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The many faces of the Volkswagen Golf

  • We take a closer look at the Volkswagen Golf family 
  • Tax costs, standard kit and fuel economy explored
  • Which should be your next company car?

The Volkswagen Golf is a hugely popular company car here in the UK and for good reason. Its mix of practical features, low running costs and generous levels of kit make the Golf one of the best all-round performers in its segment.

Known for its hatchback roots, the Golf has evolved and grown over the years to introduce many new bodystyles and variants to the range, aiming to appeal to a broad range of individuals' needs and tastes.

For those driving enthusiasts there are the quick GTI and even faster Golf R choose from.

If space and practicality are top of your list, the Golf estate and SV are ideal choices, while if you like the wind in your hair and summer sun on your face, then the Golf Cabriolet could be the way to go.

Here we take a look at the key players of the family and find out which model would suit company car drivers best.

Gold SV – Best for family practicality


Although the Golf estate is the more sensible choice on paper, the Golf SV offers the best of both worlds with its hatchback looks and compact driving dimensions, coupled with impressive interior space and a boot which is almost as big as the estate's anyway.  

Available in a choice of four trims - S, ultra-efficient BlueMotion, SE and GT - we would opt for the mid-range SE, which strikes the right balance between value for money and equipment count. Standard features include adaptive cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, air-con, DAB radio, a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a variable height boot floor, roof rails, 16-inch alloy wheels and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The cabin is dotted with practical storage options like tables on the front seatbacks, while it's a safe place to travel in too, with ISOFIX child seat mountings in the back to keep little ones effectively secured.

Engine and trim: 1.6-litre TDI SE

P11D value: £22,730

2014/15 BIK Tax Band: 16 percent

Monthly tax cost:* £60.61 

CO2 Emissions: 101g/km 

Combined MPG: 72.4mpg 

Power: 108bhp 

 

Golf GTD – Best for driving fun


Although the excellent GTI and R models would be most driving enthusiasts' preferred choice, neither come with the option of a diesel engine and can be hard to justify to your fleet manager because of their higher CO2 emissions.

Combing power and economy is the GTD. Although slower than the GTI, it uses a 181bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine which allows the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. If that doesn’t impress you then the 109g/km of CO2 and an official average fuel consumption figure of 67.3mpg certainly will.

Generously equipped, the GTD comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, climate control, front sports seats, electric fold away mirrors, electronic parking brake, parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic lights and wipers.

Engine and trim: 2.0-litre GTD

P11D Value: £26,615

2014/15 BIK Tax Band: 17 percent

Monthly tax cost:* £75.41 

CO2 Emissions: 109g/km 

Combined MPG: 67.3mpg 

Power: 181bhp 

 

Golf BlueMotion - Best for fuel economy


When it comes to fuel economy the Golf BlueMotion hatchback is the best of the bunch with an official consumption figure of 88.3mpg. The BlueMotion offers impressively low CO2 emissions of 85g/km too, meaning low tax bills for those company car drivers on a budget. Performance isn’t compromised too much either, with 108bhp available and 250Nm of torque between 1,500 and 3,000rpm enabling the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds.

BlueMotion models get their own trim level, based on the S, with standard kit including 15-inch alloy wheels, air-con, DAB radio, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and electric windows.

Available in both three and five-door guises, here we’ve picked the latter for the additional practicality and the fact it only carries a £500 price premium.

Engine and trim: 1.6-litre TDI BlueMotion

P11D value: £21,615

2014/15 BIK Tax Band: 14 percent 

Monthly tax cost:* £50.44 

CO2 Emissions: 85g/km 

Combined MPG: 88.3mpg 

Power: 108bhp

 

Golf GTE – Best for tax bills


Available to order by the end of November 2014, the new Golf GTE plug-in hybrid boasts CO2 emissions of only 35g/km which places it in the five percent BIK tax band for the 2014/15 tax year, meaning low monthly bills for company car drivers.

The 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery is paired with a 1.4-litre TSI direct-injection petrol engine, producing an impressive 201bhp and a theoretical range of around 580 miles. The official combined fuel economy figure is 188mpg, although this figure is best used as a benchmark to compare against other hybrids, rather than as a realistic target for real-world driving. The GTE will be able to travel up to 31 miles on electric power alone at speeds of up to 81mph.

Available as a five-door model only, standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a DSG automatic gearbox.

Charging will take approximately three and a half hours from a domestic plug socket, or two and a half from a wallbox.

Engine and trim: 1.4-litre TSI GTE DSG automatic

P11D value: £27,025

2014/15 BIK Tax Band: 5 percent 

Monthly tax cost:* £22.52 

CO2 Emissions: 35g/km 

Combined MPG: 188mpg 

Power: 201bhp