Welcome to the Volkswagen Golf review page, as you can see this page provides you with all our user generated reviews of Volkswagen Golf cars. AA Cars provide our users with the best feedback on all car makes and models all across the uk to give you the best possible information, to help you make your decision when buying a new used car. We break each vehicle review down into five categories (preformance, running cost, comfort, reliability and space practicality) making it very easy to understand, giving you feedback directly form the vehicle owner. This provides you with all the information you need to make the decision of which car is perfect for you.Write Review
Having driven motorbikes and Land-rovers for most of my driving life, almost any car would seem comfortable in comparison.
I have had two Mk 3 Golfs that I loved and I was sorry to see them go but I have not been disappointed with their replacement Mk 4.
I am not a fan of air-bags but, apart from that, I find the safety-features such as power-steering and anti-lock brakes very reassuring once I had resolved to trust the vehicle rather than try to use the driving techniques, such as cadence braking, that I have learned to rely on in the past.
I always thought of air-conditioning as an unnecessary luxury but find it's very useful for summer motorway driving when opening a window is uncomfortably noisy.
Even with its small (1.4l) engine, motorway driving is effortless and at legal speeds there is always plenty of power in reserve for acceleration or inclines, even with a full load, as long as the correct gear is selected in good time. Having driven a Land-Rover (2.25l) for many years I do have a tendency not to change down early enough on steep hills and, once the revs drop to below 2000, it can take a while to get going again but this is more to do with my bad habits than a fault in the car. Dropping to third gear in good time prevents any problems.
Fuel economy is extremely good when driven sensibly, in excess of 50mpg on non-urban roads. Even when pushed reasonably hard to cut journey times, consumption rarely exceeds 47mpg.
Stability at 70mph is excellent and I always feel that I am in complete control of the vehicle as it is so responsive to braking and steering. When cornering, it feels as if the wheels are attached to the road with powerful magnets and I have never had that sudden lurch in my stomach that means you think you may have taken a bend too fast or too tight.
My one criticism is that, when parked on a steep camber in very heavy rain, some water does seep through the door-seals leading to wet carpets. I have cleaned out all the drainage channels and drain-holes and treated all the rubber seals with liquid silicone, which has reduced the problem a lot but not cured it completely.
I tend to buy second-hand vehicles but look after them well and keep them until either they become unreliable or too expensive to maintain. My first vehicle (when I graduated from motorbikes) was a series 3 Landrover, which I kept for 20 years and sold for £800. Since then I have had three Golfs, all of which ran perfectly until they became too expensive to get through the MOT. Each subsequent model seems to suffer more problems due to increased sophistication. The vehicles are generally very reliable but occasional warnings are triggered because a sensor has malfunctioned (cold-start, oil pressure, lambda probe) so that technology actually causes more problems than it solves. My Landrover, though noisy, expensive to run and slow, could always be fixed at the roadside with basic tools and always got us to our destination.
I love my current Golf. I rarely have to fill it up (Durham and back, 300 miles round trip plus a weeks driving around, on three-quarters of a tank), will cruise all day at 70mph, plenty of room, especially with the seats down at the back, and starts first time every time even on the coldest mornings.
One small niggle, very heavy rain results in wet carpets and I can't find a way to stop it, despite copious application of silicone to all seals.
My car is a 12 year old 1.6l VW Golf Estate. In this time it has completed over 162,000 miles and despite a few parts needing replacement after ~150k miles, I have had very little trouble.
The handling and perfomance of the car is not great, but that is what you would expect of a car of this engine size and set up. I do often wish I had larger engine...
The running costs, although not bad, cannot match new cars due to the advances in emissions technology and efficiency (a new Golf GTI has a lower tax band and a better stated mpg despite having more than twice the horsepower).
Comfort isn't bad, but after so many miles the seats are not a supportive as they once were.
Practicality however is fantastic. I can get three adults, three mountain bikes and kit in the car without need of roof racks. Fold flat rear seats provides you with a decent flat load space. I have moved house a few times, been camping several times and gone to the tip with a boot full of rubbish more times than I care to think. Everytime the car swallowed up everything and didn't complain.
I am looking for a new car now due to the age, but it will be a shame to give this car up as it has done everything I could have ever asked of it fantastically.
The dashboard is very difficult to see in the daytime, even when swicthing on the lights to illuminate it, or in high-contrast lighting - the illumination is poor (too dim even on max brightness, and blue, a poor colour choice - green would be better; a separate circuit to power the instrument lights on at all times would be best)
The radio "screen" cannot be seen when wearing polarising sunspecs.
The boot is a little too small, as the rear window is almost vertical making the car shorter than some similar hatchbacks.
Rear vision is notoriously poor in this car.
Single reversing light is almost useless - should be double and brighter; and single rear foglight should be a double as well - both are foolish costsavings.
The DSG auto gearbox sometimes gets "hysterical" and changes down into 2nd on hill ascents quite unnecessarily, and then sticks there even when it would be normal for it to change up to 3rd.
BUT driving is smooth and safe and comfortable, seats are supportive, roadholding is good and brakes are excellent
I have had along string of VWs starting with a Polo, then a Polo GT, a Passat saloon and two Passat estates but this Golf is simply the best. Its comfortable and roomy and the economy at 60mpg is remarkable. It's a GT so handling and speed when required are exceptional. The braking system is powerful and safe even on the rare occasions I have had to use it in near emergency conditions. I opted for a few extras, a DAB radio, heated seats, a sunroof and the winter pack for example and these enhance the all-round attraction and enjoyment of driving the vehicle. I also have front and rear parking sensors and these I find to be very worthwhile. Servicing costs are reasonable and even the recent emission control software scandal didn't dampen my enthusiasm. VW recalled the car recently to do the software update and I have noticed no difference in performance. I've owned this car from new in 2010 and I have no intention of changing it. If I had to change it then I would buy another Golf with the same specification.
Four of my five previous cars had been hydropneumatic Citroens so when I wanted to downsize I first looked at the C4, but didn't like the ride or ergonomics. The Golf (without low profile tyres) was recommended for a good ride so I test drove one.
Driving position and ride are very good for a small car. The 6-speed DSG (twin-clutch) auto gearbox is almost perfect: the convenience and safety (fewer demands on the driver's attention) match conventional automatics, while acceleration, engine braking and economy match those of a manual. My overall consumption averages about 52 mpg without having to pay great attention to driving economically, and on some journeys it manages 60 mpg or more.
I bought it at about 18 months/17,000 miles. It's now done 52,000 miles with no breakdowns. Beyond book maintenance it has needed a replacement locking mechanism (offside rear door, from memory about £150) and an ABS control unit (more than £1,000, fortunately provided ex gratia by VW).
Currently running my second diesel Golf, one 02 reg and now 54 reg. Amazingly good on all counts, despite buying very second-hand. First went to 233k miles without any other than normal replacements of tyres and brakes, and was still on original engine, clutch and gearbox. Second bought with 98k on clock, and looks likely to do the same. Why pay £20k for a new one, when a good ten-year-old costs £2k and does the same job with the same or better reliability?
We cover an average 20k miles a year, all private travel, and these two cars, thoughtfully but not slowly driven, have consistently returned about 60mpg solo, 35mpg towing a 13ft caravan at the legal limit.
(I'm not biassed against other makes; a previous equally excellent car was a Rover Maestro turbo diesel, six years old on purchase for £1500, which gave nearly seven years of totally reliable motoring and 55mpg, reaching 200k miles with still original mechanicals. 39k miles on purchase, so over 20k miles p.a.)
This is my third VW Golf so I've had a lot of experience with this car in its MkIV & MkV versions. The build quality is second to none, very few squeaks and rattles even after six years of use and abuse by me. My car lives on the drive and has never failed to start even on the coldest winter morning. The interior is not very exciting, robust with understated quality. It looks just as good now as when I bought it. The 1.9 turbo diesel engine has always been a bit noisy but has plenty of power for lively getaways.
Always had it serviced by local authorised dealer, not cheap but gives peace of mind. The only problem I have had in all this time was a ESP failure (a type fault) which my local dealer sorted out. I'm looking to replace the car with another nearly new car and from my extensive search of all the alternative makes, it looks like its going to be another Golf.
My previous car was a 2 litre petrol Skoda Octavia. I switched to a Golf Estate for more refinement and a more comfortable ride. I was not disappointed. I've found that the newer 1400 cc engine in the Golf performs as well as the 2 litre I had before. Golfs cost more than the Octavia (based on the same platform) but I consider this money well spent for a more refined vehicle. I am particularly keen on the Active Cruise Control which maintains a safe distance from the car in front, significantly reducing tiredness and stress on motorway journeys and helping keep within the speed limit. I chose a petrol engine as I do too low a mileage to justify the extra cost of a diesel. I am satisfied that I made the right decision given the evidence of actual (as distinct from tested) pollution levels from diesel engines and "cheating" by car manufacturers.
Not sure if I have been unlucky, having always driven Vauxhalls I thought I would step up a notch to a VW Golf. . . silly me, should have stuck with another Vauxhall.
At 3 yrs the door lock failed, locking driver in an open car, also door swung open whilst driving along around a corner.
At 3.5 yrs old the engine chain stretched due to stud coming loose from the chain cover. Took 5 weeks to repair and cost nearly £2k.
At 4 yrs all windows randomly opened themselves several times (not activated by key fob) resulting in a very wet car.
At 5 yrs differential whistle/whine sound which on long journeys is unbearable.
About to get rid before this fails and I will probably get a Vauxhall.
When the Golf is going it drives very well, is comfortable and quiet car. But I can't afford to keep repairing the car.
I have had this car (Mk 4 Golf) for 11 years and have had great service from it. It has done about 110,000 miles with a 1200 mile round trip to Scotland twice a year - once it sits on the motorway it is effortless. I have kept it regularly maintained and serviced and have had no significant failures. It still has the original clutch and it feels smooth and responsive and a joy to drive. Acceleration is as good as when new. Performance seems undiminished. Seats and trim show little signs of wear. Body and paintwork shows no external signs of corrosion. Spares can be more expensive than some brands but failure rates seem better than most. All the gadgets electrical bits still work as new. The only small negative is that the seats seem harder than some brands but not enough to call it uncomfortable.
Most of my trips are local & for this the Golf is ideal, whilst it also being good for longer journeys being quiet & with a reasonable performance. The economy has not been as good as I expected although driven carefully fuel consumption can rise to the high 40's. The DSG gearbox works well but with 7 gears does change down more often than I would expect, but this is down to the characteristics of what is a fairly small but surprisingly powerful turbo charged engine. I find the engine a bit "buzzy" but this is probably because my previous car had a much larger 5 cylinder diesel engine. The car does all or more than I could ask for & more, but in my view is lacking somewhat in style.
I would buy another Golf, but probably with either a larger petrol or diesel engine.
For a 16 yr old convertible I would say mechanically it's pretty sound, I recently had its annual full year service carried out and got the automatic choke adjusted so it wouldn't stall as much in cold weather - runs like a dream now.
Not too expensive to run however; the seal around the hood is wearing so rain water is seeping in at top of doors and affecting the window electrics. Passenger side was repaired last year, now the drivers side has gone will be replaced soon, but can be expensive.
Downside to having a convertible I guess.
Otherwise cute motor, still looks good drives very well, runs smoothly but I will need to replace with a younger vehicle soon. Such a shame but not eco friendly for the environment it will cost more as time goes on so won't be worth keeping.
I have mostly had Mercedes Benz cars as well as BMW and a Porsche.
I made a mistake and bought a 2002 M.B. C270 ESTATE. It had 5 paint re sprays, 12 new alloy wheels, steering problems and worst of all ! on attempting to over take ! WOULD DROP OUT OF DRIVE !!!!!! M.B. Who say they build SAFE MOTOR CARS are lying. To prove the point, just look at how few Mercs are on the road today.
So today I drive a fantastic VW GOLF which does all I want at the moment however I am looking at VW-AUDI-BMW as my next car.
I wood buy a Merc again, having had so many before but M.B. would have to offer me cash back for the £20.000.00 of extra repair costs, in keeping that rotten 2002 C270 going.
I bought my 09 reg Golf Estate to replace my elderly 52 reg Passat which was outdated and down at heel but perfectly serviceable with 140,000 miles on the clock. The Passat, a 2.0 ltr TDi, used to give me about 42 mpg overall - the Golf does 58mpg overall and is a far more lively performer as well, the gear ratios are just right and 6th gear makes all the difference. I can get well over 63 mpg if I drive gently. There's plenty of space for 2 blokes and all their golf gear. The car is everything I want out of a car and is a good looker, too. Only one complaint - I can't stop the rear wiper making a dreadful noise, even with a new blade. Grr.
The Volkswagen Golf is often referred to in the press as "all the car you would want" for general usage and this is very true.Build quality is good but not spectacular,the TSI engine is very flexible and quite economic, available passenger and load space is sufficient for almost all needs. The car is not cheap to buy when compared with other similar vehicles but does not suffer from excess depreciation.
The real downside is the service, cost and helpfulness of VW Dealers which is poor compared to say Toyota or Honda dealers.
I would buy the same vehicle again, but this is already the second one I have owned so perhaps a change next time.
Great car - solid construction and is fun to drive. This sport version has all the power I need, very quiet, steering is precise, road holding very good and feedback from road is excellent. The extras are well thought out (e.g. attachments and hooks in boot interior lighting). I even love the fact that, if you forget, you can close the electric windows without having to turn the ignition back on.
Sadly, it has recently had a few expensive issues like bearing on water pump needing to be replaced and disks seizing. (The latter were probably caused by my having to park on grass for a long period). So, maybe a bit unlucky?
An unexciting car without any "go faster" image but feeling solid and reliable. As a regular commuter from North of England to Southern Brittany with reasonable luggage, and dog, the VW Golf Estate provides a comfortable mode of transport. The ride is firmer than my previous car, a Peugeot 406 Estate, but this is only really noticeable on the rougher English roads. Modern equipment such as automatic lights and wipers, together with cruise control, make for relatively hassle-free journeys.
Only one serious omission: no radios fitted by the manufacturer are capable of receiving long wave, e.g. Radio 4 whilst in France!
I bought my golf 7 years ago for £500. It had 70,000 on it and was in good shape. It now has 214,000 on it and has survived an 18 wheeler going down the side of it, various components ending their life and had all manor of loads piled into it but it still lives on and does the job great. This year the MOT cost £550 to get through. My partner was told her 4 year old car would cost over £1,000 to get through the MOT and so she upgraded to a new car which cost big money anyway. So, I drive a funny old car, I get waves from VW enthusiasts and I can't keep up with a Ferrari, but how much does it cost to run a Ferrari?
I have had other golfs during my life but this one is so comfortable and easy to drive. I had it from new as I wanted automatic transmission and a sun roof. I find it a little slower than a manual car at getting away at junctions but one gets used to this. the seats can be put at the right height for getting in; this is important for me as I have replacement hips.
However I do find that services and parts are expensive but luckily so far it has had good reliability. Now it is over 8years old parts are wearing so it is becoming more expensive to run compared with a newer one but I am reluctant to sell it!