What would you get if you cross-bred a hatchback with a van? We at TMR Central reckon the resultant lovechild would resemble something not unlike an ultra-short-wheelbase Hiace with vestigial sliding doors and a one metre-long plumber's tube.
But our friends at VW think a little differently, and a little smarter. They think you'd come up with something like the 2009 Golf Plus.
The Golf Plus is intended to add an extra dose of practicality to the Golf, which is no small feat considering that the standard Golf is already quite capacious for a small car. A higher roof, split-folding rear seats and a height-adjustable luggage shelf and a total cargo volume of some 1400 litres, makes the Golf Plus an eminently useful little car, while the standard Golf underpinnings make it a pleasure to drive.
If you're thinking the 2009 model looks a little familiar, you'd be right. Rather than being based on the upcoming Mk VI Golf, the '09 Golf Plus is actually based on the current Mk V. A Mk VI-ish nose, restyled rear bumper, new wheels and updated instruments and interior trim freshen it up though, while a new range of fuel-sipping diesel engines (one with 66kW and another with 103kW) and super-efficient six and seven-speed DSG gearboxes improve mileage over the old model.
The 2009 Golf Plus is set to go on sale in Europe next March, but will we ever see it here? Given the last model never made it to Australia, we're guessing the answer is no. But for those craving the unique flavour of a hatchback/van hybrid there's always the option of taking to a Hiace with a gas axe and angle-grinder...