Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE

Read the full VW Golf review

Week ending April 24
Mileage 4515
Miles this week 70

I’ve been helping a reader with a Personal shopper feature this week. He currently drives a Mk1 Ford Focus and has been thinking about downsizing to a Fiesta for a while. He’s worried that it may prove too small for his needs, though, so we’ve also got him a VW Golf 1.2 TSI and a Kia Cee’d 1.6 GDI to try.

The Golf is in base S trim, and doesn’t get my car’s auto lights and wipers or its rear electric windows, there aren’t any steering wheel controls for the stereo, the smart ‘brushed aluminium’ plastic trim is swapped for less interesting plastic, the door mirrors don’t fold in electrically and my car’s standard alloy wheels are swapped for steel wheels with plastic trims.

With my car’s engine, S trim costs around £2k less than SE, but I’m not sure I could live with its basic equipment. Sure, it gets the same touch-screen to operate the trip computer and audio (which includes DAB), but I like my creature comforts and the entry-level Golf just doesn’t do it for me.

By Rob Keenan

Read the full VW Golf review

Week ending April 17
Mileage 4445
Miles this week 190

The Golf has been pressed into action for house moving in the past couple of weeks.

Nothing too testing – just a few loads of plants in heavy terracotta pots, slimline waterbutts, a pressure washer and the like – but it just goes to show how much more practical a hatchback can be compared with, say, a saloon or coupe.

The Golf’s boot opening is brilliant; well shaped and large, you can fit all sorts of odd-shaped things in without feeling like you’re competing in The Krypton Factor. You can also alter the height of the boot floor to create a flat load space.

There aren’t any clever space dividers or restrainers to help keep things in place, but as long as you pack things in tightly they’re never going to roll around.

By Rob Keenan

Read the full VW Golf review

Week ending April 10
Mileage 4255
Miles this week 235

Our Golf's dashboard is dominated by plastics that do a very good job of impersonating brushed metal.

Car makers have been trying to make plastic look like other materials for decades, with varying degrees of success, but you know they've got it cracked when you find yourself rapping the dashboard with your knuckles and touching it with your fingertips to see if you get that ’cold metal’ feel.

The Golf's dashboard is also beautifully assembled, with very tight, consistent ‘shutlines’ and - so far - no rattles, despite the car being driven over some rather nasty speed humps on a daily basis.

By Rob Keenan