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 30 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 as the other models. They're still more comfortable than many rivals, though.
The 121bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine is our favourite 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. Match trim strikes the best balance between equipment and price.
Separate to the petrol and diesel Golfs is the e-Golf, which runs solely on electric power. It offers punchy performance and an official range of 118 miles – although our own range tests suggest its real-world range is more like 87 miles.
Reader test team says:
Owned from new, nine months and 6,000 miles later, so far very happy. The R sticks to the road, handling is spot on, no body roll on roundabouts.…
Company car - 64 plate golf gtd in silver. Overall I am very impressed by the quality of this car. The engine is very strong yet quiet, manual…
So I've had my Golf GTi for a week now and have been very happy with it so far. Build Quality If you've ever owned a VW you know the high standards…
My two previous cars were Honda Civics (2.2 i-cdi) and I have now had the Golf for 2 months /5000 miles. The Golf is undoubtedly more sophisticated…