get free two-weekly updates from PGPSW of their speed-camera database and to me that is as important as the Sat/Nav itself. I have my TomTom ONE attached to the windscreen on the drivers side at approximately eye-level so it is very easy just to glance sideways. It also beeps when I approach any camera. I route the power cable behind the door rubber down to a connection in the fuse box at the same end of the dash so the only about 60mm of thin cable visible. As I'm right-handed it is easy to switch on and off and enter an destination information.

    I agree with you about the light coloured interior. I have a light grey at the moment and would go for the same again, much preferring it to black. I also prefer the SE suspension setup and have no problems with the handling of my current A3 even when I drive drive quickly through the lanes just for fun.
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  15. A3sportbackMark
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    A3sportbackMark Member

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    [May 18, 2013]
    When I was looking for a car I'm march, I test drove the golf and BMW series 1. I must say I was impressed by the golf and was ready to buy, but not so much the BMW. Its been 12 years since my last new car, and i found the leap in technology very impressive. It was only because VW and Audi were next to each other that I went into Audi. Initially, the Audis cabin blew me away, this was the 3 door, but I wanted a 5 door. It was only a week later when I revisited that a Sportback greeted me! As you may tell, I only get interested in cars when I buy one!

    This will be my 1st ever Audi, and am really looking forward to receiving it in aug/sept
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  16. deci
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    deci Active Member

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    [May 19, 2013]
    I absolutely love the MMI. Can't see what else people might want. It's intuitive and slick. Huge step up from my 8p MMI/nav
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  17. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 20, 2013]
    Well I am now 'borrowing' an A3 2.0TDI-150 Sportback S-Line s-tronic for the day this coming Thursday so I will be able to do a direct comparrison with the Golf VII I drove for the day last Friday. Looking forward to trying the car and all it's 'goodies' although I would not go for an S-Line preferring the SE model, but at least it will be the right engine and gearbox.
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