Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE
Week ending January 31
Driven this week 195 miles
The Golf’s boot is a pretty good size when you compare it with the rest of the class (380 litres vs the Ford Focus’s 316 and the Vauxhall Astra’s 370). However, it wasn’t big enough to take the glass TV stand that was delivered to work this week – I had to fold the rear seats.
It’s a simple enough business; the release handles are on the chairs’ shoulders, and the backs flop onto the bases. You have to extend the head rests (or remove them altogether - a bit of a fiddly job because you need to prod buttons to release the arms) if you want the seat backs to sit flat, though. You can then raise the height of the boot floor to make the entire load space flat.
Anyway, the box fitted with just one of the seats down and didn’t shift around on the way home. Job done.
By Rob Keenan
Week ending January 24
Driven this week 285 miles
The Golf should have a lot more in common with the Rapid than the Merc, for obvious reasons. The VW and the Skoda share the same engine (although the Golf’s is tuned to a higher power output) and both have a five-speed gearbox. However, I was surprised to find that the Rapid felt torquier on the motorway – I expect that’ll change as the Golf’s engine loosens up.
In every other area, though, the VW is the better car. Granted, they’re not in the same class (the Octavia is Skoda’s closest competitor), but only £3k separates that Spaceback from our Golf, yet the latter is leagues ahead for ride quality, is nicer to drive, the cabin uses much plusher materials and the DAB radio sounds richer.
In fact, in terms of overall plushness, the VW feels a lot closer to the supremely comfortable S-Class than it does to the Rapid Spaceback. That’s an incredible achievement when you consider that the Merc costs a cool £88,130.
By Rob Keenan
Week ending January 17
Driven this week 635 miles
Barely two weeks have elapsed since I took delivery of the Golf and I’ve already passed the 1000-mile running-in mark.
Most of those miles were covered on the M3 motorway, but not at a constant 70-ish miles per hour; it’s been the commuting week from hell, what with accidents galore and dreadful weather, so the diesel engine got a good (but gentle) workout, which should set it in good stead for the rest of its life.
It takes a few thousand miles for a new engine to bed in fully, and for fuel economy to improve, but I was impressed with what I got from the first full tank: 51.7mpg. That’s not far off our True MPG figure of 54.5 – I’m quietly confident we’ll be able to beat it, given more friendly traffic conditions.
By Rob Keenan
Week ending January 10
Driven this week 0 miles
The Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI is the latest car to join our long term test fleet, and it’s going to give us the most complete ownership experience we’ve ever had at What Car?.
It’s with us for a full three years, which means we’ll be judging it as a new car and a used car. Read the full introduction story.