Used Volkswagen Golf Mk6 buying guide

* Sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf * Available from 5750 * Find out which one to buy and what to look out for...

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Matthew Burrow
24 May 2013 8:0 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

The Volkswagen Golf is the quintessential small family car. There are plenty of Mk6 cars on the used car market. Here's our guide to what's out there.

Volkswagen's Golf is the most desirable small family car around. The build quality and use of premium materials make it stand out from the rest of the class.

The Golf rides well. It is smooth and controlled at all times and feels very composed on twistier roads because it has plenty of grip. Refinement is also a strong point. Road and wind noise are kept to a minimum, making the Golf a very comfortable cruiser.

The cabin is classy and practical, with space for five adults. As is the case in most small family cars, the middle passenger gets a bit of a raw deal but should be fine on shorter journeys. Safety is a Volkswagen selling point and the Golf comes with a full complement of airbags to protect its occupants.

Boot capacity is not spectacular at 350 litres; in fact it's beaten by other cars in the class but the boot is a good shape and it has a wide opening. With the seats folded, boot capacity extends to a highly competitive 1305 litres.

The engine range is extensive. Those looking for petrol units can choose from 1.2-, 1.4 and 2.0-litre engines. The 1.2 produces either 85bhp or 104bhp while the 1.4 produces either 120bhp or 158bhp. GTI versions get a 207bhp, 2.0-litre petrol engine that propels the Golf to 60mph in 6.7 seconds.

Diesel buyers can choose from either 1.6- or 2.0-litre engines. The 1.6 units produce either 89bhp or 104bhp and the 2.0-litre ones generate 109bhp, 138bhp or 168bhp. Bluemotion models use the 104bhp 1.6 TDI engine and average 74mpg while emitting 99g/km of CO2.

Our favourite petrol engine is the 120bhp 1.4 TSI. It offers a good blend of performance and economy because it drives the Golf to 60mph in 9.2 seconds yet averages 45mpg.

If you're after a diesel, we'd recommend going for the 2.0 TDI that produces 138bhp. It gets to 60mph in 9.0 seconds and returns 58mpg.

The Mk6 Golf range kicks off with S trim, which brings air-conditioning, electric front windows and a CD player.

SE trim was on sale until the middle of 2010 and added cruise control and alloy wheels. It was replaced by Match trim that added chrome touches to the dashboard, a leather steering wheel, automatic headlights and wipers and an iPod connection. Match is our pick of the specifications.

Bluemotion cars were developed to be as fuel efficient as possible. They get alloy wheels, low-rolling-resistance tyres and an engine stop-start system.

Top-of-the-range GT trim gets leather, Bluetooth, sports suspension, heated front seats and an upgraded stereo system.

You can buy a Golf Mk6 for less than 6000. We found an 09-plate 1.4 S 5dr with 48,000 miles on the clock for 5750.

Our favourite 1.4 TSI SE is now available from 7000.

There are a few things to look out for when buying a Golf Mk6.

There have been reports of cars having to have their doors replaced because they've become misaligned over time, so check that all the doors shut properly.

Rattles and creaks have been known to develop in the dashboard. When you go for a test drive, listen out for noises from the dash. If it does creak, there are plenty of others on the market so walk away. There are plenty of other Golfs out there to look at.

Early cars fitted with the automatic DSG gearbox were subject to a recall because the clutch could open, leading to loss of power. If you're looking at an early DSG-equipped car, check that the recall work has been done.

Read the full Volkswagen Golf ('09-'12) used review >>

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By Matthew Burrow