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2016 Volkswagen Golf Review


Good points

  • The best small car you can currently buy
  • Punchy engines lead very refined driving dynamics
  • High quality, especially in the cabin

Needs work

  • More expensive than some rivals
  • Double clutch auto still needs polish
  • They’re literally the only problems
2016 Volkswagen Golf Review - Chasing Cars

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.

2016 Volkswagen Golf Review - Chasing Cars

Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)
Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)

Key specs (as tested)

Single turbocharger
Double clutch
Power to weight ratio
87kW / tonne
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
Average Range
926 kilometres
Front wheel drive
Engine configuration
4.35 metres
1.8 metres
1.49 metres
Unoccupied weight
1.27 tonnes
Cargo space seats up
380 litres
Cargo seats down
1270 litres

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Terms and conditions

The estimate provided does not take into account your personal circumstances but is intended to give a general indication of the cost of insurance, in order to obtain a complete quote, please visit www.budgetdirect.com.au. Estimate includes 15%^ online discount.
^Conditions Apply

Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.

Indicative quote based on assumptions including postcode , 40 year old male with no offences, licence suspensions or claims in the last 5 years, a NCD Rating 1 and no younger drivers listed. White car, driven up to 10,000kms a year, unfinanced, with no modifications, factory options and/or non-standard accessories, private use only and garaged at night.

^Online Discounts Terms & Conditions
1. Discounts apply to the premium paid for a new Budget Direct Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance, Third Party Property Only or Third Party Property, Fire & Theft Insurance policy initiated online on or after 29 March 2017. Discounts do not apply to optional Roadside Assistance.
2. Discounts do not apply to any renewal offer of insurance.
3. Discounts only apply to the insurance portion of the premium. Discounts are applied before government charges, taxes, levies and fees, including instalment processing fees (as applicable). The full extent of discounts may therefore be impacted.
4. We reserve the right to change the offer without notice.