Volkswagen Golf Variant review

Photos by Mark Cheong, text by Christopher Tan, The Straits Times.

VW's new Golf Variant has the spiritedness of a hot hatch and the utility of a wagon.

If the new Volkswagen Golf Variant were a league footballer, it would be Peter Crouch. Despite standing at a lanky 2.01m tall, Crouch is a striker, a position requiring speed, dexterity and, usually, a lower centre of gravity.

Like Crouch, the latest Variant acquits itself pretty well on the field. The most impressive aspect of the new car is its driving dynamics.

Despite being 307mm longer than the Golf hatchback, it feels nearly as nimble and agile. At the wheel, you enjoy a level of driveability and connection to the tarmac similar to those in the standard-bearing Golf.

 

Equipped with Volkswagen Group's ubiquitous 1.4-litre 125bhp/200Nm TSI engine, it has more than adequate go to keep you entertained.

It sprints from zero to hundred in 9.5 seconds, which is merely 0.2 second more than what the regular Golf 1.4 clocks. Top speed is 205km/h, versus the Golf's 203km/h, thanks largely to the aerodynamics of a longer tail.

In day-to-day driving, the Variant does not come across as inferior to the hatch - neither in performance nor handling.

Compared to the recently introduced VW Sportsvan, it is clearly more grounded and engaging. At the helm, you often forget you are driving a wagon.

But make no mistake, the car is a wagon. And a pretty good one, too. Although the specs sheet tells you that it is not substantially more spacious than the Sportsvan, it is.

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