There's nothing wrong with giving a car a mild refresh, so long as the original version was a big hit.

In the case of the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf, 70,762 UK sales last year proved that buyers were already hugely impressed.

This week, an updated version of the country's third best-selling model was unveiled to members of the motoring media, including the Telegraph & Argus, at a special event at picturesque Woburn, in Bedfordshire.

So what's changed?

In the words of Mike Orford, head of press and public relations at VW, the updated Golf is more about "evolution than revolution."

New engines have been added to the range, there are some more advanced technologies to enjoy, and the styling has been gently revised.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

LINE-UP: A selection of new Golfs ahead of the test drive

Perhaps the most notable change comes in the area of technical innovation and connectivity - an increasingly important consideration for car buyers.

All models across the range are now offered with a new generation of larger and more sophisticated touchscreen infotainment system.

For the first time in the compact class, a so-called 'gesture control' system is available, which means a simple swipe gesture from the driver's hand is all it takes to move the menu items from left to right, allowing the driver to scroll through the main menu, change radio stations, browse music albums and so on.

It's a clever piece of kit, only available on certain models, which is aimed at "democratising quality", according to VW.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

STYLISH: The 1.0-litre TSI version at Woburn Sculpture Gallery

Another first for its class is the Emergency Assist system, which notices if the driver is incapacitated and makes various efforts to alert them before ultimately making an emergency stop - a reassuring tool.

In terms of looks, the Golf remains a handsome and instantly-recognisable car. A number of subtle tweaks have further enhanced its understated look, including redesigned bumpers, new halogen and LED headlights, revised wheels and new LED tail lights.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The latest edition of the Golf is one of the few vehicles in the world to offer such a range of drive systems with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions available in the UK.

The broad selection of engines now includes the new 1.5-litre TSI Evo unit in two forms, as well as an even more powerful GTI Performance producing 245ps compared to 230PS.

The T&A tested three varieties of the new Golf on Bedfordshire's roads, including the thrilling 2.0-litre R version, which can go from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

EXCITING: The Golf R in action 

The R's blistering acceleration, combined with incredible handling capabilities, make it an absolute pleasure to drive.

Indeed, the way in which the car grips the corners inspires great confidence.

Cleverly, the wild animal qualities of the turbocharged 310PS engine can be tamed with a simple press of the 'eco mode' or 'normal' buttons, allowing the R to transform into an unassuming everyday family hatch.

By way of contrast, we also got behind the wheel of the 1.0-litre TSI version, which offers a power output of 110PS.

For an engine of that size, the acceleration felt surprisingly sprightly, with the car capable of going from a standing start to 62mph in 9.9 seconds, helped by a slick six-speed manual gearbox.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

DIESEL: The 2.0-litre TDI version near Woburn Abbey

Next it was into the Golf R-Line 2.0-litre TDI, which offers a bit more grunt thanks to a power output of 150PS and a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds.

In terms of balance between the awe-inspiring power of the fuel-thirsty R and the superb economy of the 1.0-litre petrol variant, we thought the 2.0-litre diesel option ticked the boxes of both power and good fuel economy.

In truth, all three versions tested on the day were impressive in their own way, depending on the individual taste. And if this trio didn't float your boat, fear not, for there are another 110 models in the Golf line-up to choose from, making it among the largest selections on the UK market with an entry level car coming in at £17,625.

Over the last 43 years, Golfs have emerged from Volkswagen factories at a mind-blowing rate of one every 40 seconds.

With some genuinely impressive improvements and with pricing revised downward at launch by an average of nearly £650, there seems no reason why this success story shouldn't continue.