7 VW Golf: the ultimate arbiter of hatchback style

Classy, soothing to drive and practical enough for most purposes

7 VW Golf: VW’s diesel scandal has tarnished the Golf’s image somewhat

7 VW Golf: VW’s diesel scandal has tarnished the Golf’s image somewhat

 

What more remains to be said of the mighty Volkswagen Golf? Some 40-odd-million customers worldwide since 1975, the creation and propagation of the hot hatchback, the ultimate arbiter of hatchback style and a car that influences every other in its class in a manner not experienced by others. It is the rock upon which the vast VW empire is built. Is that still the case though? VW’s diesel scandal has tarnished the Golf’s image somewhat and it has been knocked off its top sales perch by the Hyundai Tucson. One suspects that this may be a temporary aberration though – buyers still seem to love the Golf, even if the ardour has cooled just a little and every other hatchback maker regards it as their number one rival. Classy, soothing to drive and practical enough for most purposes, it’s loved because of what it can do. GTI is still immense fun, 300hp R is astonishing (if overshadowed by the Focus RS) and the little-seen estate is exceptionally useful. Base models can look rather dull, though. Electric e-Golf currently a sideshow but upcoming facelift should have 300km one-charge range.

Price range: €20,385 to €47,440

C02 emissions: 0 to 170g/km

Which one? 1.2 TSI petrol is a terrific all-rounder, or go for the GTI Club Sport for maximum thrills.

PCP from €231 a month