Volkswagen Golf review

Manufacturer price from:£18,340
What Car? Target Price:£16,805
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Volkswagen Golf
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26 Apr 2017 10:31 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 15:52

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‘Das Auto’, or ‘the car’ to us Brits, used to be Volkswagen’s strapline and, for many, the Golf really is the car of choice. Since the original was launched in 1974, more than 33 million have been sold – this 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.

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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? Read on over the next few pages to find out.

And if you do want to buy a Golf, check out our new car deals here.

 

open the gallery18 Images
There are 12 trims available for the Golf hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
S
Entry-level S-trim isn’t lavishly equipped, but it does come with trinkets including air-conditioning, four electric windows (five-door model only), height-adjustable front seats, a front centre ar...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£16,805
Average Saving £1,535
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SE
This adds 16in alloy wheels, front seat lumbar adjustment, a rear seat centre armrest, a ski hatch and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. And it adds gadgets such as Apple CarPlay, automatic lights...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£17,973
Average Saving £1,647
View Trim
GT
This sportier trim offers bigger 17in alloy wheels, sports suspension, sports seats and a performance monitor, which includes a lap timer and G-meter. Other additions over SE trim are privacy glass...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£21,429
Average Saving £1,976
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R-Line
Mostly styling changes that include more aggressive-looking bumpers, lowered sports suspension, twin oval exhaust tailpipes, black brake calipers and carbon-look interior trims ...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£22,898
Average Saving £2,117
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GTD BlueLine
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£25,087
Average Saving £2,323
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GTI
Comes with everything that the GTD gets, plus with 18in alloy wheels, red brake calipers and red stitching on the sports steering wheel...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£26,050
Average Saving £2,415
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GTD
On top of the GT trim on which it’s based, the GTD comes with an even sportier bodykit, LED headlights, lowered, sports suspension, a honeycombe front grille, heated front seats, heated windscreen...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£26,839
Average Saving £2,491
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GTI Performance
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£27,386
Average Saving £2,544
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GTE
Plug-in hybrid model comes with a 12.3in digital instrument display, dual-zone climate control, along with everything else from the GT model...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
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£28,979
Average Saving £2,131
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e-Golf
The all-electric e-Golf is based on SE trim, but also adds LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, a heated windscreen and a 9.2in touchscreen with sat-nav....View trim
Fuel Electric
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£29,230
Average Saving £3,500
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R
Top-spec model comes with all the trimmings of the GTI, plus 4Motion (four-wheel drive) and a 306bhp engine....View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£30,133
Average Saving £2,747
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GTE Advance
Builds on the GTE trim, but adds sat-nav, heated seats and larger 18in alloy wheels....View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£30,374
Average Saving £2,236
View Trim