"The Golf Plus offers the luxury and comfort of the standard Golf hatchback with an added dose of practicality."
The Golf Plus is aimed at family buyers looking for a taller, more practical version of the popular five-door VW Golf. The five-seat machine plays baby brother to the seven-seat Golf-based Touran. Inside you’ll find rear seats that fold and slide, while the higher driving position offers a great view of the road ahead. There's plenty of adjustability in the seats, which means it's easy to get comfortable. Two trim levels are offered; S comes with air-conditioning, while SE adds alloy wheels and Volkswagen's clever Park Assist system, which uses cameras and an advanced computer to parallel park the car for you.
With its greater height, the Golf Plus isn’t quite as agile through the bends as the standard Golf. There's more body roll and the steering isn’t as responsive. The Golf Plus scores highly with its excellent ride comfort, and the suspension soaks up poor road surfaces well. Five engine choices are offered: the entry-level 79bhp 1.4 petrol feels strained, and the Golf Plus works best with the diesel options. There are three, a 1.6 TDI with either 89bhp or 104bhp, and a 2.0 TDI with 138bhp. Choose the 104bhp 1.6 TDI in VW's eco-focused BlueMotion specification, and it’ll return up to 74.3mpg on the official combined cycle.
The family-orientated Golf Plus is a great car to cover long distances with. The seats are firm and supportive front and rear, while the suspension does a great job at smoothing over imperfections on the UK's poorly surfaced roads. Engine noise is low, but there is some wind noise from the edges of the windscreen. If space equals comfort for you, then the Golf Plus is bound to appeal.
The Golf Plus has a reasonable reputation for build quality – the cabin certainly feels robustly constructed. The car has only been subject to one minor recall in its first few years of production. The car also offers a five-star Euro NCAP crash rating, and is equipped with traction control and electronic stability control as standard. Driver and passengers get front, side and curtain airbags.
Thanks to its maximum boot capacity of 1,450 litres, the Golf Plus rivals the Golf Estate for carrying capacity with the seats folded. What's more, it's also possible to increase the boot space by sliding the rear seats forward, while the 60:40 split helps accommodate longer loads. Wide rear doors and the high seats mean fitting child seats is less of a back-troubling proposition compared to conventional hatchbacks.
Value for money
You’ll pay for the additional space and practicality the Golf Plus offers over its regular hatchback relatives, but the car is still competitively priced. Some newer rivals offer greater versatility, and if you’re looking at the more expensive models, it might be worth considering the VW Touran instead: it's a seven seat MPV that is even more versatile.
Choose sensibly, and the Golf Plus shouldn’t be any more expensive than the regular Golf to run, especially with VW's fixed-price three-year servicing offer. The BlueMotion model keeps fuel and tax costs to a minimum, however the lack of demand for the Golf Plus on the used market does mean you’ll lose more money than a Golf hatchback when you come to sell it.