Volkswagen Golf review

Category: Family car

Section: Costs & verdict

Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 Mk8 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 rear panning
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 dashboard
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 rear seats
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 rear cornering
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD front left tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD left panning
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD front right static
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD rear right static
  • Volkswagen Golf 2020 RHD front end detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2020 RHD rear end detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2020 RHD steering wheel detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD dashboard detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD instrument cluster
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD boot open
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 Mk8 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 rear panning
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 dashboard
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 rear seats
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 rear cornering
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD front left tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD left panning
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD front right static
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD rear right static
  • Volkswagen Golf 2020 RHD front end detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2020 RHD rear end detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2020 RHD steering wheel detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD dashboard detail
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD instrument cluster
  • Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD boot open
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In this section:
  • Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
  • Equipment, options and extras
  • Reliability
  • Safety and security

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.

Volkswagen Golf 2021 RHD infotainment

Reliability

Overview

There’s no doubt that the VW Golf is still a highly recommendable option in the family car class, thanks in part to its solid blend of ride and handling and the frugality promised by its petrol engines, especially the 1.5 TSI 150. But there are cheaper rivals that are more spacious inside and better to drive, such as the Ford Focus and Seat Leon, and premium rivals with better infotainment systems and higher-grade interiors, like the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A Class.

  • Exceedingly comfortable ride with adaptive suspension
  • Tidy handling
  • Strong and frugal 1.5 TSI 150 engine
  • Frustratingly fiddly infotainment system is full of software bugs
  • Interior quality could be better
  • There are more spacious rivals
New car deals
Save up to £1,926
Target Price from £24,178
Save up to £1,926
or from £271pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £22,685
Leasing deals
From £286pm