Review: The New Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.4 TSI DSG R-Line
I'm still getting used to not having a car but honestly, having a car does make a whole world of difference; especially if you want to get around and travel to the more ulu part of Singapore.
Thanks to the folks from Volkswagen Singapore, I had the opportunity to bring the Mrs, the brother, and the sister-in-law to be; for an epic outdoor adventure in the northwestern part of Singapore where we pushed the car to its limits.
I always have got issues with Volkswagen cars in terms of its exterior design but the new Golf Variant (and the Volkswagen Beetle) are an exception.
The Golf Variant’s styling with its precise lines creates a sporty and impressive look and the two-part rear lights emphasizes its family affiliation to the model range and the brand.
The standard R-Line exterior styling package includes R-Line bumpers in a striking, sporty look, a dedicated radiator grille with R-Line logo, side sill extensions, a roof edge spoiler, a black gloss diffuser and 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres.
Personally, I really like the side profile and the overall sporty exterior design of the Golf Variant; although I have to admit that taste can also be quite subjective. Hence; design-wise, it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
The interior of the Golf Variant overcomes class boundaries through its high-quality materials and exclusive appearance. When stepping into the car, the wide centre console is immediately apparent and its ambience is akin to that of a premium class car.
One awesome feature of the Golf Variant is its large boot space! With the rear seats up; it offers 605 litres of boot space but with the rear seats folded down, the boot space increases to a whopping 1620 litres! If you frequent IKEA during the weekends; you will definitely love the Golf Variant because you can shop till you drop and still have ample space for many more shopping bags.
The Driving Experience
What impressed me the most about the Golf Variant is its refined and intuitive driving experience. Despite it being a longer and heavier vehicle than the Volkswagen Golf Hatch, the Golf Variant is pretty nimble and ultra-responsive. With a top speed of 205 km/h and a maximum torque of 200 Nm, the Golf Variant sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds. Overtaking another vehicle is a breeze although I very much prefer to drive defensively.
Turning and cornering is agile, thanks to the XDS differential lock that reduces the need for steering angle inputs by targeting brake interventions at the wheels on the inside of the bend. This means that the specific braking torque applied by XDS contributes towards keeping the steering angle difference small, compared to a neutrally steering vehicle.
Although the lower centre of gravity provides much stability to the driving experience, it also means that the feedback from the tarmac road can be easily felt; especially if there are mini potholes or bumps on the road. Having said that, the Golf Variant has no issues going over humps or off-road driving as the suspension handled it really well.
In terms of fuel consumption, it's pretty decent if you utilise the Eco mode most of the time; but if you choose to engage the Sports mode permanently; you're probably burning away fuel faster than you earn money.
All in all, the Volkswagen Golf Variant provides a very pleasant and smooth driving experience.
If there's one thing that I don't like about the Volkswagen Golf Variant, it will have to be its length. It took me a day to get used to driving such a long car and horizontal parking proved to be quite a challenge (even though it comes with the park-assist function). Then again, a car of this length have its advantages as well and like I said, the large rear storage space is one such example.
If there's a need for speed, ample storage space, and a sporty looking design; the Volkswagen Golf Variant is worth considering. In fact, don't belittle this Category A COE car because for the price that you're paying, it certainly packs a punch on the road.