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View all Volkswagen Golf reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Rated five stars by Euro NCAP
  • Raft of up-to-date safety kit
  • Many items remain optional, though 

VW Golf review: will my Isofix child seats fit?

There are no prizes for guessing that Volkswagen Golf safety standards are extremely high, with the car being awarded the maximum five stars for its crash-testing performance by Euro NCAP.

That’s partly down to the seven airbags (including one for the drivers’ knees) fitted as standard, but also for the array of other safety devices to be found within the VW.

On top of the usual ESP stability system, the Golf also comes with Automatic Post-Collision Braking which applies the stoppers to a car immediately after an accident, lessening the chance of making contact with other vehicles in the aftermath.

There’s also a Pre-Crash system which tensions seatbelts and closes the gap on opened windows and sunroofs to improve the effectiveness of the airbags if a crash is imminent.

It’s easier to avoid a bump thanks to the Front Assist and City Emergency Braking which warn the driver if the car in front is getting too close and brakes the car to a halt if it stops in front of them (if travelling at less than 18mph).

After the 2017 facelift, this autonomous emergency braking system was upgrade to include pedestrian recognition, so it should brake for them, too.

A road sign recognition system detects speed limits and displays them on the dashboard, while Light Assist controls the high and low beam output automatically in the face of oncoming traffic. Dynamic Light Assist does the same, but keeps high beam on above 37mph and simply masks the output only where it will potentially disturb other road users.

Lane Assist keeps you on track when travelling on the motorway, and finally there’s Automatic Distance Control – an adaptive cruise control system that maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front. A Driver Alert system monitors the driver’s concentration levels and recommends stopping for a break if needs be, too.

In 2017 VW combined these two system to create Traffic Jam Assist, which aims to do all the driving for you up to 37mph – but only while you’re in heavy congestion, and only if it’s able to view the lane markings successfully. Do not confuse this system with more sophisticated technologies with similar names available in more premium cars.

WATCH: VW Golf hatchback Euro NCAP crash test

  • Flexible, flat boot space is well-shaped
  • All models have a 60:40 split rear seat
  • Hybrid and EV have slightly less space

VW Golf review: will my family fit?

Despite its comfortable, borderline luxurious status, the Volkswagen Golf is an effective hatchback, with impressive levels of practicality and flexibility.

Five-door versions – which account for the bulk of the range – are self-evidently more family friendly and by far the more popular bodystyle, even in the sportier echelons of the range. In fact, the only Golf that isn’t especially practical is the limited edition GTI Clubsport S with no rear seats and a completely open boot.

All other Golfs have a 60:40 split rear seat with a load-through panel behind the rear centre armrest optionally available on many models. The seats fold virtually flat too, creating a continuous level depending upon the height you set the adjustable boot floor.

VW Golf review: will my luggage fit?

For petrol- and diesel-engined Golfs, the boot is 380 litres when all the seats are occupied, expanding to 1,270 litres when the back three are folded over.

Opt for either the e-Golf or GTE with batteries packed under the boot floor and these figures change: the full EV model has 343 litres in five-seater mode and 1,233 litres when the rear bench is tumbled, while the plug-in hybrid musters only 272 litres and 1,162 litres respectively.

The cabin’s dotted with good-sized storage cubbies, an adjustable front armrest and well-sited 12-volt charging and USB points.

VW Golf review: will it fit in my garage?

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
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • CD
  • 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
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Remote locking
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

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
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • DVD
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
  • Steel wheels

BlueMotion equipment

BlueMotion standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Service indicator
BlueMotion optional equipment
None available

GT equipment

GT standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
GT optional equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Rear electric windows

GT Edition equipment

GT Edition standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front fog lights
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
GT Edition optional equipment
  • Rear electric windows

GTD equipment

GTD standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Headlight washers
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
GTD optional equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav

GTD BlueLine equipment

GTD BlueLine standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
GTD BlueLine optional equipment
None available

GTE equipment

GTE standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Service indicator
  • Sports seats
GTE optional equipment
  • DVD
  • Sat Nav

GTE Advance equipment

GTE Advance standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Sports seats
GTE Advance optional equipment
None available

GTI equipment

GTI standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
GTI optional equipment
  • Rear electric windows

GTI Performance equipment

GTI Performance standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
GTI Performance optional equipment
None available

GTI TCR equipment

GTI TCR standard equipment
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
GTI TCR optional equipment
None available

Match equipment

Match standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
Match optional equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel

Match Edition equipment

Match Edition standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
Match Edition optional equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Rear electric windows
  • Space saver spare wheel

R equipment

R standard equipment
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
R optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Climate control
  • Rear electric windows
  • Service indicator

R-Line equipment

R-Line standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
R-Line optional equipment
  • Front fog lights
  • Rear electric windows

R-Line Edition equipment

R-Line Edition standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front fog lights
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
R-Line Edition optional equipment
  • Rear electric windows

S equipment

S standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Steel wheels
S optional equipment
  • Rear electric windows

SE equipment

SE standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Lumbar support
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
SE optional equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav

SE Edition equipment

SE Edition standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Cruise control
  • Lumbar support
  • Service indicator
  • Space saver spare wheel
SE Edition optional equipment
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The Volkswagen Golf Hatchback was tested by Euro NCAP in 2012 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2012
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 94%
Child Occupant: 89%
Pedestrian: 65%
Safety Assist: 71%

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.