Our cars: VW Golf 1.6 TDI - September

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  • The 12V socket in the boot proved useful for our videographer

    The 12V socket in the boot proved useful for our videographer

  • 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

  • The paint beneath the bonnet isn't as lustrous as that on the rest of the body

    The paint beneath the bonnet isn't as lustrous as that on the rest of the body

  • The Golf R's DSG is terrific, and our Golf's manual ’box isn't bad either

    The Golf R's DSG is terrific, and our Golf's manual ’box isn't bad either

  • We wonder if most Golf buyers know which make of tyre their car is wearing

    We wonder if most Golf buyers know which make of tyre their car is wearing

  • 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

  • Fuel economy is disappointing so far - Rob's struggling to break the 50mpg barrier

    Fuel economy is disappointing so far - Rob's struggling to break the 50mpg barrier

  • 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

  • We're more than happy with our Golf's halogen daytime running lights

    We're more than happy with our Golf's halogen daytime running lights

  • 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

  • Brushed aluminium? No, just very convincing plastic

    Brushed aluminium? No, just very convincing plastic

/

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Week ending: September 11
Mileage: 11,550
Miles driven this week: 195

Read the full VW Golf review


Curses. No sooner did I manage to reduce the Golf’s appetite for diesel than it started drinking a finer vintage: engine oil.

I became aware that the Golf was using oil a few weeks ago, when I checked the dipstick and saw that the level was approaching the minimum level, so I made a mental note to buy a bottle. However, one thing led to another, and the Golf was borrowed for journeys up North and to Bristol, so another few hundred miles has passed under its wheels. Then, on a journey home one night a message flashed up on the dashboard, telling me to check the engine oil level.

Rather annoyingly, the handbook doesn’t tell you which grade of oil you need, only that it must comply with ‘VW 507 00’. Fortunately, I found what I needed at the second petrol station I stopped at – Winchester Services – although £20 for one litre seemed a bit steep. It seems to be the going rate for a bottle of Castrol Edge 5W-30, though.

Should I be worried about the oil consumption? No. One litre of oil in 11,000 miles isn’t excessive; the handbook says it depends on how you drive and the conditions in which the car is used; it can be as much as one litre every 1250 miles (gulp). About 90% of the miles I cover in the Golf are at higher revs on the motorway, so I can understand why it might be using more oil than a car that spends most of its time in town.

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com



Week ending: September 4
Mileage: 11,355
Miles driven this week: 872

I’ve just been up to Burnley, and needed some wheels to get me there, so Rob lent me his Golf for the day. I’ll admit I’ve never been a big fan of modern Golfs. They’re just a bit dull for my tastes. After all, the name is based on a sport that you’d never break sweat in. On the other hand, the Golf is a fairly prestigious affair once you get inside.

It swallowed my video gear pretty happily, albeit with the rear seats folded, but that was because I had to take a jib which consists of two awkwardly long metal poles that never squeeze into any boot. If it wasn’t for that I could’ve quite easily loaded my equipment in the back.

I found a 12V plug in the boot. Not terribly exciting for most people, but it meant I could charge batteries en route without having all the clutter of an inverter and wires in the front, leaving the 12V socket in the front of the car free for my smartphone.

It’s little things like this that make a world of difference, and I guess this is why the Golf is so popular with so many people.

By James Holloway
James.Holloway@haymarket.com

Our cars: VW Golf 1.6 TDI - August

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