27: Volkswagen Golf – Dying days of seventh generation

Top 100 cars for 2020: Outgoing version now beaten by the likes of Corolla and Mazda3

 

A Golf, outside the Top 25? Yes, it’s true but then again this is the last, dying days of the seventh-generation Golf, and an all-new Golf 8 goes on sale very shortly.

For the outgoing version, though, there is still some love left in our hearts. It is still an exceptionally good all-rounder, but perhaps now beaten by the likes of the Toyota Corolla for interior appeal, by the Mazda 3 for styling, and by its own cousin the Skoda Octavia for practicality.

Engines remain a strong point - the 1.0 and 1.5 TSI petrol turbo units are as good as those made by anyone else.

Handling is also good, if necessarily a little more staid on basic versions than it is on the legendary GTI. That hot hatch Golf is still, amazingly, amongst the very best performance cars you can buy. Other offer hatchbacks more fast and furious yet, but the Golf still has a bewitching combination of speed and everyday comfort that is damned dear impossible to beat.

A shame that the spacious, handsome, and useful estate model no longer appears on VW Ireland’s price list, but I guess you can’t have it all, can you?

Best model: Golf 1.0 TSI R-Line for €29,795

Price range: €24,350 to €49,495. Finance from €269 per month.

Co2 emissions: 106 to 158g/km

Sum up: Still above par.