THIS is the cheapest Golf. Just a one-litre petrol manual. Entry level.

And it’s £23,960. Has the world gone mad? Twenty-four grand for a boggo hatch?

VW Golf Life is on your side and will get you round with no drama

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VW Golf Life is on your side and will get you round with no dramaCredit: Dean Smith

Well actually, take a proper look and it starts to feel more like value.

For a start, no one actually turns up at a dealership and hands over the full price in a cheque or fifties.

More than nine out of ten cars are bought on finance.

Bring your trade-in as a £5,000 deposit and the PCP payments over three years are £250 a month.

It has radar cruise control, LED headlamps, climate control. inductive device-charger - and more

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It has radar cruise control, LED headlamps, climate control. inductive device-charger – and more

And we’re not talking stripped-out prison-van spec. Across the dash are two high-res 10in screens. One for the instruments, the other is the touchscreen for music and satnav.

The trim and cloth is quality stuff. At night, coloured ambient light strips give the place a cocktail-bar vibe. Where you’re the DJ.

There’s radar cruise control and LED headlamps. Six speeds in that manual box. Climate control. Inductive device-charger. All-round parking sensors. And more.

We’ve told you about VW’s obsession with getting rid of all the switches. This Golf, too, has annoying touch-sliders for volume and temperature.

This base version of Golf  has actual switches on the steering wheel

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This base version of Golf has actual switches on the steering wheel

But where top-end Golfs also have touch-pads on the steering wheel, this base version has actual switches. Which feel far more expensive and nicer to use. Win. Back-seat space is fine, and the boot is big for the class, too.

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But best of all, the Golf goes down the road like Golfs always do. It feels refined, solid, well-engineered and, yes, expensive.

The doors shut with that famous German-car thunk. Your seat is firm, the gearshift well-oiled, the steering natural.

Key facts: VW GOLF LIFE

  • Price: £23,960
  • Engine: 1- litre turbo petrol
  • Power: 110hp, 200Nm
  • 0-62mph: 10.2 secs
  • Top speed: 126mph
  • Economy: 52mpg
  • CO2: 121g/km
  • Out: Now

The engine is a one-litre three-cylinder with a turbo. Which you might expect in a city car. But is it up to the job for a bigger family hatch on long trips?

Easily. It seldom feels any kind of strain. In fact much of the time you hardly hear it.

Unless you drive it like you stole it, 50mpg is in easy reach.

Now, this isn’t a GTI. Throw it into a roundabout or sharp bend and there’s a bit of rubberiness in the steering.

But the Golf is on your side and will get you round with no drama.

Meanwhile, the suspension quietly deals with most bumpiness.

This is not a car to shake you up. Nor your wallet come to that.

Volkswagen has partnered with Tesco to offer free charging for electric cars while customers shop





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