Our cars: VW Golf 1.6 TDI - June

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  • A set of winter tyres and Aspen alloys have been fitted to the Golf for £932

    A set of winter tyres and Aspen alloys have been fitted to the Golf for £932

  • Our regular tyres will be swapped for winter rubber in the coming weeks

    Our regular tyres will be swapped for winter rubber in the coming weeks

  • City emergency braking uses radar beneath the numberplate to detect obstacles

    City emergency braking uses radar beneath the numberplate to detect obstacles

  • It's been quite a while since we last pressed this button

    It's been quite a while since we last pressed this button

  • Seatbelt buckle casing was easily fixed

    Seatbelt buckle casing was easily fixed

  • Our three-year test car feels as supremely competent as the VW Golfs that have gone before it

    Our three-year test car feels as supremely competent as the VW Golfs that have gone before it

  • Our Golf will cost £21.50 to enter the London Congestion Zone, if Boris's plans are implemented

    Our Golf will cost £21.50 to enter the London Congestion Zone, if Boris's plans are implemented

  • The sat-nav software needs an update, which should improve its response

    The sat-nav software needs an update, which should improve its response

  • Rob's attempt to boost fuel economy by pumping up the Golf's tyres was a success

    Rob's attempt to boost fuel economy by pumping up the Golf's tyres was a success

  • Golf sensors no longer switch on automatically - bliss!

    Golf sensors no longer switch on automatically - bliss!

  • USB socket is deeply set and therefore hard to reach

    USB socket is deeply set and therefore hard to reach

  • Driverless cars might be the future, but adaptive cruise control is here already

    Driverless cars might be the future, but adaptive cruise control is here already

  • Old Accord was smoother and quieter than our Golf

    Old Accord was smoother and quieter than our Golf

  • Every Golf comes with an electronic parking brake instead of a conventional handbrake

    Every Golf comes with an electronic parking brake instead of a conventional handbrake

  • The Golf S's plastic steering wheel doesn't get audio controls and there's no cruise control

    The Golf S's plastic steering wheel doesn't get audio controls and there's no cruise control

  • A terrific hatchback opening means the Golf's boot can swallow all manner of odd loads

    A terrific hatchback opening means the Golf's boot can swallow all manner of odd loads

  • Mum-of-two Michele thinks our Golf has the same solid, sturdy feel of her old Mk3 version

    Mum-of-two Michele thinks our Golf has the same solid, sturdy feel of her old Mk3 version

  • Sat-nav offers to find you a petrol station when fuel levels are low

    Sat-nav offers to find you a petrol station when fuel levels are low

  • Fuel economy has taken a hit since the running-in period

    Fuel economy has taken a hit since the running-in period

  • The traffic congestion warnings have to be taken with a hefty pinch of salt

    The traffic congestion warnings have to be taken with a hefty pinch of salt

  • Boot space with the seats up is a healthy 380 litres

    Boot space with the seats up is a healthy 380 litres

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Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Read the full VW Golf review

Week ending June 25
Mileage 8215
Miles this week 265

Great news. My tyre-inflating exercise a few weeks ago has done the trick, and the Golf has been averaging more than 50mpg for quite a while now. In fact, it was Euan Doig's trip to Dundee that yielded the most impressive figure: 53.9mpg - a surprising feat, because Euan isn't known for having a particularly light right foot.

Other journeys have resulted in figures of between 50.5mpg and 52.9mpg, mostly from trips on the M3 and other motorways, but also from some town driving.

To say I'm chuffed is something of an understatement; all I did was pump up the tyres to the recommended pressures for a full load of passengers and luggage. The ride is a shade nobblier in town (manhole covers and ruts aren't damped as well as before), but it's a small price to pay when you consider I'm getting another 40 miles out of every tank.

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com

 

 

 

Week ending June 16
Mileage 7950
Miles this week 550

Euan Doig has declared himself a fan of the Golf’s infotainment system (see below). I also think it’s pretty good, although it’s not a patch on BMW’s iDrive, which is considered to be one of the best out there.

You operate VW’s system via the touch-screen (BMW’s is operated via a dial) and, like Euan, I quite like the way icons appear only when your hand gets close. It’s a clever idea for what is a fairly small screen.

However, it’s not the quickest and I’ve noticed a glitch in recent weeks. When you’ve programmed the sat-nav and are about to set off, the map occasionally shows Wolfsburg in Germany as your current position. Wolfsburg is the headquarters of Volkswagen, and is where the Golf is built, so I can only imagine that my car is feeling homesick. I’ve also noticed it happening on our long-term Seat Leon, which uses the same system but is built in Spain.

The map usually switches back to my actual location after a few seconds, but it’s something I’ll be keeping my eye on.

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com







Week ending June 11

Mileage 7400
Miles this week 190

All round parking sensors = a great idea. No doubt much paintwork has been saved by the introduction of these. All-round parking sensors that activate automatically at walking speed? Not so good.

What Car?'s Golf has these, and I have to say they drove me to distraction for a while. That 'while' was a five-mile tailback on the M6.

It was nose to tail for an hour, and every time my speed dropped below walking pace the sensors would switch on and the person intent on staying with a couple of feet of my rear bumper would cause the system to go into bleep overdrive.

After an hour it got too much, and I had to resort to the handbook. Joy of joys, the system can be switched so that it activates only when reverse is engaged. 

Now, traffic jams hold no fear for me!

Euan.Doig@whatcar.com

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Read the full VW Golf review

Week ending June 4
Mileage 7210
Miles this week 260

I’m a big fan of the infotainment system in our long-term Golf. Not only does it have the whole proximity sensor thing going on where the touch-screen automatically changes as your finger approaches, but the software behind the system is easy to understand.

This makes it easy to link your phone to the system via Bluetooth, and operating the phone side of it is simple.

It’s also pretty easy to use the audio system, whether you’re using the radio or streaming music from your phone.

However, if you want to charge your phone, or access your audio files using the system’s touch-screen, you have to plug it in, and this is quite a tricky thing to do.

I don’t have particularly large hands or sausage fingers, but nonetheless I found it difficult to plug in my phone simply because the socket is so recessed in the dash. It was also hard to pull it out, to the extent that I had to (gently) pull the cable to extract the plug. Not ideal.

Euan.Doig@whatcar.com

 

Our cars: VW Golf 1.6 TDI - May

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