Volkswagen Golf options review

Adding options to a Volkswagen is like standing at the deli counter in a posh supermarket with a tenner in your pocket. You know you’re going to spend a decent sum of money for your meal, but you still can’t (or don’t want to) stretch the budget for every little treat that tempts you. You need to be shrewd.

Do you plump for the mozzarella-stuffed olives, or heated washer nozzles?

That’s where this carwow Volkswagen Golf options guide comes in handy. We’ve explained all the major options available on the Golf, and categorised them as essential, useful and frivolous.

Essential options

Parking sensors front and rear (£75)

You might be the best of the bay parkers, but that one dark night when you’re tired is almost guaranteed to be the time you clip a hidden flower pot with your bumper. Parking sensors also give you a bit more confidence about lending your car to less-than-careful offspring or partners. You get these for free if you spend £600 on the super-clever park assist feature (see below).

Convenience pack (£100)

A do-it-all pack that includes an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers – which work courtesy of a sensor in the top of the windscreen. Volkswagen has taken three features that you’d be really annoyed without, and bundled them together. Handy!

Useful options

Bi-Xenon headlights (£805, £1,200 with daytime running lights)

These are standard on the sporty GTI, GTD and R models, bi-xenon headlights give a brighter, whiter light, and Volkswagen’s can ‘look’ into corners as you turn the steering wheel. Xenon headlights will also add headlight washers to keep them clean. Useful if you do lots of night-time or winter driving in the countryside, or if you want to make a surprisingly big improvement to the look of the Golf – white xenons look a lot posher than yellower halogen headlights.

Discover / Discover Pro nav and radio system (£750 / £1,165)

The Discover sat-nav system adds a nifty 5.8-inch touch-screen sat nav to lower trim level Golfs. Discover Pro is available on higher trims and adds a whopping eight-inch colour touch-screen sat-nav system, DVD player, hard-drive media player. Phew. It looks seriously impressive, but then it’s a considerable sum of money to spend. The hard-drive is a 64GB solid-state unit, so it’ll be super fast and can hold a good chunk of music without having to stream it from your devices. It comes with European map data too, so you don’t need to think twice before boarding the ferry to Calais…

Park assist (£600, £150 on GT models)

This is one of our favourite ways to scare passengers (well, it beats closing your eyes at 70mph on the M1). This gives you the ability to sidle up to a nice small parallel parking spot, taking your hands off the wheel and watching with awe as the steering wheel spins, slotting the car neatly into a space. You just control the speed with the pedals and flick between first gear and reverse as and when the car tells you to. The Golf gets the latest version of the technology so it’ll also get you into and out of parking bays.

Winter pack (£380)

If you do lots of year-round driving in Scotland or Northern England then this could well be essential. It includes headlight washers, heated front seats, heated windscreen washer jets and a warning light to tell you when you need to refill the washer reservoir. If you spec cloth seats instead of leather you may feel you can do without heated seats, but it’s fun to try to turn your passenger’s up to full blast without them noticing…

Heat-insulating tinted glass (£215)

This might seem a bit steep for darkened glass (on the rear windows and rear windscreen only), but if you often carry a dog in the back of the car then it’ll make long summer journies a more pooch-pleasant experience.

Frivolous options

Keyless entry (£360)

If you like the ease of leaving the car key in your pocket or handbag all the time, then think about adding keyless entry. It also adds keyless start – so you get a nice sporty start button. Turning a key to start the car isn’t that much of a bind though, is it?

Mirror pack (£90)

One of the cheapest options, but still not essential – the mirror pack essentially lets you fold the car’s door mirrors electronically. It also adds puddle lights to the mirrors (down-ward facing lights that help you spot – you guess it – puddles), and a neat feature that dips the passenger’s door mirror when you put the car in reverse. The final function is handy if you do lots of parallel parking, but using the standard electric mirror adjustment isn’t too must of a strain.

Rear view camera (£165)

OK, years ago these handy gizmos were the sole reserve of giant luxury cars, and now they’re available on a Golf for the price of a few tanks of fuel. The thing is, you don’t really need one – the Golf isn’t anywhere near the size of a giant luxury car, so reversing it is fairly easy. If you regular tow things then move this up to ‘useful options’, because it makes lining up towbars a cinch.

Plug and Play sound system (£503)

If you spend a lot of time on the road listening to music, then this will give the Golf’s already-passable sound system a shot in the arm. The 480-Watt sound system’s amplifier and sub-woofer fit neatly in the spare wheel well in the boot. It uses the existing in-car speaker and adds a few more equalizer options to the radio. Owners seem to be impressed with this one, so it moves up a category if you’re a big music fan. Posher trim levels can opt for the Dynaudio soundpack, which changes the speakers in the car and costs £535.

Lane assist with side scan (£700)

This gently nudges you back into your lane if it detects that you’re drifting across white lines, which is helpful on long drives or if you’re often distracted by back-seat youngsters. The side scan feature adds LED lights into the door mirrors which flash if there’s a car in your blind spot. You still need to do your shoulder checks before switching lanes, but having a sixth sense for overtaking traffic doesn’t hurt.

Find out more

Nearly ready to buy your Golf? Check our our Volkswagen Golf colours guide and also our Golf dimensions guide to check the shade you want and whether it’ll fit into your life. You can also see what critics think of the car in our Golf review section.

See how much you could save off a brand-new Golf by using the carwow Golf deals page – you’ll also be able to start building your perfect car, complete with the options we’ve talked about here.

Volkswagen Golf

Proven family hatchback with a classy interior
£17,625 - £27,785
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