This’d be one of those under-the-radar kind of cars that I don’t notice much less write about. So what’s it doing here, today, now?
First and least importantly, the car’s presence here is a bit of DTW’s public service activity. I am documenting the car and making available a nice, clear side profile. Second, and more interestingly, we find the exception to the rule (and haven’t photographed that). What do I mean?
Well, if you manage to approach the car and look inside the rear passenger area, you’ll find a whopping big central arm-rest. I was going to ask why this car had it but the Ford Focus doesn’t. And to my surprise:
That’s the current Ford Focus rear seat back, complete with a fine-looking armrest complete with two nice ashtrays. Is it possible that someone in Ford towers and indeed VW Mansions is listening to DTW’s plaintive demands for more creature comforts for the people in the back of their midsizers?
WhatCar give the VW Estate a good review, by the way: “A huge boot with some clever touches gives it plenty of load-lugging appeal to family buyers, and yet it loses little of the current hatchback’s superb dynamics and top-notch refinement.” Which amounts to 4 stars out of five. Oddly, the VW Golf estate does not register with me the way the Astra, Focus and Megane do. The thing I noticed about it was that I noticed it at all and I have a lot of time for ordinary cars, as you know.
I wonder why that is? And secondarily, I am curious about the extent to which the Golf estate obviates the need for a Passat estate? Obviously if you want to haul a really large amount of stuff, the Passat does the job but the Golf is already as big as a D-class estate from the year 2000, as near as dammit. So, how many people really need 140% of the average person’s load-carrying needs on a daily basis?
Carbuyer praised the VW Golf estate’s quality and then complained about the price. And of a circle they would say “nice and round” but “not square enough”, I suppose. The Daily Telegraph is up-front about the Estate’s back: roomy and spacious and to read on click on their paywall. No, thanks.
All of that is fine and large – it doesn’t resolve the central puzzle of the disappearing and re-appearing rear central armrest on C-class cars. The operating theory behind their disappearance is that 60-40 folding seats, and central safety belts have made it impossible to accommodate the feature. Yet we have three cars from the middle market with the arm-rest firmly in evidence. If VW, Peugeot and Ford can do it (and kudos to them both) why can’t Opel and others?
From this I might ask readers to mull over features you wish ordinary cars had but don’t or don’t often. My fetish is arm-rests and ashtrays. What are yours? We’ve covered three-dial rotary HVAC controls so no need to resume that discussion.