Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf review

Manufacturer price from:£18,765
What Car? Target Price:£17,196
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‘Das Auto’ –  or ‘The Car’ to us Brits – used to be Volkswagen’s strapline and, for many, the Volkswagen Golf really is das Auto of choice. Since the original was launched in 1974, more than 33 million have been sold, which works out to about one every 40 seconds.

Today’s seventh-generation model arrived in 2012 and was updated in 2017 with 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 does everything most households will ever need. And, with strong resale values and a range of fuel-efficient turbocharged engines, it could cost you surprisingly little to run over three years.

Mind you, as good as the latest Golf is, it doesn't dominate its class in the way some previous versions did (click here to read about used examples). Rest assured, though, that comes down to the competition upping its game rather than Volkswagen's standards slipping. These days, the Golf faces an onslaught comes from all sides: the likes of the Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus offer more space for potentially less money, while costlier premium rivals such as the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series are rather more plush inside and arguably more desirable. Meanwhile, if running costs are a concern, it might be worth considering hybrid-focused options that include the latest Toyota Corolla.

Watch the next video

So, are any of these alternatives better all-rounders than the Golf? And in which spec does VW's best-selling car make most sense? Read on over the next few pages to find out.

open the gallery18 Images
Trims
There are 13 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...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£17,196
Average Saving £1,569
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SE
This adds 16in alloy wheels, front seat lumbar adjustment, a rear seat centre armrest...
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Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£18,008
Average Saving £1,647
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Match
If you want in-built sat-nav then go for Match. Otherwise it mirrors the kit of our fav...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£18,820
Average Saving £1,725
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GT
This sportier trim offers bigger 17in alloy wheels, sports suspension, sports seats and...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£21,674
Average Saving £1,996
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R-Line
Mostly styling changes that include more aggressive-looking bumpers, lowered sports sus...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£23,289
Average Saving £2,151
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GTD BlueLine
As with GTD, but comes with 17in alloy wheels to improve the CO2 emissions...
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Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£25,122
Average Saving £2,323
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GTD
On top of the GT trim on which it’s based, the GTD comes with an even sportier bodykit...
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Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£27,467
Average Saving £2,548
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GTI Performance
The GTI Performance features LED headlights, heated front seats, dual-zone climate cont...
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Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£28,361
Average Saving £2,604
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GTE
This trim is currently off sale...
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Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£29,339
Average Saving £2,156
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GTE Advance
This trim is currently off sale...
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Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£31,013
Average Saving £2,282
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e-Golf
The all-electric e-Golf is based on SE trim, but also adds LED headlights, dual-zone cl...
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Fuel Electric
What Car? Target Price from
£32,752
Average Saving £488
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GTI TCR
The same as the GTI Performance, but with more power...
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Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£34,135
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R
Top-spec model comes with all the trimmings of the GTI, plus 4Motion (four-wheel drive)...
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Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£34,980
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