Although we were expecting a lot of R&R from the highly-touted DSG sequential transmission, this wasn't exactly the case, and the overall experience was more of a GTI's distant cousin than that of a diesel grocery getter equipped with only two pedals.
The six-speed gearbox reacts almost like that in a WRC car and the high torque numbers of the engine make it jerk almost every time you brake and then accelerate at low speed. This can be a bit troublesome especially in city traffic, since your unsuspecting passengers or traffic partners might think that you are a beginner driving a manual.
The suspension setup is a pretty good compromise between a softer, more comfortable setting and a firm, though not bouncy ride. This favors both sporty and more relaxed drivers, leaving enough room for high-speed mistakes. The firm and almost shell-shaped front seats are very good for your back on longer trips but they don't exactly do anything good for your kidneys on bumpy roads. During the winter time though, they can be independently heated in three stages, which was a well received feature in an almost Syberian-like weather.
The interior space is OK for four adults who don't pack much clothes whenever traveling by car, but four passengers plus the driver might prove to be somewhat of a stretch and we wouldn't recommend it except on shorter trips. The acoustic comfort is better than average, especially since we're not talking about a premium car here and that a not-exactly-silent diesel engine resides under the hood. Continue reading