The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - SMART BUYS -

IT is re­ally no sur­prise that the Golf wagon is en­gag­ing to drive as the hatch. They share en­gines and sus­pen­sions but the wagon adds a lit­tle bit ex­tra – ver­sa­til­ity cour­tesy of a large load area.

Like the hatch there is solid ev­i­dence of en­gi­neer­ing thor­ough­ness, from the in­te­grated shop­ping hooks to the fit and fin­ish of the lug­gage area.

The ride is just as com­posed as the hatch and, de­spite the ex­tra glass area and more open rear, cabin noise is re­strained due in part to an acous­tic wind­screen, which helps block out wind noise.

The steer­ing is pre­cise and the ride has that de­lib­er­ate well-sorted Euro­pean feel about it.

Un­laden, harsh bumps are heard rather than felt and the cabin feels se­cure.

The cargo area is well con­structed and de­signed with dura­bil­ity in mind with a hard-wear­ing car­peted floor and plenty of tiedowns. Like many Euro wag­ons, the sturdy cargo net can be po­si­tioned in two lo­ca­tions, de­pend­ing on the load.

There is a nifty hide-away com­part­ment be­low the lug­gage floor and the full-size spare is also a wel­come ad­di­tion.

We spent most of the time in what is ex­pected to be the vol­ume seller – the 118TSI mated to a stan­dard sev­en­speed DSG gear­box.

The big sur­prise from this mod­est pow­er­plant is that it de­liv­ers the power and re­sponse nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with a larger 2.0-litre en­gine, all from a 1.4-litre four cylin­der that is both tur­bocharged and su­per­charged.

Volk­swa­gen calls it Twin­charger and if you haven’t driven it, take one for a spin.

Fam­i­lies will be won over by the wagon’s Ger­manic prac­ti­cal­ity, qual­ity and, most of all, price of the en­try 90TSI.

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