The 1.6-litre TDI will be the model of choice for fleets, although it was unavailable to drive on the international media launch.
Instead we were presented with the keys to the 2.0-litre TDI and the 1.4-litre TSI petrol. Both impressed.
Drivers can choose from four vehicle settings which should mitigate potential criticisms. Need to save money? Opt for eco mode. Want a sporty performance? Switch to Sport. Ride too hard? Go for comfort (on DSG models) or select individual to choose your own setting.
There’s also ‘normal’ mode, a compromise between the various options.
The 2.0-litre 150bhp TDI is packed with power and is mated to a supremely slick five-speed manual gearbox. Overtaking is a breeze with oodles of mid-range brawn while pick up at low revs is improved over the current model.
Without trying we achieved close to 60mpg over a 50-mile route, not too far off the 68.9mpg official figure.
The chassis finely balances firmness and cushioning, resulting is a smooth driving experience. Well-weighted steering lets you know exactly what’s happening under the wheels. It’s fun, without going crazy.
The 1.4-litre TSI petrol may win a few new fans among fleets, particularly user-choosers who do little business mileage.
It offers plenty of spark with a reasonable mid-range and, while fuel efficiency is 21mpg lower than the 1.6 TDI at 53.3mpg, it comes in at £712 cheaper in SE trim.
The new Golf an easy car to drive and enjoy from the moment you sit behind the wheel. Conservative in design it may be, but with its lower cost of ownership figures it makes a persuasive case for both company and driver.