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Expert Rating

Volkswagen Golf (2012 – 2019)

Our unique Expert Ratings combine scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites to give you a definitive rating on every new car

Expert Rating

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The Volkswagen Golf is a medium-sized family hatchback, available in three- and five-door hatchback body styles, and as an estate. Over more than 40 years, the Golf has been one of the biggest-selling names in automotive history.

This model is the seventh generation, or Mk 7, and was launched in late 2012. Alogn with regular model year tweaks, it received a major update at the end of 2016. Production of the Mk 7 Golf ended in 2019. A replacement model was unveiled in October 2019 and arrived in the UK in Spring 2020.

The Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 was also available as a taller Golf SV MPV version and performance models called the Golf GTI and Golf R. These models are not included on this page.

The Golf received consistently good scores from UK media sources compared to rival cars, and has been widely praised for its refinement and wide range of model choices – in fact, the Mk 8 Golf’s Expert Rating is lower than the Mk 7. The hatchback has tended to score better than the estate, but only by a small amount.

In its 2021 owners’ survey, What Car? rated the diesel-engined Golf Mk 7 as the third worst car on its list of the most reliable family cars up to five years old, just ahead of the Peugeot 308 and SEAT Leon diesel.

Key specifications

Body style: Five-door hatch and estate
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £18,765 on-road

Launched: Winter 2012/13
Last update: Winter 2016/17
Replace: 2020

Image gallery

MEDIA REVIEWS

Reviews, road tests and comparisons from across the UK automotive media

Auto Express

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Autocar

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Car

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Carbuyer

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Evo

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Honest John

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Parkers

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The Sun

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Which?

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Safety rating

Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

The Volkswagen Golf was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2012 and was awarded a five-star rating.

This rating expired in January 2019 and is no longer valid.

ECO RATING

Independent emissions and efficiency ratings from Green NCAP

Model tested: 1.6 TDI 4×2 Manual
Date tested: February 2019

3.1 / 10

CLEAN AIR INDEX

6.7 / 10

ENERGY EFFICIENCY INDEX

Awards

Trophies, prizes and awards that the Volkswagen Golf has received

2019

  • Autocar Awards – Used Car Hero
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Top 50 – Best Medium Car

2018

  • Auto Express Awards – Compact Family Car of the Year
  • Fleet World Honours – Best Lower Medium Car
  • Fleet News Awards – Best Lower Medium Car
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Top 50 – Best Medium Car + Best Plug-In Hybrid
  • Sunday Times Motor Awards – Commuter Car of the Year

2017

  • Auto Express Awards – Compact Family Car of the Year

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Similar cars

If you’re interested in the Volkswagen Golf, you might also like to consider these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Giulietta | Citroën C4 Cactus | Fiat Tipo | Ford Focus | Honda Civic | Hyundai i30 | Kia Ceed | Mazda 3 | Mini Countryman | Peugeot 308 | Renault Megane | SEAT Leon | Skoda Scala | Skoda Octavia | Toyota Corolla | Vauxhall Astra

Best car rankings

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites