• 2007 Volkswagen Golf Variant

    2007 VW golf variant

Volkswagen is introducing a new Golf to the worldwide market: The “Variant” that is as spacious as it is variable. On June 1, dealers will be presenting the model in Germany; all other countries and continents will follow successively. The new Variant – like the classic Golf and the Golf Plus (including CrossGolf) – is already in its third single remake of the successful “Golf” album.

Golf produced more than 1.2 million Variant since 1993

Over two generations were sold since 1993 in more than 1.2 millions Golf’s Variant. Now there is a new one: For the first time presented the third generation of the Golf Variant in a world premiere comes to the International Geneva Motor Show (8. until 18 March). 

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Like always Variant model makes the Golf an ideal ratio between more inside room and exterior size. Exact what was always an elementary part of its success formula: sovereign interior dimensions in manageable outside dimensions. 

Nothing other applies therefore to the new Gplf Variant: Thanks to standard baggage comportment from Comfortline, the Golf Variant itself with five persons receives on board up to 690 liters of baggage. As soon as the back bench is folded down, maximally 1,550 liters of volume in the 4.56 meter can be stored. 

A synthesis of new and classic style elements marks the exterior design. The back end of the Variant shows a totally new part the Golf. While the tail-lights of the other body versions of this series are half on the back door, in the Golf Variant they were integrated completely into the fenders. Optically they underline the large trunk.

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To the launch, Volkswagen will offer the Golf Variant with two gasoline and two diesel engines. The petrol engine performs 75 kW / 102 HP and 103 kW / 140 HP. New is the 140-PS-Version:

Almost identical performances for the diesels: 77 kW / 105 HP and 103 kW / 140 HP. The smaller of these two TDI gives itself on 100 kilometers, 5.2 liter fuels content, what corresponds to a CO2-Emission of 137g/km. In addition the large TDI is just as thrifty as non-polluting: The Gulf Variant touch 205 km/h from the 2.0 TDI and consumes only 5.6 liters (CO2: 148 g/km)


A synthesis of new and classic style elements mark the design of the third Golf Variant. In its side profile the lines of the new Volkswagen strike a definite bridge to the Passat Variant. Nonetheless, the Golf Variant also exhibits a high level of independence in its side profile. An unmistakable feature here: The taillights that extend far into the car’s flanks.

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The rear end of the new Variant reveals an entirely new side of the Golf. While other body versions of this model series have taillights that extend about halfway into the tailgate, on the Golf Variant they are fully integrated in the fender. Visually, they emphasize the large cargo loading width of the rear opening. And it is in fact over one meter (1,014 mm) wide. Simultaneously, the rear design of the Golf Variant assumes a very independent character with its newly designed taillights.

On the other hand, there are well-known Volkswagen design features reminiscent of the Passat Variant: The rear window that wraps around to the D pillars (another indicator of its wide cargo loading ability) and roof edge spoiler, which as a trailing edge optimizes aero­dynamics and thereby attains lower fuel consumption). Air drag coefficient: cW = 0.31. At the same time, the spoiler accentuates the distinctively sporty image of the new Golf Variant.

Since its debut three decades ago, the Golf has been as unmistakable as a fingerprint. One of the secrets of its worldwide success is that Volkswagen was able to create an absolutely “counterfeit-proof” original in the Golf, which was to be the direct successor to the Beetle. This design was maintained, perfected and extended to be the stylistic reflection of the brand. The Golf Variant now joins this one-of-a-kind product line.

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Front end with insignia radiator grille

The newly designed and aerodynamically optimized front end of the Golf Variant sports a chrome insignia radiator grille. In keeping with this visual cue, the bumper was also designed with chrome guard strips. Also unmistakable: The dual round headlamps – with their laterally arranged turn signal lights – that “taper” sharply toward the car centerline.

Unmistakable design in side profile

The side profile of the new Golf Variant exhibits five main elements: The wedge-like line rising toward the rear beneath the side windows, the visual continuity of the side window surfaces, the substantially modulated flanks in the area of the rear doors, the taillights that wrap around and extend far into the fenders, and the D pillar that is characteristically formed at an angle.

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The latter deserves special attention, since it is markedly different from the predecessor model and imparts an extraordinarily sporty aspect to the new Volkswagen. Geometrically, it forms the chord of a tight arc that lends power to the Variant body. Very narrow gap dimensions perfect the high level of aesthetics in the design.

Body / Interior

The everyday utility realized throughout the Golf Variant begins with effortless access to the cargo area. The cargo door can be unlocked either by central locking or by a separate key on the RF remote fob before it is opened by a pushbutton located beneath the VW logo. The tailgate swings 2.06 meters wide and is easy to close again with little effort by grasping special hand holds molded into the interior trim.

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More space for greater flexibility: 15.9 centimeters longer

The body of the new Golf Variant is 178.1 centimeters wide, 150.4 centimeters high and 455.6 centimeters long. Compared to its predecessor, this represents a gain of 4.6 centimeters in width and 15.9 centimeters in length. Compared to the classic Golf hatchback, although the Variant has an identical wheelbase (257.8 centimeters) it has grown by 35.2 centimeters: This is the kind of growth that especially counts in terms of increased cargo capacity.

High level of functionality and quality characterize the interior

In the interior of the new Golf Variant, Volkswagen is also continuing on a path marked by a high level of functionality, tactile and visible quality, and a high level of visual aesthetics. Of course, in a station wagon model it is primarily the functional and practical advantages of the cargo area that stand in the forefront.

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Loading of the cargo area is made easier by a low 57 centimeter liftover height. When the cargo partition net is installed, the new model can carry 690 liters of cargo, even with five persons on board. If it is loaded to the roof liner, as much as 745 liters fit in the car; when loaded to window level out to the load sill this still amounts to 560 liters (with spare wheel well). When the rear bench seat is folded, its full interior height (0.83 meters) and spare wheel well can be utilized, and up to 1,550 liters of cargo (VDA measurement: 1,495 liters) can be stowed in the new Volkswagen, 80 liters more than on the predecessor model.

When the rear bench is folded, the continuously flat cargo area of the new Golf Variant up to the driver’s seatback measures 1.70 meters. Bins are also waiting to be filled under the cargo floor and in the side paneling. Even when the standard factory-installed asymmetrical split bench is not lowered, a respectable 1.07 meters of cargo length is still available. Maximum width: 1.29 meters. Its liftover height of just 57 centimeters makes it easier to stow cargo.

Well thought-out: Folding rear bench seat

The cargo area is variable in its potential uses. It is as easy as child’s play to stow the factory-installed asymmetrical split bench rear seat, for example. Release buttons next to the outer head restraints disengage the seatbacks from their anchorages so that they can be folded forward.

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Clever: A red indicator, visible from the front seats too, serves as a warning if one of the two rear seatbacks is not fully engaged after lifting the seatback up again. As a special option the front passenger seatback can also be folded forward, resulting in a continuous loading surface.

The rear bench seat – i.e. the seat surface – can also be folded with just a few hand movements. First, the front end of the seat base is elevated slightly by pulling on the handle provided for this, and then the upholstered seat unit is folded forward. The head restraints are removed first, to allow the seatbacks to fit into the space that is freed up.

The variability of the interior is also enhanced by the center armrest in the rear seating area, which is standard equipment starting at the Comfortline level. When folded down, it creates an especially large through-loading opening to the cargo area, making it easy to stow long and bulky sports equipment such as skis.

Cargo safety: Practical solutions

To protect against cargo shifting into the passenger area during a collision or hard braking, the new Golf Variant can be equipped with a cargo partition net. Normally, it is installed behind the rear bench seat. However, when the rear seatback is folded forward, the net can be anchored near the front seatbacks.

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Providing for additional cargo safety are four tie-down eyes located on the right and left side panels in the cargo area, and at the front of the cargo area. When they are not in use, they can be folded away without leaving any corners or edges protruding.

Another extremely practical way to secure individual objects in the cargo section is to use the variable cargo floor. It is set in place manually and latches securely in the notches provided for it. Smaller objects, especially flat objects, will also fit in the recess beneath the variable cargo area floor.

Just as practical: The special bag hooks that can be folded out from the side paneling. They are standard equipment and prevent the contents of store bags from spilling in the cargo area during the drive. Auxiliary 12-Volt outlets enable connection of coolers and other electrically operated appliances. The first aid kit and hazard triangle are at an easy-to-reach location behind a cover in the left side panel of the cargo area.

Creates a bright ambiance: The new panorama sunroof

As a special equipment option, and even standard on the Golf Variant Sportline, Volkswagen is offering a newly designed panorama sunroof. With a length of 1.36 meters and width of 0.87 meters, its transparent surface spans a large section of the interior, creating a light-filled, friendly ambiance.

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The roof consists of two halves; the front section can be raised or fully opened. To preserve full interior height, the section that opens is driven out above the closed section of roof. An electrically-powered sunshade offers protection from intense sunlight.

Engines / transmissions / chassis

The new Golf Variant is being launched with two diesel and three gasoline engines, including four direct injection engines. Serving as the entry level engine is a 1.6-liter four cylinder that outputs 75 kW / 102 PS. Positioned above it are the twincharged TSI engines with high-end technology. These high-torque power packages deliver 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS, respectively. Factory equipped with diesel particulate filters are the two strong TDIs of the Golf Variant at 77 kW / 105 PS and 103 kW / 140 PS. Innovative: The DSG dual clutch transmission. It is optional on all engines with the exception of the 1.6-liter gasoline engine.

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1.6 with 75 kW / 102 PS.

The base engine of the Golf Variant is a 1.6-liter four cylinder engine serving up 75 kW / 102 PS (at 5,600 rpm). It develops its maximum torque of 148 Newton-meters beginning at 3,800 rpm. On average, the gasoline engine consumes 7.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Shifted by a five-speed gearbox, the Golf Variant – weighing in at 1,278 kilograms – can attain a top speed of 184 km/h. It completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 12.3 seconds. Its CO2 value is 176 g/km.

TSI with 103 kW / 140 PS.

The “smaller” twincharger outputs 103 kW / 140 PS – thanks to direct injection and twincharging by turbocharger and supercharger it can generate this power from just 1.4 liters displacement. Just as impressive are its 220 Newton-meters of torque, continuously in reserve from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. The TSI accelerates the Golf Variant to 100 km/h in just 9.5 seconds; its top speed is 205 km/h. This contrasts with average fuel consumption of 7.1 liters per 100 kilometers; that corresponds to a CO2 value of 169 g/km. The TSI is shifted by a standard six-speed gearbox, but as an option it may be paired with the automatically shifting DSG dual clutch transmission.

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TSI with 125 kW / 170 PS.

Going to work with even more power is the 125 kW TSI (170 PS), whose volumetric efficiency of 90 kW/liter represents a top value among production four-cylinder engines. Its maximum torque – 240 Newton-meter over a range from 1,500 to 4,750 revolutions per minute – is equivalent to that of a five-cylinder normally-aspirated engine with 2.3 liters displacement. By contrast, fuel consumption of this twincharged gasoline engine that can take the Golf Variant to 220 km/h is about 20 percent lower at 7.3 liters/100 km (CO2 value: 174 g/km). Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes just 8.5 seconds. A standard six-speed transmission handles power transfer, and the DSG dual clutch transmission is an option here too.

1.9 TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS.

Serving as the entry-level diesel is the 1.9 TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS; it outputs its maximum 250 Newton-meter torque at 1,900 rpm. As standard equipment the 1.9 TDI is paired with a five-speed gearbox, but it can be combined with the dual clutch transmission if desired. The manually shifted Golf Variant 1.9 TDI attains a top speed of 187 km/h, accelerates to 100 km/h in 12.2 seconds and on average consumes just 5.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. Its CO2 emissions are a low 137 g/km.

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2.0 TDI with 103 kW / 140 PS.

Commanding power and low fuel consumption – these are the key performance indicators that characterize the 2.0 TDI. It outputs 103 kW / 140 PS (at 4,000 rpm) and develops 320 Newton-meter of torque (between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm). The four-valve per cylinder engine is shifted by a six-speed transmission or optionally by DSG. As a 2.0 TDI the new Golf Variant reaches a top speed of 205 km/h, and it handles the sprint to 100 km/h in 9.8 seconds. On average, the diesel engine consumes just 5.6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (CO2 value: 148 g/km).

Both the TDI and TSI engines may, as described, be paired with the sporty dual clutch transmission (DSG). It combines the convenience of an automatic transmission with the agility and economy of a manual transmission. In parallel to its automatic mode, the DSG also offers a Tiptronic function that lets the driver shift manually. In both working modes it offers a shifting experience that is extremely convenient, and its lightning-quick gear shifts deliver driving fun comparable to that of a sports car.

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In keeping with the entire model series, the Golf Variant too gets a suspension-strut type axle in front. Also identical: The multilink rear axle. Its four suspension links significantly improve handling and ride comfort properties. This axle also has a positive impact on active safety. At the front axle, the reduced lateral inclination and good responsiveness of the stabilizers produce better driving dynamics in cornering. In addition, more precise wheel tracking and optimized suspension responsiveness compared to the last Golf Variant lead to a noticeable improvement in overall comfort. The overall chassis layout controls the maximum payload of the Golf Variant masterfully; this Volkswagen can take up to 622 kilograms on board, depending on the engine type.

Handling and comfort properties were perfected by electro-mechanical power steering, which not only provides steering boost adapted to vehicle speed, but also contributes significantly to straight-line stability.

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The latest Golf offshoot has the latest generation of ESP and “Dual Brake Assist” as standard features (see section on “Safety”). Also contributing to the car’s very good deceleration values is a newly designed braking system with optimized cooling. In the sum total of its characteristics, the Golf Variant chassis represents a very successful synthesis of driving comfort that exceeds the standards of its class while simultaneously offering very dynamic steering and handling.


The new Golf Variant is the epitome of the classic family and business car. Besides offering a high level of functional utility, sporty aesthetics and excellent quality at a competitive price/performance ratio, its buyers also expect the strictest, most comprehensive safety requirements to be satisfied. The new Variant would not be a Volkswagen, if it did not set standards in this area too. From the factory, its safety features include six airbags and optional rear side airbags. In addition, the incredible torsional stiffness of its body results in crash properties that reflect the high level of safety of the entire model series.

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Passive safety: Six airbags as standard equipment

Essentially, the new station wagon is provided with a total of six airbags (front airbags, side airbags and head airbags extending along both sides of the vehicle) as standard equipment in all versions. Two additional side airbags are offered in the rear as an option. Moreover, the front seats have crash-optimized head restraints and pyrotechnic belt tensioners with integrated seatbelt force limiters (the latter in rear seating too). Five three-point seatbelts and five head restraints – including for the center rear seating position – are a matter of fact. Also standard on-board: Isofix child seat anchorage points at the two outer seating positions in the rear (optionally at the front passenger seat) and the capability of deactivating the front passenger airbag.

Front airbags: The front restraint system of the Golf Variant consists of a driver airbag with a volume of 60 liters and a front passenger airbag with a volume of 120 liters. The steering column also contributes to optimized passive safety. It has a special clamping device for the length and height adjustment mechanism. Together with the steering rod, this clamping device prevents the steering wheel from lifting in case of a crash.

Side airbags: The side airbags of the Golf Variant are located in the seatbacks of the front seats. They protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and are optimally tuned to the more rigid side structure of the car. An innovative sensor concept ensures very short triggering times. Integrating the side airbags in the seatbacks guarantees optimal positioning of the driver and front passenger relative to the airbag.

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Head airbags: Furthermore, Volkswagen is offering standard side head airbags. Specifically, these airbags cover the window area from the A pillar to the C pillar and from the headliner to over the door shoulder. The result: Maximum protection at all outer seating positions, regardless of body height.

Active safety: State-of-the-art ESP + Trailer stabilization

As standard equipment the Golf Variant also features ABS and ESP with integrated braking assistance (Dual Brake Assist).

ESP is characterized by a whole series of special features that have direct positive effects on active safety. If the new Golf Variant is ordered with a trailer hitch (rated trailer load with trailer brakes: between 1,200 and 1,500 kilograms, depending on engine type), it will also have integrated trailer stabilization.

This prevents what are often very serious trailer accidents by intervening at the first indication of a problem. Trailer stabilization is a software extension of the ESP control module that takes much of its information from the so-called yaw rate sensor. A trailer that is beginning to sway transmits mechanical pulses through the trailer tongue and to the towing vehicle at a frequency of less than one Hertz. The ESP controller “asks” once again whether a trailer is actually being towed – and this is confirmed by the electrical connector at the trailer hitch. For a brief time period the system continues to observe pulses, and if they exceed a predefined critical threshold a specific braking intervention is initiated by the Golf Variant to stabilize the trailer.

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As in conventional ESP control, at the curve limit the control module stops engine acceleration and initiates braking; this is performed in a highly complex process. All four wheels are decelerated in a relatively restrained manner: Starting at 0.15 g, and later, if necessary, at 0.3 g. That is still just 30 percent of what is feasible, but it is clearly adequate. The developers wanted to avoid having a hard braking trailer endanger traffic behind the trailer.

To reinforce stability, braking begins precisely when the trailer is located in the “neutral” or zero position of its swaying oscillation. The lateral forces that it transmits to the Golf Variant are compensated by the ESP control module with alternating and variable high brake forces at the front wheels. In case of an intervention from an initial speed of 100 km/h, the brakes and accelerator are generally re-enabled at 70 to 75 km/h – at this point the car is traveling below the so-called “critical speed” and the trailer is stable again.

Standard equipment

Like the “classic” Golf, the new Golf Variant is also being launched in the equipment lines “Trendline”, “Comfortline” and “Sportline”. The “Trendline” base model already has extensive convenience and safety equipment that includes six airbags and ESP. Across the board, all versions have bumpers and guard strips painted in car color, insignia radiator grille in chrome and roof rails. Functional features like central locking, outside temperature display, removable cargo cover, flat cargo floor with additional storage bins and asymmetrically split, folding rear bench seat with folding seatbacks are all standard equipment.

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Meeting the special requirements of high-distance drivers are the features of the Comfortline equipment line. For example, it offers the semi-automatic “Climatic” climate control system, comfort seats in front (including adjustable lumbar supports and center armrest) as well as rear seating system with center armrest and through-loading feature.

The third equipment line, the Golf Variant Sportline, comes with the newly designed panorama sunroof as standard equipment and details that include sports chassis lowered 15 millimeters, sports seats in front, 16-inch “Atlanta” type alloy wheels with 205/55 tires, on-board computer, leather sports steering wheel and an automatic climate control system.

Equipment of the Golf Variant Trendline


  • Outside mirror housing in car color
  • Turn indicators integral to sides of outside mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • Halogen headlamps and turn indicator lamps under common clear glass covers
  • Chrome radiator grille frame and louvers
  • Bumpers and guard strips in car color
  • Steel wheels 6.5 J x 16, tires 205/55 R 16
  • Green tinted glass
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  • Storage bin with door in headliner
  • Storage bins in the doors (in front with holder for 1 liter bottles)
  • Cup holders, front (2) and rear (1)
  • Roof rails, black
  • Decorative Anthracite inserts on instrument panel, center console and in the doors
  • Driver’s seat with height adjustment
  • Cargo area cover, removable
  • Cargo area floor, raised, with storage bins
  • Glove box, locking and illuminated
  • Steering wheel (3 spoke)
  • Rear bench seat and seatback, asymmetrically split and folding
  • Seat covers and door trim in flat weave, “Glow” design


  • Airbag for driver and front passenger, with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Three-point automatic safety belts, rear (3)
  • Three-point automatic safety belts, front, with height adjustment and belt tensioners
  • Electronic Stabilization Program ESP with counter steering assist, including ABS, Brake Assistant, EDS, MSR and Trailer Stabilization
  • Isofix prepped (anchorage points for mounting two child seats on rear seat bench)
  • Head airbag system for front and rear occupants, including side airbags in front
  • Head restraints (5)
  • Disc brakes, front and rear, internally ventilated in front
  • Bag hooks in cargo area
  • Tie-down eyes in cargo area (4)
  • Automatic hazard flasher activation with hard braking
  • Electronic immobilizer
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  • Outside mirror, electrically adjustable and heated, driver’s side aspherical
  • Outside temperature display
  • Power windows, front and rear
  • RF remote control for central locking, 2 fob keys, 1 fold-away key (opening and closing of windows and cargo hatch by RF remote control)
  • Cargo area lighting
  • Holder for first aid kit and hazard triangle
  • Rear window wiper/washer system with intermittent switching
  • Heating and fresh air ventilation system with 4-stage blower and recirculation switch
  • Interior light, front, with shutoff delay and contact switches in all doors
  • Instrument lighting, blue, controllable, red backlighting for switches
  • Instrument cluster with electronic speedometer, odometer and trip odometer, tachometer
  • Steering column, height and length adjustable
  • Reading lamps, front
  • Make-up mirrors in the sun visors
  • Rear reflectors in the doors
  • Windshield wipers, front, with intermittent switching
  • Service interval indicator
  • Power steering, electromechanical, speed-dependent control
  • Dust and pollen filter
  • Bag hooks in cargo area
  • Tire Mobility Set: 12-Volt air compressor and tire sealant
  • Warning buzzer if lights are not shut off
  • Central locking

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Equipment of the Golf Variant Comfortline; features supplemental to Trendline


  • Chrome trim on side windows


  • Storage pockets on backs of front seats
  • Front passenger seat with height adjustment, seatback folds completely
  • Through-loading in rear bench seat, center armrest in rear
  • Leather knob on parking brake lever
  • Comfort seats, front
  • Leather steering wheel (3 spoke)
  • Lumbar support, front
  • Center armrest with storage box in front, air vents and 2 cup holders in rear
  • Leather knob on gearshift lever
  • Seat covers in velour, “Maxima” design
  • Fabric floor mats, front and rear


  • Cargo net, also usable as pocket
  • Park Pilot (acoustic warning signals in response to obstacles behind the car)
  • Tire pressure monitoring indicator
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  • Outside mirrors electrically adjustable, with passenger side mirror lowering feature
  • Dual tone horn
  • Cargo area cover with net
  • Speed control system (GRA)
  • “Climatic” climate control system
  • Reading lamps in front (2) with chrome ring and 2 in rear
  • Illuminated make-up mirror in sun visors
  • Multifunctional display (MFA)
  • Drawers under the front seats
  • 12-Volt outlet in cargo area

Equipment of the Golf Variant Sportline; features supplemental to the Trendline


  • Dual exhaust tailpipe, left side (only with 125 kW TSI)
  • “Atlanta” alloy wheels 6 1/2 J x 16 with wheel locks, tires 205/55 R 16
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  • Storage pockets on backs of front seats
  • Front passenger seat with height adjustment
  • Decorative inserts, brushed aluminum for instrument panel, center console and in the doors
  • Leather knob on parking brake lever
  • Leather steering wheel (3 spokes)
  • Lumbar support, front
  • Leather knob on gearshift lever
  • Seat covers and door trim in flat weave, “Brick” design
  • Sport seats in front
  • Fabric floor mats, front and rear


  • 12-Volt outlet in cargo area
  • Outside mirrors, electrically adjustable with passenger side mirror lowering function
  • Dual tone horn
  • Speed control system (GRA)
  •  “Climatronic” climate control system with 2-zone temperature control, separate left and right control
  • Reading lamps in front (2) with chrome rings and in rear (2)
  • Make-up mirrors in sun visors, illuminated
  • Multifunctional display (MFA)
  • Panorama sunroof
  • Drawers under the front seats
  • Sports chassis approx. 15 mm lower to ground
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Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (1) posted on 04.26.2015

Awesome analysis and very in depth, thanks for the good job in the research.

  (363) posted on 10.4.2010

Just in time for the "License to Drive" remake starring Cory Feldman.

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