PH Blog: wheels maketh the Golf


OK, it’s blatant hypocrisy. Harris proclaims the fun of turning the power/grip equation on its head by driving an AMG on space savers. We talk about how cars like the Toyobaru herald a new era of handling over grip and I have, on occasion, been known to mention how much fun crap tyres are on the PH Fleet Eunos.

Now, if we were true to this cause we’d have left the winter tyres on our long-term Golf GTI Edition 35. But, frankly, it looked a bit pants. And having swapped it onto the ‘proper’ wheels and tyres (possibly a little hasty if the weather forecasts are to be believed), Riggers was looking forward to trying out ‘his’ Golf on its proper wheels.

DSG just about involving enough to be fun
DSG just about involving enough to be fun
And he’s still looking forward to trying out his Golf on its proper wheels, having not got near it since thanks to both Garlick and I sharing it between us over recent days.

So we’re tarts. Having avoided the Golf whilst in its Bluemotion-esque disguise we’re now all too happy to be seen out and about in it. I took it up for a meeting in Milton Keynes the other day and, though not quite as entertaining as the AE86, it really demonstrated quite what a weapon this Golf is.

It really is a car that asks no questions at all. It looks cool, goes like stink in a relatively understated manner, doesn’t rub people up the wrong way like some more aggressively styled performance cars can and does all the pleasing, easy-to-live-with stuff you’d expect of any Golf. But there’s real depth too. The fixed-rate dampers are lively and, in extremes, capable of being overwhelmed by really high-speed compressions. But they feel better than the adjustable ones and the Golf feels very light on its feet and a lot livelier and more involving than the sensible VW stereotype would have you believe. And the grip on the ‘big’ wheels is immense, the XDS electric LSD meaning bold entry speeds can be matched with entertainingly committed early on the power exits.

Winter wheels: effective but girly-looking
Winter wheels: effective but girly-looking
OK, it’s about grip, power and composure rather than elegant balance-it-on-the-throttle fun, but the Golf pulls it off without feeling isolated and aloof and seems eager to play along with whatever mood you happen to be in. And much as I’d like a manual the DSG is crisp, quick to react and just engaging enough to keep you interested.

But mainly it looks ace on its big wheels. And, yes, that’s purely form not function.

Comments (41) Join the discussion on the forum

  • urquattro 01 Feb 2012

    toppstuff said:
    ArosaMike said:
    I really can't wait to see if the same debate with the same answers and same critism occurs every time Riggers posts an update on the car! How many times can the same people say they'd prefer a 1 Series, an Octavia or a Leon, and how many times can people claim it's bland and trying too hard? :P
    I think the comment on the Golf is related to the number of times PH keeps writing about it.

    Personally, I think it is a fascinating, unusual and distinctive car that really captures the imagination. I really can't wait to read even more about it.
    Hear Hear, Riggers you have really wound the workers up, identified something they do not want in their fantasy garages,and are very unlikely to ever drive some of the old good stuff around,
    p.s. throw some cr...p at the white paint or put stripes on it and it now has "character" and will get rave reviws, even though,he says very quietly, "its a golf..............."

  • toppstuff 31 Jan 2012

    ArosaMike said:
    I really can't wait to see if the same debate with the same answers and same critism occurs every time Riggers posts an update on the car! How many times can the same people say they'd prefer a 1 Series, an Octavia or a Leon, and how many times can people claim it's bland and trying too hard? :P
    I think the comment on the Golf is related to the number of times PH keeps writing about it.

    Personally, I think it is a fascinating, unusual and distinctive car that really captures the imagination. I really can't wait to read even more about it.

  • ArosaMike 31 Jan 2012

    I really can't wait to see if the same debate with the same answers and same critism occurs every time Riggers posts an update on the car! How many times can the same people say they'd prefer a 1 Series, an Octavia or a Leon, and how many times can people claim it's bland and trying too hard? :P

  • toppstuff 31 Jan 2012

    iain1970 said:
    Suggestions for new hot hatches that offer the same, nay more for less £££s please...
    Octavia VRs. Same engine, same transmission, same drive really.

    The dashboard probably is'nt as soft. The Skoda dealers probably are not quite as condescending. The boots a bit bigger. Otherwise, the same.

    The Golf is probably 10% better. But it costs maybe 35% more.

    Seat Cupra much the same story.

    The Peoples Car is apparently a premium brand these days.

  • hughcam 31 Jan 2012

    The above doesnt mean im right, just IMO smile

View all comments in the forums Make a comment