From £15,827
The Golf GT is a powerful performer with this new engine, but its Twincharger cousin is more refined, costs less and almost as frugal.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

31 March 2006

What's new?

The engine. This is the 168bhp version of the 2.0-litre pumpe düse unit, with a whopping 258lb ft of torque.

What's it like?

Grunty. There’s no shortage of urge in any gear, although don’t expect much action below 1750rpm, where maximum torque is achieved. The 0-62mph time of 8.2sec is decent, but it’s the in-gear acceleration that most impresses: this is a very quick car on the motorway.

It’s also rather raucous; you won’t mistake this engine for anything but a diesel, although it is more muted when cruising.

Should I buy one?

Perhaps. If you want frugality (47.8mpg on the combined cycle) with good performance, then the £19,095 GT seems like a fine option.

Until, that is, you try the similar-looking Golf GT Twincharger petrol, which, although it has less torque, has the same horsepower, is only slightly less economical (44.1mpg), far more refined and costs £1000 less. £1000 will buy you over 1100 litres of petrol – enough for more than 10,000 miles.

Rory Lumsdon

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