Volkswagen Golf Plus review (2004-2009)
Designed to slot into the gap between the conventional Golf hatchback and the Touran compact MPV, the Golf Plus is neither a regular hatchback nor conventional compact MPV. So instead of the availability of seven seats, you get a more versatile and spacious load area, the rear seats folding, splitting and sliding to accommodate larger loads. So it's best to think of the Golf Plus as just as its name suggests, a Golf, only plus. Even the marketing people couldn't come up with anything more interesting to say about it other than 'A Golf just a little bit bigger.' Either they've come over with a rare stint of honesty, or the Golf Plus really is tricky product to place. The reality is that in practice the Golf Plus is actually quite an accomplished and practical machine. Sharing the majority of its components with its regular hatchback alternative the Golf Plus is unquestionably more useful and spacious, while the additional height, and resultant increased ease of access and better view ahead is also certain to appeal to many buyers.
On the road, rather unsurprisingly, it's very Golf-like to drive. That means a decent ride, uncomplicated handling and decent refinement. Only a bit of additional wind noise at speed lets it down. Outwardly at a glance it's little different in style, but take a closer look and the details begin to reveal themselves. Then you'll notice the large circular rear lamps, and deeper, taller panels. The result not as smart as the regular Golf, but otherwise it's inoffensively styled and nowhere near as bland as the slab-sided Touran. All the engines and transmissions of the Golf are offered, except for the GTI's 2.0-litre turbo, meaning frugal and punchy diesels and a similarly accomplished petrol line-up. Some might consider it a pointless niche, but if you like the idea of a Golf, but need some of the Touran's increased space without the call for additional seats, then the Golf Plus is the car for you.