Turkeys are nice at Xmas, but you won’t find any in the range of VW cars. The Phaeton limo (£44k) was a step too far for the brand, but it shares the high engineering values that generate reliably stubborn residual values for every other VW model. The new VW Mk 6 Golf, bronze medalist in the 2009 European Car of the Year awards, aims to recapture some of the Mk 4’s clean appeal.
Its sporting Scirocco brother (£19k for the technically brilliant 1.4 TSI) is a fabulous update on a much-loved coupé. The Tiguan soft-roader can’t quite top the Freelander, and the Touran MPV has been around for a while, but they’re both seriously capable cars. If you need to carry a big family, you can buy a VW Caravelle has few rivals, but it’s expensive at £29k. The perfectly able Jetta has gone the way of all VW saloons, UK motorists preferring the versatility of the great-driving and practical Passat (£16k). The CC version is at least as stylish as the Mercedes CLS, but considerably cheaper at £21k. New VW Polos sell on image rather than value, high prices blunting the appeal of the otherwise desirable, zero-tax qualifying Bluemotion models (£12k). The Eos convertible is also expensive at up to £30k but image-conscious buyers don’t seem to mind. The Brazilian-built Fox looks slightly gawky but drives well for under £7k. And the VW Beetle sails serenely on: as you can buy one for £14k, the ‘designer’ Cabriolet is approaching bargain status.