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Tall Golf is a good car with no good reason

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf Plus

The Volkswagen Golf Plus offers extra space but little in the way of added versatility. Is that enough?

15 April 2009

What is it?

This is the new VW Golf Plus 2.0 TDI 110 SE, the latest version of VW’s Golf-sized almost-MPV.

It’s a bit of a case of spot the difference with the new VW Golf Plus. At the front the horizontal grille slats are now fewer in number and no longer body coloured, while the headlights mimic the new Mk6 Golf’s in design if not in shape. Otherwise the sheet metal is all but identical to the outgoing model.

The interior, shared with the Tiguan and the previous VW Golf Plus, is more or less carried over. The seats are more shapely, there is a new steering wheel design, and a smattering of new materials, but the overall effect will feel extremely familiar to existing VW Golf Plus owners.

The big changes are under the skin, where the VW Golf Plus gets the chassis and running gear from the Mk6 Golf including, in this case, the latest-generation 2.0-litre 108bhp common-rail turbodiesel, which is expected to be the biggest seller in the range.

What’s it like?

Fans of top hats will undoubtedly be pleased to know that headroom in the latest VW Golf Plus is as generous as ever, as is, on a more serious note, interior space in general.

Thanks to that extra height, the seats in the VW Golf Plus are more upright than in the ordinary Golf, making for more generous legroom front and rear, despite the Golf Plus sitting on an identical wheelbase to its sibling, and adding only 5mm in length. The extra height of the VW Golf Plus also means that seats-up luggage space is 550 litres, bettering the Golf by 200 litres.

The most significant addition to the equipment list is VW’s park assist system - now standard on SE models - which steers the car into spaces for you. It’s unnerving, and must be undertaken slowly, but it is quite effective, if a little gimmicky.

On the road, the new VW Golf Plus displays the same quiet, supple, refined ride that characterises the new Golf. The engine, as we’ve come to expect of VW’s common-rail turbodiesels, deploys its 108bhp and 184lb ft with sophistication and adequate gusto. Our only criticism is that it occasionally feels as if it has to take a breath before giving its best at low to medium revs.

In terms of handling, the VW Golf Plus feels exactly like what it is – a taller, heavier Golf. So while, it steers and handles with authority, it doesn’t have the incisive, rewarding handling of, say, a Ford C-Max.

Should I buy one?

Here lies the rub. If you want a family hatch with a VW badge, an ordinary Golf is just as effective, while if you want a proper MPV, then go for a VW Touran. So although the VW Golf Plus is a perfectly competent car, we just don’t see the point of it. Unless, as we say, you are fond of wearing top hats.

Matt Rigby

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Comments
28

15 April 2009

Thank goodness that VW have more imagination than your correspondant. The are many persons who want a VW for the quality, want a Golf for size but need that extra little bit of carrying capacity and versatility without going to the Touran. Leg room in the Golf Plus is superior to the Golf, Touran and Tiguan particularly for the taller person and the slightly less mobile elderly person. As for the rest of the package, good old VW quality, reliability and long life!!

15 April 2009

[quote mags8733]The are many persons who want a VW for the quality, want a Golf for size but need that extra little bit of carrying capacity and versatility without going to the Touran.[/quote]

Cobblers. This car is nothing more than a tall Golf. The 'carrying capacity' & versatility that you praise is no more impressive or useful than the standard Golf either. I tested one a couple of years back. Totally pointless car- couldn't get three booster seats across the rear bench. WTF? So this car is primarily aimed at people that need to carry three very tall adults in the back. Very useful.

15 April 2009

If they did an estate version of this, it could be called the Golf++...

15 April 2009

[quote kerrecoe]Cobblers. This car is nothing more than a tall Golf. The 'carrying capacity' & versatility that you praise is no more impressive or useful than the standard Golf either.[/quote]

Agreed. It does nothing that the smaller C3 Picasso can't do for alot less money, including quality/reliability. Oh, I forgot the C3 doesn't have a VW badge - big deal.

15 April 2009

[quote kerrecoe]

[quote mags8733]The are many persons who want a VW for the quality, want a Golf for size but need that extra little bit of carrying capacity and versatility without going to the Touran.[/quote]

Cobblers. This car is nothing more than a tall Golf. The 'carrying capacity' & versatility that you praise is no more impressive or useful than the standard Golf either. I tested one a couple of years back. Totally pointless car- couldn't get three booster seats across the rear bench. WTF? So this car is primarily aimed at people that need to carry three very tall adults in the back. Very useful.

[/quote]

With you kerrecoe. I have never seen the point of the Golf Plus.

If you want a VW quality that's a bit bigger, buy a SEAT Altea, at least it's better looking, and cheaper!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

15 April 2009

[quote mags8733]Leg room in the Golf Plus is superior to the Golf, Touran and Tiguan particularly for the taller person and the slightly less mobile elderly person[/quote]

Think I pointed out most of that in the review... still don't quite see the point of it though - it could go further, like a five-seat C4 Picasso or Ford C-Max does.

16 April 2009

[quote mags8733]As for the rest of the package, good old VW quality, reliability and long life!![/quote]

That's damning with faint praise if ever I heard it.

Contrary to popular opinion, VW reliability is very much in the lower half of the spectrum, considerably lower than rivals such as Toyota, Ford and Honda. A look at any recent reliability/quality survey will confirm this.

16 April 2009

My family is all over 1.85 m tall so the Golf Plus is the perfect car...I own one I didn't just test it. It proves that your method of testing was poor because you failed to realise that the rear seats slide forward to make access to booster seats easier....does the Golf do that?

16 April 2009

I would imagine that VW market research (like Audi) is looking for niches where by that can adapt a product and create a new market area to sell into and use the base of an existing vehicle. The Golf Plus is a derivative. Personally I can see no point to a Golf GTI or a Passat R36 but hey if VW can make money out of a product then good luck to them. To tidy up your last point about competeing with the C4 Picasso and the Ford C-Max I believe that the Touran variants do that adequately

16 April 2009

My expierence is not as the survey suggests. My Golf Plus is a 55 plate never let me down, has never had to be returned for a defect. It's good. My last Ford was a Mondeo L plate which did 125k miles without a problem. Never owned a Honda or Toyota. Always seem too small for the taller person.

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