A practical European option
Handbrake chrome button cover fell off... never to be found.
Front spoiler becomes loose and hangs down every 3 months or so.
Part of dash became loose and had to be refastened.
Glovebox lid somewhat wonky.
Above all, it's typical of VW's poor attention to quality control, despite the public perception of German cars. Japanese cars are better built.
Worst aspect is the wide C pillar. Makes lane changing a difficult chore. A rear quarter window such as in the Audi A3 would make life easier.
Difficult to judge the distance to the rear when reversing. Thankfully, one usually has more space than imagined as the car is short.
Golfs are wide compared to their length. Narrow lanes and driveways are a challenge.
Brakes not progressive and "grabby".
3 "blanks" on dash panel, and this is the highest spec model with a non turbo engine. Looks cheap, but overall the dash looks nice, particularly at night with subdued blue lighting.
Boot cannot be opened without unlocking the whole car. Annoying! Strange omissions... no glovebox light or illumination for ignition. "Accessories" point between "lock" and "on" difficult to define. Steering lock does not disengage until the key turned to the "on" position.
Best aspect is the engine. The 2.0 develops maximum torque at only 2,400 RPM, so down changes on hills are often not necessary. No need to rev it. The 5 speed manual is a gem to use.
Service costs no higher than Japanese competitors.
Great on fuel. 7.5- 8.0 L/100 average, although requires at least 95 Octane, which reduces the lustre somewhat.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th August, 2012