Buyer’s guide to the Volkswagen Golf

Table of Contents What engine options are available?What trim levels are offered?What about personalisation? When

When it comes to family hatchbacks, a model that has always been hard to beat is the Volkswagen Golf. 

With its mix of practicality, quality and a classy premium design, it’s been the choice of many buyers over the years. Demonstrating the model’s continued popularity, the Golf is now in its eighth generation, and there has never been as many trim and powertrain options available. 

It means that deciding on the right Golf for you can be a challenge, but fear not as our buyer’s guide will help point you in the right direction on the model for you…

With a range of petrol, diesel, hybrids and sporty hot hatches available, there are certainly no shortage of powertrain options on the latest Golf. 

 

Kicking off the range is a turbocharged 1.0-llitre petrol unit, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, though a seven-speed DSG automatic with mild-hybrid tech is available. A larger turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol comes after this, with power outputs of 128bhp or 148bhp on offer. A six-speed manual gearbox again comes as standard, but the automatic brings the mild-hybrid electrification. 

 

As for diesel, buyers can choose a turbocharged 2.0-litre TDI unit, which is available with an output of 113bhp or 148bhp. Both are available with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox.

What engine options are available?

With a range of petrol, diesel, hybrids and sporty hot hatches available, there are certainly no shortage of powertrain options on the latest Golf. 

Kicking off the range is a turbocharged 1.0-llitre petrol unit, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, though a seven-speed DSG automatic with mild-hybrid tech is available. A larger turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol comes after this, with power outputs of 128bhp or 148bhp on offer. A six-speed manual gearbox again comes as standard, but the automatic brings the mild-hybrid electrification. 

As for diesel, buyers can choose a turbocharged 2.0-litre TDI unit, which is available with an output of 113bhp or 148bhp. Both are available with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox.

Up next are the plug-in hybrids – the eHybrid and GTE. Each combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, with the eHybrid boasting 201bhp and the more performance-focused GTE serving up 242bhp. Each is capable of around 40 miles of electric driving once the 13kWh battery is fully charged – something that takes around three hours and 40 minutes using a 3.6kW charger. 

We also can’t forget the sporty hot hatch versions, too. The go-to GTI uses a turbocharged 242bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol, with both six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG automatic transmissions available. A GTI Clubsport is also available, with this taking the power up to 296bhp, and being automatic-only. At the top of the range is the Golf R – a 316bhp 2.0-litre petrol that’s also the Golf available with 4Motion four-wheel-drive. 

If you fancy performance combined with low running costs, you could consider the Golf GTD, which uses a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 197bhp, and that comes just with the popular seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. 

What trim levels are offered?

The Golf’s range of trim levels are equally extensive. Here are the equipment highlights and pricing for the models. 

Life – from £23,360

All Golfs get a generous amount of standard equipment, with even Life versions benefitting from self-levelling LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and wireless smartphone charging. You also get a 10-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a digital dial display. Elsewhere, the Golf comes with ambient interior lighting, climate control, keyless start, front and rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control. 

Active – from £23,860

Upgrading to the Active brings revised 16-inch alloy wheels, along with unique ‘ACTIVE’ badging, tinted rear windows and brushed stainless steel pedals. Other features include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated windscreen washer jets. 

Style – from £25,550

The popular Style model adds larger 17-inch alloy wheels, along with upgraded LED headlights, door mirror puddle lights, more attractive chrome styling and sports seats. Electric folding mirrors are also included, along with high beam assist, blind spot monitoring and a more advanced adaptive cruise control system called Travel Assist.

R-Line – from £26,220

If you want something that looks a bit sportier – but without any extra performance – consider the R-Line. It adds sports suspension, revised 17-inch alloy wheels, an R-Line styling kit and further tinted rear windows. 

GTE – from £36,010

Building on the R-Line, the GTE is available purely as a powerful plug-in hybrid. It also adds revised 17-inch alloy wheels, a heated sports steering wheel and a GTE styling pack that includes revised front and rear bumpers and an attractive honeycomb grille. Matrix LED headlights are also included, along with keyless entry along with additional driver assistance kit like rear traffic alert and lane assist. 

GTD – from £32,845

Also building on the R-Line, the sporty GTD diesel brings similar upgrades to the GTE, but gets a specific GTD styling kit and larger 18-inch alloy wheels. 

GTI – from £33,525

Remaining Volkswagen’s core hot hatch, the Golf GTI comes with 18-inch alloy wheels and tartan-cloth sports seats, as well as larger brakes and a front differential lock to maximise cornering ability. 

GTI Clubsport – from £37,230

The Clubsport builds on the standard GTI with its additional performance, as well as a revised styling kit, including flared side skirts, larger front splitter, rear diffuser and revised bumpers. It also comes with an 18-inch performance brake system, along with upgraded seats and additional decorative trim on the interior. 

GTI Clubsport 45 – from £39,980

Celebrating 45 years of the Golf GTI, this special-edition trim stands out with its gloss black 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black mirrors and larger rear spoiler. It also gets an Akrapovic exhaust, its speed limiter removed (moving the top speed from 155mph to 166mph) and new sports seats reserved just for this model.

R – from £39,295

Sitting at the top of the range, the R builds on the GTI with its additional pace and four-wheel-drive system. It also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, a heated ‘R’ sports steering wheel, revised sports seats and blue brake callipers. An R-specific styling kit helps to make it stand out, too. 

What about personalisation?

With such an extensive range of trim levels and engines to choose from in the Golf, there’s plenty of scope to make it your own, though various other upgrades are available. One of the most popular is Dynamic Chassis Control (£950) that allows you to adapt the suspension – such as tailor it for comfort or sportiness. 

A broad range of colours are also available, including bright shades like Atlantic Blue and Lime Yellow – along with a variety of alloy wheel and interior leather options to help make your Golf stand out from the crowd. 

Other more conventional options include a panoramic sunroof (£1,000), a head-up display (£625) and a reversing camera (£300).


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