Ireland's best-selling car is that for a good reason.
The Volkswagen Golf may not be the most exciting looking car, nor the most engaging to drive, but it does everything well, while having an extra air of quality that all its rivals strive to achieve.
What is it?
There's a Volkswagen Golf for everyone, from the entry-level three-door model starting at €21,000 on-the-road to the highly popular 1.6-litre TDI versions and the range-topping GTI, GTD and Golf R. Its biggest direct rivals are the Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia, Toyota Auris and Opel Astra, but there are plenty of other C-segment hatchbacks it betters and outsells too. High-performance models aside, all Golfs are in A bands for low road tax and there's a wide range of good petrol or diesel engines to choose from.
What is it like?
Although the current Golf is the sleekest ever, it's still unmistakably a Golf and that's part of its appeal for the masses. It doesn't take much to make it look highly desirable. The interior is arguably even more successful, with exceedingly high quality and lovely switchgear. It's not the most spacious in the class, but it's well put together. This is backed up by a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating. On the road, all Golfs are refined, smooth and quiet to drive, reinforcing the high quality feel.
Carzone verdict: 4.5/5
Although it's hard to fault the Golf, if you take the badge image and undoubtable showroom appeal out of the equation and try to be logical, then it's clear that it's not the best family hatchback in every way. The Focus, for example, is more engaging to drive, as is the SEAT Leon, while the Octavia has far more space and equipment for less outlay. Nonetheless, the Golf name means a lot to a lot of people so we expect it to retain its crown for some time to come.