Why buy the Volkswagen Golf?
Looking for a car that’s compact but practical, that looks and feels premium but doesn’t cost too much to buy or run? The Volkswagen Golf is all those things and more. It’s one of the most familiar and most popular cars around, giving you a huge range of models to choose from – everything from value-focused hatchbacks to high-performance estates. There really is a Golf for everyone.
Volkswagen Golf range and updates
The current version of the Volkswagen Golf has been on sale in the UK since 2020. It’s the eighth-generation model and has a slightly sharper look than (but almost identical dimensions to) the seventh-generation version that was introduced in 2012.
The current Golf is available as a five-door hatchback or as an estate. The previous model also came as a three-door hatchback or a two-door convertible. You can choose from petrol, diesel or (petrol) plug-in hybrid power with the latest Golf (the previous model was also available as a pure-electric model called the e-Golf). There are models with manual or automatic gearboxes, front- or four-wheel drive and there’s a wide selection of trim levels, including high-performance GTI and R models.
Volkswagen Golf tech and features
The current Golf is very well equipped with many features included as standard regardless of which trim level you get. At a minimum there’s a touchscreen infotainment system with built-in sat nav and support for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, air con, adaptive cruise control, a digital driver’s display and parking sensors. Top-of-the-range models have some extra infotainment features like an internet connection, higher-grade interior trim and unique styling details.
Older versions of the Golf come with many of the same features, although the infotainment system isn’t as advanced as the one in the current car.
Volkswagen Golf running costs and value
You can choose from petrol or diesel engines in the current Volkswagen Golf; it’s also available with plug-in hybrid power. The petrol and diesel models are very fuel-efficient. According to the official figures, petrol Golfs can give average fuel economy of 35mpg to 54mpg, depending on the model and diesels can give 48mpg to 67mpg. Figures for older versions are similar.
Other running costs are pretty low. Car tax is reasonable although some models cost more than £40,000 new and those incur an extra annual charge until they’re six years old. For some Golf models sold before April 2017, car tax is only £30 a year or less. Although the Golf does cost more to buy than some similar cars, you get a good level of features included as standard and it’s solid value for money overall.
Volkswagen Golf vs rivals
There are many other mid-size hatchbacks you might want to consider alongside the Volkswagen Golf – the Audi A3, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla and Vauxhall Astra to name just a few. Compared with them, the Golf is one of the best all-rounders of the bunch, with family-friendly practicality, an upmarket interior, a smooth drive and an especially wide range of models to choose from.