By Mike Torpey on 2017-08-05 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Volkswagen Golf 1.0
TSI SE Nav DSG
THE Volkswagen Golf is the car for all seasons and all reasons.
There are other models around that have stood the test of time, proved a huge success, broken sales records.
But none have managed it with the consistent degree of engineering perfection that Volkswagen has achieved with the Golf.
Now into its seventh generation, there's more logic than ever before to consider the virtues of a car that has lifetime sales of a staggering 33 million.
Two million of those have been notched in Britain and last year the model became the UK's third best-seller overall and top of the family hatchback chart.
When the updated model arrived this spring it brought a compelling mix of new engines, more technology, revised styling and improved connectivity - for an average cost of £650 less than the outgoing car.
That's the good news. Scratch your head time for potential buyers comes with the realisation that there are actually 113 variants to choose from.
Volkswagen helped narrow the test choice down by revealing that of the 13 different trim grades, third from the bottom SE Nav is expected to attract the lion's share - up to 33 per cent - of hatchback sales.
And we decided to go for the higher powered version of the two 1.0-litre TSI engines which, in common with all the Golf range's petrol units, is a turbocharged three cylinder engine with direct fuel injection.
Developing 110ps, it has as much power as the first Golf GTI from 1976 and is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds.
Optionally paired with a seven-speed twin-clutch DSG automatic gearbox reduces fuel consumption and emissions to 58.9mpg and 110g/km, though we would recommend the six-speed manual as the DSG was a touch jerky from standstill.
What's beyond dispute is the smooth, precise and agile manner in which the Golf performs on all types of road surface.
It's beautifully engineered both inside and out and while some may wish for a more racy styling, that instantly recognisable Golf design has nothing left to prove.
Technical innovations are numerous if not standard on every car and the wizardry includes a sat-nav that can be worked by waving your hand near the display screen.
There's even the Trailer Assist facility for reversing a caravan into a tight spot - without touching the steering wheel.
Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI SE Nav DSG
Mechanical: 110ps, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 122mph
0-62mph: 10.4 seconds
Combined MPG: 58.9
Insurance Group: 13
C02 emissions: 110g/km
Bik rating: 21%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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