Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE
Week ending July 30
Miles this week 170
Apparently, Mayor of London Boris Johnson wants to introduce a £10 charge – on top of the current £11.50 fee – for drivers of ‘dirty’ diesel cars (and older petrol cars) to enter the Congestion Zone.
When I say ‘dirty’, I mean engines that don’t meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standard. Surprise, surprise, my Golf’s engine only meets the Euro 5 standard.
To be honest, this doesn’t really affect me, because our office is way outside the zone, in the ’burbs, and I live down the M3 motorway. The only time I drive into London is after 6pm, when charging finishes for the day.
However, I'm sure the proposed changes will affect many thousands of motorists. A fee of £21.50 per day is a lot to pay. Will you be affected and, if so, will you switch to a cleaner car or public transport?
By Rob Keenan
Week ending July 23
Miles this week 285
I’ve been driving colleague Steve Hopkins’ Audi A3 Saloon for the past three weeks and have only just reclaimed ownership of the Golf.
I took the A3 to see how it would compare over longer distances (I had to make some motorway trips to airports before I flew off for a couple of overseas car reviews). As expected, the Audi’s larger engine and six-speed manual gearbox made life a fair bit easier at higher speeds, but its firm Sport suspension couldn’t hold a candle to the Golf’s ‘magic-carpet’ ride.
Incidentally, while I was in Germany to drive the face-lifted Scirocco, I was informed that my Golf’s SE trim level is about to be superseded by Match trim. It’s the same price but front and rear parking sensors and electrically folding door mirrors come as standard (mine cost £550), together with foglights. Excellent news if you’re thinking about splashing out on a new Golf.
By Rob Keenan
Week ending July 17
Miles this week 400
When I was handed the keys to our scarlet-coloured long-termer, I felt like I had lucked in before the weekend had started.
With university commitments in Coventry, a family member’s christening in the west country and What Car? Towers based in Teddington, it meant I had to complete a triangle of England. And the more time I spent in our Golf, the more it got under my skin.
Gruff engine note aside, the Volkswagen proved to be a pleasant commuting tool during the 400 miles and confirmed to me why it remains one of the best cars in the small family segment.
By Aaron Smith
Week ending July 2
Miles this week 105
All this fiddling about with tyre pressures has had me wondering what Golf owners, or rather 1.6 TDI Golf owners, would make of their car’s brand of tyres, assuming it’s still on the set fitted in the factory.
You see, in my experience those who run a VW Golf tend to be a little sniffy about car brands and models. Tell them you drive a Ford Focus and they’re likely to give you the same look they express when they step in something nasty on the pavement.
So I can only imagine their faces when they discover their pride and joy is wearing not Pirellis or Michelins but Hankooks.
Not that there’s anything wrong with this South Korean make. Hankook is the seventh largest tyre company in the world, and it seems to know what it’s doing if the way my Golf performs on the road is anything to go by.
By Rob Keenan