VW Golf is a small family car produced by the German manufacturer Volkswagen since 1974, marketed worldwide across seven generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates – such as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada (Mk1 and Mk5), and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico (Mk1).
What stands out?
The Volkswagen Golf is an accomplished city car that feels equally at home on freeways – and it rides more smoothly on rough roads than most other hatchbacks. Even the less costly Golfs are among the best small cars to drive, and the more expensive bring you sports-car like speed and handling. Interiors function well, all engines are easy on fuel, and auto-braking is available.
What body styles are there?
Five-door hatchback, and five-door wagon.
The wagon body is about 30mm longer than the hatchback body, and the extra length is all in the boot. All Golfs but one are front-wheel drive. The Golf R drives the rear wheels also, when it decides extra grip is required. Golfs are classed as small cars, lower priced.
Which engine uses least fuel, and why wouldn’t I choose it?
The most fuel-efficient engine available on a Golf is the 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel, which consumes as little as 4.7 litres/100km (city and country driving combined) in official tests.
The engine in the least expensive Golf, the 92TSI, is a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol that is also impressively frugal, consuming 5.4 litres/100km when matched to the seven-speed auto gearbox.
Those who value more performance can step up to the 110TSI. It uses the same sized engine as the 92 but it is fitted with a bigger turbocharger that generates up to 25 per cent more power but without consuming much more fuel.
How comfortable is the Volkswagen Golf?
Inside, the theme is stylish yet practical, with clean metal finishes breaking the formality of the dark plastics. There are ample storage areas, from the covered centre binnacle to the generous glovebox. Seats are supportive, with some firmness that helps over long distances. The cabin is impressively hushed at speed, when the car feels smooth and refined.
What about safety in a Golf?
The high level of standard safety equipment, which includes a reversing camera, means all Golfs rate well for safety. Excellent vision helps the driver relax, and the optional automatic emergency braking (standard on Wolfsburg Edition Golf Rs) offers a safety net around town.
I like this car, but I can’t choose which version. Can you help?
Our reviewers like the Golf GTI. All Golfs have a functional interior and great driving dynamics. The GTI adds brilliant performance.