From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £16,235 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1326kg
85% Match: 1127kg
Max towing weight: 1400kg
Towball limit: 75kg

LAST YEAR’S class winner is far from disgraced, but the Golf lags behind the Focus in a couple of key areas. The most obvious is against the stopwatch. It took a leisurely 26.8 seconds to go from 30-60mph, although in fairness it was very windy when the Golf made its runs and last year’s test car was much quicker.

Even so, there’s no getting around the performance deficit compared with the Focus, or the grumbly noises from under the bonnet. The Golf wasn’t quite so keen to turn through our lane-change test, either.

Plenty of room

In other respects, however, the VW proved every bit as good as the Ford. There’s plenty of room for passengers front and rear, and the boot swallowed as much luggage as the Ford’s managed.

Fuel economy of 56.5mpg is highly impressive, and with its VW badge, the Golf is a safe place to put your money. With a more refined engine and a bit more poke, it could once again challenge for class honours.

We say

Towing: 4/5
Solo: 4/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 4/5
Verdict: 4/5

A fine towcar, in spite of the noisy engine.

Braking 30-0mph 11.43m