If the Porsche 911 is the national sports car of Germany, then the Volkswagen Golf is the Germans’ national car. Classy in its design and amenities, yet classless in its driver demographics, the Golf compresses the best of modern “folks’ wagon” motoring into a practical hatchback available in different flavours. The version tested here is the entry-level Golf TSI, which is turbocharged like its two rivals.
The Bravo is Fiat’s take on the Golf concept. Its predecessor, the old Stilo, played a poor game of Golf. But the Bravo is a much better player. In the looks department, the Fiat already has the predictable German hatch beaten. It could almost pass for a mini Maserati. The Bravo also has some serious substance behind all that style, but is it enough to beat the continental hatchback benchmark?
The third car in the mix is the Citroen C4, in its latest Turbo High Pressure guise. The new engine gives the funky French automobile a powerful German connection in more ways than one. The styling has also been sharpened and the cabin improved, while the suspension continues to bank on its Gallic qualities. A value-driven price is the Citroen’s trump card in this company.
Can the C4 and the Bravo outdo the Golf? Or will the Volkswagen continue to be the best “Golf car” in the business?