- We like...Fuel economy, good to drive
- We don't...Cabin's gloomy
Mid-size VW adds space over regular Golf and - in Bluemotion guise - sips fuel like a miserThe name says it all. It’s Volkswagen’s Golf – one of the world’s best-loved, most-bought small cars – but with, erm, just more ‘Golf-ness’. What do we mean? The Plus drives just like a regular Golf – and that’s a good thing. And, despite having an almost all-different body, it looks like a Golf, too, albeit one that’s been at the pies and packed on the lbs.
But the difference is that it has a touch more space, a dash more height and a side-helping more versatility. For a start, you sit 3in higher at the wheel than in a ‘regular’ Golf. That’s not much, but it’s enough to see just those vital extra inches when edging out of a tight side-road.
Then there’s the back seat, set a jot higher than the front. That’s a huge help, as any parent with young’uns will tell you. Little kids are far happier when they can see out of the windows properly, and this helps stave off car-sickness, too. And the chairs in the back slide fore/aft, to juggle space between people and baggage.
If that’s not enough, there’s storage everywhere you look. There are four – count ‘em – lidded trays that drop down from the roof between driver and front passenger. The glove box is huge, and there are also a box between the front seats and twin cupholders. More places for cups sit in the back, along with a big plastic storage box that fixes to the centre seat-back.
Nip round to the boot and there’s a double-floor to keep loads separate, plus a hook for shopping or takeaways, tie-down points and a luggage net.
The Golf Plus has been around for a couple of years but this one is new. Bluemotion is VW’s low-CO2, high-mpg brand and, true to form, this car pumps out 127g/km and, overall, will travel up to 58.9 miles on a gallon. It achieves these figures through taller gears, engine retuning, easy-roll tyres and sports suspension to glue it closer to the tarmac.
The 105bhp its 1.9 diesel pushes out mayn’t sound much, but it shoves the car along quickly, summoning fat wads of power at low revs. Bluemotion it may be, but there’s little sign of its eco credentials as you drive. And, for the rest, it’s pure Golf: neat and responsive to steer, easy precise controls and a fluid ride. The engine kicks up a fair racket when pushed, but it’s a dieselly noise that dsn’t bother us. At a cruise, it becomes no more than a faint and distant grumble.
Inside, it’s sober – swathed in grey plastic and cloth in the way Volkswagens are – but everything fits beautifully and looks top-notch. Semi-auto air conditioning, a quality CD/radio, a trip computer and a full suit of airbags and safety aids come as standard, as do a set of alloy wheels. A little indicator at the base of the instrument panel nags you when it’s time to change up.
Should you buy one? At £16,800, it’s £705 dearer than a Golf Bluemotion. For us, the extra space and utility is easily worth the extra. And should you get the Bluemotion or the ‘regular’ 1.9 TDI, which produces the same 105bhp, and is £600 cheaper. It’s not as economical not as low-emissions, but its 52.3mpg and 146g/km are still pretty good.
On balance, we’d take the Bluemotion – simply because seeing an mpg readout that sits regularly in the mid-50s is just so darned satisfying.
- Engines1.9 TDi
- 0-60 mph12.0sec
- Insurance groups7
Motors.co.uk value verdict: