As a high-mileage road user, I went for a diesel and I really was not expecting such a quiet ride.
I was also fortunate enough to get a model with the 'comfort pack', but I'm not convinced that it made this car any more comfortable than it would have been in standard trim. It took me about 5 minutes to find my driving position - after 14 years of driving that was a win in itself!
Space in the back is comfortable, and the Golf is now not just a hatchback, but a really practical family car.
I chose the optional DSG gearbox - and I do not understand why this is not standard. The shifts are smooth...really, really smooth. The box has a 'sport mode', and shoving it left through a gate in 'drive mode' transforms it into a semi-automatic box - but I challenge any driver to improve on the bog standard 'drive mode'. Test figures from VW show that the DSG box offers better performance AND consumption, and I do not doubt this at all.
It is a fun drive too - both hands on the wheel and the pedal firmly on the floor through some challenging Yorkshire lanes… I don't buy Red Bull anymore. This new Golf really does handle well, and is rarely unsettled.
Enough about the driving though - VW has put an enormous amount of thought into this car. There are lots of little practical features that I'm still discovering, and the safety features make quite a long list.
Although there are a few alternatives in the same price range, I think the VW Golf gives you the most car for y
Overall I would say I am happy with the car and the dealership that supplied it. The car was the subject of a recall to do with the optional alloy wheels fitted but no remedial work was required. Overall the car is roomy and practical. The driving position is comfortable and the vision very good. Economy is excellent and the car has used very little oil so far. The brakes and gearbox are very good but the engine is a little lacking in power and very noisy at all times.
I took delivery in July 2004, having sold my Renault Clio shortly before this. Initially, I was disappointed by the unrefined and somewhat coarse diesel engine, but as the miles have increased it has become quieter and smoother, and performance has consistently been superb.
Handling is safe and predictable, but fun, the ride is smooth and the gearchange excellent. The interior is practical and thoughtful, although aesthetically a step backwards for the Golf. Night-time illumination is suitably impressive though.
As a 3-door GT model, this is a handsome car too, although in retrospect perhaps I should have upgraded to 17" alloys. Economy has been mid-40s, with a mixture of (predominantly) city and motorway miles. On long journeys the comfortable seats, fantastic performance, superb 10-speaker stereo, climate control and high-speed refinement make travelling a pleasure.
Had this car now for four months and am still very pleased. Initially wondered about the GT TDi but am glad I didn't fork out the extra cash.
The savings in economy and insurance justify the poorer perrformance. That said, this engine is torquey enough. It packs a punch where you need it most, from 50-70. The ride and handling are suberb and comfortable, and with the SE the spec level is fine. I'd recommend this car to anyone.
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