Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Volkswagen Golf eTSI (2021)

  • Slightly larger than its predecessor
  • Spacious enough for four adults in comfort
  • Boot remains the same size, practically shaped

How much space is there?

Room for everyday life without resorting to enormous external proportions is an absolutely essential requirement for a Golf, so don’t expect a huge amount of extra roominess in this car from if you're progressing from an earlier model. Those switching from rival cars will find a compact family hatch spacious enough for four tall adults to be accommodated comfortably – five at a push.

However, while the Golf has maintained its size for years, rivals such as the Ford Focus, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia have all grown larger. That makes them a better bet for taller folk thanks to their more generous rear leg room.

2020 Volkswagen Golf rear seat space

Boot space and storage

There are a reasonable amount of in-car storage cubbies, with the centre armrest with variable height being especially useful. However, we were disappointed on two counts: the front cupholder is awkwardly positioned and feels flimsily cheap, while in spite of a tiny switch instead of a gearlever on automatic models, there's no generous extra storage space liberated. 

Luggage space is 380 litres with the seats up and 1,237 litres with them down. That’s average for the class, and although seats up that's more than that Ford Focus (at 375 litres), it's beaten roundly by that car's seats-down 1,354 litres, with the Skoda Octavia easily beating both. The rear seats split 60:40 and fold near flat, while there's a handy longer loads flap in the middle.

It's worth noting the plug-in hybrid eHybrid and GTE models lose out on boot space to make room for the hybrid tech - with capacity dropping to 273-litres or 1162-litres with the rear seats folded.

Read more about the GTE's practicality

2020 Volkswagen Golf bootspace

Is it easy to park?

The Volkswagen Golf is a classically-sized European hatchback, and it's fair to say that there won't be too many issues fitting it into the all but the tightest of spaces.

Rear three-quarter visibility over your shoulder isn't great, and the rear windscreen is a little shallow. But the mirrors are good, and there are options to add front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera or fully automatic parking systems. With any of those aids in place, parking a Volkswagen Golf should pose no problems.

How big is it?

  All Volkswagen Golf models
Length  4,284mm
Width (without mirrors)  1,789mm
Width (with mirrors)  2,073mm
Height  1,456mm

View full specs

Safety

  • Five-star Euro NCAP score
  • Ample safety kit as standard
  • Lots of exciting tech available

As you'd hope for a car with such sales potential, Volkswagen's made sure it's well up to the mark when it comes to safety. This is reflected in a full five-star score across all models regardless of trim level. Euro NCAP noted it offered 'excellent crashworthiness and standard-fit of a number of assist systems', some of which will be tested in future NCAP assessments.

The Golf is loaded with high-tech safety systems, such as:

  • Car2X communications – this allows the Golf to communicate with other similarly-equipped cars and infrastructure to relay details of hazards such as accidents, jams and slippery conditions in order to give drivers even greater warning.
  • Travel Assist – VW’s latest iteration of its driver-assistance system means the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping system is even more reliable and now requires drivers to merely touch – rather than hold – the wheel while it’s in operation.
  • Adaptive cruise control with predictive speed detection – using the existing system, but embellishing it with the ability to adapt speed based on mapping data and speed limit signs automatically.
  • Turn-off assist – designed to apply the brakes when crossing the flow of traffic, as you would at a crossroads. If the car senses an impending impact, the Golf will automatically brake to avoid a crash altogether or reduce the severity of it.
  • IQ Light – all Golfs come with LED headlamps, but with three levels of sophistication. IQ Light is the highest, with matrix functionality to allowing just sections of the main beam to be switched on and off, rather than the whole thing.

How many Isofix points are there?

There are two Isofix points for child seats in the Golf, located on the two rear outer seats.

Watch: Volkswagen Golf Euro NCAP crash test

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Volkswagen Golf Hatchback.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Audio remote
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats

Active equipment

Active standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Heated seats
Active optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Space saver spare wheel

Life equipment

Life standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Audio remote
Life optional equipment
  • Space saver spare wheel

R Line equipment

R Line standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Sports seats
R Line optional equipment
  • Space saver spare wheel

Style equipment

Style standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Front fog lights
  • Sports seats
Style optional equipment
  • Leather seat trim
  • Space saver spare wheel

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The Volkswagen Golf Hatchback was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2019
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 95%
Child Occupant: 89%
Vulnerable Road Users: 76%
Safety Assist: 78%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.