Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf review

Space & practicality
Manufacturer price from:£18,765
What Car? Target Price:£17,286
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In this review

Space & practicality

How it copes with people and clutter

Volkswagen Golf hatchback front space

Are you tall and fed up with cars that force you to contort your body to get your legs in, or ruin your bouffant as you smear hair gel across the rooflining? Well, try the Golf; there's an abundance of head and leg room in the front and generous width means you won’t want for shoulder room, either.

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The front door pockets are big enough for a 500ml bottle of water and there are two cupholders in the centre console. You’ll also find a storage bin under the front centre armrest, along with a decent-sized glovebox that’s kept cool by the air-con. Step up from entry-level S to SE trim and you get a discreet drawer under the front passenger seat and a glasses holder by the rear-view mirror.

Volkswagen Golf hatchback rear space

The Golf’s roomy interior dimensions mean two six-footers will easily fit in the back, although life isn’t so comfortable for a central passenger because of the raised floor in the middle of the car – it’s a pain to clamber over and robs the middle occupant of foot space. But for two people, there’s a decent amount of leg and head room, although nowhere near as much as you’ll find in the cheaper Skoda Octavia.

On five-door models, large, square rear door openings make it easy to get in and out of the back without banging your head, and access isn’t too bad even for the three-door versions.

The rear door pockets are narrow, so a 500ml bottle is a bit of a squeeze. However, go for SE trim or above and you'll get a couple of cupholders in the rear centre armrest, along with storage pockets on the rear of the front seats.

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf hatchback seating flexibility

The Golf’s rear seats are pretty standard for the class and don't do anything clever like slide or recline. As with most hatchbacks, though, you can fold the 60/40 split seatbacks by pulling a lever next to the outer head restraints. Once dropped, the seatbacks lie virtually flat without first having to flip the bases up like you have to in the rival Ford Focus.

On five-door SE and SE Navigation models you can pay extra for a front passenger seat that folds completely flat, enabling you to carry seriously long items. Three-door versions have easy-entry front seats; they move upward as they slide out of the way to make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the back of the car, before returning to their original position.

Volkswagen Golf hatchback boot space

There’s plenty of room in the boot for the weekly food shop and you can just about squeeze in a set of golf clubs or a fold-up baby buggy. The fact that the boot is square-shaped helps make it easy to pack, too. That said, an Octavia has a much larger boot and is a better choice if you regularly need to lug around big loads.

All Golf models except the GTE have a false boot floor. It lets you create two separate compartments and raise the load level, eliminating the load bay step that's created when the rear seats are folded down. With the floor in its highest setting, there’s practically no lip to negotiate when lifting heavy items in and out.

SE models upwards have a through-load facility in the rear middle seat. This allows you to carry long, thin items, such as skis, without folding down the rear seats.

 

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Trims
There are 11 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 ai...View trim
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SE
This adds 16in alloy wheels, front seat lumbar adjustment, a rear seat centre armrest...View trim
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£18,102
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Match
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
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£18,919
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GT
This sportier trim offers bigger 17in alloy wheels, sports suspension, sports seats and...View trim
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£21,788
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R-Line
Mostly styling changes that include more aggressive-looking bumpers, lowered sports sus...View trim
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£23,412
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GTD BlueLine
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£25,255
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GTD
On top of the GT trim on which it’s based, the GTD comes with an even sportier bodykit...View trim
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GTI Performance
The hotter GTI Performance features LED headlights, heated front seats, dual-zone clima...View trim
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GTE
Plug-in hybrid model comes with a 12.3in digital instrument display, dual-zone climate...View trim
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GTE Advance
Builds on the GTE trim, but adds sat-nav, heated seats and larger 18in alloy wheels....View trim
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£31,013
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e-Golf
The all-electric e-Golf is based on SE trim, but also adds LED headlights, dual-zone cl...View trim
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