Used Volkswagen Golf long-term test review: report 3
The uber-competent VW Golf is a five-star family car, but can a used one rattle our contact lenses as much as a new one? We’ve got four months to find out...
The car 2019 Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI EVO 130 Match Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor
Why it’s here To find out if buying a used Golf makes financial sense, and to see if the soon-to-be-replaced Mk7 is still a five-star car
Needs to Add a bit of sparkle to suburban motoring, and cope admirably with a variety of uses, including daily commuting, motorway journeys, school runs and family life
Mileage 2511 List price new (2019) £21,885 Price new with options £24,570 Value now £18,950 Options fitted Atlantic Blue metallic paint (£595); Winter pack (£410); Keyless entry (£390); Rear-view camera (£345); Carpet mats (£85) Test economy 41.7mpg Official economy 47.3mpg
26th November – Keeping the Golf on track
As is becoming pretty common these days, my Golf has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, so should you want to hook up your smartphone and listen to your own music through the Golf’s speakers you can, and you’ll be pleased to know it’s all very easy to set up and the sound quality is surprisingly good.
In fact, the infotainment system as a whole is good to look at and easy to use, whether entering a destination in the sat-nav or finding a station on the DAB radio. I’m particularly taken with the Performance monitor hidden within the settings menu. This displays the g forces the car is generating as you accelerate, brake or turn. Years ago this sort of toy used to be the preserve of high-performance cars like the Nissan GT-R, so to find one on a car that wears such sensible knickers as the Golf is an exciting revelation.
In fact, this info can also occasionally be instructive on the road, and downright fun if you have access to a private road or track. Luckily, in the course of my work, I have actually had the chance to drive the Golf on a track, so I can tell you it performs very well at high speeds and at its braking and cornering limits. Its steering is beautifully weighted and accurate, for one, even if it’s not as extravagantly quick as some of its rivals. Approaching its cornering limits it even feels like it wants to cock its inside rear wheel up, as Golfs used to do habitually, but it’s all so safe and predictable that it’s actually nothing but enjoyable.
My car has four driving modes, too: Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual. The differences between them all on the road are quite subtle, something I’ve noticed in other VWs, with Eco retarding responses a fraction, Sport upping them and Individual allowing you to fine-tune between them all.
To be honest I usually leave it in Normal, which seems to me to be as economical in everyday use as Eco, and comes without the twin annoyances of a diminution in the efficacy of the air-con supply and the need to prod the accelerator pedal harder to make even progress. For me, these interruptions to the otherwise suave flow that is life with a Golf are not worth any minute gains in terms of MPG.
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Volkswagen Golf long-term test review
The Volkswagen Golf has been a family favourite for generations, and now has more clever tech than ever. We're living with one to see if it still deserves its tight grip on the market