Friday – A Sound Machine

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Jeremy  The Adam is aimed at a youth market – so in a bid to feel 21 again, I’ve been listening at Absolute 80s Radio on the baby Vauxhall’s thumping stereo. It sounds great – even Dire Straits!

It’s amazing how in-car entertainment systems have become so good. DAB helps of course but using Bluetooth to ‘suck’ music from my phone to the unit is another simple and safe benefit. No fiddling with CDs, USB cables or AUX-in wires.

For a little car, the Adam boxes above its weight in the infotainment department. A touchscreen display makes it even easier to use, although there was no sat nav in our test car.

I’ve just returned from a couple of days sea-kayaking in Scotland and at Bristol Airport, I had a real struggle finding the Adam. In fact, I thought it had been stolen when I couldn’t see it in the car park. The car is so small, it was completely hidden being a Range Rover Sport and Ford Focus.

The boot area is just big enough for two large rucksacks and not much else. Dropping the split-fold back seats helps but for a long weekend away, this is really a car that is only big enough for two adults and all their kit. At least it’s big on style.

 

Tuesday – Golfing Technology

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Jeremy I’m ticking off the hours until they pick up the Golf today. We are not quite on first name terms but a bond has been established between us. It’s like having your best mate on standby for every eventuality.

Instantly recognisable as VW‘s iconic hatchback, under the skin, this new Mk VII version is fully equipped with technology that would have been unrecognisable when the first model was launched almost 40 years ago. It helps make an already great car even more desirable.

The vehicle selected as World Car of the Year cossets the driver with every conceivable aid in GTD form. Electronic handbrake, stop/start engine, a range of engine modes for different types of driving, front and rear parking sensors – none of these would have been even dreamt of in 1974.

So, far from meddling with a successful product to create the Mk VII, VW designers have just raised the bar for all other hatchbacks to follow. Smoother, faster, lighter and better equipped, the new Golf is everything you would expect it to be. You just wonder what they will do with the Mk VIII…

 

Wednesday – What Happened To Jackie Kenny?

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Jeremy Nobody could claim the Golf is a pretty car. Even our gleaming new GT model has plain Jane styling, regular hatchback looks and a corporate VW nose. Despite all this, the Golf does come with some endearing qualities that make it hard to resist.

I can’t imagine falling for a Ford Focus, a Vauxhall Astra or a Skoda Octavia for example in the same way as I’ve already fallen for the Golf. And I certainly have fallen, judging by the number of times I have peeped out of the dining room window to check it is still on the driveway.

What is it about the Golf? Is it because it has been a constant in my life? When the Mk I was born in 1974, I was buying my first David Bowie record, chasing Jackie Kenny around the playground and cursing a device called a slide rule. My father was driving a Vauxhall Viva but I secretly longed for him to drop me off at school in a Golf.

I’ve never been one to give cars a name but the Volkswagen is already starting to feel like a friend. I know that it will be 100 per cent reliable, carry five adults and a decent amount of luggage in comfort, and it will hold its value better than the competition. My Golf won’t look out of fashion in five years time and the TDI engine will keep on performing until the bitter end, however hard I push it.

So, driving my first few miles in the Golf, I can tell you that under that refined, and more sculpted new bodyshell, it’s just like the old Golf. And there couldn’t be a better recommendation than that.