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Buying a new or second-hand Golf? Here's how to choose the right model for you

There are at least six types of VW Golf to choose from.

Image: Newspress

WHEN IT COMES to hatchbacks, the Volkswagen Golf has long been the benchmark for its segment.

These days though it’s not just a case of picking a Golf and deciding on the right spec. Volkswagen now offers more than half a dozen different versions, and then there’s the choice of three-door, five-door or estate body styles. Not to mention a variety of engines.

Oh, and the new Golf MkVII model for 2017 is on the way and should be hitting our shores in April, so there’ll be even more choice.

To help figure out all the different variants, here’s our guide to help you find the right Golf.

The regular Golf

Source: Newspress

Believe it or not, the humble Golf is more than 40 years old now. While the current generations are a far cry from that first model, they still hold many of the core design elements that make the Golf so recognisable.

You can have this standard model in three-door or five-door versions, though the latter is far more practical if you regularly carry passengers in the back. There is also an estate version, something that for a long time wasn’t offered in Ireland. Spec-wise, you can choose from a relatively basic Trendline model up to a well-equipped Highline version, which if the right boxes are ticked can be as luxurious as anything offered by the more premium brands. Our pick would be the Allstar model, which provides a happy medium.

When it comes to engine choice, the 1.6-litre TDI diesel will, for many, be an obvious choice given its claimed fuel economy and tax-friendly emissions. But if you have a shorter daily commute we think the 1.2-litre petrol will surprise many with its capability.

The sporty Golf

Source: Max Earey

If you fancy a Golf with a bit more pep then the GTI could be right up your Strasse, sorry, street. Opt for the latest generation, and you’ll get a highly polished hot hatch that’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine.

A sweet chassis setup combined with a great interior make for a very desirable car. From the distinctive GTI tartan seat inserts to the dimpled golf ball gear knob, this is one hot hatch that seems to have it all.

The sportier-for-longer Golf

Source: Abdruck fuer Pressezwecke honorarfrei

Let’s say you love the performance of a Golf GTI but don’t fancy frequenting your local petrol station as often. The Volkswagen Golf GTD combines a more fuel-efficient diesel engine with almost as much performance and plenty of torque. It gets a similarly aggressive body kit to the GTI while inside the famous tartan is slightly different.

If you do a lot of driving, especially in traffic, then the slick-shifting DSG automatic transmission is best suited to this car.

The eco-friendly Golf

Source: Newspress

Keen to reduce your emissions but aren’t ready or able to go fully electric just yet? Say hello to the Golf GTE, available in Ireland since 2015. This plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses a smaller battery to work in tandem with the turbocharged petrol engine, creating a hybrid system that (on paper anyway) can deliver some impressive performance numbers.

When fully charged, the GTE can cover up to 50km before the petrol engine has to kick in to keep you going. You can also boost performance by selecting the GTE mode, which combines both motors simultaneously to provide maximum power output.

The fully-electric Golf

Source: Newspress

From the bright C-shaped LED daytime running lights in the front bumper to the aerodynamically optimised wheels, you can tell that this is no ordinary Golf. Powered only by electricity, the e-Golf glides near-silently along the road for more than 190km.

While it doesn’t have a fast charge option like the Nissan Leaf, it does look and feel a lot more appealing than its main rival. Going electric still doesn’t come cheap when it comes to the initial purchase, but get past that, and you’ll soon find yourself in the land of more economical motoring.

The fastest Golf

Source: Newspress

With 300hp and all-wheel drive, the Volkswagen Golf R is in the stratosphere of hot hatches. This bonkers model has no lack of performance, but crucially it doesn’t look all that different to a regular common or garden Golf.

It does have a more elaborate front bumper, and around the back, there are the tell-tale quad exhaust tips, but most people will probably be oblivious to one parked on the street. On the move, it’s seriously quick with the dash to 100km/h taking just over five seconds. It might be the most expensive Golf on sale today, but its performance makes it feel worth the money.

The big family Golf

Source: Newspress

So, you’ve got a growing family but don’t want to give in a buy a full-size MPV or people carrier. The Golf SV might just be the solution for you. Looking essentially like a taller, roomier Golf, the SV slips in between regular Golf and the Touran MPV. Ideal for those with two kids and the need to transport plenty of bikes and buggies.

And there you have it – a Golf for everyone, no matter what your needs or wants.

READ: The 10 most expensive TV and film cars ever sold at auction >

READ: Dear Driver: Which electric vehicles have the longest range? >

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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