When advising buyers what car to go for, one of the first things we ask them is how they'll use it. While Irish drivers are obsessed with diesel power at the moment, petrol cars can make sense depending on your circumstances, especially if you're going for a small car and you don't plan on astronomical annual mileages. Likewise, petrol-electric hybrids are suited more to a city life than one in which you pound the motorways.
So, where does our Golf BlueMotion fit in? Well, in truth, it's driven in and around Dublin city the vast majority of the time, with the occasional loaded up jaunt to Cork or Ennis. For those journeys it's a given that it's the perfect tool. On the motorway it's very quiet, as comfortable as you'd expect larger cars to be and it sips fuel so slowly you do wonder whether the fuel gauge is working sometimes. But does it fit in around town as well?
In a word: yes. Despite big car manners it's small enough to slot into traffic and tight parking spaces and while not returning the same economy as it does on the motorway it does well by any other standards. Especially if you get used to using the quick stop-start system. It's surprisingly quiet at idle anyway, but even better with the engine shut off.
Another great thing about the Golf in general, especially in these cash-strapped times, is that it slips along unnoticed. Even a shiny example on new plates can be parked just about anywhere with little fear of vandalism.
Next up for our long termer is a trip to West Cork with two adults, two kids and all their long weekend luggage on board. How will the Golf cope?