We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For The VW Golf is refined and comfortable, but it's still fun to drive. The cabin is classy and practical, and every car gets lots of safety kit. Resale values are strong.

Against Entry-level engines are underpowered, while the styling is too conservative for some.

Verdict This generation of Golf is desirable, refined and great to drive, and one of the best all-rounders available. You’ll pay handsomely for one, though.

Go for… 1.4 TSI (120) SE 5dr

Avoid… Avoid 1.2 TSI

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback
  • 1. No other small family car matches the VW Golf for fun and comfort
  • 2. The 1.2 TSI comes with either 85bhp or 104bhp, but our favourite is the punchy 120bhp turbocharged 1.4 TSI
  • 3. The cleanest engine is the 1.6 TDI Bluemotion, with an average economy of 74.3mpg
  • 4. Some owners have reported misaligned doors that needed to be refitted
  • 5. Some owners have also complained that Bluemotion diesel particulate filters have become blocked; hampering performance and economy
advertisement

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback full review with expert trade views

No other small family car matches the VW Golf for fun and comfort. It’s incredibly composed on twisty roads – thanks to lots of grip, tight body control and well-weighted steering – yet it's also effortlessly compliant when driving around town.

The ride is smooth and controlled at all times, which makes the optional adaptive suspension system seem unnecessary.

A hushed cabin makes the Golf an excellent cruiser, too, with minimal wind- and road noise. All engines are refined, too, with the 2.0 TDI diesel particularly impressive.

Trade view

Not surprisingly, such a good car demands a high price, even on the used market.

Rory White
Used car writer

The 1.2 TSI comes with either 85bhp or 104bhp, but our favourite is the punchy 120bhp turbocharged 1.4 TSI. There's also a 158bhp supercharged version of this engine that brings hot-hatch pace.

Diesel engines include two 1.6 units – with either 89bhp or 104bhp – and three 2.0s, with 109bhp, 138bhp, or 168bhp. Of these, the 138bhp 2.0-litre model is our favourite.

Match trim brings cruise control, electric rear windows, an upgraded DAB stereo, Bluetooth and automatic headlights and wipers.

Sporty GT trim includes lowered suspension, plusher interior trim and sports seats. The GTD shares the GTI’s sporty bodystyling and tartan seats, but not its uprated suspension.

Trade view

The Golf isn't a stunning looking car, but its desirability stems from its sheer usability in just about every other area. It’s practical, roomy, reliable, and comes with a range of strong, yet effici

Rory White
Used car writer

The cleanest engine is the 1.6 TDI Bluemotion, with an average economy of 74.3mpg. Next up is the 2.0-litre diesel Bluemotion which returns an average of 65.7mpg.

Even our favourite diesel, the 140bhp 2.0 TDI returns a respectable 58.9mpg if driven with care, while the 168bhp GTD diesel averages 55.4mpg.

The 104bhp 1.2 TSI averages 49.6mpg, while the 85bhp version offers 51.4mpg. Choose the 120bhp 1.4 TSI and you can expect 45.6mpg, with the 158bhp variety of the same engine averaging 44.8mpg.

Insurance-wise, the GTI sits in group 35, with the GTD in group 30. Beneath these are the sporty petrol GT models in group 28 and diesel GT variants all in group 24. Our favourite 140bhp 2.0 diesel is in group 21, while the 104bhp TSI petrol is in group 17.

Trade view

Not surprisingly, such a good car demands a high price, even on the used market.

Rory White
Used car writer

A small number of clutches fitted between September 2008 and August 2009 have been known to open unexpectedly and have been recalled. This is due to a temperature gauge failing and all owners should have been contacted.

Some owners have reported misaligned doors that needed to be refitted. Electrical and engine problems have also been noted, so check for warning lights on the dashboard before buying.

Others have complained that Bluemotion diesel particulate filters have become blocked; hampering performance and economy. Rattles and creaks coming from the dashboard in cold weather have also been cited.

Trade view

The Golf isn't a stunning looking car, but its desirability stems from its sheer usability in just about every other area. It’s practical, roomy, reliable, and comes with a range of strong, yet effici

Rory White
Used car writer
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014