Donna Kelly has over 14 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
First introduced back in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf Hatchback continues to deliver impressive practicality and excellent driving dynamics.
The latest generation Golf focuses on tech and digital functionality, and as such, takes the number one spot in our best small family cars leasing guide.
Rivals to the Volkswagen Golf Hatchback include the Ford Focus, SEAT Leon, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class, and the Audi A3.
Our Volkswagen Golf Hatchback Review Covers:
Now in its eighth generation, the latest Volkswagen Golf receives some design changes over the previous Mk7 model. While the Golf's overall profile is still unmistakable, the new model boasts a fresh, clean design with narrow LED headlights and a slim front grille. It also has more road presence than ever before, thanks to its imposing bumper that sits lower to the ground, giving it a more responsive performance.
Inside, there's plenty of space for passengers to travel in comfort with a decent amount of head and legroom. The overall interior space inside the Golf is equal to the Ford Focus and BMW 1 Series. Inside, you also get a good selection of cubbyholes, USB-C charging points, and places to store your mobile phone.
At the rear, the Volkswagen Golf has a boot that can hold up to 381 litres, expanding to 1,270 litres with rear seats folded down. The rear seats split 60:40 and fold almost flat, with handy longer loads flap in the middle. The Golf's boot is big enough to fit even the most awkward buggy, making it a popular choice for parents with young children.
The interior of the Volkswagen Golf is fantastic, with high-quality soft materials used throughout. Inside you'll notice that there are far fewer buttons to navigate on the dashboard, thanks to the Innovision Cockpit. A 10-inch touchscreen takes centre stage in the middle of the dashboard, and another 10-inch screen is also behind the steering wheel.
Three trim levels are available, including the entry-level Golf Life, which comes with an infotainment system, a digital driver's display, interior ambient lighting, adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain sensors and 16-inch Norfolk alloy wheels.
The Style trim adds chrome exterior highlights, LED headlights that move as you turn corners, lumbar adjustment on the front seats, three-zone climate control, and 17-inch Belmont alloy wheels.
R-Line models come with 'R-Line' body-coloured bumpers, front sports seats, a leather sports steering wheel, rear privacy glass and 17-inch Valencia Grey metallic alloy wheels.
Under the bonnet, Volkswagen offers a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.
Petrol choices include a 1.0-litre 110bhp and a 1.5-litre engine with either 130bhp or 150bhp, all offered with a six-speed manual transmission.
Diesel engines are available in a 2.0-litre form with three power outputs. The standard 115bhp variant is available with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 150bhp version and 200bhp GTD use the seven-speed DSG auto.
Volkswagen also offers a 1.4-litre GTE 242bhp plug-in hybrid and a 1.4 TSI e-hybrid DSG 204 bhp version that offers exceptional fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.
On the road, the Volkswagen Golf feels excellent to drive. The Golf has a softer suspension set-up than the sportier SEAT Leon, helping to provide a more comfortable, relaxed ride. It also handles bumps and imperfections well while not losing too much in the way of agility.
What's more, the Golf comes equipped with an excellent safety equipment list as standard, gaining a five-star rating in 2020 Euro NCAP safety tests which make it an ideal family car leasing option.
Prices for the Volkswagen Golf Hatchback start from £25,615.00 OTR* or to lease from £217.28 per month.
Want to learn more about leasing the Volkswagen Golf Hatchback? Nationwide Vehicle Contracts is one of the UK's leading car leasing providers. All of our lease deals include the manufacturer's warranty, road tax for the duration of the lease, breakdown cover, and free mainland GB delivery (exclusions apply).
Leasing a Volkswagen Golf Hatchback may be less expensive than you expect, thanks to fixed monthly rentals, a low initial outlay, and variable mileage and contract lengths.
*'On the road' price is correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change. Always check with your nearest retailer.