MPG and running costs
It's difficult to recommend a diesel Golf these days, perfectly capable though the cars themselves remain. VW has undoubtedly cleaned up its act and the latest diesels are highly unlikely to throw up the same issues as their immediate predecessors when tested in a lab or on the road, but opting for one of the (admittedly frugal) TDIs does now carry a higher social (and thanks to government meddling, economic) penalty than it used to. Still, the most frugal Golf TDI, the 1.6 TDI, has an official combined economy figure of nearly 70mpg - there can't be many ways of covering large distances quite so cheaply.
VW has understandably began to push its electric message, and at the forefront of that is the e-Golf. Electric vehicles have their own counter-arguments too, and are undoubtedly cleaner in some countries than they are in others, but stomach the high initial purchase price and no Golf should be cheaper to run.
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Full charges will vary depending on your tarriff but cost single pounds rather than tens, and VW's official figures suggest you'll get 186 miles from a charge - though in real-world driving, we'd anticipate 150 miles to be more likely, and less in particularly cold weather. Looking at the car with an eye on the long-term, it should actually get cleaner to run, though it remains to be seen how vehicle tax changes as more people adopt EV technology and the government begins to make less money from motorists...
The petrol and diesel Golfs are generally frugal in their own right though. Models badged BlueMotion should be least expensive to run, and most petrol models fall in the 50-60mpg range, with diesels adding around 10mpg to that.
Fuelling and taxing the Golf should be cheap then, its always strong re-sale value offsetting any additional purchase cost it demands over its mainstream rivals, while insurance, finance and leasing rates are also predictable and affordable. Fixed price servicing is offered, too, though the Golf’s three-year, 60,000-mile warranty isn’t that generous these days.