The Mk7 Volkswagen Golf is one of THE cars of the moment. Even in basic 90TSI trim, the Golf has won many friends with its segment-benchmark chassis and refinement, up-to-the minute safety tech, efficient drivetrains and surprising value. We even crowned it Carsguide’s Car of the Year for 2013.

Sitting at the top of the Golf hatch’s non-performance lineup is the 110TDI Highline variant, representing the Golf range’s sole diesel option.

Value

Positioned above the base model Golf and the Golf Comfortline, the Highline trim level is also available with the 103TSI petrol engine for $32,290.

The 110TDI Highline tested here kicks off at $34,790, with more power and torque than the 103TSI, and it’s also the most efficient in the Australian Golf hatch lineup.

Externally, you can pick the Golf Highline by its extra chrome trim, front foglights, darkened taillights, and 17-inch alloys. 

On the inside, the Highline scores sports bolstered front seats, a 5.8-inch multimedia screen with satnav, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, in addition to a leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, speed-limiting cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio, and auto headlights and wipers.

Our example was also fitted with the optional leather trim and electric sunroof, which help make the Highline feel like a proper premium product.



Design

As with the rest of the Mk7 Golf lineup, there’s plenty of room four adults aboard, with clever touches like storage drawers under the front seats. There’s a useful 380-litres of cargo space with the seats up, which expands to 1270-litres with the split fold backrest folded and a spacesaver spare is located beneath the boot floor. 

Engine/Transmission

As its hatch badge suggests, the 2.0-litre turbodiesel beneath the 110TDI’s bonnet produces 110kW, but it’s the healthy 320Nm of torque on tap between 1750-3000rpm that characterises the drive experience.

A six-speed dual clutch DSG auto is the only transmission available with the Golf diesel, but the clever transmission plus stop/start help the 110TDI to an official combined fuel consumption figure of just 4.9L/100km.

Considering the Golf’s 50-litre fuel tank, this suggests a range of more than 1000km between fills on the open road.

Safety

The Golf’s long-standing five star safety rating also applies to the 110TDI Highline, with dual front, side and full-length curtain plus driver’s knee airbags, ABS, EBD and stability control as standard.

Driving

Out on the road, the 110TDI Highline is comfortable and smooth at slow speeds, with just a smidge of lag from the turbo off the mark.

Even with the slim 45-profile 17-inch tyres, the ride is beautifully controlled.  It’s just as impressive when tackling bends or cruising on the highway at speed, and the steering is one of the best electric systems around.

Despite the heavier diesel engine up the front, the nose reacts swiftly to rapid steering inputs, and is beautifully stable right up to the limit.

Even with its efficiency focus, the 2.0-litre diesel offers ample performance. Claimed 0-100km/h performance is 8.6 seconds, and despite the DSG having one ratio fewer than the 1.4-litre petrol models, it does a great job of keeping the 110TDI within its 1750-3000rpm torque band.

The 110TDI Highline is a relaxed open road tourer, and is a quiet and comfortable place to spend several hours at the wheel. This is where you get the best out of the diesel engine, and really the only way to justify the extra investment over a 103TSI petrol.