Volkswagen Golf Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Volkswagen Golf reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
What small all-wheel drive hatchback should I buy?
Small all-wheel drive hatchbacks are rare in Australia, as only a comparatively tiny number of people live in the sort of environments that require the added traction and surety that AWD provides.
Also, most Australian consumers seeking AWD tend to go for smaller SUVs, since they are easier to get in and out of, offer a higher seating position and generally enjoy better resale values. On the flipside, SUVs cost more to buy and run, are not as stable at increased speeds due to their higher centre of gravity and are larger to manoeuvre in tighter parking spots than a small hatchback.
The Subaru Impreza remains the least expensive small AWD hatchback you can buy new, as well as the sole mainstream-branded model starting at under $30,000.
However, while the latest-generation Impreza launched in 2016 it's a huge improvement over previous iterations (with service intervals finally extended to 12 months/12,500km), there are a few more compelling alternatives in small crossovers – that is, the in-between segment between small cars and SUVs; they boast a few extra centimetres of ground clearance without the bulk. Note only a few crossovers offer AWD as an option.
A recent stint in the new Impreza-derived XV 2.0L Hybrid revealed it to be a powerful and economical crossover with excellent handling and road-holding capabilities. The same applies to the Mazda3-based CX-30 AWD, the Toyota C-HR 1.2L-turbo AWD and Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI 4Motion - though none are as frugal as the Subaru.
If you're not sold on the idea of an crossover AWD and prefer a small AWD hatchback, then your only other option is to stretch to premium European hatchbacks like the Mercedes-Benz A250 4Matic, BMW M135i xDrive, Audi A3 quattro and Volkswagen Golf R. But all generally cost upwards of $60,000 drive-away - and that's before some of the more desirable options fitted.
Finally, unless you are travelling hundreds of kilometres ever week, there is probably no benefit choosing diesel over petrol, as the former fuel is dirtier for the environment and not as quiet and refined as the latter. Additionally, diesels are falling out of favour with buyers due to their harmful emissions, and most companies are switching to petrol/electric hybrids as a solution. Again, this means the Subaru XV Hybrid AWD.
A long response we know, Jan, but we hope this helps.
Volkswagen Golf 2013: A reliable replacement car
All the cars you’ve nominated would be good choices and will give you some peace of mind because they all use conventional technology. That is to say, none of them in their most affordable, basic forms uses a turbocharger and none of them have a complex, dual-clutch transmission that has been so troublesome for Volkswagen and plenty of other manufacturers, too. At least, that’s if you stay clear of the Cerato GT and the i30 diesel and N-Line, because those variants do have a dual-clutch transmission. The Corolla? A CVT transmission, no matter what variant you buy, but it’s one of the better ones out there.
Yours is not the only voice calling out for a simpler, more reliable motoring experience, Ian. But any of the three makes and models you’ve named should do the job for you with minimal hassle. Neither of them offers up too much in the way of excitement, but as solid, dependable designs, they take some beating.
RECALL: More than 16,000 VW Polo, Golf, Jetta and Passat cars have dual-clutch transmission issue
Volkswagen Australia has recalled 16,098 Polo, Golf, Jetta and Passat cars, and Caddy vans, over a problem with their DSG dual-clutch automatic transmissionRead More
What's the resale value of a Volkswagen Golf and a Toyota Corolla?
A Volkswagen Golf that is already one year old will already have done a big chunk of its depreciating. The Corolla, on the other hand, will – like all brand-new cars – dump value like crazy. That said, both cars have a fair way to go in depreciation terms. Keeping them for just a year won’t help there, either, as you’ll effectively be maximising the amount you lose.
The trade regards the Corolla (as a Toyota) very highly and, as such, resale values tend to be better than a lot of cars. The VW Golf, meanwhile, still suffers from the stigma of the reliability problems many owners experienced and can be a little more difficult to unload without resorting to selling it to a wholesaler who will make you really understand what depreciation means.
Volkswagen Golf 2016 or Hyundai i30 2018: Are they reliable?
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.
Volkswagen Golf 2019: Should I buy an Alltrack?
It all depends on where you get your information from, John. Like you, I’ve certainly read reports that the Alltrack franchise is being put to rest in North America in favour of SUVs, but a quick chat with VW Australia revealed that the concept still has legs out here. Perhaps the confusion is over the USA market axing of the cars, while the Alltracks sold here are generally sourced from the German VW factory. In any case, you can expect to see Alltracks in VW showrooms for the foreseeable future.
The big question is whether they’ll be available with a diesel engine. My VW insider “hopes so” but recent reports that all VW passenger cars will be petrol powered puts that into doubt, even if the Alltrack models are classed by some sections of the trade as light-commercials. Even if the Alltrack concept survives with a diesel engine option, count on there being a petrol-powered variant available as well.
In any case, the notion of the Alltrack becoming a depreciation victim here because the USA stops selling them is not going to be a reality.
Volkswagen Golf 2019: Does it need a 'Supplemental Service'?
Volkswagen dealers will recommend this extra service (usually at the six-month mark) for any vehicle that operates in what’s termed `extreme’ conditions. Those conditions can include high ambient temperatures, dusty conditions and even short, stop-start running. But it’s only a recommendation and not having it done shouldn’t affect your warranty or service record.
Generally, it amounts to a change of fluids and an upload of any software changes (the latter you’re entitled to for free under warranty at your next scheduled service anyhow). A lot of owners reckon this is a money grab, while others think that a year between oil changes on a high-performance engine like the Golf R’s turbocharged unit is too long in the first place. In the end, it’s up to you to check the owner’s manual and decide for yourself whether the way you drive falls into the extreme category.
Volkswagen Golf 2017: Should I disconnect the battery for a month?
You could disconnect the battery without any drama, or you could just leave it locked up in the garage. Should you do so you shouldn’t have a problem starting it on your return.
Volkswagen Golf 2012: Is it worth replacing the engine?
It’s unlikely to have any effect on the value at all. Some people could be scared off by a 2012 Golf, given its history of engine and transmission problems, while others might consider a new engine a bonus without wanting to pay any more for it.