Best Cars For Learner Drivers: Bill Plant Driving School Recommends The Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen T-Roc

Best Cars For Learner Drivers: Bill Plant Driving School Recommends The Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen T-Roc

21/02/2022

When you’re learning to drive, it’s important to be behind the wheel of a reliable, easy-to-drive and safe vehicle. There are loads of great options on the market today for new drivers, but we’re going to take a closer look at the cars that we recommend and use in our sessions.

Our driving lessons are designed to give drivers as much confidence as possible, from their first driving lesson until the day they pass their test. Our driving instructor cars play a big role in this process and were carefully selected to give drivers as much confidence as possible behind the wheel.

We currently use a number of Volkswagen models during our lessons – the Golf, Polo, Tiguan, T Cross and the T-Roc. These cars regularly feature at the top of best-in-market lists and continue to be the gold standard amongst driving instructors.

Volkswagen Golf (5 Door, 1.6 to 2.0 TDI – Diesel)

The Volkswagen Golf is probably the manufacturer’s most well-known product. The current Golf range consists of easy-to-drive, low emission, and technologically advanced cars. The Golf is extremely accessible for newcomers but remains versatile enough to appeal to all kinds of drivers.

Bill Plant Driving School’s instructors use branded, dual-controlled versions of the popular Golf Match, Golf Life and Golf R-Line. All of these have proven to be popular amongst our learners, who are often surprised at just how easy these cars are to drive.

Overview 

These models are slightly larger than the standard Golf S, but its trademark agility is still there for all to see. The extra room is excellent for lessons and makes the overall driving experience very comfortable.

The Volkswagen Golf is a very practical vehicle, offering impressive fuel performance and specs. The 1.6-litre engine model sits between a smaller 1-litre petrol model and a powerful 2.0-litre diesel version. The performance may vary slightly between models, but the slick design and high-quality interiors are consistent across the range.

Features

All versions offer exceptional value for money, coming with built-in parking sensors, cruise control and comprehensive media systems. The 103bhp 1.6-litre engine for instance provides reliable power underfoot but is never too much to handle. This is ideal for young drivers, who should never find themselves fighting with a car to get it moving.

The cockpit is one of the highlights of the Golf. The seats are comfortable and supportive, which is essential in a learner vehicle. The dashboard is clean and free from distractions, while the central control system is intuitive and easy to operate.

As driving instructors, one of the main things we look for in our vehicles is visibility. This is an area where the Golf thrives. The driver’s seat offers excellent, all-round visibility, with a clear view out of the rear window.

Specifications

Match 5-door 1.6 TDI Diesel:

  • Fuel consumption: 68.9 mpg combined
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Power: 108 bhp
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 9.8 seconds
  • Range: 770 miles
  • Insurance group: 12
  • Road tax: <£20 per year

Volkswagen Polo (1.0 R-Line TSI 95ps)

The Volkswagen Polo is one of the manufacturers most popular models and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a great small hatchback that offers plenty of space, different colours, finishes and trims, and is a cost-effective choice for a lot of new drivers. 

We use two different models of Polo – the 1.0 R-Line TSI 95ps and the 1.0 Active – to help our students to learn everything they need to about driving. 

Overview 

The 1.0 R-Line TSI 95ps model is a sportier option and excellent for drivers looking for a stylish trim. It’s an ideal city car but with 93bhp it has enough power to get you from A to B on longer journeys. This Polo drives well on the motorway but also suits slower inner city speeds, meaning it’s a wonderful all-around vehicle.

Features

Alongside sleek 16” alloy wheels and a built-in sat nav, the R-Line features dual-zone climate control for ultimate comfort as you’re practising your driving skills. There’s also adjustable lumbar support, offering more comfort for your back, and front and rear parking sensors.

Specifications

  • Fuel consumption: 49.6 – 52.3 mpg
  • Fuel type: Petrol 
  • Power: 93 bhp
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 10.5 seconds
  • Range: 501 miles
  • Insurance group: 8
  • Road tax: £155 per year

Volkswagen Polo (1.0 Active)

Another model to consider is the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 Active, which is similar to the R-Line above but has a slightly different specification. If you’re not after a car as sporty in style, the Active line is for you.

Some of our driving instructors use the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 Active with full branding and dual controls to teach students to drive. 

Overview 

Volkswagen seems to know what they’re doing when it comes to designing a small car. The Polo provides an incredibly refined and comfortable driving experience for the price and is extremely accessible for new and learner drivers. 

If you’re in the market for a brand new car that will keep you satisfied for years, then the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 Active might well be what you’re looking for.

Features

There are lots of fantastic features that the Polo 1.0 Active comes with as standard, including lumbar support, parking sensors, air conditioning, heated mirrors, alloy wheels and rear electric windows. 

You can also easily adjust the height and reach of your steering wheel, making it easy to be as comfortable as possible while driving. There are some optional features which can be included with these cars including a full-size spare wheel.

Specifications

  • Fuel consumption: 49.6 – 53.3 mpg
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Power: 93 bhp
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 10.5 seconds
  • Range: n/a
  • Insurance group: 8
  • Road tax: £155 per year

Volkswagen Tiguan (2.0 TDI Match)

This compact SUV vehicle is great for learning to drive and makes a fantastic new car for those looking to do longer journeys. It’s a very spacious vehicle which offers plenty of room for the driver and passengers as well as any additional luggage you might have.

Our driving instructors use a branded, dual-controlled version of the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI Match during lessons.

Overview 

The 2.0 TDI Match was created to replace the older SE model and offers a combination of style and comfort. The Volkswagen Tiguan is a very comfortable drive and offers a good range compared to other SUV models. It’s a great option if you’re looking for an SUV to drive once you’ve finished your driving lessons and passed your test.

The interior layout is similar to other Volkswagen models and is easy to use. The raised driver seat height gives an excellent view of the road and you can adjust the steering wheel height and reach without much difficulty.

Features

All Tiguan Match models feature an easy-to-use touchscreen sat nav as well as a leather-trimmed steering wheel. You can connect your own devices to the media interface using the car’s Bluetooth functionality, or you could play a CD or the radio.  

Specifications

  • Fuel consumption: 44 mpg
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Power: 138 bhp
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 10.2 seconds
  • Range: 619 miles
  • Insurance group: 16
  • Road tax: £210 per year

Volkswagen T-Roc (1.6 SE – Diesel)

Another vehicle we use for our lessons is the Volkswagen T-Roc. The T-Roc’s design is based on the Golf but is a larger SUV model. For learner drivers, you’ll struggle to find a more comfortable and practical vehicle than the T-Roc.

Our branded T-Roc is the 1.6 SE model and is complete with dual controls.

Overview

The T-Roc’s relatively high driving position gives learner drivers an excellent vantage point. As you’re sitting in the spacious cockpit, you have an almost panoramic view of the road and surrounding area. This is particularly useful for performing the manoeuvres required in the driving test.

We’ve found that, like the Golf Match, the T-Roc’s 1.6-litre diesel engine provides just the right amount of power for a learner driver. It makes driving easy and smooth but isn’t too quick off the mark for controlled reversing and parking.

Features

Although the SE model is the entry-point into the T-Roc series, it isn’t light on features. Dual air conditioning, cruise control and parking sensors are just a few of the features you can expect. Of course, we don’t use these functions during our lessons, but if you’re considering the T-Roc as a first car then they are certainly an advantage.

For a Hatchback/SUV, the T-Roc offers really good fuel efficiency and range. The 6-speed gearbox is responsive and easy to shift through, again benefitting new drivers. Learners will also love how agile the T-Roc feels when they’re behind the wheel.

Specifications

  • Fuel consumption: 70.9 mpg combined
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Power: 113 bhp
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 9.8 seconds
  • Insurance group: 10
  • Road tax: £155 per year

Volkswagen T-Cross (Active 1.0 TSI 110ps)

The new Volkswagen T-Cross is another one of our driving instructor cars which are brilliant for learner drivers. The raised seating position in this vehicle gives you a fantastic driving position and brilliant visibility of the road around you.

The branded Volkswagen T-Cross that our driving instructors use is the T-Cross Active 1.0 TSI 110ps. 

Overview 

The compact T-Cross Active crossover vehicle is great for learning to drive. The Active trim adds a sense of style with 17” alloy wheels and an upgraded infotainment centre that features an easy-to-use satellite navigation system.

The T-Cross has good fuel consumption for a larger vehicle and the multi-function steering wheel is easy to use, making this car a smooth drive.

Features

There are lots of exciting entertainment and safety features that make this an ideal car not only while you’re learning, but also once you’ve passed your driving test.

It has a selection of connectivity and driver assistance features to help you enjoy driving. Some of the optional driver assistance features included with the T-Cross include high beam assist, lane assist, parking distance control and blind-spot sensors. 

Specifications

  • Fuel consumption: 45.6 mpg combined
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Power: 100 bhp
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 11.3 seconds
  • Insurance group: 11
  • Road tax: £155 per year

Other Good Cars For Learner Drivers

Although we love our Volkswagen tuition vehicles for instructing, there are plenty of other great small cars available for young drivers. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Ford Fiesta: This is one of the best cars for learner drivers on the market today. Not only is the Fiesta easy to drive and learn in, but it’s a fantastic first car too. The 1.0-litre Eco-Boost models in particular offer excellent value-for-money, low running costs, and fall into the most affordable insurance groups.
  • Kia Rio: The Rio is an absolute pleasure to drive, and it’s packed with modern features. The best option for new drivers is probably the 1.25-litre model, but the 1.0-litre turbocharged version is also great. It’s a versatile vehicle, able to operate as a reliable city car and for cruising on the open road.
  • Nissan Micra: The Micra has gone through a range of designs over the years, but the current iteration is the best so far. With new styling and the addition of learner driver-friendly features, the latest Micra is an excellent instructor vehicle or first car.
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