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VOLKSWAGEN GOLF Used Car Review

The Volkswagen Golf emerged in 1974 as a hatchback that would essentially replace the famous, long-running Beetle as the German brand's car for the masses. It has since established itself as a classless vehicle with broad appeal, as well as a reputation for leading the mainstream small-car segment for quality, refinement and technology. A large range of models includes hatchbacks, wagons and cabriolets, as well as famous hot-hatch models in the form of the iconic GTI and cult all-wheel-drive R.

Pros

Cons

  • Class-leading cabin quality and refinement
  • Slick and efficient petrol and diesel drivetrains
  • Satisfying to drive with good ride and handling
  • Wide choice of models, including terrific GTI hot-hatch
  • DSG auto gearboxes prone to low-speed jerkiness
  • Relatively expensive servicing
  • Flagship Golf model, the R, not necessarily the best
  • Some engines renowned for high oil consumption
This is general information and should not be relied on as purchasing advice.
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Overview of the Volkswagen Golf

Overview of the Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf emerged in 1974 as a hatchback that would essentially replace the famous, long-running Beetle as the German brand's car for the masses.

It has since established itself as a classless vehicle with broad appeal, as well as a reputation for leading the mainstream small-car segment for quality, refinement and technology.

A large range of models includes hatchbacks, wagons and cabriolets, as well as famous hot-hatch models in the form of the iconic GTI and cult all-wheel-drive R.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GENERATIONS (SINCE 2003)

2003-2008

2008-2012

2013-present

RUNNING COSTS

Fuel Consumption (2013 onwards)

1.4L 4-cylinder turbo petrol: 4.9 to 5.7 litres per 100km

2.0L 4-cylinder turbo diesel: 4.7 to 5.0 litres per 100km

2.0L 4-cylinder turbo petrol (GTI): 6.2 to 6.7 litres per 100km

2.0L 4-cylinder turbo petrol (R): 7.1 to 7.3 litres per 100km

= Highly economical.

= Good economy.

= Average fuel use.

= Heavy consumption.

Servicing

SIMILAR MODELS TO VOLKSWAGEN GOLF

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR: VOLKSWAGEN GOLF

Double-clutch gearboxes have been VW's biggest headache with the Golf. Failures are way too common, especially in versions fitted to lower-specification models. Sporty and diesel Golfs get a tougher version, but it's still not without problems.

Any shuddering when taking off, odd shift patterns or a sudden loss of drive are all grounds for concern. And a new gearbox is not cheap.

GTi versions have a track record of turbocharger failures, so a close mechanical check is in order. VW has used up to four different versions of the turbocharger, so find out which one you're dealing with.

Even when running properly, the GTi engine can consume oil between changes, so keep an eye on the dipstick.

Performance versions were also popular with tuners, but any Golf modified for more performance can amount to a hand-grenade.