Explained: the VW Group's MQB platform
It's highly complex, incredibly clever and previews future car production. Time to swot up with Paul Horrell
Posted: 21 Mar 2014
If you want to feel posh, you need the Audi. The plastics are better. The clocks and switches are all different. Knurled aluminium encases the knobs and controls, and the vents let you choose between diffused or jet airflow. The seats adjust for tilt as well as height. The test car also had lovely LED rings around the cup-holders and speakers, but they come as part of a package with the LED exterior lights and xenons. The Audi’s satnav is about twice the price it is on the others, but has a better screen and is operated by the exquisite MMI controller.
There are clues in the standard specs about whom the brands think their buyers are. The Seat, as an introductory offer, has LED lights and navigation as standard, and a great sound system as a cheap option. These are highly visible, and they matter to younger buyers. The VW has radar emergency city braking, park sensors all round and active head restraints. Stuff that looks after you even if it doesn’t get headlines. Audi doesn’t give you much, so when you start equalising the kit, the price difference between VW and Audi grows to a gulf – but the extras you buy from Audi, eg its nav screen, are of a better kind.