Make no mistake: the arrival of a new Volkswagen Golf is still a seismic event in the automotive universe.
Perennially high standards and household status has established each as a benchmark. Beat them and you have built something exceptional. Fall beneath and you are in the chasing pack along with everything else.
The latest Golf, the Mk7, flattered to deceive, barely appearing new at all while underneath wearing Volkswagen’s much-heralded MQB platform – a modular stage on which much of its future would be set.
Everything, then, had subtly changed outside and in, yet nothing was different. The just-so perfection of the ergonomics, the subtle solidity of the build, the immaculate but anonymous dynamic and the polished ambience that makes the Golf a class-of-one car proved just as reassuringly familiar as they were in previous generations.