Phill begrudgingly waves goodbye to the Management Fleet Volkswagen Golf Mk 7, and wonders if there’s anything about it he doesn’t like.[Not a valid template]
I don’t think I’ve ever waved goodbye to a car from the crankandpiston Management Fleet that I’ve liked so much. Sure, we’ve had faster cars. We’ve had more practical cars. But our Golf sat squarely in the middle and did whatever I wanted of it. It was comfortable, practical, reliable, stylish and had a decent turn of pace with enjoyable handling.
And now it’s gone, all too soon for my tastes. Somewhere, a Volkswagen employee is enjoying our Mk7 and sampling the delights of its brilliant 1.4-litre turbocharged engine. And I am jealous.
Over the three months we’ve spent with the Golf I’ve spent the night sleeping in it at a kart race, and inadvertently reversed it into some poor chap’s Audi A8 – thankfully, without any damage. We’ve been up and down the UAE, all in superb comfort. The seats are some of the best I’ve tried recently – the perfect balance between comfortable and supportive without being overly hard or too squishy. The ride is beautifully judged too – supple enough for less-than-perfect roads but firm enough to keep things in line when giving it the beans.
I wasn’t optimistic about bean-giving potential when I found out the displacement of the engine, especially as it wasn’t the much admired and now-defunct twincharger version of the 1.4. But the turbo engine is actually a little cracker, with minimal lag and plenty of poke. Combined with the always-excellent DSG gearbox, the driving experience is never a disappointment, even when hopping into it from far more expensive machinery. The steering is weighty and accurate, the handling precise.
In addition, it’ll happily seat five people in comfort – several trips from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and back confirm that. And a few trips to Ikea have confirmed that folding down the rear seats leaves plenty of room for large pot plants and flat-pack furniture.
Thinking back over our time with the Golf, I can’t actually think of anything I didn’t like about it. It’s not festooned with all manner of gadgetry but it’s the mark of a good car that it doesn’t need gimmicks to impress. It’s got all the basics well covered. So impressed was I with it, that as I write I’m waiting for delivery of my own new Mk7 Golf – one that I’m paying actual money for. The only difference is that mine’s a GTI. Just for a bit of extra grunt.
|Inline 4cyl / 1395cc
|138bhp @ 4500rpm
|184lb ft @ 1500-3500rpm
|Seven-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG)
|McPherson struts with lower wishbones / anti-roll bars front and rear / ESP / TSC / electromechanical servotronic steering with speed-dependent power assistance
|Four-link suspension with separate spring shock absorber arrangement / anti-roll bars front and rear / ESP / TSC / electromechanical servotronic steering with speed-dependent power assistance
|Disc brakes front and rear, front discs ventilated / ABS / EBPD / dual brake assist / 288mm (front) / 272mm (rear)
|6 1/2 J x 16
|205/55 R16 front and rear