2006 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 FSI petrol from Australia and New Zealand
Comfortable refined all rounder with some quirks
Very refined all rounder. Performance is very good. Handles and rides very well, feels solid on the road, ride comfort is excellent and corners nicely, excellent on rough NZ roads, smooths out imperfections that would have my Honda bucking and wallowing about in protest.
Brakes can be grabby at low speeds. DSG gearbox has some quirks, but is generally excellent, slick shifting, and a whole lot less scary than the horror stories I've heard about. It can be caught asleep after coasting though, and clonks into gear upon reacquaintance with the throttle. First gear is a bit short and the traction control lazy, which equals unexpected wheel scrabble and chirping tyres if driven briskly round town.
Interior is really well designed with some nice materials, but not all. Suffers from the typical European problem of scruffy door trims peeling away. Lots of thoughtful features like dipping passengers mirror when engaging reverse, air conditioned glove box, and huge door bins that accept a 1.5l water bottle.
Seats are comfortable, but it's a bizarre car to get in and out of as the seats are located well inboard towards the centre of the car, presumably to aid safety. This means to get in you sort of have to straddle the door sill, get half-way in onto the seat, then shift sideways again into the car. It also means the pedals are offset, which you get used to.
Prepare to get wet getting in and out in the rain! Open the doors or the boot, and the water rolls straight off the tapered roofline and onto you and the interior of the car as you get in or out.
Safety was one of the top reasons we chose this car. The body structure feels very strong and has 12 airbags.
We purchased a 3 year mechanical warranty with the car, and although nothing has gone wrong, it very much feels a question of "when" not "if" as is the case with most European cars we have owned as opposed to the Japanese ones. Fingers crossed though, because it's an excellent and classy all rounder.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 19th January, 2016