Some unusual demands have been made of the Golf in the past few weeks.
I’ve stringently tested its boot and back seat space and required it to have the gentlest ride possible. At times its passengers have numbered more than 20,000 – and they don’t like to be jostled about.
It’s been helping us out with a fairly new hobby: beekeeping. We first used the Golf to collect an ancient pair of unwanted hives from a nearby farm. Each hive was made up of a base, roof and four large sections that fit in between. Even though there were more large wooden sections than we’d imagined, I can confirm that the Golf can accommodate two people and two whole beehives – just.
Next was the daunting task of collecting 20,000 very stressed honey bees in a cardboard box and driving them to their new home.
Concerned about the security of the box, we drove home with our bee suits on, but again the Golf complied with another strange demand: head room was a bit tight for two beekeeper’s hats, but I was able to drive. We attracted a few strange looks, but I could cope with driving around Surrey looking a bit daft if it eliminated the possibility of being stung by tens of thousands of bees.
I’m relieved to say the Golf’s ride was beautifully compliant over the county’s most scarred roads, although I did drive carefully and, whenever possible, around anything that might send a big jolt through the cabin. In contrast to its juddery ride over the concrete sections of the M25, the Golf hid the majority of imperfections on asphalt roads well. As a result, the bees were relatively unflustered when we got home.
Although this latest suite of tests were far removed from a conventional Autocar road test, to us they were very important ones.