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View all Volkswagen Golf reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Efficient BlueMotion petrols and diesels
  • Plug-in hybrid GTE reduces costs further
  • Electric e-Golf cheapest of the lot to run

With so many efficient powerplant options, finding a Volkswagen Golf with low running costs is a straightforward process. Of the conventional options, the 1.6-litre TDI BlueMotion diesel is best with a claimed fuel economy of 83.1mpg – though this is yet to be replaced as part of the 2017 facelift.

BlueMotion is the way to go with the petrol line-up, too. Though the figures for the new 130hp 1.5-litre TSI Evo are yet to be confirmed, VW is hinting this engine should achieve especially good real-world fuel consumption, thanks to its ability to completely shut down the engine whenever possible – even while you’re moving.

What are the hybrid and electric Golfs like?

With its plug-in hybrid petrol-electric drivetrain, the Golf GTE has a combined average of 166.2mpg while the pure-electric e-Golf uses no petrol or diesel at all, but requires charging every 124 miles according to the claimed range.

Keeping charge…

With five levels of regenerative braking available on the e-Golf, the driver can adjust the severity of the brakes that return charge to the battery by nudging the gearlever left or right in D mode. This automatically applies the brakes when lifting off the accelerator pedal, slowing you down gradually to walking pace.

Charging time, as before, stands at nine hours from a regular three-pin socket, or six hours from the optional 3.6kW wallbox fitted to your home. Find a fast-charging DC supply and it’ll take 30 minutes to reach 80% charge.

Performance versions relatively cheap to run

Most expensive in terms of its thirst for fuel is the limited edition GTI Clubsport S – it can only average 38.1mpg, and presumably that’s when it’s being driven incredibly gently on the older NEDC test cycle.

For the mainstream Golf range, other running costs are fairly modest, although the sportier GTI and R models will get through their tyres and brakes at a more frequent rate on examples that have been driven hard.

Only one conventionally-engined Volkswagen Golf has emissions below the 100g/km of CO2 benchmark and that’s the BlueMotion edition of the 1.6-litre TDI, with a claim of 89g/km. This is yet to be replaced after the 2017 facelift, but we expect similar or better figures from any new version.

Even better still is the plug-in hybrid GTE which pumps out just 39g/km of CO2 while the fully electric e-Golf doesn’t produce any CO2 at all.

Worst-polluting of the range? That'll be the R in five-door form, at 162-164g/km of CO2. Higher than most, but then this is the fastest Golf produced to date.

The GTI Performance ranges between 140-155g/km depending on the type of gearbox fitted, while the DSG-only TCR produces around 140-143g/km.

Which VW Golf is best as a company car?

The cheapest entry point into a Volkswagen Golf as a company car is the 1.0-litre TSI S in three-door form, costing just over £68 per month for a 20% taxpayer, based on 2018/19 rates.

We suspect the SE Navigation model will be a popular choice and those opting for the 1.5-litre petrol will pay just over £85 per month for a 20% taxpayer on 2018/19 rates. The diesel route will cost less than £5 per month more, so calculate whether the fuel savings will compensate. The self-shifting diesel will cost even more, with almost a £10 per month difference over the petrol, at just under £95 per month on the same tax rate.



BIK rate (%)

Monthly BIK cost (20%)

mpg (WLTP)

1.0 TSI S 3dr petrol





1.5 EVO 130hp SE Navigation 5dr Manual petrol





1.6 TDI SE Navigation 5dr Manual diesel





1.6 TDI SE Navigation 5dr DSG diesel





GTD Blueline 5dr DSG diesel





Golf GTI Performance 3dr DSG petrol





Golf R five door DSG petrol





e-Golf BEV




TBA. 186 mile NEDC range

Volkswagen Golf reliabiity

  • One recall for this model so far
  • Largely tried and trusted mechanicals
  • Owners are generally satisfied

'If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen'; a phrase dreamed up by marketing executives decades ago that has stuck ever since. And the good news is that Volkswagen Golf reliability should live up to its legendary reputation.

All of the major mechanical components for the petrol and diesel ranges are shared across the entire Volkswagen Group range with a few maladies reported, but nothing major. It’s mainly the relative infancy of the plug-in hybrid and electrical drivetrains where there are a few question marks.

Much of the electronic software for safety and driver assistance is shared, too, although VOSA does cite one recall centred around the steering – this only affected a small number of 2015 cars. The Parkers’ Owners’ Reviews section suggests customers of this-generation Golf are on the whole broadly positive about their Volkswagen experience, although there are one or two tales of woe in there.

Estimated fuel cost per year

Fuel type Pence per litre Estimated cost per year *
Unleaded 128p £895 - £1,663 *
Diesel 131p £718 - £1,027 *

* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.

Highest and lowest CO2 emissions

Engine CO2 emissions Road tax (12 months)
2.0 Tdi (150ps) Diesel g/km (Min) N/A
2.0 TSi (310ps) Petrol 180 g/km (Max) £145 - £260

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0 - £260
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 7 - 39
How much is it to insure?

Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.