The time has come for crankandpiston.com to bid farewell to the Volkswagen Golf on our long term fleet
|Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Basic price|
|Inline 4cyl,1398cc||170bhp @ 4500rpm||270Nm (199lb ft) @ 1600rpm||8.4secs||212kph||1343kg (127bhp/ton)||$25,500|
|Kilometres this month:||587|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||6.3|
So far our coverage of our long term Volkswagen Golf has been surprisingly grown up given our usual childish behaviour. As well as focusing on the civility and ride comfort passengers and driver alike can enjoy in the cabin, we’ve experimented heavily with the on-board infotainment system, the BlueTooth connection that goes with it, discussed the model’s illustrious heritage, and even brought you the horror that is plugging a USB drive into the slot in front of the gear lever.
You’ll no doubt be pleased to hear then that for its last Management Fleet outing, the VW Golf has travelled with us to some of our favourite driving roads in Hatta, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, all to see how Volkswagen’s headline hatchback would handle the twisties. Rather well, it turns out.
Let’s start with the engine. Now granted, geared as it towards comfort and fuel efficiency rather than Golf R-esque levels of poke, the BlueMotion unit nevertheless offers some reasonable guts, acceleration proving both linear and smooth rather than rampant and neck-snapping. Stick with ‘Sport’ transmission – the regular ‘Drive’ really is too keen to shuffle up the gears for a truly spirited run – and you’ll be impressed how high up the rev range the needle can be pushed before the next upshift. Impressive stopping power through the middle pedal scrubs off the surprisingly solid speed you will have hit courtesy of 140bhp and 184lb ft being sent through all four wheels.
Then there’s the handling. Now again, against its more performance focused brethren – the GTI and the R – the Golf packs much lesser wallop, understeer and bodyroll more apparent if not overly concerning. But that’s certainly not to say the Golf is a poor chugger through the corners. The power assisted steering for instance is nicely weighted, direct and offers an impressively textured feel to the front wheels, the lightweight nature of the Volkswagen and a reasonably low centre of gravity meaning the hatch is much more chuckable through the corners than it’s ‘commuter’ nature might have you believe. And while we’re on that note, yes, ride comfort – thanks to some supple suspension and superbly lumbar-supportive seats – is typical VW excellence: rarely will a long journey pass so fleetingly in a segment rival, and not just because the 700-plus kilometre fuel range eradicates the need for lengthy fuel stops.
On the whole then, as we draw our Golf run to a close, the verdict is much as we’d expected at the beginning of the four-month loan. Yes, there are a couple of practical niggles and the BlueMotion tech can get a little frustrating in traffic. But these are trifling aspects, for the Volkswagen Golf remains one of the finest hatchbacks you can buy.
Technical specifications available on page 2