Used Volkswagen Golf for Sale | Buy online with Finance
Is a used VW Golf a good buy?
You know what you’re getting with a Volkswagen Golf. Solid build quality, straightforward design and a smooth, quiet ride. It’s a formula that’s enabled Volkswagen to sell more than 25 million Golfs since 1974 and the car remains a top ten bestseller in the UK.
The new eighth generation Volkswagen Golf was launched in 2020 and continues the trend of being a solid and dependable family hatchback.
The range of specifications and bodystyles (there are three- and five-door Golfs, as well as an estate and taller SV version) mean that most buyers will find a Golf that’s right for them.
Under the skin, the Mk8 VW Golf is closely related to the Mk7. The body is slightly longer, wider and taller, but there's the same distance between the wheels - one of the key factors in determining how much interior space there is. It looks sharper, too, but is still recognisably a Golf.
In place of traditional dials there are 10.3-inch digital dials - which some drivers value for their configurability and others dislike for being less crisp and clear than analogue gauges - plus a 10-inch touchscreen media system. There’s Wi-Fi connectivity and also 'Car2X' technology that can link the Golf to other Car2X-equipped vehicles enabling them to share real-time traffic information.
Safety and assistance features, meanwhile, include road sign display, lane assist and front assist to keep you in your lane and prevent you from hitting things in front - plus an electronic differential lock to improve grip on slippery roads.
The Mk7 VW Golf was a big improvement on the Mk6 with an all-new chassis, a larger body offering a roomier interior and bigger boot, and a package of advanced safety features.
A 'facelift' update came in 2017 when the car received some visual tweaks inside and out, with changes to the media system also introduced. The 1.5 TSI Evo engine with cylinder deactivation - which turns off half of the engine under gentle driving to boost fuel economy - also joined the range, replacing the older 1.4 TSI.
We may look back on the Mk7 as the pinnacle of the traditional Golf. It’s good to drive but above all, it’s refined and comfortable. It’s also safe with all versions - at the end of its life in 2019, at least - having automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control - which maintains a safe distance behind the car in front, whether it slows down or speeds up - and parking sensors.
Build quality is excellent while the engine range is wide – with everything from 60mpg diesels and 50mpg petrols to the high-performance GTI and even a 300hp four-wheel-drive super-speedy version called the R.
You could choose three-door and five-door versions of the Mk7 Golf, whereas all Mk8 Golf models come with five doors.
Which used VW Golf should you buy?
If you're after the latest VW Golf Mk8, there’s a choice of 1.0-litre 1.5-litre petrol engines, in regular as well as hybrid forms (those cost around £2000 more) and 2.0-litre diesels. On the road, it feels a little more sporty and less relaxed than the Mk7 Golf.
All versions have alloy wheels, bright LED headlights and parking sensors. Interior quality is excellent but space is roughly what it was before, which means it’s roomy and practical for the size of car. Boot space is merely average for the family hatchback class.
The Mk7 VW Golf was launched with engines ranging from 1.2 and 1.4 TSI petrols to 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI diesels. More powerful GTD, GTI and four-wheel-drive R versions followed and later the plug-in hybrid GTE and all-electric e-Golf. A 1.0 TSI petrol arrived in 2015, replacing the 1.2 TSI.
Throughout, the most popular trim was Match (alloy wheels, better rear suspension for a more comfortable ride and climate control). As the end approached it was replaced by Match Edition, itself based on SE and packed with kit including tinted rear windows and sat-nav.
What used VW Golf Mk7 trim levels are available?
The VW Golf Mk7 came in S, SE, SE Nav, Match, GT and R Line trims. There were also specific versions such as the Volkswagen Golf GTE, GTI and GTD.
VW Golf S
This is the cheapest trim but doesn't skimp on kit with front electric windows, body-coloured electric mirrors, an electronic parking brake with hill start assist, a digital radio, a colour touchscreen display, phone connectivity, air-conditioning and split-fold rear seats all standard. Also standard is the Golf’s usual high-quality feel. A shame it has steel wheels with hubcaps.
Engines are a mix of low-power 1.0 (later models), 1.2 and 1.4 TSI petrols, and a 1.6 TDI diesel. It’s a carpool model really, but if you’re on a budget and your driving routine is undemanding, it’s ideal.
VW Golf SE
Golf SE models bring some welcome features including alloy wheels, rear electric windows, adaptive cruise control and emergency city braking, and boast a higher level of perceived quality over S trim thanks to features such as a leather-covered steering wheel, too.
The SE may not have that much extra over the S, but it feels like a much more complete, desirable package than the basic-feeling S, so if you're on a budget, but don't want to skimp on too many things, SE models are a better choice.
VW Golf SE Nav
The mid-range SE Nav specificationh includes sat-nav, so it doesn’t matter whose phone is paired with the car - you’ll still get route guidance. The navigation software also includes a generally accurate speed limit display, to remind you of how fast you can travel, as well as fuel price and traffic information that’s displayed on the map.
VW Golf Match
Mid-spec Match builds on SE with a richer feeling interior and even more equipment. Most notably there’s a front differential lock that sharpens the handling when cornering, front and rear parking sensors, folding mirrors with puddle lights, and a reverse-activated dipping door mirror.
It also features a selection of driving modes – standard, sport, economy and individual – that enable you to adjust the car’s steering weight, and brake and throttle responses to suit.
The 150hp 2.0 TDI engine is a great partner here: powerful, smooth and economical, but the 125hp 1.4 TSI petrol is more refined and, with the DSG automatic gearbox, very easy to drive.
Whatever the engine, the Match has a very comfortable and quiet ride, in part thanks to its relatively small alloy wheels, meaning more rubber between you and the road. Sportier versions with low-profile tyres are much less comfortable.
The Golf Match Edition replaced Match in 2015. It differs from Match only in having a Discover Navigation system as standard. Individually, this system cost £1100 but Match Edition cost only £100 more than Match, making it excellent value. If you don't want a particularly sporty model, this is a fantastic all-round option.
VW Golf GT
GT brings a feeling of luxury with a sporty flavour in the shape of larger alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension, ambient lighting, even more brushed silver inserts and chrome, and brighter tail lights. As a result, it's not quite as comfortable as Match versions.
GT Edition replaced GT trim in 2015, offering a panoramic sunroof and 18-inch alloy wheels, for £300 more. That's a small price for these extras, which individually typically cost far more than this. However, this and GT are not as comfortable riding as Match, which really is the best trim for most drivers.
VW Golf R Line
This trim has Golf R looks without the performance. It cost £995 more than the GT but adds a bodykit and even a discreet R badge on the grille. However, the wheels are only 17-inch and the exhaust has twin rather than quad tailpipes. The interior is dark and moody alleviated by some splashes of alloy for the pedals and a sports steering wheel borrowed from the R. Have it with either the 150hp 1.4 TSI or 2.0 TDI.
VW Golf GTD
The GTD provides hot hatch performance with lower running costs, as it's powered by a diesel engine. It’s a little more discreet than the GTI but almost as entertaining thanks, especially, to its strong overtaking acceleration. It’s also very relaxing to drive at motorway speeds.
Don't expect 1.6 TDI or even 2.0 TDI economy; nearing 50mpg is around the best it’ll manage in reality. Considering how impressive the regular 2.0 TDI engine is, we'd be tempted to stick with this, since it's not much slower and is enjoyable to drive, while the petrol GTI is far more exciting than the GTD.
The interior in the GTD is influenced by the GTI with check upholstery and lots of brushed metal detailing. Being a diesel, average mileages are higher than for the GTI but thanks to the model’s impressive build quality, even if you choose a model that has covered a reasonably high distance, it should still feel fresh.
What used VW Golf Mk8 trim levels are available?
For the VW Golf Mk8 there were four trim levels at launch: Life, Active, Style and R-Line. The Mk8 Golf Match was launched in January 2024.
VW Golf Life
Volkswagen Golf Life models feature adaptive cruise control, alloy wheels and automatic wipers. Style gets upgraded headlights and bigger wheels, while R-Line brings a sporty flavour with a body kit and sports seats.
VW Golf Active
Active, a new trim for 2021, adds 30-colour ambient lighting, multi-zone climate control and heated seats.
VW Golf Match
The VW Golf Mk8 Match sits above Life trim and has additional equipment including larger alloy wheels, metallic paint, tinted windows, rear view camera and keyless entry.