If you just need a car, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf is the best car you can buy.
Buying a Golf is the sensible thing to do – the reason you see so many is that they are high-quality cars with an uncanny ability to mimic something much more expensive.
Other small cars are more adventurous to look at, but behind those plain lines, Volkswagen knows it doesn’t need to show off.
That’s because – despite rivals creeping closer – the Mark Seven Golf still sets the benchmark in this class, with daylight between it and those vying for second place.
The combination of small but strong turbo engines and sure-footed handling, wrapped in a premium-feeling interior can’t be beat.
It’s no wonder the Golf’s rivals are scrambling to adopt this recipe.
The best value is the base model, which is just ridiculously inexpensive for a car that feels this special – but the middle-pack models most people buy are worth the extra coin.
Look, it’s not perfect – the Golf’s DSG automatic can be a bit unpredictable at town speeds, and these cars are a little more expensive to buy than the competition.
Forgive those things, and it is genuinely hard to name faults. The diesel emissions affair? This generation of Golf was never called into question, and the petrols are the pick anyway.
By now it’ll be pretty obvious that we recommend the Golf if you’re looking to spend between $20,000 and $30,000 on a small car. To find out why, watch the video above – and then read on.
Key specs (as tested)
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