With such a broad range of talents, the Volkswagen Golf is hard to fault
Nic Cackett
23 December 2013

Make no mistake: the arrival of a new Volkswagen Golf is still a seismic event in the automotive universe.

There are a handful of cars, scattered among the industry, that set the global tone. Cars like the BMW 3-series, Porsche 911 Carrera, Mercedes-Benz S-class and Range Rover.

Perennially high standards and household status has established each as a benchmark. Beat them and you have built something exceptional. Fall beneath and you are in the chasing pack along with everything else. 

The latest Golf, the Mk7, flattered to deceive, barely appearing new at all while underneath wearing Volkswagen’s much-heralded MQB platform – a modular stage on which much of its future would be set.

Everything, then, had subtly changed outside and in, yet nothing was different. The just-so perfection of the ergonomics, the subtle solidity of the build, the immaculate but anonymous dynamic and the polished ambience that makes the Golf a class-of-one car proved just as reassuringly familiar as they were in previous generations. 

Even now, almost a year on, there is nothing outstanding to relate about the original experience beyond a warm sense of unfaltering appreciation that goes with it. And that’s as intended. Volkswagen wants you to take the Golf for granted.

It wants you to feel comfortable and catered for and invests billions to ensure that when you sit there for 
the first, third, millionth time, you just think: ‘That’s it. That’s right. 
I’m home’. Its genius for doing this – and continuing to nail the margins that will ultimately distinguish it from the mechanically almost identical Audi A3 and Seat Leon – make the Golf as worthy an addition to this list as the more memorable machines that top it.  

Tune in to Autocar.co.uk again tomorrow as we continue our rundown of the best cars of 2013.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

Join the debate

Comments
14

23 December 2013
Ironic, but the best car for a golfer is not the golf. The boot is too small, needing drivers to be removed from the golf bag before they'll fit in.
The best car for golf is the skoda octavia. I can get three trolleys (at least one of them electric) and three full sets of golf clubs (in their bags) plus the shoes, and even three overnight bags, ALL IN THE BOOT out of sight.
A Golf estate will work, but the versions we get in the UK are the poor end of those sold on the continent. No 4x4 for example.

23 December 2013
The irony is not lost on me, and its probably no coincidence that I find the Golf Car almost as boring as the game.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

23 December 2013
The tedium of it all. Isn't there a health and safety issue here? Given that the Golf will almost certainly make many people fall asleep at the wheel shouldn't the car be banned from sale to the general public?

23 December 2013
You can't argue with figures. Golf sells well. In fact only Corolla and Focus sell better.
But I wonder which will be the best seller after counting all the Golf's variants sales?
I think Volkswagen's Golf is the world's best seller if you count A3, Leon and Octavia.

23 December 2013
I think this is one of the least attractive generations of Golf (ranking with the Mark III), the droopy, too similar to the Polo, front end being the main problem. The current Leon seems to me to be a far more interesting proposition..

23 December 2013
My mark 1 Golf, a 1.1L three door bought in 1975, was quite a good car spoiled by warranty claims. Some of the problems I suffered were caused by the garage fitting the wrong locking fuel cap [causing the tank to implode] and not being able to have the tracking correctly set which stripped a tyre in 5000 miles. A subsequent 1.5GLS was a far better car, as was my mark 2 1.3C three door. This was slightly larger than my first cars and set a pattern for the future. Every new model is larger than the previous which is fine if you need the extra room, which I don't. Right now the UP is the VW model that best suits my needs and, if I'm not mistaken, is only slightly smaller than my Mark 1 cars. It's also probably the only VW model that will fit in my garage, as well.

23 December 2013
This piece will ensure that Autocar continue to be high in the queue for road test cars I suppose.

23 December 2013
The problem is VW believe their own hype, and that of the media, but the fact remains its overpriced, dull to own and not nearly as reliable as it is supposed to be, and the dealers are dreadful.

Apart from that, its great..

If you really want a Golf, buy a Leon or an Octavia.

23 December 2013
Citytiger wrote:

The problem is VW believe their own hype

5.4 million vehicles delivered in period to November 2013. Apparently everyone else does too.


24 December 2013
bomb wrote:
Citytiger wrote:

The problem is VW believe their own hype

5.4 million vehicles delivered in period to November 2013. Apparently everyone else does too.

Exactly!!! Statistics speak for themselves. If VW didn't believe in the 'hype' that they created it would seem a rather baffling business model to be operating. Spending vast sums on marketing and then claiming it's all over rated so don't buy it.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?