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Over the years, the Volkswagen Golf has pretty much defined the family hatchback as we know it today. It’s compact enough to thread around town, but the Golf’s comfort and practicality mean that it feels equally at home on longer trips.
What really sets it apart from a lot of small cars, however, is a big car feel to its build quality and design. It’s the sort of car that makes a satisfyingly substantial ‘thunk’ when you close the door, and over the years the Golf has gained a reputation for offering generous levels of standard equipment and a strong safety record.
There’s a wide range of different models to choose from within the Golf range, from fuel-efficient hybrids to fiery hot hatches. Even the entry-level models offer composed handling, with crisp steering and alert responses. Supple suspension helps to soothe away the bumps in the road, while low noise levels and comfortable seating give the Golf an air of calmness.
Golfs are known for their upmarket interiors, with material quality on a par with the likes of BMW and Audi. They offer a reasonable amount of interior space too – you can seat four adults in relative comfort and five at a push, while the boot size is roughly average for its class.
The latest Golf, launched in 2020, moves the game on in all of these respects. One area where it has divided opinion, however, is its infotainment system. Virtually everything from the stereo to the heating is now controlled by the central touchscreen, which isn’t always as intuitive or responsive as you might hope. That aside, it’s business as usual with a comfortable ride, a strong choice of engines and a classy cabin. If you’re looking for a mid-size hatchback to run on a subscription, the Volkswagen Golf deserves to be on your list.
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