Volkswagen’s Golf is very nearly all things to all people, with hatchback, MPV, estate and convertible versions – but for all its many talents, one brief it doesn’t fill is that of the sports car.
Taking its place in the coupe sector is the Volkswagen Scirocco. With an exterior designed by the man behind the Lamborghini Egoista it certainly has all the kerb appeal that the Golf is arguably missing and we’ve spent a week with one to find out if it’s more than just a good looker.
Climbing into the Scirocco feels barely any different from climbing into a Mk6 Golf, it is really very pleasing. You might expect something radically different given the dissimilarity of the exteriors, but ultimately there’s quite a great deal right with the Golf’s insides and precious little wrong with it. It’s certainly the case that newer Golfs have moved things on a bit though.
The first thing to do with a sports car for a week is find your favourite driving road and find out if it behaves like a sports car – and it’s good news on this front. It’s really quite enjoyable to thread down a back road, feeling playful but never really on edge.
This doesn’t translate to a poor ride as is the case with so many sports-oriented cars. It’s a pretty smooth ride on stock wheels and suspension – you can specify up to 19-inch wheels and Dynamic Chassis Control is an option too, but neither is necessary.
Diesel may not be the first choice of engine when it comes to a sporting car, but VW’s TDI engines are really rather good. The 181hp diesel offers the same performance as the 178hp petrol, but with the benefit of 50% better fuel economy on paper. There’s little sign of diesel gruffness, at least on the more powerful version.
A little more obvious is the change from three seats in the back to two. Despite there only being two seats, you’ll have no problem getting even grown-up kids to sit in the back unless there’s some very tall members of the family.
All things considered, the Scirocco has turned out to be most of what makes a Golf such an appealing prospect but thrown in a more exterior thoughtful design and a pleasingly sporting driving experience. We thoroughly enjoyed spending a week with one.