First off, it did not have tartan seats. That is reserved for the GTI. Instead we had posh Vienna leather seats.
Was it fun to drive? Yes, it was. But more than that—and we think you’ll find this detail more important—the first thing you’ll notice is that the car gives you confidence. Not in yourself—because if you’re already choosing to drive a car like the Golf, you should already be sure of who you are—but about the car. The Golf is solidly built that you immediately feel nothing will fall apart in the car even as you go well past the speed limit. Everything feels so together, no rattling of any sort, and the car just sets itself down the road with unrelenting focus. This is where VW’S vaunted German engineering really comes to fore.
Now, about the Golf’s looks not quite reaching great-looking levels. We think our English resource person’s assessment stems from the car not being loudly styled. Honestly, when we look at the Golf, we don’t think automobiles. We think architecture. We are reminded of Bauhaus, the International Style, form and function, minimalism. It’s as though the Golf was designed with as few as five lines on paper. And if you care to look at it from the side, please direct your attention to the rear profile, where the gas lid is. Stare at the angles, the symmetry of it. You can’t get any more German than that. The Golf doesn’t look like an insect, the way a Japanese car would. It looks like a car. It blends in while standing out.
Is it reliable and practical? Let’s see: 520+kilometers on a full 50-liter gasoline tank? Yes. Generous space for four adults? Yes. Tastefully designed interiors? Yes. Responsive engine? Yes. Safe? With the kind of build it has, definitely yes.
So, can we agree with Europe that the Golf is the best all-rounder? Yes.