Road Test – Volkswagen Golf Life 

VW Golf

Volkswagen’s eighth-generation Golf continues to maintain the company’s long-established record of producing a fine family hatchback noted for its easy driving and outstanding build-quality. 

Priced from €27,250 (£23,875), the new Golf range offers petrol and diesel engines and some hybrid variants. Exterior styling is more sleek and elegant and enhances the Golf’s already cool image. 

It competes against rivals such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, both very accomplished, yet overall the Golf is more refined and offers a smoother more comfortable ride. 

The popular engine choice is the 130 hp 1.5-litre petrol, with  6-speed manual gearbox. It delivers a top speed of 214 kph (133 mph), a 0-100 kph time of 9.2 seconds and average fuel economy of 18.2 kpl (51.5 mpg). Emissions are 122 g/km. 

On the road, the car handles beautifully with precise steering and assured handling. The standard suspension is well-balanced for normal everyday driving though the adaptive suspension is an option for those who are more performance-minded. 

Standard equipment on the entry-level Life model includes digital radio, Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and alloy wheels while the mid-range Style trim adds more kit including larger wheels, LED headlights and three-zone climate control. The top-spec version is the sporty R-Line. 

Safety features across the range include lane-keep assist, auto emergency braking and predictive pedestrian detection. 

The cabin of this new model is almost identical in size to that of its predecessor, so too the boot space of 380 litres. There is good head and legroom for all occupants, comfortable supportive seating and quality trim materials which help give the car a more upmarket persona.   

The main difference in the cabin is a new dashboard design which utilises two digital screens which eliminate many of the usual control buttons and include a voice-control system which can take a little time to become familiar. 

Overall, the new Golf is very impressive, notable for its classy styling and pleasing driving dynamics. It is not the cheapest contender in the medium-size hatchback sector but its strong suite of plus-points are significant and include its superb build-quality, stronger residual values and more badge kudos than many of its rivals. 

Model tested is UK specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets. 

Facts At A Glance:
Model: Volkswagen Golf Life
Engine: 1.5-litre petrol
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Performance: 0-100 kph 9.2 seconds, top speed 133 mph
Economy: 18.2 kpl (51.5 mpg)
Emissions: 122 g/km 

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Written by

Nick Fletcher