This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Golf Plus (09-13) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

With just 75bhp, the entry-level 1.4-litre engine feels like it has to work hard in the Golf Plus and although it was upgraded in mid-2006 to 80bhp, 0-62mph still takes a leisurely 14.9 seconds. The 1.4 FSI with 90bhp is better but you really need to go for the 1.6 FSI with 115bhp for adequate motorway performance. The top petrol engine is the 2.0-litre FSI with 150bhp (only available in GT trim) which offers good pace but isn't very frugal, averaging just 33mpg.

The diesels are more popular in the range with the entry-level choice the well-proven 1.9-litre TDI. It's not particularly quiet or smooth, but pulls very well considering its modest power figures of either 90bhp or 105bhp and is very economical too, returning more than 50mpg. In 2008 a Bluemotion version was launched that also uses this engine, but thanks to longer gear ratios and engine tweaks it returns 58mpg and emits 127g/km of CO2.

The other diesel is a 2.0-litre TDI with 140bhp that offers strong low down pulling power and returns 48mpg. At the end of 2007 the 1.6-litre FSI option was replaced by a 1.4-litre TSI unit which uses a turbocharger to produce 122bhp and a 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds. It's a very enjoyable and responsive engine to drive giving the Golf Plus a sporty feel.

The Golf Plus shares the same safe handling of the standard Golf and feels similar to drive as you might expect. The steering is nicely weighted and offers decent feel, while body roll is well controlled in corners. The ride is smooth too and it means the Golf Plus is a good long distance car - especially the diesel models. Sport and GT models have lower suspension which mean they are noticeably firmer over bumps and rough road surfaces.