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By Jonathan Crouch
Added 13th October, 2017
Overall, it's true that there are certainly trendier choices you could make in this segment. And cars that offer up a more dynamic drive. But if you're a typical Polo person, we reckon you might quickly tire of their charms. At the end of the day, there's much to be said for an extra touch of quality and class. Seek those as your priorities and you'll find the improved MK5 version of this little supermini more than happy to oblige.
The Volkswagen Scirocco was a formula that didn't need wholesale changes and with this MK3 model product update, it didn't really get them. The under-bonnet updates were well worthwhile though, offering more power across the board teamed with greater efficiency. In summary, if you want a coupe that looks good, is well screwed together and which isn't going to cost a fortune to run, Volkswagen has your back here. Thankfully though, this car also offers something a little more than that. Call it charisma, call it personality, call it what you want: the Scirocco has it.
If you think you'd need a very good reason to buy a compact MPV with fewer than seven seats, you might like the Golf SV. It offers a range of very good reasons. The class, style and quality on offer here are certainly very tempting compensations for the absence of those extra chairs. And if you have decided that you can do without the additional pews, an SV certainly stacks up very well against the other potential five-seat solutions on offer for families seeking more flexibility than an ordinary Golf or Focus family hatch could offer. Do you really want the mundanity of an estate or a converted van, the rather self-conscious funkiness of a Qashqai-style crossover - or the maternity unit practicality of, say, a Scenic or a C-MAX?
Here's a slightly different way to go. A proper Golf that is also the kind of proper People Carrier its Golf Plus predecessor never was. True, other five-seater MPVs from this era can offer you slightly more space and seat-fumbling flexibility, but the incremental benefits they deliver aren't really very significant. Overall, this is a car that adds a dash of desirability to the business of owning what is, at the end of the day, nothing more than a practical family tool. The result is a car you could be proud of.
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It's certainly true that for the asking price, the Scirocco R counts some pretty exotic machinery amongst its rivals. Plus cost-wise, it's quite a step up from the 2.0-litre TSI GT version. Volkswagen, always asserted that this performance coupe was also quite a step up in terms of its driving experience and buyers who set that as their main priority will certainly appreciate what this R can do.
No, it doesn't have quite the kind of track-car feel you'd find in hairier-chested rivals and some of them of course can offer you more power and four wheel drive for this kind of money. Even so, on a challenging road in dry conditions, we'd wager that this car's 265PS or 280PS output will be quite enough to give any sportscar in the world a run for its money. It's fast, it's classy and it feels right. Plus it has the edge over every direct rival in terms of its long term ownership proposition. You can't ask for much more than that.
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