VW has taken an average of £650 off the price of a Golf.

That still leaves it a long way from being competitively set against the likes of the Leon, Astra and Focus and much closer to ‘compact premium’ players such as the A3 and BMW 1 Series.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Bulletproof. The Golf may start life more expensive, but expect it to stay that way versus any mainstream rival

The model range starts at S trim and rises through SE, SE Nav and GT to R-line – and that’s before you account for any of five performance derivatives, the Alltrack, e-Golf or either Bluemotion version.

The biggest-selling hatchback derivative of all is expected to be the GTD manual, which is a £28,000 car and tells you plenty about how the car is perceived and how happy customers are to spend premium-level cash on it.

VW will make the 128bhp version of the 1.5 TSI engine available at a lower price point, but if you want the full 148bhp tune, you have to have it in a GT or R-line trim – both of which come with lowered sports suspension.

The GT is fairly pricey – £23,445 with this engine and three doors – but gets 8.0in touchscreen navigation, sports seats, adaptive cruise control and 17in alloy wheels as standard.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty
  • Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Zetec front
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Can the updated Ford Ecosport improve its reputation and become the small SUV of choice, or is it another misguided effort from the Blue Oval?