Singapore - Remember that Volkswagen Golf Range Media Drive trip to Trengganu and Malacca in the latter half of 2018? Well that was a little preview of what to expect from a recently refreshed line-up of the entire Golf stable.
During that trip, we got the chance to try out the standard 1.4-litre, single turbocharged Golf hatch, the Golf SV and the Golf Variant through highways and B-roads.
Though the time spent driving each model amounted to just several hours each, it did give us a pretty good feel of each car and in particular, the Variant came out tops on our list.
Fast forward to today, we have test-driven the Golf, SV and now its the Variant’s turn and if you are like us, we like to save the best for last! Now the basic premise has not changed much, its basically the face-lifted Mk7 Golf with an elongated boot - or so you think.
Don’t let that fool you though, that stretched body grows on you and is aesthetically pleasing to this editor at least, clad that in a bright red paint job with black, gunmetal and chrome accents plus roof rails and we are starting to feel some RS3/4 vibes.
Oh, the R-Line kit and 18-inch wheels do a splendid job of making the Variant all the more sportier. Cabin layout is basically identical to the Golf hatch, you get a sizeable infotainment touchscreen and a fully digital cluster.
But of course that’s not the reason why you bought the Variant, the party is in the back! Open the boot and you will see where all that extra money and length went. The cargo payload is immense, you could easily fit two adult bodies lying horizontally inside and still have room for groceries and what nots.
Powering the Variant is still the 1.4-litre turbocharged four potter mated to a tweaked 7-speed DSG transmission producing 123 horses and 200Nm of torque for a century sprint of 9.5 seconds.
In theory it might seem inadequate, but on the move the Variant is pretty nippy and feels faster than its specs might suggest. The suspension has also been fiddled with for a better balance between being well-damped and ride comfort.
On the move, you can’t really feel an additional 309mm worth of Golf behind you versus the standard hatch, in fact the two drive and get FC ratings that are pretty similar too.
Thus, if it boils down to having to purchase a Golf, because its the sensible thing to do, why not go all the way and get the Variant, that massive boot screams engorged sensibility above all else, and yes we love that sporty-wagon-estate thing going on here!