Price: £20,940
Top speed: 146 mph 0-60mph 7.2 seconds
Consumption: 37.2 mpg
CO2 emissions: 179g/km
Best for: crazy Golfers
Also worth considering?
Alfa Romeo Brera, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Volvo C30

How's your Golf? I'm not enquiring about your handicap, just wondering what, if you own or drive Volkswagen's big-selling hatchback, you really think of it. I'm sure it's very nicely made and never lets you down, but I'd be surprised if it makes your heart beat faster. Well, if you love your Golf but sometimes wish it were a bit less dull, Volkswagen have got just the car for you.

Because the new Scirocco coupé takes most of the good bits of the Golf and wraps them in a flamboyant new body shell that's available in a range of zingy metallics but looks especially good in white, the colour every car-buying guide to appear in the last 15 years told you to avoid in favour of silver if you wanted to escape depreciation disaster. In time, the Scirocco will be available with a number of different engine options; the early 2.0TSI model we tried uses the two-hundred horsepower unit from the Golf GTI, so it has the sort of go and cornering ability you'd expect from something that looks this sporty.

Borrowing Golf parts in order to produce different models to appeal to customers that the standard car cannot reach is not a new idea; models as varied as the Volkswagen Caddy van, the Skoda Octavia hatchback and Audi TT are the Golf's sisters under the skin. But the Scirocco has a special place in the Golf club, one that means it deserves its own reserved parking space right in front of the club house, because the original Scirocco, launched in 1974, was the very first Golf-based car. In fact, while the Golf was always expected to be the big seller, the Scirocco was put into production first, in order to catch any snags and deal with them before they could trip up the Golf.

VW built and sold the second generation Scirocco and its part-replacement the Corrado until the early Nineties before mysteriously ceding the market for affordable coupés to the competition. This latest Scirocco corrects that strategic error and is a worthy successor to the original; it provides a lot more dash than the Golf in return for a bit of lost luggage space and a price premium of only a few pounds.

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