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Toyota Corolla Verso, Volkswagen Golf Plus: Possible options

You just wonder how narrowly segmented the modern car market is. Previously, ceasing to be placed with children and households in the usual hatchback, its owner acquired a family “monocab” like the Toyota Corolla Verso. Now, people who have grown up from a golf class, but do not want to buy a full-size compact van, have a curious alternative – the Volkswagen Golf Plus.

In fact, despite the characteristic “one-volume” proportions and appearance (high, especially over the front row of seats, the roof, a large tilt of the windshield), our hero is more like a hatchback than a minivan. In fact, this is all the same VW Golf, only a little “plump”, or rather, “grown up”.
The increase in size affected only the overall height of the body (+95 mm), and the length, width and wheelbase remained as in the hatchback. As a result, the “lifting” in the cabin has become much freer than in the Golf. The clearance above the driver’s and front passenger’s heads has increased by 20 mm, and the width of the passenger compartment at the level of their shoulders has increased by 18 mm. The seats are raised by 75 mm, with the back row moved away from the front by 45 mm. In general, the landing became more vertical, which allowed us to win extra legroom. And in order not to rest your knees against the back of the front seat, you can move away: the rear row of seats, divided (in the ratio 60:40), moves in the range of 19 cm. If necessary, the inclination of their backs is adjustable.

In general, according to roominess and transformation possibilities of the cabin, which is replete with variegated capacities for “family values”, the Golf Plus may well claim to be a companion. There are more drawers, chests, glove boxes, cup holders and even “cheaters” in it than in the Corolla Verso. However, the big German Plus has one serious disadvantage. The luggage compartment is painfully modest in comparison with a normal kompaktven. A decent-sized suitcase or box in the Golf Plus can be crammed just by sacrificing useful space in the cabin.

The owner of any of the traditional “monochemists” of this class (perhaps, with the exception of the conceptually close Ford Focus C-MAX) will most likely not have to encroach on the comfort of passengers. For example, it is possible to compare the cargo potential of the Corolla Verso and Golf Plus only in one case – when in the trunk of the Japanese there is an additional third row of seats (when folded, their backs form the floor of the luggage compartment). Another thing is that the seven-seater Corolla Verso can only be considered nominally: on the “baggage” armchairs it will be convenient except for children. However, a family of five people is unlikely to complain of discomfort, and behind the backs of the rear seats there will be enough space for family belongings. And there is a need to carry something really bulky, you can fold the second row seats. By the way, the Corolla Verso is one of the few cars where folded seats form a perfectly level floor.

There were no serious claims to the ergonomics of the driving positions of both cars during the test. Chairs with a wide range of adjustments allow both high “bus” and low “passenger” landing. Steering columns are adjustable in height and reach. In general, almost anyone can get comfortable behind the “wheel”.

The interior design of the Golf Plus has much in common with the hatchback of the same name. For example, the front panel differs from the usual Golf only in height, doubled the number of vents of the ventilation system and the absence of an unclear purpose of the handrails at the base of the center console. But the Verso salon with a simple Corolla can not be confused. For example, the center console with a generous plastic “under aluminum” with a massive “cliff”, where the gear selector is located, is organized quite differently. Interestingly, the pale green backlight of the console is clearly dissonant with the bright turquoise scales of the optical instrument cluster. True, a similar misalliance is also observed in the “Germans”: the “neon” blue of the dashboard, in our humble opinion, is not well combined with the fiery red illumination of the center console (the audio system and climate control displays are also blue). Although customers say they like it …

However, pretty picky. It’s time to check out what our heroes are on the go. As the saying goes, the key is to start and go. (However, turning the key is a matter of the VW driver, and progressive Japanese have equipped the Corolla Verso with a start / stop button.)

The only engine offered for the Corolla Verso, the 1.8-liter, 129-horsepower unit with the VVT-i variable valve timing system (Toyota Avensis is also bundled) is quite good. However, the driving experience was spoiled by the MultiMode robotic gearbox. Honestly, successful “robots” that can become a worthy alternative to the traditional AKP, are extremely rare. But this “semi-automatic” seemed quite uncomfortable. Especially uncomfortable during the crush in “traffic jams”: the transmission jumps from transmission to transmission, nervously reacting to the work of the accelerator and the brake.

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