Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The driving position is comfortable, thanks to a highly adjustable seat and steering wheel. The instruments are clear to read and easy to use (unique to the R32 are blue needles on the dials), although the multifunction trip computer, controlled by a button on the dashboard can take a little time to master. The steering wheel is similar to that on the GTI, with a flat bottom while DSG gearbox models add gearshift paddles.

Like the standard Golf, the buttons and switches are easy to find and simple to use, but the chunky windscreen pillars can restrict the view when pulling out of junctions.

The cabin styling is as restrained as that of the exterior. It's sober, but sophisticated, well proportioned and comfortable. But there are a few clues to show that this is a special Golf, with aluminium trim and small 'R32' badges. The front sports seats are highly adjustable and give good support and there's plenty of room for the front passenger.

Excellent sound insulation means that motorway trips are refined and relaxed, although it does mean that the engine note is suppressed at times when it deserves to be heard.