Buying your first car is a pretty magical moment for most people as it puts you in charge of your own mobility, which means no more having to rely on mom, dad, a sibling or friends for a lift to get where you need to be. If you’re lucky enough to be able to choose your first car, the chances are you'd like it to be a muscle car or a great big SUV or truck, but that's probably not what your parents have in mind. Also, the insurance companies would probably be ready and waiting for you as a first time car buyer and new driver with insurance premiums nearly as big as the sticker price of the vehicle itself.  So, something sensible is the order of the day, but what car is sensible, stylish and cool enough to fit the bill while still being relatively affordable to buy and run? Well, for many buyers here in America as well as over in its native Europe, the Volkswagen Golf is a great choice.

Lots of style

There's pretty much a VW Golf to suit everyone as it’s a perennial favorite that comes in hatchback, sporty performance "hot hatch," and wagon variants with standard or slightly raised suspension. The look is classic and stylish, but without being polarizing or outlandish in any way. And if you intend to keep it for a long time it will stay looking pretty smart for as long as you want to stick with it. There are some cars out there you could buy that may be more individual and a little less conservative, but the Golf is a car that's almost beyond criticism, and if you can’t be cool in a Volkswagen Golf, it's probably not the car that's the problem.

Performance

The standard engine in the latest Golf delivers all the performance you need without going over the top as it's a 1.8-liter TSI that produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. It comes mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, which sends the power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available with the Golf S SportWagen, and comes standard with the Golf Alltrack. If 170 horsepower isn't enough and your budget will run to it, there are the GTIs with a 2.0-liter turbo-four of 220 or even 292 horsepower, but they're not exactly the norm when it comes to first time buyers.

Practicality

The Golf used to be available as a three-door, but now it's only available as either a five-door hatch or a full-on compact wagon, so practicality is big on the VW's list of attributes. The interior is spacious and comfortable, with enough room in the back to for three adults, at a pinch. Cargo space isn’t a problem either as the Golf hatch boasts 16.5 cu.-ft. behind the rear seats underneath the parcel shelf. The interior as a whole is very German, which is functional, well put together, practical and fuss-free.

Fuel economy

The chances are you’re going to want to do a lot of driving when you get your hands on your first car, so fuel economy is going to be a consideration, and it's another reason why the Golf is a great choice. With the standard 1.8-liter engine and the manual transmission, the Golf is rated by the EPA at 25 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg combined.* Going for an automatic instead only drops the highway rating by one mpg.

Conclusion

There's an almost infinite amount of cars out there you could have as your first car, but few check all the boxes in quite the way the Volkswagen Golf does. It's safe, sensible and affordable to buy and run, but it's also cool, practical, spacious and desirable. If that's not the perfect recipe for a first car, it's hard to think what else is.

For more information about the latest Volkswagen Golf and to arrange a test drive, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Ontario Volkswagen.

*All vehicle mileage based on 2017 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

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