Other Volkswagen Golf (2004 - 2009) models:

This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Golf Hatchback review.

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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
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Rivals

Ford Focus Hatchback (05-11)

4.5 out of 5 4.5

Developing a replacement for the much-loved original Focus was an unenviable task, but Ford has successfully delivered.The second generation Focus is stylish, well equipped and is proving itself to be reliable. Plus while it's still as good to drive as ever, there's now more interior space and a genuine feeling of quality.A mid-life facelift means... read more

PROS

Good to drive, smart looking, wide choice of engines and trim levels, comfortable interior, refined ride, low emissions ECOnetic model available

CONS

Boot and rear passenger space could be more practical

Nissan Qashqai (07-13)

4 out of 5 4.0

The Nissan Qashqai is described by the Japanese firm as a crossover - in other words it's a cross between a normal hatchback and an off-roader. This may sound like an odd notion but the result is a real success and the chunky styling looks great.It's actually an indirect replacement for the Almera and an alternative to cars like the Volkswagen... read more

PROS

  • Distinctive styling
  • Spacious cabin
  • Comfortable
  • Good to drive
  • Hugely popular

CONS

  • Poor rear visibility
  • Rear seats don't fold completely flat
  • Dated dashboard design
  • Cheap-feeling interior plastics

Honda wanted to attract younger buyers when it launched the FN-generation Civic in 2006. It's a recurring theme, but the Japanese carmaker will tell you that it's keen to lose the dull image of its previous car – and pick up a whole raft of more youthful buyers. And every generation, the same buyers come back for more. That alone tells you all you... read more

PROS

  • Reliability is a given, and as such, it's hard to go wrong
  • Type-R model is bulletproof, all you need to do is avoid crashed ones
  • The i-CTDi 2.2-litre diesel has storming performance

CONS

  • Compared with the Golf and Focus, it's lacking in room and visibility
  • Limited engine range, diesels outnumber petrols
  • If you go for a Type-S you may be disappointed by its performance

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