I had to get from London to Dundee this week, and I figured a Golf would be pretty much the ideal way to do it, so begged the keys from regular keeper Rob Keenan.
I still think I was right to choose a Golf – but perhaps not this Golf, because I was a bit disappointed by it overall.
I was hoping for something quiet and comfortable that wouldn’t drink much diesel, but it wasn’t. The 1.6 diesel engine is a raucous thing at low and medium speeds, and it makes a constant drone on the motorway. The fact it’s linked to a five-speed gearbox instead of a six-speeder could be something to do with this.
Indeed, my father has an 05-plate 102,000-mile Honda Accord, and the engine in this is far smoother and quieter than the one in our Golf.
The fairly small 50-litre fuel tank meant range wasn’t that great either. I’d covered 468 miles and the range-to-empty said I had only 65 to go, although at least it was relatively inexpensive to fill.
Finally, the driver’s seat made my backside numb on both legs of the trip. I had to alternately sit bolt upright for a while, then resort to a teenager-style slouch simply to get some feeling back into it.
The upsides were that the interior has plenty of space in it, and the ride was certainly comfortable when I picked up an injured relative from hospital.
Nevertheless, if I have to make the same trip in the future, I think I’ll try to borrow the keys to our long-term Nissan Qashqai instead.
By Euan Doig
Read all of our updates on life with our Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 SE.
In the car park
Deputy consumer editor Matthew Burrow is glad we got our Hyundai i10 order in early - the company has now scrapped the good value Connectivity pack that adds Bluetooth to SE spec models.