Long-term test: Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI

Long-term test: Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI
Long-term test: Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI

What’s the day-to-day reality for a hard-working family car?

What’s your mental picture of a family car doing what it was made for? If you spend too much time looking at adverts, there’s a load of immaculate outdoors gear in the back, a picture-perfect mum and dad up front and two dream children in the back enjoying the ride as you transport them to the beach or forest to pose immaculately on surfboards or mountain bikes.

No, I can’t imagine why people started thinking they needed to drive SUVs instead either.

Anyway, the reality is different whatever you drive. And right now we’re driving a Golf 1.0 TSI, which is a traditional family hatchback and here it is doing traditional family things.

These include transporting children, obviously enough. But when said children are in their GCSE year, you can expect them to come loaded with books, sports kit, musical instruments and more. There are habitable islands smaller than the art portfolio case we’ve found ourselves manhandling into the Golf, so hurrah for a boot that’s big, wide and easy to access.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 1.0 TSI 115 MATCH BLUEMOTION EDITION
Price £20,735 (as tested £21,120)
Economy 51.3mpg
Faults None
Expenses Oil £46.99
Last seen 28.9.16

Hurrah also for good cupholders and stowage areas. But what’s that got to do with the school run?

I’ll tell you. Back to those silly adverts from dreamland. You know those lovely images you see of a family having breakfast together, all shiny teeth and perfect clothes and no TV on and no-one screaming to hurry up and have you seen the time? Cobblers, all of it.

Our Golf is a self-propelled breakfast bar. Bacon roll in the glovebox, drink in the cupholder, belt up, go. Thus far the seats have lived to tell the tell, but there’s time…

Something else the adverts won’t tell you about is the time you’ll spend sat in your car while your offspring are visiting police stations. Sorry, private tutors. Happily, the Golf also makes rather a pleasant lounge – and being equipped with CarPlay, it’s a lounge with the right media kit to make time pass. You can sit back with a laptop and not feel as if the walls are closing in, too.

The sat-nav requires a whole address rather than just a postcode, however, so the media kit hasn’t completely covered itself in glory. Neither has Yours Truly, though, because doing your weekly checks is clearly something that applies to other people. Thus it took a warning light on the dash to announce that the oil level had dropped all the way to the minimum mark on the dipstick.

That’s the dipstick in the engine, obviously. Not the one behind the wheel.

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