Variation on a Theme
The Variant uses a 4cylinder 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine that puts out around 123bhp, with a decent 200Nm of torque to give a 200+kph top speed and some decent acceleration. Spinning the front wheels isn’t hard if you are in the mood. Acceleration is brisk once you get past the slight turbo lag – 100km/h comes in 9.5sec, but the main impression is not of power and speed but of smoothness. The 7-speed dual clutch gearbox is almost imperceptible at work.
Handling is where the Golf’s heritage also shows through. It is very planted on twisty roads, even with the longer body and wheelbase, yet still darts about like a goldfish on speed if asked. Still a benchmark for its class.
It was pretty good at being economical too – VW claims 5.2l/100km for a mixed urban cycle. The car offers a slightly gimmicky eco-blue meter readout if you can be bothered, and can be switched between eco, sport and normal modes. The main difference between them seemed to be engine noise and the time each gear held on to the revs.
Overall, very easy and predictable to drive, but a bit noisier than it needed to be for the sake of the R badge, maybe.
The Golf Variant offers excellent value for money for such a versatile machine. It is way cooler, better handling and more involving than an MPV, and way more practical than an ordinary hatch. It offers comfort, a bit of go if you want it, and enough practical features to keep the whole family happy. Just a teeny touch of the sparkle-brush on the interior would make it almost perfect.
Credits: Oneshift Editorial Team