Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is a classy and well-built rival to the Ford Focus. Its neat interior, class-leading comfort and smart looks make it one of the most desirable cars in its class. The extensive model range offers something for all budgets, and includes a hatchback and  the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion, which features lower emissions and economy. The engine range includes fuel efficient diesels and high performance turbos. The model range includes a GT model that competes with the likes of the Ford Focus ST and Ford Focus RS, but neither is cheap.

Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Price 
£16,975 - £30,845
3 & 5 Doors
4.6 / 5
Pros
  • Decent practicality
  • High-quality interior
  • Economical engines
Cons
  • A little bit boring to look at
  • Not as big as a Skoda Octavia
  • Not as fun to drive as a Ford Focus

There's virtually nothing revolutionary about the seventh-generation VW Golf, but it's an improvement over its predecessor in near enough every area. The interior is spacious, better made and quieter on the move, while the exterior design has been subtly updated with sharper lines and more angular headlights. It's also safer, securing a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP thanks to plenty of clever safety tech. It costs roughly the same as the car it replaces too, despite coming with more equipment as standard. 

Volkswagen Golf estate

Price 
£18,325 - £26,265
5 Doors
4.2 / 5
Pros
  • Very practical
  • Comfortable ride
  • Economical engines
Cons
  • Not as big as Skoda Octavia
  • Quite expensive
  • Not the most fun to drive

The Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is as popular as ever, and now the company has launched an estate version of the latest Golf. It's got a huge boot and loads of rear legroom, with a comfortable ride and excellent economy. However it's outclassed by the Skoda Octavia estate, which does everything the Golf can do at a cheaper list price.

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Price 
£21,800 - £28,340
2 Doors
4.4 / 5
Pros
  • Great looks
  • High-quality interior and roof
  • Quiet interior with the roof up
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Rear passengers exposed to elements
  • Small boot

Following a nine year absence, the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is back. It's based on the current Golf hatchback, and slots into VW's range below the Eos coupe-cabriolet. That model has a complex folding metal roof, but the Golf Cabriolet has a simple fabric top that folds at the touch of a button. Don't think that simple means basic, though: with the top in place, the Cabriolet is nearly as quiet and comfortable as the standard hatchback.

Volkswagen Golf GTD hatchback

Price 
£25,765 - £27,835
3 & 5 Doors
4.3 / 5
Pros
  • Just as practical as a normal Golf
  • Feels very fast
  • Low running costs
Cons
  • Expensive to buy
  • Doesn't look much different to standard car
  • Pricey optional extras

The Volkswagen Golf GTD is a fast, frugal and well-built diesel hatchback, offering a great compromise between the iconic Golf GTI, and lesser models in the VW range.

Its 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine has plenty of power, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 7.5 seconds. While that may be a full second slower than the petrol-powered VW Golf GTI, it actually feels nearly as quick on the open road. Yet with fuel economy of more than 60mpg, few people will be complaining about the slight trade off in outright speed.

Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

Price 
£26,330 - £28,400
5 & 3 Doors
4.2 / 5
Pros
  • Very desirable
  • Best Golf GTI to date
  • As practical as the standard car
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Subdued styling
  • Performance pack costs extra

The Golf GTI has been around for more than 35 years and has always been the benchmark for hot hatchbacks. It combines all the practicality of your average family hatchback with performance and acceleration to shame many sports cars. It's great fun to drive and has plenty of overtaking power from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. It feels very well made, with all the logically laid out switches and controls feeling solid. There's plenty of room inside, with two supportive front seats and enough space in the rear for three adults and their luggage. If you want a car that can accommodate the family and put a smile on your face, the Golf GTI could be the car for you- and there's even a diesel GTD version for even better economy.

Volkswagen Golf R hatchback

Price 
£29,900 - £31,970
3 & 5 Doors
3.9 / 5
Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Four wheel-drive grip
  • Stylish looks
Cons
  • Compromised practicality
  • Significantly more expensive than the Golf GTI...
  • ...for only a little extra performance

The Volkswagen Golf R is the fastest version of the hatchback in the current Golf range, combining the practicality of the standard model with the straight-line speed and cornering ability of sports cars costing twice as much. Whether the R constitutes good value depends on just how often you'll make the most of the extra performance it offers over the less powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Volkswagen Golf GTI cabriolet

Price 
£30,235 - £31,535
2 Doors
3.8 / 5
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Decent practicality
  • Top-notch build quality
Cons
  • Expensive to buy
  • Bluetooth not standard
  • Rear seats feel exposed with roof down

The VW Golf GTI cabriolet offers a combination of the GTI hatchback's peppy performance and the Golf cabriolet's slick folding fabric roof. The standard Golf cabriolet was CarBuyer's Best Convertible for 2013, so the range-topping GTI is off to a great start. Offering similar performance to the MINI JCW convertible, the GTI cabriolet offers full-size seating for four adults and features a 250-litre boot – only 100-litres smaller than the hatchback. Interior quality is top-notch and despite the smaller boot, it's a practical soft-top when compared with the MINI or the Mazda MX-5.

Volkswagen e-Golf hatchback

5 Doors
4.0 / 5
Pros
  • low running costs
  • Surprisingly quick
  • Well built
Cons
  • Limited range
  • Conventional Golf has bigger boot
  • Short lifespan of batteries

The e-Golf is exactly the same as any other Volkswagen Golf, ignoring  the car's electric motor. It makes the e-Golf extremely cheap to run, quite quick, and very quiet. Limitations still exist, though, and the e-Golf has a short range as well as batteries that are unlikely to last the life of the car. As you would expect, the e-Golf has a spacious cabin and top-notch build quality.

Volkswagen Golf R cabriolet

2 Doors
2.9 / 5
Pros
  • Fast acceleration
  • Lots of grip in corners
  • Comfortable and quiet for long journeys
Cons
  • Expensive compared to rivals
  • Not as sharp as Golf R hatchback
  • Expensive to run

The Golf R cabriolet is, in simple terms, a convertible version of the Golf R hatchback. There are a few key differences, however, including a less powerful engine and the fact that it's front-wheel drive only (the hatchback is four-wheel drive). It provides great performance and handling, with the added ability to put the roof down. With the roof up, the R cabriolet is quiet and comfortable, adding another string to the R's bow. Even with an official price reduction, however, it's still an overpriced car.