‘Das Auto’, or ‘The Car’ to we Brits, used to be Volkswagen’s strap line, and for many the Volkswagen Golf really is the car of choice. Since the original was launched back in 1974, more than 33 million have been sold, which works out to about one every 40 seconds.
This seventh-generation model popped up in 2012 and was updated in 2017 with some mild styling tweaks, new engines, a new infotainment system and, unusually for a revised model, a price cut.
It’s still not the cheapest family car you can buy, but the Golf is a superb all-rounder that offers everything most people will ever need. And with strong resale values and a range of fuel-efficient turbocharged engines, it should cost you surprisingly little to run over three years.
It should be noted that as good as the latest Golf is, it doesn't dominate its class in the way some previous versions did. However, that's down to the competition upping its game rather than Volkswagen's standards slipping.
These days the onslaught comes from all sides: the likes of the Skoda Octavia and Vauxhall Astra both offer more space for a lower price, while premium-badged rivals, such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, have plusher interiors and better infotainment systems.
Are any of these alternatives better all-rounders than the Golf, though? And in which spec does VW's best-selling car make most sense? Over the next few pages we'll find out.