For The Golf is refined and comfortable, but remains fun to drive. The cabin is classy and practical, the residual values are strong, and every car has lots of safety kit.
Against The most basic engines in the range don’t have a lot of power, and the styling is conservative, inside and out.
The Golf is better than ever. Desirable, refined and great to drive, it's one of the best all-rounders, and deservedly our 2010 Small Family Car of the Year.
The Golf is all the car most families will ever need. There are rivals with more prestigious badges, larger cabins, punchier engines or lower prices, but if we had to pick one model to cope with everything a family is likely to ask of a car for the next, say, three years, it would be a Golf.
Yes, it couldn't look more conservative if it wore a blue rosette, but buyers still love it. It’s class-leading in many areas, and there isn’t a thing that it does badly.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t big discounts to be had, though. Haggle hard, and you’ll get four figures off almost any version. Bigger savings can be had online, and because the Golf’s residual values are so strong, you’ll get plenty of money back at resale time.
We’d avoid the smallest petrol engine because it’s a bit weak, but all the rest make a strong case for themselves. For the best mix of abilities, go for either the 1.4TSI petrol engine, or the 138bhp 2.0TDI diesel.
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