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Used Volkswagen Golf hatchback 2013-2020 review

Category: Family car

Section: What is it like?

Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf side - 67-plate car
  • Volkswagen Golf rear - 67-plate car
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf side - 67-plate car
  • Volkswagen Golf rear - 67-plate car
Used Volkswagen Golf hatchback 2013-2020 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Golf hatchback like?

Very few cars have the classless appeal of the Volkswagen Golf and, with this seventh-generation model, which ran from 2013 all the way up to the beginning of 2020, VW managed to come up with a car that was not only as multitalented as its predecessors but also improved on them significantly.

For starters, there’s the range of low-capacity 1.0, 1.4 and later 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engines that punch far above their weight in terms of performance yet return impressive fuel efficiency. Then there are the 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel engines for those who travel on the motorway every day. Anybody interested in ultra-low-emissions driving might want to consider either the plug-in hybrid GTE or fully electric e-Golf. For those more interested in speed, there's always the hot hatch GTI or ballistically quick Golf R.

To drive, even the regular versions of the Golf are comfortable and stable at any speed, while also offering enough agility and steering sharpness to make them enjoyable. The Golf also rides better than nearly all of its contemporaries, thanks to its supple suspension, and even the 1.0 TSI and 1.6 TDI versions that come with a slightly less sophisticated rear set-up are nicely compliant over most broken road surfaces.  

The interior is very smart, whichever trim you go for. The dashboard is built from upmarket-feeling materials and is laid out almost ideally, with all the major controls right where you need them to be. The driving position is multi-adjustable and visibility good. Infotainment is taken care of by an 8.0in touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring. Its graphics are sharp and it has clear menus, but the screen is mounted a little low. A digital instrument panel is an option on most models, and one that's well worth seeking out. It replaces conventional analogue dials and can be set up to display a multitude of information in a clear and concise fashion.

Space up front is plentiful, even for tall drivers, and there's good leg and head room in the rear, even if six-footers won't want to sit behind similarly tall front seat occupants for long. The boot is big enough for a huge weekly shop, or a baby buggy, but probably not both at the same time.