Volkswagen Golf Mk 5 - Mk 7 Comparison
12th July 2016
My 2005 Volkswagen Golf Mk 5 SE was 12 years old when I got my 2013 Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 SE so you'd expect things to have moved on in that time. They definitely had.
The biggest difference between the two Mk's are the engines. Both the 1.9 TDI Pumpe Düse (PD) BKC engine in the Mk 5 and the 1.6 TDI Common Rail (CR) CLHA engine in the Mk 7 are rated at 77 kW/103 bhp. However the 1.6 engine is much smoother and quieter. I've also noticed that whilst the 1.9 engine was happy to drive at 30mph in 4th gear, the 1.6 engine sounds louder and less refined in this situation. I have had to revert to my old mantra: 3rd gear for driving at 30mph, 4th gear for driving at 40mph and 5th gear for 50mph+. The recommended gear change indicator on the dash seems to agree with this rule.
The 1.9 PD engine had an extra-urban MPG figure of 61.4mpg and generated over 143g of CO2/km costing about £130/year in road tax. The 1.6 CR engine has an extra-urban MPG figure of 80.7mpg and generates only 99g of CO2/km meaning no road tax is due! With my driving I used to average around 55mpg in my Mk 5. I average around 65mpg in the Mk 7.
This Mk 7 is so much more luxurious and refined inside compared to my Mk 5. It's quieter - apparently there is sound insulation in the front windscreen and the door mirrors have been redesigned to reduce wind noise. The smoother engine described above also no doubt results in a quieter cabin. The Mk 7 also feels to have been put together a bit better than the Mk 5. I was always a little disappointed that the Mk 5 was not as quiet and rattle free as I had originally hoped.
The feel of the cabin in the Mk 7 is much more luxurious no doubt due to the high level of standard equipment. The Composition Media Infotainment System, the adaptive cruise control, the Driver Mode Selection, the electronic parking brake with auto hold and on and on. I feel that you get a lot more for your money.
Whilst things have inevitably moved on and the Mk 7 is a much more technologically advanced car than the Mk 5, I've found it very easy to switch from the older car to the newer car. Pretty much everything that was in the Mk 5 is in exactly the same place in the Mk 7. They haven't moved things around just for the sake of it. Where new things have been added, they are usually exactly where you would expect. For example, you could use the adaptive cruise control on the Mk 7 in exactly the same way as the more conventional cruise control fitted to the Mk 5 and you turn on the high beam headlights in exactly the same way on the Mk 5 and Mk 7. However the Mk 7 with its High Beam Assist will automatically switch the high beams down to dipped headlights to prevent you blinding an oncoming vehicle.
Some things from the Mk 5 which are not in the Mk 7.
- Sun visor extension
Very minor: The sun visors in the Mk 5 used to extend. They do not in the Mk 7.
- VW headlight bulb covers
The dipped beam headlight bulbs in the Mk 5 had little VW shaped covers. No longer in the Mk 7.
- First Look at the New Golf 7 MQB Architecture, Jamie Vondruska, February 16, 2012
- Self-study Programme 820433 (SSP 514): The EA288 Diesel Engine Family, Design and Function [PDF], Volkswagen, February 2014