It is a mark of the Golf’s ability, as it has been with some of its forebears, that you frequently find yourself unconsciously driving it rather quickly. Not because it’s a particular riot to drive, but because it quietly encases you in a bubble of stability, accuracy and assuring control.
Such behaviour is bred by crisp refinement, confident body control and the electric power steering’s habit of not throwing on quite enough resistance until you’re travelling at a right old gallop.
Pay attention to the car’s performance rather than let it wash over you, and not only is it clear that the Golf is finding decent grip at each corner, but also that each wheel’s behaviour is registering somewhere in your sensory perception.
Which isn’t to suggest that what’s happening beneath you is particularly electrifying (the car’s handling is as predictable as a nativity play’s plot), but merely that it’s probably the reason for your newly liberal attitude to speed limits.
The steering colludes in this effect without ever dazzling. It’s light, but precise and reasonably brisk to self-centre. Sport mode does a better job of tweaking the weight advantage than Audi’s equivalent software, but Volkswagen is still well short of the Ford Focus’s intuitive bite. Turn-in, however, seems marginally sharper in the Golf.