Volkswagen Golf Review & Road Test

The Volkswagen Golf has a choice of 12 engines, which includes three turbodiesels and one diesel. Of the petrol engines the 1.4 is a little underpowered, the best engine is probably the 115 bhp turbodiesel powering the Golf Gti Tdi, at the top of the range is the R32 at an awesome 240 bhp. The Golf is more of a cruiser than its competitors and motorway driving is a relaxing experience, about town however the softer suspension results in too much body roll and bounce. The all wheel drive 4Motion provides good handling but the rest of the range is behind many of its competitors in this area. Once inside the Golf it is clear why these cars generate a loyal following, the cabin oozes quality and is well designed and laid out. Driver seat height is adjustable and the seats provide good support, steering is adjustable for both rake and reach. Power steering is standard and visibility is good although large rear pillars restrict the rearward view.

Front seats are quite large and comfortable whilst rear passenger space is adequate if not class leading. The Golf is a quiet car for its class with low levels of wind, road and engine noise – even at motorway speeds. The VW Golf is now equipped with air conditioning or climate control as standard (except E models) and despite the soft ride the quality of the interior cossets passengers.

The Volkswagen has split rear backrests and cushions that give the good-sized boot additional flexibility. Internal storage space is also good, with a decent sized glove box, space in the doors and in a central armrest.

Standard equipment on the Golf includes driver, passenger and side-impact airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-skid control. Air conditioning or climate control is standard on all but E models and the stereo is upgraded to include a CD on all models above SE.

Safety & Security
The Volkswagen Golf has a number of safety features as standard and consequently performed very well in NCAP crash tests for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The Golf’s security systems are reasonable but not class leading.

Quality & Reliability
This is where the Golf clearly outperforms most of its rivals, the quality of the materials used and the attention to detail clearly shine through giving the car a luxury feel. Historically, Golf’s have a better than average reliability record and the mechanicals on the new models are backed by a three year warranty.

The VW Golf has best in class running costs which are due primarily to very good resale values (expect to recover around 50% after 3 years) and low servicing costs. All of the engines are reasonably economical, with the exception of the V5 and V6.

Review ©2010

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