By Mike Torpey on 2022-05-08 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Style eHybrid 1.4
IT'S the car that has defined the Volkswagen brand for the best part of half a century - and it just keeps getting ever more desirable.
With sales topping 35 million the Golf is now well into its eighth generation and offers its widest-ever choice of drivetrains, with new mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrids joining the more familiar petrol and diesel engines.
The electric Golf is no more, having been replaced by the ID.3, but the gap has been filled by the plug-in eHybrid model, a car that serves up some pretty compelling economy figures.
Take its 44-mile driving range in fully electric mode for instance, or its lab test fuel consumption of a whopping 313.2 miles per gallon.
Emissions are also low at 21g/km, as is company car tax, so it's little wonder that the Golf's time-honoured reputation as a rock-solid family choice continues to gain leverage.
Let's not get carried away - there are certainly better looking models on the road than the rather conservatively styled Golf, but makes it such a well-informed choice is its combination of engineering, dynamics, comfort and technology.
Inside, the cabin is dominated by what VW calls its new ‘Innovision' cockpit, which is fitted as standard across all UK models and features a 10-inch Digital Cockpit Pro display complemented by a similarly sized central screen for the infotainment
Compared with previous generation Golf models, many of the interior buttons and switchgear have been removed, replaced with sliders and touch panels for the key functions, many of which can also be controlled with an optional voice recognition system.
For example, by telling the car that your hands are cold, the heated steering wheel will automatically activate, while the Golf is also the only model in its class to provide LED lighting as standard.
Other goodies, usually the preserve of more expensive and larger models, are now up for grabs on the Golf, including a head-up display, adjustable ambient lighting with 30 colour options plus the ability to use a mobile phone as the car key.
You also get wireless mobile phone charging, sat nav, digital radio and Bluetooth plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
And there's also car-to-car wireless communication called Car2X enabling the Volkswagen to exchange info between other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure using an EU-standard network valid for all motor manufacturers.
Otherwise, the Golf's cabin is comfortable with durable upholstery, reasonably spacious, has an optimum driving position, good visibility and ample legroom.
Out on the road the Golf is a smooth, precise and agile car to drive - giving that feel of being beautifully engineered that's a hallmark of VW products.
In the case of the plug-in e-Hybrid, which can only be distinguished from a regular Golf by the separate cable socket flap on the front left wheel arch and a tiny tailgate badge, power comes via a 1.4-litre petrol engine supported by an electric motor and driven through a six-speed DSG twin clutch auto transmission.
It's satisfyingly lively - 0-62 in 7.4 seconds - good for 44 miles in electric-only mode and providing you are disciplined about regularly plugging in you should be able to top the 60mpg mark, as we managed over 250 miles of mixed urban, rural and motorway driving.
Volkswagen Golf Style eHybrid 1.4 TSI PHEV
Mechanical:204ps, 1.4-litre, 4-cyl petrol engine + electric motor driving front wheels via 6-speed DSG transmission
0-62mph: 7.4 seconds
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