For The VW Golf is refined, comfortable and enjoyable to drive. Its cabin is well built and practical, and resale values are strong.
Against The entry-level engine doesn’t have a lot of power and the 1.4 petrol with cylinder shut-off is expensive. Lesser versions of the Golf have an unsophisticated rear suspension set-up.
What Car? says
This generation of Volkswagen Golf is the best yet. Classy, refined and great to drive, it’s one of the best small family cars.
What Car? readers say
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There are 29 Volkswagen Golf versions available
Target Price team says:
The Golf is a superb all-rounder that offers everything most families will ever need. However, you still need to choose reasonably carefully.
Most versions are sensational to drive, blending an extremely comfortable ride with good body control. However, the cheaper versions (both 1.2 petrols and the 1.6 diesel) come with less sophisticated rear suspension, and they don’t ride quite as serenely. They’re still more comfortable than many rivals, though.
The 121bhp 1.4-litre petrol is our favourite engine because it's strong, quiet and economical. If you do lots of miles, though, the punchy and smooth 2.0-litre diesel is an excellent choice.
Of the trims, we reckon SE strikes the best balance between equipment and price. This brings alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, smarter interior trim than on cheaper versions, adaptive cruise control and a City Emergency Braking system.
Reader test team says:
I've had the Golf 1.4 TSi SE 5 door (manual) for almost a year now and it is a superb car to drive and own. My passengers find that the seats and ride…
Comfortable, practical and great to drive the Golf is a complete family car. Behind the conservative styling there is a lot of technology, a superb…
You have to be sensible and at the end of the day you pay for what you get. I traded in an excellent BMW 118d which was economical but servicing and…
Having driven 2.0 litre Passat TDIs for over 12 years, I decided to downsize but did not want to lose out on engine power and equipment. The Golf…