“Eh! Finally changed to new car ah? Nice! ” – my BFF texted me a day after I posted this photo on Instagram, sussing me out.
She wasn’t alone in being curious. After all, I grumbled enough about having to bid our exciting 5-seater roadster ‘goodbye’ over a year ago, when we finally made the plunge to switch to a 7-seater to cater to our family of 5 (and sometimes 7, including the grandparent & great grandparent) needs. Plus, the husband had a rather challenging time convincing himself too, regardless how temporary he believed he’ll be “stuck” with a MPV. “At least until both boys are old enough to use booster seats”, he’ll say … but yeah, we knew that it was going to be a while before our littlest would be old enough.
So when Volkswagen Singapore asked if we’ll be keen to review the Golf Variant for a few days, I couldn’t resist the offer. I knew the husband who always had a weakness for estate cars would be excited, plus the Golf have always been 1 of the cars on my wish list should I ever buy myself a car (sporty, compact, exciting drive, quality make and easy to park – what’s there not to like?).
And so, on the day of car collection, with both kids still in school and us unanimously having no intention of picking them up earlier than usual; we jumped right into the Golf Variant and went for a much-needed couple date.
With gorgeous blue skies viewed through the sunroof, a voice navigation system which the husband had fun asking for addresses of places to take his wife to, a seamless integration of our favorite music playlist on our smart phones to the car (via Apple’s CarPlay. It also works with Android Auto); I could see that the husband was enjoying our new ride, albeit temporary, very much. As for me, I was just thrilled that his hand (all thanks to voice control infotainment system and Siri via Apple CarPlay) held mine throughout our entire time spent in the car together that day…including when we had to park the car – thanks to Park Assist!
A sucker for aesthetics, I loved the quality, stylish yet functional design of the car’s interior and definitely the sizeable vanity mirror at the front passenger seat which allowed me to check if my concealer had started to fade all thanks to the rays of natural light coming through from the panoramic sunroof. Also, not needing to constantly answer my children’s questions for the nth time on where we are going or if we are reaching and having fun, doing car karaoke with the husband to our music playlist was such a treat!
Winding roads uphill and downhill and few scenic spots later, there we were, at one of our favourite spots, marveling at the beauty of the Golf Variant and its R-Line exterior styling against the gorgeous orange skies.
“How much does this cost?” the husband broke the silence.
“$135,000-ish?, if I recall seeing it on SG Carmart earlier” (which was about early Dec’16)?
“Ooo, that’s not too bad, that’s really attractive considering the Japanese makes are around this price or higher…and this is an estate..which has lots of boot space!”, he winked.
My husband and his ambitions. Me and my priorities on just settling our new home before Primary School Registration hits me next year.
We had plans to take the kids out for a spin in the Golf Variant the next day when the husband cheekily asked if I would like to have breakfast first with him alone, while the kids were asleep. While part of me was inclined to think that he was more eager to take the Golf Variant for a morning drive along the scenic route near our place, I couldn’t bear to decline such a spontaneous and endearing question which my husband rarely utters on a day-to-day basis. I also took the chance to check out the Golf Variant’s spacious boot space which was highly raved, before we had to chuck in our stroller and scooters for the “practical” test later on.
The husband and I have always been fans of fold-able rear seats because we’re such IKEA and 6 ft tall Noble Fir Christmas Tree junkies. With us always lugging a pram and 3 skate scooters (2 for the boys and 1 for the biggest boy) during our family time together, I was pleased to see how easy it was to dissemble the very nice leather-upholstery rear seats, to make way for even more boot space. Also, this party mama thinks it’s perfect for times when you host birthday parties outside home and have too many things to bring for set-up and presents to lug home!
Back home to pick up the rest of the family, the kids were excited when they were greeted by the Golf Variant in the carpark.
“Huh, where’s Hippo (as we affectionately call our MPV)?” Liam asked.
“Taking a break, so this car will be our ride today.”, I responded.
“Hooray! This new car looks so pretty! I love it mommy!”, our 4-year-old exclaimed, as he happily climbed into his car seat. Ollie was all smiles too, and willing to be buckled up without much fuss. We invited our superhelper along for the joyride too, and she mentioned it was comfortable sitting between 2 child seats, unlike our previous 5-seater where it was a bit of a squeeze.
Liam was especially tickled by the huge sunroof. Can we change the moon roof on Hippo (our current car) to a roof like this please (pointing to the sunroof)? Oh how I wished we could Liam, how I wished!
And of course, the superhelper got us together for some photos.
In the boot, we brought along our 7kg Bugaboo Stroller, 2 kid skate scooters, 1 adult skate scooter, 1 diaper bag & 1 camera bag (although I forgot to bring along a SD card so it was pretty much a white elephant for the day). And because we still had plenty of space to spare, the kids decided to be part of the baggage too.
In terms of driving I had no major complains. While the start-stop did frustrate and made me a little anxious initially, especially during heavy traffic and roads with many traffic flights, after some getting used to, it was a relatively smooth ride. On Sports mode, the car was definitely a lot more responsive than the Eco mode which I was on for most of the time. I had sat in the Golf a few times and really liked its on-road feel thanks to its hot hatch design, so it came as a pleasant surprise when the Golf Variant exuded a similar on-road feeling despite an extended back. Oh and how could I forget about Park Assist, which may have backfired a little in not being able to detect the distance walls and pillars in my basement carpark, but did so well in other parking spaces especially the Parallel ones! And goodness the sensors, what a time saver and confidence booster in my spatial judgement and poor parking sense.
So the husband said “let’s go paktor lah”, it’s been a while plus we spent so much time with the kids earlier..they had a good day, they should be asleep..” and then just as we found a parallel lot outside the ice cream store, he went “let’s try the park assist feature on this #golfvariant ” and tadaaaah, impress his date he did. . It actually worked!!! @volkswagensg #volkswagensg #datenight #coupletime #parkassist #noneedkancheongspideratparallellotsanymore
I thought the Golf Variant suited my needs and wants rather well too. I enjoyed the infotainment unit, its compatibility with Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto), which could allow me to fiddle with the essentials of navigation or answer a phone call or reply to a message via Siri – handsfree. I also thought the mechanism of opening and locking the car door with the touch of my palm was very cool & convenient too.
Conclusion: We had such a fun time reviewing the car and going for several joyrides in it, and would consider it if we didn’t have to cater to our family of 5 and sometimes 6-7 needs currently. Sure, the husband might have lament about the slight under-power we experienced while navigating a rather steep and winding slope along Kent Ridge, but I reckon for him to say that it’s worth considering when we do get a 2nd car, for Liam & Ollie to keep asking to sit in it and even keep it, and for me to actually prefer this model over the regular Golf – The Golf Variant certainly won our hearts.
Its sporty good looks for an estate is quite an achievement really, because I do find most cars these days looking either too oblong with no curves, tall like a van which already reduces the attractiveness instantly or too family-friendly that there is hardly any excitement to want to even get in it to drive.
And because my husband had such a fun time testing out the car, he’s actually bothered to write his take on the Golf Variant from his perspective on this space for the first time! (Woohoo, never mind that his first contributor post isn’t about how much he loves me and all that…). Looks like the start of 2017 is proving to be quite a nice surprise so far. Read the husband’s review here .
Disclaimer: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Volkswagen Singapore, thanks to whom I managed to have lots of couple dates and family time for the purpose of this review. All photos, opinions, minor laments, and happy vibes are solely mine and a wee bit of the husband’s.