When it was first introduced in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf instantly became an icon and a revolution in the expanding hatchback class. It wasn’t the first hatchback on the market, but it was the most practical, and its quality was astounding.

Now in its seventh generation, the VW Golf has retained its essential qualities, bringing a lot more than just affordable transport to its drivers. Among the many accolades of the MK7 Golf are the 2013 European Car of the Year and World Car of the Year title, followed by 2014 What Car? Estate of the Year award. Proof that the VW Golf isn’t just a pretty face!

The seventh generation of this family hatchback had its debut in 2012 and was facelifted in 2017, which means that you can easily find a well preserved used Volkswagen Golf, from efficient petrol and turbodiesel units to the hotter GTI, GTD, and maybe even some R or hybrid GTE versions.

Due to its qualities and earned reputation, Volkswagen Golf is ever-present on the streets, and you’ll see dozens of them lurking behind every corner and sitting in the car parks all over your town. And when you see it, the first thing you’ll notice is that they almost always look brand new, even though they have been used for years.

More Than Just Good Looks

Red 2015 VW Golf Match parked in front of large red-brick building

The thing with the VW Golf is that its design is always conservative, yet perfectly executed for that exact reason. When a car is as well-thought out as the Golf, there’s nothing that could possibly go wrong in terms of style and practicality. All Golfs, except for the convertible-top version, offer a lot of room for your family and every possible piece of luggage that you might need for a shorter journey. The boot space of the Golf is 380 litres, which is not the largest in the class, but there are 60:40 split folding seats to increase the capacity a bit up.

If that isn’t enough space for you, and you need to haul even more luggage, there are always Golf Plus/Sportsvan and Golf estate models which offer more space, vertically or horizontally.

The interior itself is always finished in high quality materials, starting from entry-level all the way to the most equipped variants of the ultimate people’s car. One of the VW Golf’s trademark features is superb durability, so these cars rarely show their mileage anywhere else besides the clock. You’ll hardly see ripped seats, worn-out symbols on the buttons and you’ll also have to listen very hard to hear any strange sounds coming from the inside. Sometimes, the interior will look so intact that the only way to differentiate a used Volkswagen Golf from the brand new would be by looking at its mileage clock.

Power For The People

Blue VW Golf R, front view with backdrop of mountain in background.

Regardless of your budget and preferences, there’s always a used VW Golf just for you. The Golf comes with fuel efficient three or four cylinder units that are either petrol or diesel powered. The least powerful engine option is the 85 horsepower 1.2 TSI BlueMotion petrol unit, but the smallest engine in the palette is the 1.0 TSI BlueMotion with 115 horsepower. If you want to have some more performance, but you don’t want to venture into GTI territory, there are 1.4 TSI BlueMotion motors ranging from 122 to 150 horsepower.

In diesel variants, the Golf starts with the 90 horsepower 1.6 TDI BlueMotion, but there are also 2.0 TDI and 2.0 TDI BlueMotion with 110 or 150 horsepower, while the ultimate diesel version is the GTD with 184 horsepower coming out of a 2.0-litre engine.

The MK7 Golf comes as a GTE hybrid too, and it combines petrol power with electrical engines to provide up to 166 MPG.

There are several possible transmission options, the most common being 6-speed manual, or 7-speed DSG in petrol versions of the Golf, or 5-speed manuals in diesel ones.

The beauty of the Golf is that there’s a model to suit everyone. Whether you’re seeking a family car, a high performance GTI or R version with 200 or 300 horsepower ratings coming from 2.0 litre engines, or a mixture of both, you’ll find a VW Golf that matches your needs.

Trims Of Choice

Golf R Interior

The brand new Golf starts at £17,765 for the base Golf S model, and the next trim level is SE which starts from £18,885. If you however want more equipment, you’ll get closer to the £20,000 mark, with the Golf GT starting from £22,810. The best equipped Golf is the R-Line, from £24,440 brand new while the plug-in hybrid has a starting price of £30,635.

The good news is that prices differ quite a lot when it comes to second hand VW Golfs. You’ll be able to find a used Volkswagen Golf from around £5,500, a fair price for simply the best used hatchback on the market. If you want better equipment and more power, expect to find your ideal Golf in the £8,000-£10,000 price range.

Volkswagen Golf is universally praised for its practicality, family-friendly features, safety and fuel economy. According to owners, the best engine choice is 1.6 TDI, as it offers both performance and decent fuel consumption. The Golf is also rated highly for build quality, storage space, ergonomics and overall comfort.

What Do The Owners Have To Say?

People who bought a used VW Golf had to say the following: “Excellent handling, and very comfortable. Excellent driving position.” “Turn the key, select drive and go” and nobody complained about any issues with their cars, proving that the Golf is a superbly built car.

We think that the Volkswagen Golf is a top choice for a secondhand family hatchback. Its strongest qualities are unmatched reliability, reasonable running costs, and a decent amount of space for you and your family.

If you are on the lookout for the ultimate hatchback for the whole family, check our current used VW Golf offerings online, and make sure to visit our site to see your new car up close and in person.