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Golf Plus that little extra value.

Byline: By Mike Torpey

Finding a fresh niche in a car market that caters for just about every need is becoming a rare occurrence.

Volkswagen discovered a new one though when launching the Golf Plus during the summer ( and the German producer believes this model can attract around 18,000 British buyers.

It's aimed at people who need more room than a hatchback can offer, yet can't bear the thought of stepping into a multi purpose vehicle, like the company's own Touran seven-seater.

These are couples, or people with a small family, who require a bit more practicality and for the extra pounds 500 it costs to move from the Golf hatch to the Plus there is certainly value to be had.

The Plus is similar to the standard Golf in that both cars have the same wheelbase and mechanicals. Difference is that the Plus is 95mms taller, the upshot being better interior space.

Even though the seats are positioned higher for improved visibility and access, headroom is still appreciably better. In fact the whole interior is deceptively spacious with ample storage capacity from door bins and cup holders to coin slots and glovebox.

High on the list of strongpoints is the flexible rear seat arrangement. Not only can the seats be shifted lengthways but a light tug on a fabric tab will fold them almost flat to substantially expand the loading capacity.

Rear legroom is more than adequate for tall passengers and even someone in the centre rear position can travel in reasonable comfort.

The boot on this car is also cleverly set up with a double height floor that keeps valuables out of sight. Among the best in an engine range that comprises four petrol and three turbodiesels is the higher powered of the two 1.9-litre TDI units.

With plenty of power on tap the car is never short on kick and while the engine isn't the quietest around it certainly offers decent fuel consumption. I managed an average of almost 45 miles per gallon.

Facts and figures

Make: Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.9 Sport TDI auto

Price: pounds 18,210

Mechanical: 105bhp, 1,896cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6 speed automatic gearbox

Max speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 11.8 seconds

Combined mpg: 46.3

Insurance group: 7

CO2 emissions: 165g/km

BiK rating: 20%

Warranty: 3 years/ 60,000 miles; 3 years paint; 12 years anti-rust
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2005
Words:402
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