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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.

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback
55 5stars

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

3.928571

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The full Volkswagen Golf review


There are 29 Volkswagen Golf versions available

Hatchback 1.2 TSI 85 S 3dr £16,775
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.2 TSI 85 S 5dr £17,430
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.2 TSI 105 S 3dr £17,785
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.2 TSI 105 S 5dr £18,440
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.4 TSI 122 S 3dr £18,545
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 90 S 3dr £18,595
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.4 TSI 122 S 5dr £19,200
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 90 S 5dr £19,250
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 105 S 3dr £19,400
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.4 TSI 122 SE 3dr £19,480
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 105 S 5dr £20,055
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.4 TSI 122 SE 5dr £20,135
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 105 SE 3dr £20,335
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 110 BlueMotion 3dr £20,615
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 105 SE 5dr £20,990
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.6 TDI 110 BlueMotion 5dr £21,270
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TDI 150 SE 3dr £21,850
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TDI 150 SE 5dr £22,505
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.4 TSI 140 GT ACT 3dr £22,795
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TDI 150 GT 3dr £23,300
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.4 TSI 140 GT ACT 5dr £23,450
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TDI 150 GT 5dr £23,955
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 1.4 TSI 140 GT ACT DSG 5dr £24,865
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TDI 184 GTD 3dr £25,565
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 220 GTI 3dr £26,130
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TDI 184 GTD 5dr £26,220
What Car? says:4 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 220 GTI 5dr £26,785
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TSI 300 R 3dr £29,900
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5
Hatchback 2.0 TSI 300 R 5dr £30,555
What Car? says:5 stars out of 5

Buyer's notes

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:

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 1.6 TDI 105 S 5dr

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…

martin parsons

5 out of 5 stars

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 1.4 TSI 122 S 5dr

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…

J Kelly

5 out of 5 stars

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 1.6 TDI 105 S 5dr

The car holds the road well and feels very sure-footed. Also, the 7 speed DSG uses the modest torque from the engine quite well, meaning progress is…

Thomas Jones

3 out of 5 stars

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 1.6 TDI 110 BlueMotion 5dr

Very underpowered and don't be fooled by those massive MPG figures that VW publish! Had the car for a couple of months now and averaging 58 MPG. I…

Tim Mills

3 out of 5 stars
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Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

Read the definitive Volkswagen Golf Hatchback review from the expert What Car? team. Check specs, prices and compare with similar cars.

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