Rock steady Golf

gets tech update

Volkswagen Golf, 2017, side
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, rear, action
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, rear
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, rear seats
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, interior
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, action
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, front, action
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, front
Volkswagen Golf SE, 2017, boot

THERE is a point in life when the fruits of having no interest whatsoever in modern fads land in your lap with the worrying dampness of ripen-at-home peaches fast forwarded on the radiator.

Recently the ground-breaking news that people take vitamins intravenously was greeted disdainfully among the household womenfolk with: "Didn't you know that, silly man?"

No but I understand the offside rule perfectly.

It is with trepidation then I venture into the world of the fidget spinner.

This bearings-based toy has become the Rubik's Cube of 2017, flogged on the back of its beneficial effects in the relief of anxiety.

Such is the gadget's distractive effect many schools have already imposed a ban.

When I was at school the accepted way to deal with a fidget was to Sellotape him to a high-backed chair, although class sizes were much larger in the sixties and one gobby pre-pubescent could easily be sacrificed.

The toy has also been suggested as a calming distraction for the dysfunctional.

If you were to sit in the passenger seat feverishly 'spinning' while I was tacking Britain's dysfunctional motorway system you may find that far from the toy having a calming effect it would result in acute nose bleeds and broken teeth.

Volkswagen could hardly be accused of fidgeting with the Golf.

The evolutionary shift of this oh-so-reliable hatchback has been tectonic to the extent that the latest manifestation of a car which has sold 33 million since 1974 has been dubbed Mk 7.5

Like swapping into new trousers on the bus, change for change's sake is the Routemaster to disaster.

This is the appeal of the Golf, improvements are to match technological advances not because the car next door has them.

The two biggest changes are an upgraded infotainment system with the option of hand gesture control and the price - down by around £650 on average.

The MQB platform has hardly been touched and on the outside there are slight changes to bumpers, new wings, LED tail-lights and the option of new halogen lights or LEDs.

The £19,500 1.0-litre 110 TSI we fidget around with today is not the range's entry level engine, there is an 85 petrol also.

It is, however, a highly recommended place to start and short of GTI-land excitement, as much fun and more refinement than there is a right to expect from three cylinders.

Yes, it takes a bit of rev action, and we are not talking naughty vicars here, at the start line but most impressive is how calm and refined it remains over the longer haul around the legal limit.

The numbers are: 0-62mph in a respectable 9.9 seconds and a combined economy of 58mpg from which the everyday driver can expect mid-forties.

This is a city car at heart with benefits, like the stability and poise displayed should you find yourself out on the moors.

You know where you are with the interior of a Golf, there has been no temptation either to nail everything in the toy box to the fascia or strip out to a minimalist loft conversion.

Plenty of kit is standard and even the entry level S has an eight-inch touchscreen. The SE Nav test car has a navigator, no surprise, but no gesture function.

Other highlights include hook ups to a smartphone, essential in the youthful market this car will attract, masses of passive safety, including adaptive cruise control with emergency braking and pedestrian detection system.

For cabin titillation the driver can set up to four personal profiles, choose a driving mode, enjoy automatic lights with coming home function and parking sensors.

Boot space is ample for family life and as ever there is plenty of room for fully formed adults front and back.

Sitting in this car, comfortable, looking out on a crystal clear screen display and logical layout, I wonder how I ever argued the case for less complete hatchbacks.

And for the record I still think an intravenous drip is a fashion victim who gets under the skin.

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