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Mike ASKED THE GUIDE

Volkswagen Golf 2016 or Hyundai i30 2018: Are they reliable?

I'm thinking of buying a 2016 VW Golf Highline MY16, 110TSI with about 105,000kms, would there be any concerns over reliability, servicing etc? My other alternative would be a 2018 Hyundai i30 Active with about 50,000kms.

A Golf with that mileage after just three or four years on the road is a bit of an anomaly. How has the car been used? Was it a delivery vehicle in a previous life? I’d be asking some tough questions and diving deep into the vehicle’s service history to find out how it’s been driven and serviced before taking the plunge, because that mileage is about double what I’d expect from this make and model.

The biggest potential reliability glitch with this car is the DSG transmission. While VW claimed that all the evils were fixed by the time the Golf 7 came out in 2013, experience suggests that there are still some examples of this gearbox giving trouble. Symptoms include a loss of drive, poor shift quality, shuddering on take-off and a gearbox that seemingly loses the plot on occasions.

And I’m afraid your alternative rings a few alarm bells as well. The Hyundai also uses a double-clutch style transmission and while it hasn’t suffered the litany of problems that the VW unit has caused over the years, it’s still a bit of an unknown quantity. Certainly, some customers seem to be unhappy with the unit in terms of its longevity and replacement clutch packs are not unknown.

Also, you seem to have a knack for finding cars with double the expected kilometres on board. I’d expect a 2018 i30 to be showing closer to 25,000km than the 50,000km on the one you’re considering. Cars with higher than expected mileage can be bargains, but you’ve really got to dig into their past to ensure they haven’t been abused or suffered from poor servicing.

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