10 best alternatives to the Volkswagen Golf in 2024

June 03, 2024 by

If you’re looking for a car which does it all, the Volkswagen Golf is hard to beat. It’s comfortable, practical and well-made, and it offers a range of economical engines.

That said, this jack of all trades might not appeal to everyone, and there are plenty of other cars out there to consider. With that in mind, here are 10 of the best Volkswagen Golf alternatives.

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Volvo EX30
  3. Peugeot 308
  4. Skoda Octavia
  5. Toyota Corolla
  6. Nissan Qashqai
  7. Ford Puma
  8. Volkswagen T-Roc
  9. Vauxhall Astra
  10. Mazda 3

1) Honda Civic

Honda Civic
  • Recommended trim: Sport
  • Recommended engine: 2.0-litre petrol hybrid
  • Starting price: £35,005*
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,778*
  • Wowscore: 9/10

The latest Honda Civic gives the Golf a run for its money in the family hatchback class, offering a similar blend of practicality and low running costs. It’s out on the road where the Civic really shines though, managing to be both fun to throw around corners and comfortable over bumps.

It may not be the most exciting thing to look at, but then again neither is the VW. You also only have one engine to choose from, but it’s a peach. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre petrol hybrid which is smooth, quick and economical.

2) Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30
  • Recommended trim: Ultra
  • Recommended engine: Single-motor extended-range
  • Starting price: £33,795*
  • Wowscore: 10/10

Looking to make the switch to an electric car? Well VW doesn’t make an electric Golf anymore so check out the Volvo EX30. For just a few thousand pounds more than a Golf this electric SUV has sleek Scandinavian styling and loads of safety tech, as well as a Carwow Car Of The Year award.

It may be a bit tight in the back seats, however those up front will be comfortable and relaxed as the EX30 wafts you to your destination in silence. You can even get a bonkers dual-motor version with 428hp, although we’d recommend sticking to the rear-wheel drive car for the added driving range.

3) Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308
  • Recommended trim: Allure
  • Recommended engine: 1.2-litre petrol automatic
  • Starting price: £28,060*
  • Average Carwow saving: £7,302*
  • Wowscore: 8/10

The VW Golf may be a bit too bland for some, however that criticism can’t be levelled at the Peugeot 308. This funky French hatchback certainly stands out in the supermarket car park, and it’s just as stylish when you step inside.

Admittedly the small steering wheel may not be to everyone’s taste, but if it suits you then you can enjoy the generous standard equipment and high-quality cabin. It’s good to drive as well, if not quite as comfortable as the Golf.

4) Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia
  • Recommended trim: SE L
  • Recommended engine: 1.5-litre petrol automatic
  • Starting price: £24,550*
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,196*
  • Wowscore: 8/10

The Skoda Octavia may share parts with the VW Golf under the skin, but it blows it out of the water in terms of practicality. The Skoda has over double the boot space of its stablemate, and the rear seats are more spacious as well.

In addition to the cavernous interior space, you also get all the same efficient engine options as the Golf and similarly generous levels of standard equipment. It may be a bit bland, but it’s hard to beat in terms of value-for-money.

5) Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla
  • Recommended trim: design
  • Recommended engine: 1.8-litre hybrid
  • Starting price: £30,505*
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,239*
  • Wowscore: 8/10

If a no-nonsense family runaround sounds appealing to you, look no further than the Toyota Corolla. It’s only available with a range of fuel-sipping hybrid engines, and you can have up to a 10-year warranty if you keep your car serviced on time at a Toyota dealership.

The Golf does have more rear legroom, however it doesn’t compete for standard equipment. All versions of the Corolla get adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a reversing camera, helping make day-to-day commuting less stressful.

6) Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai
  • Recommended trim: N-Connecta
  • Recommended engine: 1.3-litre petrol automatic
  • Starting price: £27,135*
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,998*
  • Wowscore: 8/10

Family SUVs are all the rage these days, and the Nissan Qashqai can be yours for around the same price of a Golf. It’s a smart-looking thing, and you get a practical, well-made interior as well.

There’s not much fun to be had behind the wheel, but the Qashqai is comfortable and easy to drive. An updated Qashqai has also recently hit the market touting more technology and a bold new look.

7) Ford Puma

Ford Puma
  • Recommended trim: ST-Line
  • Recommended engine: 1.0-litre petrol manual
  • Starting price: £25,650*
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,171*
  • Wowscore: 8/10

The Ford Puma is one of the most fun small SUVs on the market when you hit a back road, but that doesn’t mean it’s a pain to live with. Despite its smaller size, it has a massive boot with a handy compartment under the floor.

This extensive luggage area does come at the expense of rear passenger space, because taller adults may struggle for knee room. That said, the Puma is still a stylish and well-equipped small SUV with plenty of character.

8) Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc
  • Recommended trim: Style
  • Recommended engine: 1.5-litre petrol automatic
  • Starting price: £28,330*
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,117*
  • Wowscore: 7/10

Sticking with the SUV theme for a minute, why not consider the Golf’s jacked-up counterpart? The Volkswagen T-Roc is essentially the same as the Golf under the skin, however you get chunky styling and a raised ride height.

You do have to pay a premium over the Golf for this more trendy SUV, and the T-Roc isn’t much more practical either. Still, it’s good to drive around town, and it’s even quite good when things get twisty.

9) Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra
  • Recommended trim: GS
  • Recommended engine: 1.2-litre petrol automatic
  • Starting price: £26,970*
  • Average Carwow saving: £5.161*
  • Wowscore: 7/10

For years the Vauxhall Astra was seen as just a cheap alternative to the Golf, but this new version is much more than that. It looks fantastic for starters, and the interior quality can almost match that of the VW.

It’s not quite as good to drive as the Golf, with that car being a bit more comfortable, but the Astra has a massive boot and it’s packed with all the latest tech.

10) Mazda 3

Mazda 3
  • Recommended trim: Homura
  • Recommended engine: 2.0-litre petrol manual
  • Starting price: £23,995*
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,369*
  • Wowscore: 7/10

It’s been around for a few years now, but the Mazda 3 is still a great-looking hatchback. It’s much more exciting to behold than the Golf, and it easily matches it in terms of interior quality as well.

That swoopy styling does compromise interior space a bit, with rear headroom and boot space suffering the most, but you’ll forget about this after a blast down a twisty road. The Mazda 3 is really good fun to throw around, and it’s loaded with tech as well.

*Prices and Carwow savings correct at the time of writing

Volkswagen Golf FAQs

Is VW discontinuing the Golf?

In short, no. The Golf is an iconic model for VW, so the nameplate isn’t going anywhere for now. What could change though is what’s under the bonnet, because the next generation is likely to be all-electric.

What is the electric alternative to the Volkswagen Golf?

The Volkswagen ID3 is the brand’s EV equivalent to the Golf, although it could be replaced in a few years by an electric Golf. There are plenty of EVs to consider if you’re after an electric Golf alternative like the Volvo EX30, Cupra Born, Smart #1 and Peugeot e-308.

What car is slightly bigger than a Volkswagen Golf?

If you’re looking for a more spacious alternative to the Volkswagen Golf, the Skoda Octavia should be your go-to. It uses a lot of the Golf’s parts, however it has a much bigger boot and more interior space.

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