Our man has a lightbulb moment when loading hatch

  • CRITICS argue that the Golf is too expensive – but if you can afford a GTD, it rewards you with an array of dynamic talents. Whether you’re stuck in traffic, on the motorway or blasting along country roads, the VW is absolutely brilliant. Without exception, everyone who drives it wants to keep it.
  • IN our last report, we criticised the Golf’s soft red paint, which had picked up a couple of stonechips, but thankfully, it hasn’t collected any more. Inside, our model is loaded with kit, although sat-nav, Bluetooth and adaptive suspension all cost extra – excellence never comes cheap.

They don’t happen very often, but I’ve had a eureka moment! No, it’s not an important scientific discovery. Rather, I have figured out how to fit a double buggy into the back of the long-term Volkswagen Golf GTD.

In its first report, the hot diesel was given a warm welcome to our fleet, and I suggested it could be the best vehicle in the office car park. But I had one issue – on my first attempt to load the Pinnock clan, we realised our double buggy wouldn’t squeeze in the luggage bay.

And ours isn’t one of those all-singing, all-dancing buggies with tyres that look as if they’ve been taken off a BMX bike. It’s a simple Maclaren – a pushchair staple for parents across the country. If it wouldn’t fit in the back of our favourite family car, chances are hundreds of other motorists are in the same boat.

So, I set to work on finding a solution – and a trip to collect a large rug gave me an idea. The GTD’s ski hatch accommodated our new roll of carpet, and as I stood there feeling pleased with myself for shoehorning it in, I suddenly wondered if the buggy would fit through, too.

By the time I got home, I was convinced it would. And the good news for parents – and would-be Golf buyers – is that it does! With a shove and wiggle, the collapsed framework of plastic wheels and canvas now fits between our two daughters in the back seat. And that means I’ve been able to use the Golf at every available opportunity.

As a result, the VW has already racked up 6,678 miles. However, it’s not all good news. While I’m still telling everyone who will listen that the Golf is the most complete vehicle in the car park, it hasn’t had things all its own way.

In Issue 1,111, it met road tester Graeme Lambert’s SEAT Leon FR TDI in a long-term twin test – and came away with a bloodied nose. We agreed that the VW was the better car, but struggled to justify the hefty premium it commands over its Spanish rival. Get carried away with the options, and you can end up with a £27,000 GTD – that’s BMW 3-Series money!

Still, the cabin is easily good enough to rival the BMW’s. At the end of a long day in the office, it’s the perfect antidote to rush hour. The Golf’s high-quality trim and simple controls soothe the stress away, while its punchy engine is perfect for nipping into gaps in the gridlocked streets. And now, I can do all this with 2.4 children on board, too!

Extra Info

“The best things in life rarely come cheap. But given the GTD’s wide range of talents, the high price is easy to forgive. Fast, fun, refined and practical, it has a strong claim to the title of ultimate family hatch.”James Disdale, Road tester

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