News

November

Words By

Rob Keenan

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Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Week ending: November 28
Mileage: 14,445
Miles driven this week: 70

**Read the full VW Golf review**

The Golf has been away for a few days having its winter tyres fitted and has just returned. I’ve only been able to take it out for a quick run round the block so far, but first impressions (with the 10C ambient temperature around 3C higher than is ideal for winter tyres to work properly) are good.

I haven’t been able to check the pressures yet, but the front tyres look fairly low – there’s a bit more of a bulge than there was on the (admittedly, well-inflated) regular rubber. Despite that, and the less than ideal temperatures, handling doesn’t seem to be affected and the ride quality is cushier than before.

The Β£932 cost also includes a set of 16-inch Aspen alloys – I have to admit that they look quite tasty. Tastier than the 16in Perth alloys that came with our car.

Now all we need is some lower temperatures to really test the rubber’s full potential.

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Week ending: November 21
Mileage: 14,375
Miles driven this week: 250

**Read the full VW Golf review**

Two things have recently made me aware of how much I take the Golf’s brilliant driving position for granted.

First, I drove a new Vauxhall Corsa from south-west London to Poole in Dorset and back again. Don’t get me wrong, the Corsa has many things going for it, but for me at least, its driving position isn’t one of them.

I moved the driver’s seat forwards. I moved it back. I raised it, I lowered it, but nothing could relieve the pain that developed in the arch of my right foot after 20 minutes of being on the M3. I didn’t have a problem with seat comfort per se, but something obviously wasn’t right with the angle at which my foot was presented to the accelerator pedal.

Then I read one of our news stories, which explained that you can now buy a new Hyundai on the internet without ever stepping inside a showroom. Sounds great in practice, but we’d never advise anyone to buy a car (new or used) without taking it for a test drive first.

Yes, we pride ourselves on our in-depth reviews, but you never know if a car is going to be the one for you until you get into the driver’s seat.

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Week ending: November 14
Mileage: 14,125
Miles driven this week: 280

**Read the full VW Golf review**

I won’t deny that it’s very handy having electric door mirrors that can be set to fold on demand.

The heater setting has proved especially useful in the past week to demist the glass on damp mornings, and the nearside mirror can be set to tilt when you engage reverse gear – a handy feature that means you can keep an eye on the kerb and avoid an alloy wheel disaster.

I find it slightly irksome, though, that the heater function is controlled via the mirror knob and not through the rear window demister, as in many other cars. No light illuminates to remind you that you’ve left the heaters on, so if you forget to turn the knob back to β€˜L’ (which is very easy to do) you’re reminded about it next time you parallel park, because it has to be in this position for the mirror to tilt.

Unfortunately, a quick twiddle of the knob doesn’t always have the desired effect – the Golf’s mirrors sometimes stubbornly refuse to obey my commands.

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Week ending: November 7
Mileage: 13,845
Miles driven this week: 320

**Read the full VW Golf review**

More information on the impending swap to winter tyres has landed in my inbox. The cost of purchasing and fitting the wheels and tyres (as mentioned in last month’s update) to the Golf is Β£932.

I then have two options: I can take the regular wheels home and store them in my garage (VW provides wheel storage bags at an RRP of Β£27) or I can make use of the β€˜tyre hotel’ programme, which allows owners to store their winter and summer tyres when they are not needed. The cost is Β£120 a year, and includes two periods of storage and two collections.

Volkswagen recommends that the summer wheels are stored between October and March, and their winter tyres during the warmer months (March to October). The cost is the same whether customers wish to store loose tyres or complete wheels, and includes insurance against loss.

For those of you who don't want to spend around a grand on another set of wheels and tyres (and I'd probably count myself among you), you can just buy the winter rubber and have that fitted to your existing alloys. You'll still be able to take advantage of the tyre hotel, although the cost remains Β£120.

By Rob Keenan
Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com