The unassuming Volkswagen Golf has been in our sights since the mid-70s, even if we haven’t paid a lot of attention to it. Heck, it was even called the Rabbit in the USA and Canada for a time.
For as seemingly compact and basic as the Golf comes off, it’s actually won European Car of the year twice. This is quite a feat, considering there have only been two other cars to accomplish it.
That’s not all. The Golf was World Car of the Year and Motor Trend Car of the Year, as well as on the Car and Driver 10 Best list on several occasions.
You may be thinking, with that much recognition, there must be some legit specs to follow it up. Well, you are not wrong. The MPG is 29 around the city and an impressive 39 on the highway.
The car makes use of its size by seating five and can go as fast as 155 mph, 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds, with a horsepower of 147. This Volkswagen can be yours starting at $23,195.
But perhaps you want something a little showier or with more room to stretch in. We’ve come up with a list of cars that are similar to the Volkswagen Golf for you to compare.
When taking into account the specs and cost, we’d have to say our top favorites are the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and Audi A3.
However, whichever one comes out on top in your book all depends on what you need out of a vehicle. Most seat five and have pretty decent gas milage.
So, get your motor running, it’s time to test drive some Golf-like cars!
1. Ford Focus
One of the fiercest competitors of Golf is the Focus. Released just before the turn of the century, this Ford was meant to replace the Escort but grew beyond it in popularity.
That might be attributed to the multiple variations it comes in; a 3 or 5 door hatchback, 4 door sedan, 5 door estate, or a 2 door coupe. Or perhaps how the Focus gets 30 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway.
The Focus ST hatchback can get up to 155 mph and 0 to 60 in 6.3 seconds. You could expect up to 350 hp and carry up to five passengers who don’t mind a little squish.
Whatever it is that people enjoy, this model was a great size for getting from A to B. You can expect to pay between $13,000 to $25,0000.
2. Volkswagen Beetle
The next option to rival the Golf is another Volkswagen that has been a fan favorite for years. The most recent design is sleeker and less bubbly than years prior but the Beetle has a far less cute history.
Originally created in Germany during WWII with direction by Hitler, the car commonly referred to as Bug has had quite a transformation.
The most recent edition seats four and gets 26 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway. The Beetle has 174 hp and is certainly not the fastest at 120 mph, with a 0 to 60 take-off in 7.6 seconds.
As sales began to slow, it probably has more to do with the compactness, despite the fun exterior. You can expect to pay between $20,000 and $30,000 for one of your own.
3. BMW 1 Series
Gracing our roads since 2004, this BMW steps it up a notch with up to 320 hp and a top speed of 130 mph. The 1 takes 8.5 seconds to get to 60 mph. The design is quite lustrous and gives off an air of sophistication but on the lighter side like the Golf.
Inside, there’s room for four, which is perfectly in line with the most recent safety rating. It shows up as the top of the family car class.
The MPG isn’t great at a combined 24, but it’s not terrible for having more of a sports car feel. The going rate for a 1 Series is between $23,990 to $27,000.
4. Skoda Superb
This family sedan has been around since the first year of the millennium and is one of the fastest on the list, coming in at 155 mph. While it’s not necessarily as flashy as the 1 Series, it does have a similar appearance to the Golf.
Either version you get, the Estate or Hatchback, has a pick-up at about 5.1 seconds to get to 60 mph with up to 272 hp.
The Superb is also a great option for road trips with a rather large trunk and seating capacity of five. That will help with the engine designed to get over 50 mph. Prices start at $49,000.
5. Mazda 3
A more budget-friendly option is the Mazda 3, from $20,800. It’s also quite resourceful in gas, with the best MPG on the list so far coming in at 28 in the city and 36 on the highway.
There’s also enough room for the whole family with five seats. The 3 goes as fast as 122 mph and can get to 60 in 10.4 seconds using up to 227 hp.
It may be family-friendly but the design looks like a mix of a race car and a luxury sedan.
6. Volkswagen Corrado
A boxy German car no longer in production is still around and one of the most Golf-like vehicles listed. It’s compact and still amazingly seats five but does not do as well on gas, despite being a manual with more horsepower.
You get 18 city miles and 24 on the highway. The speed tops out at 146 mph and you can get to 60 in 6.3 seconds. Due to age, you can find one from $6,200 up to $36,000.
7. Volkswagen Scirocco
A much sportier version of the Golf, the two-door Scirocco had black rims before black rims were cool in the late 80s. They also had a very unique look attached to the wide window on the hatchback.
The car was so popular during it’s original production, 1974 – 1992, that they brought it back from 2008 – 2017. The Scirocco GTS model from 2015 comes with 220 hp at a maximum speed of 155 mph, 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds.
If you have someone who can squeeze in the back, there’s room for five. The collective milage is 30 mpg. They might be tough to locate but if you do, you can get one for as low as $6,500 up to $32,999.
8. Vauxhall Astra
This classic European ride has been around to take us through the 80s and into today. You probably would recognize it from any number of movies that take place in the UK or the like.
The original boxy back end has smoothed out some over the years for a more modern look. As the exterior has evolved, so has the specs.
In the 2022, you can get up to five people inside and drive as fast as 130 mph with 0 to 60 rate of 0.2 seconds. The Astra has 128 hp and enjoys 49.6 mpg. Prices starting at $35,193.
9. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
This subcompact Mercedes has graced our roads for 25 years and is currently in its fourth generation. Even though it wasn’t Mercedes’ first compact, it was nicknamed the Baby Benz.
It fits though, because you can fit a baby in this Benz, since there’s room for five. The A Class gets up to 25 miles in the city and 35 on the highway.
With 188 hp, you can get up to 130 mph and 0 to 60 in 7.1 seconds. Drive home in a new one ranging from $36,400 up to $55,000.
10. Cupra Formentor
Even though the Formentor is classified as a compact crossover SUV, the design and almond shape of the windows is reminiscent of the Golf. 2020 was when the book began, the rest is still unwritten for the new Formentor.
This Cupra was a but only a concept car in 2019. Was the 310 hp worth the wait? For starters, if you’re into the speed of 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph, then yes.
There’s enough space for five to seat comfortably with 33.8 mpg. If you’re overseas, find you can own one starting at $38,086.
11. Audi A3
Another option that seats five with good gas mileage, 33 mpg combined, is this Audi. It’s on the higher end, compared with others on the list, but equal with others starting at $34,800.
It can get up to 130 mph and up to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. The horsepower isn’t bad either, at 201. Like others mentioned, it has made quite a transformation since the orginal debut in 1996.
Also like the A Class, the A3 is in it’s fourth generation as well. While there are a few different body styles now, it was originally a two door plus hatchback, to be a more sporty version of the Golf. Now, it stands more on its own.
12. Volkswagen Citi Golf
The Citi Golf differed from the original Golf by being what Volkswagen referred to as a facelift for the Golf Mk1. This car was chunky and cheap so it was accessible to the larger masses.
For better or for worse, the Citi is the slowest on our list, coming in at a top speed of 109, getting to 60 in 8.5 seconds. It also has the least horsepower, at 74.
It reportedly has adequate room for five, however, despite the small appearance from the outside. The 28 mpg isn’t anything to write home about, either. If interested, you can find one for under $6,000.