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A large part of my job involves having meetings with clients at their premises, hence my company has a decent selection of cars for the consultants to use for travelling. Amongst this fleet is a silver diesel-fuelled 1.9L VW Golf Mk5 TDI. As I drive a Ford Mondeo, I am used to a silky smooth and straightforward ride, however the Golf is a very different animal.
Historically, the VW Golf has had a stigma attached to it that it is a boy racer's car. I remember back in the mid-90's that a few of my older brother's chavvy friends were incredibly proud owners of the Golf. Since then it has been accepted by the professional world as a sales rep/company car, meaning that it can be perceived more credibly by those at the sophisticated end of the market. The Mk5 was produced in 2003
*Exterior* The Golf Mk5 was produced in 2003 and boasts a gorgeous, sporty and exciting exterior compared with previous shapes. It is very curvy and smooth, far removed from it's former boxier look. It is also comparatively longer, but only just. Overall it is lovely to look at and admire.
*Interior* The interior of the car is quite spacious for a hatchback. Though it does not equate to the size of a large family car, what you get it very reasonable. There is good legroom for back seat passengers and snug room for the passenger seat. At around 6ft tall, this car is more than spacious enough for me to drive and be comfortable.
The dashboard is very standard, with no wacky designs. The colour is predominately a graphite grey and has an in built CD player, and the choice of 6 of your favourite radio stations are available by the press of a button once you have programmed them, making it easy for a driver to switch without crashing.
By the dials is a small 7cm x 5cm red LCD electronic display which highlights the time, outside temp, miles left of petrol, total miles and miles driven for the current journey. The windows and locks are also electric.
*Handling* To drive, the Golf is something else. When you turn the car on, you feel it rumble all around you, as it sits there pregnant with power just gagging to be released. As you rev the car, it roars like a lion. Once you get driving, the acceleration is obscenely powerful. If you are racing someone off the lights, it's going to take a fast car to compete with you.
The steering is very smooth, but very responsive, meaning you get an exceptional ride in the Golf. Taking corners at speed is something I tried and tested, and the Golf sticks to the ground beautifully.
*Reliability* The Mk5 at my company has had previous faults - such as an airbag malfunction, and one problem has occured more than once, which is a turbo pipe under the bonnet compressing when you press the accelerator, which stops the car gathering speed. According to the RAC, this is a common fault in VW's - and it is rectified by the VW garage, preventing the Mk5 from being such an attractive choice of car.
*Fuel consumption* I have used the Golf on some quite extensive business trips, and have utilised it's brilliant speed. Despite this, the fuel metre dropped very slowly - which impressed me. I thought that, for a demon that the Golf is, that it would drink petrol by the ocean load. I would recommend the Golf for being quite economical.
*Personal opinion* For me, as a young businessman, this car is perfect. I would also say, that for a day to day car, I would love to own this car and say it is mine. You look good in it, it is rapid, the handling is brilliant and it has superior acceleration. It is also very economical and provides a comfortable ride for passengers.
At £15k, it is certainly set at a price worth paying. Personally I am interested in getting one, although when asking other people's opinion, the predominant perception is that it is fairly common on the roads. It's competitors, such as the Seat Leon and Honda Civic Type R, are in roughly the same price bracket and insurance group and are a more unique choice. Down my road alone, I have seen six Golfs, which makes me think that, to own one of these, although you'd look good in it, you'd just be joining a large pack of owners.
I have not had the pleasure of driving any of the competitors, but having driven and loved this Golf and not being too fussed about being seen as unique on the roads (I do own a Mondeo!), I do see this as a good purchase, particularly as there is enough space for a family in it.
The Golf is a very safe and secure choice in many ways. It is a pity that its' reliability as you intimate here is myth rather than reality. I have to say that even the GTi and V6 Golfs - particularly the four wheel drive 2.8 V6 have been very dissapointing to drive, they just seem so stodgy and inert to me, regrettably a trait shared by their Audi counsins. My money would actually go on a Skoda Octavia at this level, glamerous no, but a greater bargain and probably more reliable too. Richard.
Luvlylana 28.01.2009 17:08
Very good, once again! xx
3min_man 16.11.2008 22:42
If you ever want a few days off and are ok for money I will work your days for you, I'd love a job like yours. As for the golf, its a beautiful car which is slightly overlooked by the Clio sport by Renault in my opinion. I would love to see VW send us a limited edition range like Renault did with the Clio, ie: Sports Conversion and inclusive extras.