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I've no experience of Golf's but recently sold my fiesta titanium and bought a V40 so can maybe offer some relevant advice.
Concensus seems to be the Volvo is on the firmer side in its class so personally I'd avoid larger rim sizes if harsh ride is a big concern. I don't have any problems though personally (but I never did in my ford either).
Regarding the move from the fiesta I was very careful to spec the winter pack as I loved the heated windscreen. But, if it's important to you, it's worth knowing that the tinting rear view mirror you are used to also needs to be specced as an extra, albeit a relatively cheap one.
Finally, just to assure you that you won't be disappointed, I had no real complaints about the fiesta which had a lot of gadgets for a small car but am absolutely loving the upgrade to my V40.
I have owned golfs ,Audi as well as my new V40.
The v40 has a Ford Focus Chassis so it has an excellent pedigree in road handling. You said you are thinking of the R Design a very nice car with clean cut eye catching body lines but the Volvo has not got the build quality of the German VW brand.A Simple test just close the doors a nice heavy clunk from VW just a normal clunk from Volvo. Look at the paint finish on Volvo its good but does not stand up to the hard quality of VW. Drop the Bonnet into the close position again a nice heavy thud from VW and a bit tinny from Volvo. The carpets are Baggy fit on the V40 foot wells .Why? I don't know.
Volvo do seem to cut corners ( a great shame) and Vw don't .Well not that I can see. On the plus side VW do look a bit dated on the inside and you wont get better seats than Volvo.
Good luck on your choice
Thanks for the replies. So it's perhaps best to limit to 17 inch wheels.
I agree with the golf comments....they are solidly built but not many toys for the money and there are a lot around.
And so, how are Volvo on discounts for used cars?
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