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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Golf (2012 - 2019) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Decent space inside the cabin and the boot make the Golf a solid family car choice

We’re looking at the regular Golf hatchback in this review, although if you need extra practicality from your Golf, it’s also offered in MPV-style SV and five-door estate bodystyles.

While the Golf doesn't have class-leading interior space, it’s hardly a significant flaw. In both three-door and five-door formats, Volkswagen’s Golf hatchback ticks all the important boxes: it’s got plenty enough space for five passengers and the boot has a practical shape, too. Visibility is better than most hatchbacks in its class, as well.

Size

The Golf seems to grow with each successive generation, and the Mk7 is 150mm longer, 13mm wider and 4mm lower than the Mk6 but it’s still far from being a huge car by class standards.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

There’s loads of space up front, while rear passengers get plenty of head and legroom. The wide, flat rear seat can take three people without too much of a squeeze, although the centre passenger may find things a bit uncomfortable on longer journeys.

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Getting in and out is a simple matter (especially with the five-door), and child seats are easy to fit in the back using either the car’s seatbelts or Isofix. 

Volkswagen has given the Golf lots of handy storage spaces, including a deep cubby under the front armrest between the driver and front passenger, a large air-conditioned glovebox and numerous cup-holders. Buyers also benefit from vast door bins that are flock-lined to stop their contents from rattling around noisily on the move.

Boot

As ever, the large VW boot badge doubles as the tailgate release and opening it reveals a well-shaped 380-litre boot. Better still, there’s a wide opening and low load lip, while below the adjustable-height false boot floor provides a handy hidden storage area. If you need more room, you can liberate a generous 1,270 litres of capacity by folding the 60:40 rear seats; the load platform is usefully flat, too. Useful additions to the load space include a 12V power supply and a pair of bag hooks, plus there’s a ski-flap for longer items.

Of course, those looking for even more practicality can opt for the Estate model with a big 605-litre boot that expands to 1,620 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The Alltrack version retains this practicality, but adds a raised ride height and four-wheel drive for added versatility.

It's worth noting that the e-Golf and GTE are slightly less practical, because their batteries are mounted under the boot floor. As a result, the e-Golf gets a 343-litre load bay, while the hybrid GTE shrinks to 272 litres. That’s still a very usable amount of space, but you do sacrifice any form of under-floor storage.

Most Golfs can be used for towing (the exceptions are the e-Golf, GTE and R). Depending on model, the maximum unbraked towing capacity varies between 600kg and 670kg, while the braked figure ranges from 1,100kg to 1,600kg.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI 115 S 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £21,500

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.4 TSI GTE 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £31,490

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 300 R 5dr 4MOTION DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,125
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