REVIEW DATE: 08 May 2009
Volkswagen's Golf Plus may seem puzzling at first glance but stick with the concept and it makes sense, thinks June Neary as she checks out the MK2 model
Does the world need a Volkswagen Golf Plus? Initially, I had my doubts. Put this model alongside a standard Golf however, and the 113mm extra grafted into the height of the Plus version becomes apparent. But apparent without becoming apparent - if you know what I mean. Extending the roofline of most cars makes them look ungainly and ugly but this one is arguably more stylish than the standard Golf on which it's based. So far, so good.
The extra headroom increases luggage space of course - in this case up from 350 to 395 litres with the rear seat in place and 1450 litres with it folded - but that's not really the point here. After all, how often have you loaded your hatch brim full to the ceiling? It will doubtless be beneficial for awkwardly sized items like bicycles but the additional carrying capacity of the Golf Plus should be taken with a pinch of salt. Where it does score real practicality benefits in my opinion is in terms of its seating arrangement. Thankfully Volkswagen haven't tried to squeeze seven seats into this vehicle, positioning it (as its name suggests) between Golf and Touran but a good deal closer to Golf. I found that the rear seats could be shifted fore and aft by 160mm and folded by means of a natty system whereby they are automatically lowered when folded down. This results in a virtually level load space, making the Golf Plus a very practical option indeed. The seats do the usual 60:40 split and I was impressed to find that the middle seat can also be folded down to form a drinks table. Additional stowage spaces around the cabin and a double height boot floor are nice touches too.
As a family vehicle prioritising economy and practicality, the Golf Plus gets a selection of the less powerful engines from the Golf hatch. Opening proceedings is a 1.4-litre 79bhp unit that struggles to move the Golf with any great alacrity and renders the Golf Plus, which is 120kg heavier, slower still. Standstill to 62mph takes 14.9s with this unit so all but the most price-sensitive purchasers will want to upgrade. For petrol customers, that means the 1.4 TSI turbocharged engine with 120bhp. This modern engine is far more flexible and can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 10.2s. The diesel options are both 2.0-litres in capacity, the first packing 109bhp and the second a hefty 138bhp. The latter engine can dip under the 10-second barrier for 0-62mph acceleration and hit a 127mph top speed, making it the quickest Golf Plus. Riding on the same underpinnings as the sixth generation Golf which in turn aren't a million miles away from those of the MkV model, the Golf Plus should inherit the secure handling and comfortable ride that have become the trademark of the model line. The entry-level petrol and diesel engines have a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the more powerful diesel and the 1.4 TSI petrol get six-speed transmissions as standard. These two more punchy units are also available with the slick DSG twin-clutch gearbox.
Surprisingly, I came away from examining the Golf Plus in a very positive frame of mind about the product. I was already a fan of the standard Golf and the extra added versatility would be a very welcome addition to my motoring lifestyle.
The results below show the top GOLF PLUS deals on buyacar
|Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.6 TDI 105 BlueMotion Tech SE 5dr DSG diesel hatchback|
|Price £19,793||Save £3,897|
|Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.6 TDI 105 S 5dr diesel hatchback|
|Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.4 TSI SE 5dr DSG hatchback|
|Price £18,889||Save £3,766|
|Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.4 Luna 5dr hatchback|
|Volkswagen Golf Plus 2.0 TDI 140 SE 5dr DSG diesel hatchback|
|Price £20,666||Save £3,989|
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