Volkswagen Golf hatchback (Our rating: 4.7/5)
9 July 2013
The VW Golf is quite possibly all the car you'll ever need. It won't help you stand out, but is it stylish, efficient and practical.
The seventh generation of Volkswagen Golf continues to raise the family hatchback bar, with rivals such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane all measured against it for quality and pleasurable driving experience. The Mk7 Golf is nearly 100kg lighter than the old Mk6, but its dimensions are actually wider and longer, which means more room in the boot and extra passenger space inside. Because it's slightly lower than its predecessor, it looks and feels that little bit sportier, too. Inside, the Golf has VW's usual mix of high-quality materials and loads of up-to-date equipment – there's an option for a huge eight-inch touchscreen to sit at the centre of the completely redesigned interior.
You can even get a system that parks the car for you. You can choose between eight engine specs across four versions – S, SE, BlueMotion and GT.
All models are quiet and smooth on the road, with either the six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. New Mk7 Golf estate, GTI and GTD models now available on the UK market, while the old model Golf Plus MPV and Golf Cabriolet are still available, too. There have been some critics of the new car's design, saying it's too tame and similar to the old model, especially with the likes of the SEAT Leon pushing the boundaries a bit. But a conservative look is a small price to pay for what could easily be described as the only car you'll ever need.