Used car of the week: Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf has a classless appeal and a well-deserved reputation as one of the best family cars

Words By Claire Evans

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Volkswagen Golf

The Mk7 Volkswagen Golf is one of our favourite used cars.

It competes against a range of rivals, from the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, to the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

While upmarket alternatives trump the Golf for interior ambience and more mainstream rivals are cheaper to buy, none of them are such superb all-rounders.

Introduced in 2013, the Golf comes with a choice of low-capacity turbocharged petrol engines that are sprightly and surprisingly economical. The Golf is comfortable and quiet around town and at motorway speeds, and it’s enjoyable to thread along a twisty country road.

If you want a Volkswagen Golf, but can't afford a new one, it's worth considering a secondhand example. Read on to find out how much you should pay for a used Volkswagen Golf and which model to choose.

What budget do I need?

Early Mk7 petrol and diesel-engined Volkswagen Golfs with average miles and full service history can be had for as little as Β£8000.

If you’re after an overtly sporty Golf, you can get a Golf GTI for around Β£15,000 or a Golf R for around Β£3000 more.

The Golf's popularity means that spare parts are plentiful should you have any problems, and diesel Golfs should still return more than 50mpg in the real world, so you should save money at the pumps, too.

What version should I go for?

One of the great things about the Golf is that there's a version to suit everyone - whether you're after one of the frugal petrol versions or a performance-oriented GTI variant.

If you want to buy a diesel-engined Golf, our recommendation is the 2.0 TDI 150 because it offers the best blend of economy and performance.

If you'd rather have a petrol Golf, then the 1.4 TSI 125 is our pick because it's got all the power you'll need but is also not far off its diesel brothers for fuel economy.

Any problems to be aware of?

As with buying any used diesel car, it's worth investigating the diesel particulate filter (DPF). The filter needs to get hot enough to clear it from soot, which usually requires regular runs at speeds above 40mph. A blocked DPF can be very costly to replace, so it's worth checking when you go to view the car. A light on the dashboard will indicate a problem.

Volkswagen had issues with its DSG automatic gearbox on the Mk6 Golf, and the problem persisted in some early seventh-generation cars, so check the gearbox changes smoothly if you’re buying an older Golf.

There have also been issues reported with the navigation and infotainment systems, so ensure these are all working correctly, too.

What next?

Read our full used Volkswagen Golf review, or click here to read our new Volkswagen Golf review.

Want to buy a Skoda Octavia? Click here to buy a new car with What Car?

Watch the What Car? Volkswagen Golf video review

Previous used cars of the week

Audi A3

Ford Focus

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