Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Volkswagen Golf slots roughly in the middle of its range of rivals on price. So, for a cash buyer, it’s pricier than the Skoda Scala and a little more expensive than the more popular versions of the Ford Focus and Seat Leon, but it's cheaper than the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class. The Golf is predicted to hold on to its value well, with depreciation expected to be slower than for an equivalent A-Class and more in line with that of the A3 and 1 Series.
All the petrol engines offer competitive CO2 emissions and the real-world fuel economy should be similarly good. In our tests, the 1.5 eTSI 150 averaged more than 42mpg on a mix of roads – much better than you can expect from a BMW 118i automatic. Company car drivers will want to go for the 1.4 TSI eHybrid, as its low CO2 emissions and electric-only mode help to keep benefit-in-kind tax payments down.
Style and R-Line trims add a few more toys and sharper styling, but aren't really worth their price hikes. If you want more toys for your money, have a look at rivals such as the Mazda 3, Skoda Octavia and Toyota Corolla. The exception is if you’re after the 1.4 TSI eHybrid PHEV, as that’s only available with Style trim and should offset some of the additional cost due to its economy figures.
If you’re drawn to the frugal performance of the GTD, it gets 18in alloy wheels, sporty bumpers, three-zone climate control and keyless entry. It's rather pricey, though, especially when compared to the VW Golf GTI, which is not much more expensive.