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Volkswagen golf plus video

The range kicks off with an 84bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine but it's worth avoiding, despite the cheap price tag. It can feel slow and needs to be worked hard to get the best out of it. The best all-rounders are the 1.4 TSI and 1.6 TDI 105. With the Golf as its base, the Plus is destined to handle well. The steering is crisp and responsive, and the Plus is surprisingly agile through the bends.

The BlueMotion Technology 1.6 TDI is best for running costs, with a 65.7mpg figure and CO2 emissions of 114g/km. It's free from road tax for the first year and £35 for every year after that. The 1.4 TSI isn't quite as good, but still won't break the bank with a claimed 43.5mpg combined figure. Insurance groups will be low for all engines in the line-up, and Volkswagen offers a fixed-price servicing plan for the first 30,000 miles or three years. The downside is poor residual values when you come to sell.

The Golf Plus looks as you’d expect. The front and rear are similar to the standard hatch, but it has taller proportions to create more interior space. The basic 'S' model gets a black grille while the range-topping SE has a grille with three chrome bars. Cabin quality is good, but the design is a little dated. The rear seats are spacious enough for adults and the backrests can be tilted backwards and forwards. There are only two trim levels, with basic S models getting air-con and electric windows. SE models get an automatic parking system, cruise control and alloy wheels.

While the standard VW Golf has a 350-litre boot, the Golf plus has 395 litres, thanks to its extra length and higher roof line. Boot space can be sacrificed in favour of rear passenger legroom by moving the rear seats back and forth. Higher spec models also get a false boot floor that can be used to hide valuables.

The Golf is regarded as one of the most bulletproof models on the road, and the Golf Plus is no exception to that. Each part of this car has already proven itself elsewhere in the range without any major problems. Safety is top-notch too, with the MkV on which this car is based getting a full five-star Euro NCAP test.

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