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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Golf - MPG, CO2 and running costs

Mild and plug-in hybrid petrol engines help boost efficiency, offering low emissions and improved range

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

MPG, CO2 and running costs Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£27,005 to £34,080
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Volkswagen has introduced many features to improve on the Golf’s green credentials. Plug-in and mild-hybrid versions, stop-start systems and small-capacity 1.0-litre engine options all feature in the model line-up and should help customers make important cost savings.

Company car users will be particularly taken with the 242bhp GTE's blend of performance and low CO2 emissions of 27g/km, while the plug-in model is also able to cover around 38 miles on electric drive alone. Volkswagen claims the GTE will average over 200mpg, although you'll need to ensure you regularly charge the battery to get anywhere near that figure.

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The 201bhp 1.4-litre Style plug-in hybrid model dials down the power a little, but it should still offer enough punch, while overall efficiency improves with up to 42 miles able to be covered via battery power and CO2 emissions of 21g/km.

Diesel economy figures are also impressive, however. VW claims the 2.0 TDI 113bhp version will manage a fuel-sipping 67.5mpg in entry-level Life trim and, while you might not reach that number in everyday driving, you certainly won’t be a regular at the fuel station. Emissions are cleaner, too, with the same base car emitting as little as 110g/km of CO2. The 148bhp diesel is available from Style and up with the seven-speed auto, and it still offers terrific range, with a claimed 62.4mpg maximum and CO2 emissions from 119g/km. Opting for the 197bhp GTD model will mean slightly higher running costs as it returns 54.3mpg and emits 136g/km.

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The petrol cars provide an interesting mix. Delivering a claimed maximum of 52.3mpg, the 109bhp 1.0-litre unit has an identical fuel consumption to the 128bhp 1.5-litre version. With the larger engine actually producing 1g/km of CO2 less than the entry-level engine, and just £600 separating them on the price list, it would be odd not to opt for the extra boost in power.

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The 148bhp eTSI variant is available on entry-level Life models and up, coming only with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. It offers pretty much the same (51.4mpg) fuel economy as the standard 1.5 TSI with its six-speed manual gearbox.

Customers looking towards the performance of the GTI will see average economy of 40.4mpg and emissions from 160g/km, while the GTI Clubsport version delivers slightly worse figures at 38.4mpg and 168g/km. The more powerful R model is slightly less efficient, returning 35.9mpg and 178g/km of CO2.

Insurance groups

Insurance premiums for the Golf shouldn’t be too expensive. The 1.0-litre petrol Life version is in group 14, while the 1.5 TSI 148bhp variant occupies group 19. The 1.5 eTSI is a little higher at group 20, with the top-spec 2.0-litre diesel sitting in group 17.

The higher performance of the GTI and R models means that they are placed in groups 28 and 31, respectively.

Depreciation

A used Golf normally holds onto its value fairly well, but in the Mk8 range there are some models which perform a little better than others. As a whole, the Mk8 Golf should hold on to 51 per cent of its value over three years or 36,000 miles – across hatchback and estate forms. But data suggests the 148bhp (six-speed manual) 1.5 TSI petrol estate model in Life guise keeps its value the best at 56.5 per cent. A manual GTI is the best performer for the Golf hatchback, retaining 56.2 per cent of its original value, while the plug-in hybrid models are predicted to be worth 48-50 per cent over the same three-year ownership period.

Customer confidence in diesel power has taken a hit in recent times, and private buyers may be put off from choosing an oil-burner, particularly as Volkswagen intends to roll-out further electrification across the Golf range. Diesel may still make sense for fleets and those doing high mileages, though.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI Active 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,995

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 TSI Active 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,995

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 333 R 20 Years 4Motion 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £48,195
Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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