Volkswagen Golf (04 - 09)

If you have driven a Golf before, then you will know exactly what to expect. It’s the car that needs absolutely no introduction. However, if you haven’t had the pleasure, you’ll find out what rock-solid German engineering is all about. It is a solid, reliable and steadfast and is the benchmark for other cars in this segment. This generation carries on with all the characteristics of past models, with some tweaks to the appearance. It looks more powerful, modern and has even more cabin space. Inside, it is one of the best in class in terms of quality, standard kit and appearance. The seats are comfortable, there is ample leg and head room, and you can fit five. To drive, it is just as you would expect from a Golf. The steering is assured and the car feels well planted on corners; the ride quality is smooth for the most part and there is little road noise in the cabin.

Look out for

•  According to reports, there can be issues with the door seals in the older models

What we like

•  An enjoyable and easy car to drive. Ideal for learners

•  Good selection of economical and efficient engines to choose from

•  The interior is probably the best in class. It’s refined and comfortable

•  The handling, steering, and ride quality are excellent

What we don't like

 •  The diesel engines can be noisy but they are reliable