The Volkswagen Golf has always been the hatchback that all rival carmakers judge their models against. Now in its seventh generation, the perennial VW Golf remains the benchmark family hatchback.
Golfs have always been about solid virtues, excellent build quality and strong performance, and the Mk7 keeps this record up. It also remains an expensive choice, but it does hold on to its value like no other car in its class.
Best of all, the latest version is significantly better to drive than its predecessor, as it’s based on VW’s latest MQB platform that offers safe handling and excellent ride comfort. It’s also decently practical and very efficient, and you have a huge choice of engines, transmissions and trim levels.
VW Golf - MK7 2.0TDI BlueMotion
If you asked your average car buyer to name one family car, the chances are they'd opt for the Volkswagen Golf. It has been setting the standard for forty years, with other manufacturers consistently benchmarking their models against it. Rivals such as the SEAT Leon, Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus may narrowly beat the VW for style, practicality and driving fun respectively, but none can quite match the Golf’s blend of upmarket image and all-round usability.
The current seventh generation was launched in 2013, and the evergreen Golf is better than ever. Underpinned by VW’s MQB chassis, the latest version is around 100kg lighter than its predecessor, yet also more refined and sharper to drive. It also comes packed with the sort of cutting-edge kit that wouldn’t look out of place on an executive saloon.
Of course, the Golf isn’t exactly cheap to buy when compared to the opposition, but if offsets its higher price tag with a high-quality cabin, sophisticated driving experience and upmarket feel.