Exploring the options: The new Volkswagen Golf Mk VII

The next generation of Volkswagen’s iconic Golf is finally among us and as we pretty much as expected, it’s pretty good car, and the seventh carnation of the now 39-year-old model looks to immediately be a class-leader in the family hatchback sector or motoring.

Most who fall for the new Golf Mk VII’s charm and overall capabilities will likely go straight for the diesel options, but for those that like a bit of choice, it’s always a worthwhile move to take a look at the whole range and take on board of what’s available.

Right now there’s no GTi variant – a near-production version appeared at the Paris Motor Show – and any sort of ‘R’ version will be at least a year away, so it’s about being sensible for the time being and sizing up the standard petrol and diesel models for now.

Specs: S, SE and GT

Engines: 1.2 TSI 85ps (from £16,285), 1.2 TSI 105ps (from £17,295), 1.4 TSI 122ps (from £18,055), 1.6 TDI 105ps (from £18,710) and the 2.0 TDI 150ps (from £21,360)

The base S spec model is given access to all of the engine choices barring the range topping 2.0 diesel, whilst the SE is available with all but the 1.2 petrol variants. The GT model has the choice of the 2.0 TDI, as well as one additional choice in the ACT 1.4 TSI 140ps engine (from £22,305), the most powerful petrol unit across the model range.

Standard equipment: Obviously the GT model will get the most toys on board, but the S isn’t entirely left out when it comes to standard equipment inside the cabin, with all three models getting air con without paying extra, as well as a touch of chrome here and there.

However, if you are looking for a car with plenty of practicality, you want to be looking at the SE at least, as commodities such as extra storage and luggage capabilities are only available with the top two variants and the GT gets everything as standard. Those wanting comfort and a nice environment will also want to look towards the GT if your budget allows, with the top model having the top end altcantara upholstery.

Those interested in gadgets will be happy to know that the likes of Bluetooth and the Composition Media System are standard to both the S and SE, with the GT getting Bluetooth as well, but a fancier media centre. The very handy Start/Stop function is also standard across the Golf Mk VII range, whilst cruise control is an optional extra on the S model alone.

When it comes to wheels, the S gets 15”s as standard, the SE 16”s and the GT 17”s. The latter also gets sports suspension which lowers the car by 10mm.