However, over the last few weeks I’ve been hopping about between test cars quite regularly and only since leaving the Golf have I started to appreciate the quality that it represents.
Other cars may have more power under the bonnet and a plethora of automated goodies, but very few can match the overall feel of excellence that our Golf has.
It may not try to do as much as other cars, but what it does, it does very well.
Being apart from the car and in other test models just goes to emphasise how well its interior is put together, how well the control layout has been thought through and how in tune it is with the road. It seems that not driving a car can be as informative as driving it a lot.
Of course, it hasn’t all been good news. The Golf seems to be very keen on drinking down as much oil as it can lately.
Ever since the cold weather settled in, regular dipstick checks have revealed a distinct lack of the black stuff and the 1.9 TDI engine has chugged its way through two bottles. This raging thirst doesn’t seem to have had much of a detrimental effect though, as the trusty Volkswagen continues to happily burble about and do anything asked of it.
One thing that continually annoys me, and colleagues who have taken the car for a few days, is the remote locking. In order to unlock the passenger doors and boot, two clicks of the remote are needed.
This shouldn’t be a problem, in theory, but all too often the second click doesn’t register, leaving you trying the door and finding it still locked. When loaded up with shopping, this can be a right pain.
In other news, the Golf had van-like duties over a weekend when transporting furniture from the girlfriend’s parents in West Sussex to Southampton. A couple of flicks of toggles in the back seat and a considerable loading space was opened up with ease.
A table, futon and a surprisingly large number of miscellaneous accessories were crammed in, and the only problem faced was what to do with the parcel shelf. In the end it was simply stuffed in on top.
Model: Volkswagen Golf 1.9 TDI Sport DSG 5dr
Price (OTR): £17,630 (£19,910 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 157
Company car tax bill (2006) 22% tax-payer: £66 a month
Insurance group: 6
Combined mpg: 48.7
Test mpg: 40.7
CAP Monitor residual value: £6,475/37%
Expenditure to date: Nil
Typical contract hire rate: £344