VW Golf: Goodbye

  • VW Golf 1.2 TSI good for around 40mpg
  • Great to drive, excellent performance
  • Few minor gripes, but they aren't deal-breakers

I took delivery of the VW Golf TSI in May, which means that throughout the summer months it has been a regular transporter of one piece of equipment - my golf bag.

In some respects admitting you play golf on a regular basis is like admitting some sort of dirty secret - nobody wants to know that you like to dress like a ponce in order to be allowed to hit a small white ball up a patch of grass with a three-foot lollipop. It's not macho.

Still, it's what I do, and even though I do it badly, I have to admit I do enjoy it even if it can be a frustratingly irritating game. Some days you are good, some days you'll spend a lot of time in trees and bushes searching for a thing with Top-Flite written on it.

So what's the point here? Why am I wobbling on meaninglessly about a game that makes very little sense. Well, here's an analogy for you. I don't want to give up golf because I like it, and I don't want to give up the Golf... because I like it.

See what I've done there?

The VW Golf has been a solid, dependable companion over the last six months. Unlike my previous chariot, a Volvo C30, it hasn't broken down, and more importantly, it's been an absolute joy to drive.

What I like more than anything about this car is the engine. It's a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and although that sounds pretty ordinary, this little unit has enough punch to put a massive smile on your face, particularly when you driving with care-free verve.

All the staff on the Parkers team agree. When they borrow it for a weekend, they, more often than not, have complimented the car's performance. It's been a theme throughout the six-month test.

And you cannot fault the handling, steering, the brakes and pretty much everything about the on-the-road capabilities of this car. The steering is sharp and well-weighted and when you enter a corner with gusto the Golf will respond perfectly. It is a lot of fun to drive.

It's not completely faultless though: predictably, you don't get the fuel economy you'd like - it'll average around 40mpg if you don't drive like a lunatic which is short of the official combined fuel economy of 49.6mpg, and the MP3 connectivity isn't that user friendly. Inside, it's a little bland too.

However, these are pretty minor gripes and the fact that the car is great to drive more than makes up for them. If you do buy this model you won't be disappointed and you won't want to let it go.

But all good things have to come to an end - the Golf goes, but the game of golf stays. Sometimes you can have a too much of a good thing. Presumably, when I shank a seven iron into the undergrowth deep into the heart of the back nine (this is golf-speak, by the way), I'll rue the day that I had to give up the Golf, but not the game of golf.

Genius, isn't it?