The Volkswagen Golf has gone back to school.
With my daughter starting her crucial last year of GCSEs, I’ve swiftly discovered that a suite of modern exams demands a lot from a car.
Every Monday morning the Golf is loaded up with an A2 art and textiles folder containing two heavily laden A1 books, along with a guitar, a huge pile of coursework and revision books and some PE kit. The Golf’s boot copes admirably. Its 380-litre capacity is more than a Ford Focus’s and the load bay is low and wide.
If we’re running late, which we often are, it also needs to act as an impromptu café for our breakfast. At these times, the two cupholders in the centre console and big pockets in the front doors have proved handy.
We’re also visiting a couple of private tutors each week, so I’ve started using the Golf as a mobile living room, and it’s a decent place to spend an hour, listening to podcasts via Apple CarPlay or typing up notes on a laptop.
One thing that’s eluded me so far has been the ability to add my favourite stations to the radio, so I’m still scrolling through lots of submenus to change stations. The satnav has proved frustrating at times, too. It requires you to enter a full address rather than just a postcode.
The Golf has also broken its run of faultlessness. Within a day of topping the 10,000-mile mark, the oil level warning light flashed up on the dashboard. The level had dropped to the minimum mark a lot sooner than I’d have expected, so I’ll monitor this over the next few months.
A lunchtime dash to the nearest car accessory shop for four litres of Castrol long-life oil rectified the situation. However, it was the first time in four months of ownership that the VW had done anything other than demand petrol once a week.
The Golf’s sat-nav display is clear and bright in day mode, but when it switches to night mode the map background turns inky black and small roads are so pale that they’re almost impossible to see.
I was pleased to find that it can be set permanently to day mode, so I can now navigate country lanes in the dark without getting lost.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 1.0 TSI 115 MATCH BLUEMOTION EDITION
Price £20,735 Price as tested £21,120 Economy 51.3mpg Faults None Expenses Oil £46.99 Last seen 28.9.16