Dealer Price: £8700 - Private Price: £8300
The fact that the Mk6 Golf hasn't won our highest used accolade before now is no criticism of its abilities. It has long stood out as excellent to drive, and this is backed up by a practical interior and exceptional refinement.
What has changed is the cost: used Mk6 Golf prices have now fallen enough to persuade our judges that it offers buyersgenuine value for money.
The best example of that value is the 1.4 TSI SE which, with prices starting from as low as £6200, is within reach of most family budgets. The 1.4-litre petrol engine has 121bhp of turbocharged power that never feels out of place either in town or at motorway speeds.
However, what most clearly sets the Golf apart from other small family cars is its cabin. While not the most stylish, there's no arguing with the interior materials or the finish, both of which have an exceptionally high-quality look and feel.
It's the build quality that helps make the Golf a quiet, relaxing companion no matter how long the journey, as well as the fact that there's enough head-, leg- and shoulder-room for four adults to feel comfortable.
The Golf is cheap to run, too; the 1.4-litre car's fuel economy is impressive and its strong image means depreciation holds steady even after its third year. The five-star NCAP safety rating is the icing on the cake for most families.
Such a breadth of ability as well as affordability makes a used Golf a logical choice for a wide range of buyers. For that reason we name it our Used Car of the Year for 2013.