By Jack Evans

The Volkswagen Golf is a motoring icon with roots stretching back to 1974 and across seven generations.

Today, it epitomises the small, quality hatchback and still retains a classless quality that has won it so much praise throughout the years.

With a strong build quality and a premium image, the newest MK7 Golf is a fine investment. Treating owners to good standards of equipment as well as an involving drive, the Golf is still one of the class leaders in the small car sector.

We’ve been through the range to find the models that appeal to those looking to spend a little less, those wanting a range of toys inside and those hoping to get the best value from a car purchase.

The smart choice or those on a budget – Golf Match

The Match is Volkswagen’s entry-level Golf. This means a £20,300 price tag, but includes 16” alloy wheels, parking sensors at both front and rear and adaptive cruise control.

Owners will also be treated to electronically foldable door mirrors, a media system and a choice of either three or five door layout.

The 1.6 TDI Bluemotion engine will also achieve 74.3mpg, meaning fewer trips to the pumps.

The Match still benefits from that all-involving drive that is at the heart of all Golfs, so owners should still have a smile on their face in even this entry-level version.

The smart choice for value for money – Golf GT

This model comes with more standard kit than the match, albeit for just over £2,000 more.

For the increase in price, buyers get 17” Dijon alloys, ambient lighting and a full satellite navigation system.

Similar to the Match, you get parking sensors at both the front and the rear, but also front fog lights and tinted windows all round.

Inside, the GT is tastefully trimmed in Titan black alcantara, which gives it a sportier edge over the Match. However, it can still be specified with the Match’s ultra-efficient BlueMotion engine, but we’d go for the slightly more powerful 2.0-litre unit which races from 0-62mph in just 8.6 seconds.

The smart choice for technophiles – Golf R

The Golf R is the range’s fastest model and also features the most involving drive of almost any hatch on the market today.

For those who love high performance, there’s no further to look than the Golf R. With a 2.0-litre petrol engine, the Golf R rockets from 0-62 in just 4.9 seconds thanks to its four-wheel drive system.

On the outside, the Golf R is trimmed in Volkswagen’s ‘R’ styling pack and sits on 18” ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels. It also features sports suspension, which means the Golf R is more than capable enough for even the tightest country roads.

Inside, the Golf R features a Composition Media System and a leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel.

All of this performance and luxury does come at a cost. The Golf R starts at £30,820 and this could nudge £40,000 should the right boxes be ticked on the options sheet. However, for technophiles, the amount of technology and performance on hand makes it the perfect choice.

Picture: Newspress