Since 1974, the VW Golf has been one of the most popular, and best all-around cars money can buy. The reason why the Golf is as successful as it is, is the fact that it combines a few worlds into a single package without costing a lot of money. The Golf is large enough, it offers high-quality materials, technology, comfort, and decent running costs without costing a lot of money.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Volkswagen managed to sell more than 35 million units since the inception of the VW Golf. A year ago VW introduced the brand-new 8th generation VW Golf to continue one of the most popular timelines in the automotive industry. However, which VW Golf is best?
The best VW Golf model of them all is the VW Golf Mk7.5 because it is a more complete package compared to the newest Golf and because it is a lot better than the regular Mk7 Golf. The second best VW Golf model is the brand-new Mk8 model because it brought the VW Golf into a new era.
The third best VW Golf model is the regular Mk7 Golf because it is better than the Mk6, but not nearly as good as the Mk7.5 and the Mk8. Either way, the Mk6, and the Mk5 are also really good options, especially if you go for post-facelift models.
2017-2020 VW Golf Mk7.5
The 7.5 Golf was introduced in 2017 as a thoroughly revised version of the regular 7th generation VW Golf. The 7.5 introduced a host of upgrades over the regular Mk7 which made the Mk7.5 a lot more competitive. The 7.5 Golf comes with more powerful engines, a revised transmission, and higher fuel efficiency.
Design-wise, the 7-5 Golf got a host of upgrades such as the LED headlights and taillights, a more streamlined front end and back design, and better-looking wheels. The 7-5 is the very first Golf offered with a fully digital gauge cluster while the center infotainment screen and a few additional touches in the interior are leagues above the regular Golf 7.
Reliability-wise, the 7.5 Golf is better than the Golf 7 and the Golf 8 because the 7.5 solved many issues that plagued the Golf 7. The Golf 8 is still in its early days which means that problems are easy to come by, but those are likely to be remedied with the eventual Golf 8.5.
2020-Present VW Golf Mk8
2020 introduced the brand-new VW Golf 8 which is considered a controversial car by many. Volkswagen didn’t go overboard with the exterior design which some people praise while others criticize. Either way, it’s safe to say that the Mk8 Golf both does not look all that new and that poorly-specified models look cheap.
The interior is where most of the controversy is situated because the Golf 8 comes with a bunch of touch-sensitive issues which is not necessarily a good thing. VW Golf has always been laid out perfectly which means that ergonomics are a bit part of what makes a VW Golf, and if you change that and make the car filled with touch-sensitive buttons, the car is not as easy to use as it once was.
Secondly, the build quality in the Mk8 is nowhere near as good as it is on the 7.5. VW was struck hard by the Dieselgate scandal, and it shows. However, the Mk8 is still the most advanced, most powerful, most capable, and most comfortable Golf yet.
2012-2017 VW Golf Mk7
If we go back in time and compare the reception the Golf 7 had with the reception the Golf 8 had, we will immediately notice why so many people praise the Golf 7, and why so many people criticize the Golf 8. The Golf 7 looks different enough from the Golf 6 while also looking the part, especially in R-Line, GTI, and GTD spec.
The interior of the Golf 7 is more or less the same as in the 7.5 minus the digital cockpit and the better-looking central screen. The reason why the Golf 7 is as good as it is, is because it offers the best value for money out of all VW Golf models on this list, and that is why the Golf 7 is now one of the most popular used cars on the market.
Sure, the Golf 7.5 is more reliable, and it looks better, but the Golf 7 is cheaper and the overall experience is not all that different. The Golf 8 is leagues above the Golf 7 when it comes to price, even though it lacks build quality when compared to the Golf 7.
Which VW Golf trim level is the best?
The VW Golf typically comes in a dew different trim options such as Highline, Trendline, Comfortline, R-Line, GTI, GTE, GTD, and Golf R. The Trendline and the Comfortline trims are the entry-level trim options because they come with basic equipment levels, but can be upgraded through individual options.
The Highline trim level is the mid-level spec and is the preferred choice by many 2nd hand Golf customers. The R-Line is the best visual package for the Golf, the GTD is the best and most powerful diesel Golf, the GTI is the most iconic hot-hatch while the Golf R is the most powerful Golf model, and the only AWD performance Golf there is.
Is the VW Golf GTI better than the VW Golf R?
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is a competitor to the Audi S3 while the Golf R is the competitor to the Audi RS3 which means that the GTI/S3 are the entry-level performance models while the Golf R/RS3 are the top-spec hot hatchbacks.
The GTI typically offers between 200hp and 250hp depending on the model year while the Golf R typically offers around 300hp. The Golf R offers four exhaust pipes and a permanent AWD system while the Golf GTI offers two exhaust pipes and a permanent front-wheel-drive system.
Which VW Golf is the worst?
The Mk4 and especially the Mk4 GTI Golf is the worst VW Golf out of them all, but it is not necessarily a bad car. The Golf 4 GTI never really offered anything special because it looks the same as the regular Golf, it lacks power, and it drives in a really lifeless manner.
As stated above, don’t think that the Mk4 is a bad car because it isn’t, but compared to all the other VW Golf models, it is certainly the weakest link.