Volkswagen Golf review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
Advanced engine tech means most versions in the Golf range are very efficient, offsetting the high initial purchase cost
Volkswagen has ensured that the Golf is very easy on the wallet – so much so that even the racy 2.0-litre GTI returns impressive economy.
If you’re after properly frugal motoring, though, then it’s good to know that you can choose between either the 1.0-litre petrol with 109bhp, or the 114bhp 1.6 diesel, and still have CO2 emissions raging from 104-111g/km - and that’s regardless of whether your gearbox is a manual or a DSG automatic.
In the meantime, the gutsy 1.5-litre unit with 128 or 148bhp isn’t bad at avoiding the pumps either; its cylinder deactivation technology means it returns claimed figures ranging from 57.6 to 52.3mpg, depending on gearbox, wheel and body style options, and CO2 emissions ranging from 111-119g/km.
The Golf GTE's claimed economy figures are impressive, with the promise of up to 166mpg combined. Like all plug-ins, that figure needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, as to stand any hope of getting close to that figure you need to be able to run on electric power only for a large chunk of your commute. When the batteries are drained, you should manage about 55mpg. Its big appeal comes as a company car, thanks to its low Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax rate making it very cheap to run.
The e-Golf is, like most EVs, costly to buy from the outset, but that initial expense can be offset by it costing only a few pounds to fully charge up (depending on when and where you charge). Expect around 130-140 miles of range from a charge in the real world, although that varies hugely depending on your driving style and usage.
Insurance ranges from Group 11 for the entry-spec Golf 1.0 TSI S - up from Group 7 for the old 1.2 petrol - to a sky-high 39 for the rapid Golf R. We've found insurance quotes are competitive with class rivals, so the perceived prestige of the VW badge doesn't come with any financial penalty.
Private buyers that are looking to maximise their returns will likely be swayed by the Golf’s impressive residual forecast. Our experts predict the Golf will be around 39-46 per cent of its new value after three years and 36,000 miles, which is better than almost any other rival.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen Golf review (2012 - 2019)The Volkswagen Golf continues to be an impressive all-rounder that justifies its price premium over family hatchback rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveGolfs span every taste, from a mild-mannered shopping car to a fire-breathing hot hatch
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running Costs - currently readingAdvanced engine tech means most versions in the Golf range are very efficient, offsetting the high initial purchase cost
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt doesn't look or feel very exciting, but the Golf is well made and well equipped. The latest infotainment system can be fiddly, though
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceDecent space inside the cabin and the boot make the Golf a solid family car choice
- 6Reliability and SafetyTop-notch safety is a big plus point, but the Golf might not be as reliable as VW would have you imagine