Volkswagen Golf Plus Hatchback 2005 - 2008

Volkswagen Golf Plus Hatchback 2005 - 2008

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Just as good as a normal Golf and you get more of it
  • Good build quality
  • Various engines available

Cons:

  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Bigger than a normal golf but no more powerful

Overview

The Golf Plus is just like a standard Golf but with extra height and length which allows for a more spacious interior and a bigger boot. It also comes with a clever setup in the boot which enables the 60/40 split back seats to slide forwards independently of each other or together so you can arrange the passenger luggage setup to suit you're needs. There is also a good range of engines with the diesels being particularly good and the build quality is just as you would expect from Volkswagen.

Exterior and Interior

The Golf Plus is almost identical to the normal Golf apart from it having a bit more boot space, passenger room and flexibility with it being 3.74 inches taller and 2 inches longer than the standard Golf. Most of the added height of the car has been taken up by raising the seats, but this is no bad thing as it makes the seating position more comfortable and there is also added legroom. The boot space is ingeniously laid out as it can be increased from its standard 395litres to an impressive 515litres by being able to slide the back bench forwards. The back bench is also split 60/40 with each side being able to slide independently of the other. They also fold down for any large objects, but don't go completely flat. The back seat is meant more for two adults, but three can fit in with a bit of a squeeze. As a family car the Golf Plus works well, maybe even better than the standard Golf. The rest of the cabin is almost identical to the standard Golf with the only difference being the dashboard, but it is all just as classy as the standard model. The added height does mean the driver sits slightly higher giving a slightly better view of the road, but the large front pillars still cause some problems as they block a large portion of your view.

Performance and Economy

The small engines should really be avoided on the Plus as it weighs 100kg's more than the standard model and it leaves the 75bhp and 90bhp 1.4-litre petrol engines a bit breathless when fully loaded or on the motorway. The 1.6-litre is better for motorway driving but the 1.4-litre TSI with 122bhp, which replaced it at the end of 2007, is the far better engine being more responsive and giving the Golf Plus a slightly sporty feel to it that the other small engines lack. The 2.0-litre is great if you are looking for a bit of pace going from 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds, but isn't very economical coming in with only 30mpg. The diesel engines are better, although the entry level 1.9-litre with either 90bhp or 105bhp isn't very refined. This engine does pull well and has good fuel efficiency coming in at 50mpg for both of them. The top of the range 2.0-litre engine combines good pulling power and fuel efficiency going from 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds and manages a respectable 48mpg. VW introduced a 1.9-litre Bluemotion engine in 2008 which uses the same 1.9-litre engine as the other models, producing 105bhp and managing 58mpg. Insurance costs range between groups 5 and 13 with all but the 2.0-litre TDI and the 1.4-litre TSI coming in below group 8.

Like to Drive

The Plus feels the same as the regular Golf handling wise with the added weight not making much of a difference and with it only being noticeable with a little extra body roll in the corners. The steering feels well weighted and accurate with plenty of grip in the corners and a smooth ride making it a good cruising car. The steering wheel and drivers' seat come with a wide choice of adjustments that should make suit all drivers. The car is also well insulated with very little noise getting through to the cabin except at high speeds where wind noise can be heard around the doors.

Faults and Repairs

As the Plus is almost identical to the regular model it stands to reason that it should suffer from the same problems. The Plus comes with some problems of its own though with faulty timing belt tensioners, leaking fuel pumps on the diesels and electrical glitches. Golf's do have a good reputation for reliability so there shouldn't be many serious problems to watch out for and it will cost more than some rivals to maintain.