How to spec a Volkswagen Golf

Our guide to Volkswagen's family hatchback covers which options to choose, which to avoid, and how much to pay for it all...

Volkswagen Golf options to choose and avoid

How to spec a Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is surely one of the most recognisable cars in the world. It sells in big numbers in the UK, too, and with good reason: it's good to drive, with a solid blend of ride comfort and handling prowess, it's practical enough for the family and it's available with a strong range of engines, of which the 1.5-litre TSI 150 petrol is our favourite.

Our full 16-point review can tell you more about what the Golf is like to drive and to live with, but here we're focusing on which options you should choose from Volkswagen's lengthy list of extras. If you've opted for our recommended Life trim, then you'll already have the basics covered, because this comes with single-zone climate control, 16in alloy wheels and adaptive cruise control as standard. Here's our guide to what else you should choose, however, while still keeping costs sensible.

Volkswagen Golf options to choose

Volkswagen Golf metallic paint

1. Metallic paint (£625)

Of the 10 paint colours on offer on the Golf, six are metallic/pearl finishes, and we think it’s worth upgrading to one of these to add visual distinction and value to your car. The majority of them cost £625, while Kings Red is £755. You can pay up to £1040 for a premium Oryx White mother-of-pearl, but we wouldn’t.

Volkswagen Golf options to choose

Volkswagen Golf engine start button

2. Keyless entry and start (£400)

If you’ve ever struggled to retrieve your car key from your pocket or bag in order to unlock the doors when you’re laden down with shopping, you’ll appreciate Volkswagen’s keyless entry and start. You can lock or unlock the doors by touching the door handle and can start or stop the engine at the press of a button.

Volkswagen Golf options to choose

Volkswagen Golf climate control system

3. Winter Pack (£550)

With winter arriving soon, you’ll welcome the creature comforts of heated front seats and a heated steering wheel that come with the Winter Pack, while rear seat passengers will be more comfortable thanks to three-zone climate control. You also get heated windscreen washer jets and a low washer fluid warning light.

Volkswagen Golf options to choose

Volkswagen Golf parking

4. Rear-view camera (£300)

If you're prone to car park scrapes, you'll want to specify the Golf's reversing camera, which projects an image of what's going on behind you onto the car's infotainment screen, alongside handy guide lines to show where you're headed. There are also acoustic warnings to let you know if you're getting too close.

Volkswagen Golf options to choose

Volkswagen Golf blind spot monitoring system

5. Driver Assistance Pack (£785)

Although it’s relatively pricey, the Driver Assistance Pack bundles together a lot of useful kit, including a system designed to keep the Golf in its lane and a set distance from the car in front while on the motorway, a blindspot monitoring system, heated and folding door mirrors and a self-parking system.

Volkswagen Golf options to avoid

Volkswagen Golf Discover Pro Navigation system

1. Discover Navigation Pro (£1600)

This upgrade adds Volkswagen's speech recognition system, so you can use natural speech to set routes in the sat-nav or even to change the temperature. In our testing, though, the system doesn't always work, and it costs a lot to buy. 

Volkswagen Golf: best buy

2020 Volkswagen Golf front action
  • Model 1.5 TSI Life
  • List price £23,900
  • Target Price £22,691
  • Target PCP £235 per month
  • Options we'd add - Driver Assistance Pack (£785), metallic paint (£625), Winter Pack (£550), keyless entry and start (£400), rear-view camera (£300)

  • Cost of options - £2660

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