1.6 TDI S 5dr
£22,305 - £38,940
4.7 - 10.4 seconds
93 - 155 mph
110 - 320 bhp
0 - 161 g/km
Fuel Economy (Combined)
44.8 - 68.9 mpg
Good range of engines; classy and stylish exterior and interior; comfortable and quiet cabin
Slightly more expensive than some of its rivals; could do with a little more boot space; basic engine lacking in power
The Volkswagen Golf stands well against main rivals the Ford Focus and Honda Civic, although it does not have the boot space offered by the Civic and not everyone may find the drive as much fun as the Focus. It is a lovely small family car though, and should prove to be a reliable and enjoyable purchase; sporty enough to please those looking for something suitable for the kids but with some fun factor.
VW have not held back with the Golf engine range – both TSI (turbocharged and supercharged) petrol engines and TDI diesels are on offer. Starting with the TSI, there are a couple of base 1.2 models (84bhp or 103bhp), moving up to two versions of 1.4 (120 bhp or 158 bhp) and the 2.0 TSI. The latter is available with the GTI, the GTI Edition 35 and R models (208bhp, 232 bhp and 267 bhp repectively), and do pack quite a punch. Moving on to the TDI range, there is a choice of a 1.6 litre (89bhp or 103bhp) or 2.0 litre (138bhp or 168 bhp). All engines across the range perform well – the diesels are likely to be the preferred choice for anyone seeking the most economical version. All BlueMotion Technology engines include automatic start/stop and brake energy recuperation to cut fuel consumption and reduce harmful emissions.
Whether you are popping out to the shops, heading off on holiday or spending a day in the country, the Volkswagen Golf will be well up to the job. It is a delightful long distance car – quiet and comfortable with a driving position to suit all. It is equally adept on more challenging roads, with good grip and assured cornering – and you will also find city driving uncomplicated and as enjoyable as city driving can be.
As ever, the latest Golf is sleek, stylish and sporty and it is difficult to fault it. Standard on most of the trims across the range, the ‘Cherry Red’ rear light clusters add a distinctive touch to the rear design; the VW badge acts as a tailgate release and also conceals the optional rear-view camera. Halogen headlights and integrated indicators sit beautifully with the double radiator grille; the whole car is a credit to its designers.
No worries about shattered illusions once you open the doors of this car; the inside is as thoughtfully and stylishly finished as the exterior. Soft touch surfaces abound, and the minimalistic dash is both good to look at and practical to use. Passenger space is good but not the best – although four adults can travel in comfort with enough head and leg space to prevent any cramped feelings; three children could happily fit in the back with ample room for fidgets. Your luggage is well catered for in the roomy boot; but although the rear seats will fold down to increase this, disappointingly they do not fold flat.
The VW Golf comes with a large range of trims, 8 in all. These go from entry level S, through Bluemotion, Match, GT, GTD, GTI, GTI Edition 35 and R. ‘S’ comes complete with air conditioning, electric front windows, DAB digital radio, MP3 compatible CD player with 8 speakers, body coloured bumpers and door handles and daytime running lights; working upwards through the rest of the range you will find added to the list; alloys, sports suspension, unique badging, various additional storage pockets, ‘Merlin’ cloth upholstery, cruise control, rain sensors, Bluetooth connectivity , sporty trims; the list is long and tempting (much of it cosmetic) and your choice is likely to be dictated only by the restrictions of your wallet!
Unsurprisingly, the VW Golf was awarded five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings. It has a plethora of airbags (front, side, curtain, and one for the driver’s knees), anti-braking system (ABS), whiplash optimized head restraints, Isofix child seat fixings, electronic stabilisation programme and a high level third brake light. Turning your attention to security issues you may be reassured by deadlocks, a visible VIN and an alarm with interior protection.
Despite appearances, the Golf is not as much of a drain on resources as you may have expected. It’s not cheap – obviously – but by the same token it is not bad in comparison with its main rivals. Because of its upmarket image and solid reliability it is likely to retain its value when selling on; but you probably won’t be in too much of a hurry to do that. Running costs should not be too scary; the BlueMotion trim offers low emissions and a stated 74.3 mpg which is impressive by anyone’s standards.
Reviewed by cars2buy
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