We often describe the Volkswagen Golf in Fleet News as the archetypal company car.
Popular among fleets for its competitive running costs and possessing a badge that appeals to employees, it often finds itself positioned as the bridge between traditional volume makes and the premium brands, keeping everyone happy – a perfect compromise for restricted choice lists.
This seventh-generation model was launched just over a year ago, instantly finding favour as Fleet News’s lower-medium car of the year.
At the time we said “in an intensely competitive sector, the Golf offers the best all-round package with the broadest appeal”.
Now we have a chance to put those opinions further to the test by running the car for six months.
We’ve opted for the 1.4-litre petrol model, recognising that, for many fleets and drivers, petrol is a more efficient option than diesel – even if they don’t yet recognise it. And the Golf’s 140hp unit is a beauty, combining power with economy in near-equal measure.
Mated to the seven-speed DSG unit, drivers can choose to potter about conserving fuel or take a more urgent approach.
Fuel economy is obliterated, but every once in a while it’s worth reminding yourself that the Golf is an outstanding driver’s car with precise steering and good body control. It remains composed even when cuffing unexpected potholes.
So what about when you take things a little steadier? Official figures claim 60mpg combined; we’ve achieved mid-40s on our 12-mile commute, and a little less on longer journeys.
Since taking delivery of the Golf we’ve discover one incongruous quirk: the car has a tendency to switch its on-board computer data readout from English to German.
It happens more frequently on morning runs, returning to English for the evening drive home. Bizarre or, perhaps, wunderlich.