Tall Golf is a good car with no good reason

What is it?

This is the new VW Golf Plus 2.0 TDI 110 SE, the latest version of VW’s Golf-sized almost-MPV.

It’s a bit of a case of spot the difference with the new VW Golf Plus. At the front the horizontal grille slats are now fewer in number and no longer body coloured, while the headlights mimic the new Mk6 Golf’s in design if not in shape. Otherwise the sheet metal is all but identical to the outgoing model.

The interior, shared with the Tiguan and the previous VW Golf Plus, is more or less carried over. The seats are more shapely, there is a new steering wheel design, and a smattering of new materials, but the overall effect will feel extremely familiar to existing VW Golf Plus owners.

The big changes are under the skin, where the VW Golf Plus gets the chassis and running gear from the Mk6 Golf including, in this case, the latest-generation 2.0-litre 108bhp common-rail turbodiesel, which is expected to be the biggest seller in the range.

What’s it like?

Fans of top hats will undoubtedly be pleased to know that headroom in the latest VW Golf Plus is as generous as ever, as is, on a more serious note, interior space in general.

Thanks to that extra height, the seats in the VW Golf Plus are more upright than in the ordinary Golf, making for more generous legroom front and rear, despite the Golf Plus sitting on an identical wheelbase to its sibling, and adding only 5mm in length. The extra height of the VW Golf Plus also means that seats-up luggage space is 550 litres, bettering the Golf by 200 litres.

The most significant addition to the equipment list is VW’s park assist system - now standard on SE models - which steers the car into spaces for you. It’s unnerving, and must be undertaken slowly, but it is quite effective, if a little gimmicky.

On the road, the new VW Golf Plus displays the same quiet, supple, refined ride that characterises the new Golf. The engine, as we’ve come to expect of VW’s common-rail turbodiesels, deploys its 108bhp and 184lb ft with sophistication and adequate gusto. Our only criticism is that it occasionally feels as if it has to take a breath before giving its best at low to medium revs.

In terms of handling, the VW Golf Plus feels exactly like what it is – a taller, heavier Golf. So while, it steers and handles with authority, it doesn’t have the incisive, rewarding handling of, say, a Ford C-Max.

Should I buy one?

Here lies the rub. If you want a family hatch with a VW badge, an ordinary Golf is just as effective, while if you want a proper MPV, then go for a VW Touran. So although the VW Golf Plus is a perfectly competent car, we just don’t see the point of it. Unless, as we say, you are fond of wearing top hats.

Matt Rigby

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J400uk 28 April 2009

Re: Volkswagen Golf Plus 2.0 TDI 110 SE

I ran one of these for a couple of years. Pretty pointless car if I am honest. It was very unreliable (Huge ESP/ABS failure and 3-engines in 20k miles), interior felt cheap compared to a Golf, uneconomical for a diesel, boot is only 395-litres vs the normal Golfs 350-litres, appalling service from VW dealers, and worse of all the residuals are a pathetic 35% after 3-years compared to a normal Golf which is well above 50%. Its also quite ugly and slab-slided compared to a normal Golf. When I traded it in I realised that actually it should have been named Golf Minus, and judging by those laughable residuals I guess the motoring industry as a whole would agree with me. Last time I looked at the sales figures about 1 in 22 Golfs registered in the UK is a Plus, and VW dealers have an impossible time trying to shift them.

kerrecoe wrote:
You've made my point for me mate. Golf Plus is aimed solely at people that frequently carry very tall people in the back sets.

I have to agree with you there. The only big advantage with this car is its overly generous ammount of rear legroom and headroom.

aceman 19 April 2009

Re: Volkswagen Golf Plus 2.0 TDI 110 SE

Everyone is saying it's just a tall golf. It is yes but it's lost it's good looks to me. The front just isn't right. Although it has bit more space. It's a bigger golf. That's all. VW have got the write Idea but just work on the looks.

Audi Tastic 17 April 2009

Re: Volkswagen Golf Plus 2.0 TDI 110 SE

timmmmy wrote:
is it just me or does 18000 pounds seem A lot for a slightly bigger golf.

Not when that's nearly what the standard Golf costs nowadays!