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Opinions on Volkswagen Golf?
Old 02-18-2018, 06:52 AM   #1
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Opinions on Volkswagen Golf?

Considering getting a new Golf SE Hatch or Mazda 3 5 door. Spouse has a Mazda; really great car but for me it's a bit longer (and wider) than I'd like, plus visibility out the back isn't the best. Other than that it's close to ideal. The other car I drove and liked a lot was the Golf, but unsure about reliability (rated somewhat worse although Consumer Reports has the last year or two rated excellent), and also about real-world gas mileage.

The Honda Fit didn't quite make the final cut, so just need Golf comments. Thanks,

Larry
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:06 AM   #2
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VW makes appealing cars, but I’ve always steered clear because they’ve never fared well by Consumer Reports. CR has way more data behind their ratings than you’ll ever get asking here or a handful of random owners. But reliability is a very high priority for me, it’s not for some who rank features, looks, value or other factors first. YMMV
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:30 AM   #3
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I think VW extended the warranty to 6 years or 70,000 miles, if you are keeping the car just for ~ 10 years you should be fine. After this period, the stuff just begins to fall apart.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:50 AM   #4
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We have a 2015 GTI and have zero problems with it. Seriously, just oil changes so far. But that's just us.

The main difference between Golf SE and GTI is the engine and tires. We got the GTI because it was the hatchback that was the most fun to drive. We even got the manual transmission for the same reason.

I've always liked hatchbacks, but they were often pretty "cheap" (always missing something I wanted), but the VW is a much better car than most of the hatchback completion IMHO.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:55 AM   #5
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Civic kind of makes a hatch (not as much head room). I have heard problems start at 100k miles. Friends car had whole computer/electrical system need replacement (was 10 years ago). They look a lot nicer than other cars you get at the price range - I don’t know how reliability has improved.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:03 AM   #6
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Civic kind of makes a hatch (not as much head room).
Ah, I forgot to mention. One really nice thing about the Golf/GTI/R is that they have plenty of head room. For some it's not an issue, but both DS and I are 6'6" and there are lots of cars we simply don't fit into comfortably.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:06 AM   #7
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Considering getting a new Golf SE Hatch or Mazda 3 5 door. Spouse has a Mazda; really great car but for me it's a bit longer (and wider) than I'd like, plus visibility out the back isn't the best. Other than that it's close to ideal. The other car I drove and liked a lot was the Golf, but unsure about reliability (rated somewhat worse although Consumer Reports has the last year or two rated excellent), and also about real-world gas mileage.

The Honda Fit didn't quite make the final cut, so just need Golf comments. Thanks,

Larry
I had a four door harchback Volkswagen GTI. It's essentially a Golf but with a turbo. Fun, fun, fun car to drive. No problems with it. The Mazda 3 is a good choice too. I had a Mazda 626 (used to be smaller and is essentially like the Mazda 3 is now), best car ever but then again back then it was made in Japan. My son and daughter both have Mazda 3s. No problems with them either. They are all good choices but if you are looking for smaller and easily maneuverable the Golf/GTI is the better choice.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:37 AM   #8
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I have had a series of Golfs and love them. For me they are the perfect car for the light city driving I do. Love the hatch--it holds a ton. My current car is actually a 2007 Rabbit, renamed for just that year I think.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:37 AM   #9
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Bought a 1983 GTI new and remembered how fun it was to drive. So we bought a 2017 GTI to relive the experience. Haven't put more than a couple thousand miles on it yet, but so far it's been fine. If you are easy on the gas and tend to the shift points (ours is a manual) you can reach the fuel economy targets they advertise. I hit 39mpg on a recent 50 mile combined city/hwy trip. It's more fun to spool up the turbo than to maximize mpg however.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:27 AM   #10
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I would have a hard time feeling good about buying a Volkswagen after watching the diesel scandal unfold.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:41 AM   #11
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I see we have some happy GTI owners here! You can add me to the list; I've had mine since 2009 and it has been generally trouble-free.

But not completely. I had the (plastic!) intake manifold replaced under warranty, and there was an issue with the ABS controller - a dirty connector, now fixed. So there is some justification for the reliability reputation, but not to the extent that I would not buy again.

Back in 2009 I also looked at the Mazda 3 and the Honda Fit. I was surprised at how much I liked the Fit, but in the end the performance and finish of the GTI won out.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:18 AM   #12
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I drank the VW cool aid when I was in high school (1980) and never broke the addiction. VW's are the only cars we have ever owned. Right now I have a 1976 Rabbit in the garage (trying to sell it), a 2000 Jetta for me, a 2003 Jetta for my daughter, and a 1997 Jetta for my wife. Like all mechanical things they break from time to time, but nothing ever really seemed like a lemon. Just normal wear and tear that any car has. But, we've always done our own car work, so I don't know how they compare to other cars.

I will probably never buy a NEW car, but if I was I would go full electric, no question (eGolf maybe). Otherwise, I'll probably stick with VW's as they are a part of our family now.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:33 PM   #13
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Car & Driver thinks highly of the new Golf.
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Old 02-18-2018, 04:37 PM   #14
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Car & Driver thinks highly of the new Golf.
A friend in my building has one of these. It is really nice. Good rear space too. He is a piano tuner and I have helped him load full sized grand piano actions into his.

Years ago I had a VW Dasher that I drove ~325,000 good miles and it was still saleable. And this car is way better than my old one was.

Ha
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:22 AM   #15
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yes, VW vehicles are not known for their reliability,

but they are fun to drive and usually lease well.

so why not lease what you want...you can always buy it out at the end if you haven't had too many trips to the shop.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:52 AM   #16
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My friend has a diesel Golf that she kept and had VW fix rather than take the $, she and her DH love it so much.

Like Ha, we had a Dasher long ago. Loved that car, never a problem with it. I'd look at another VW today.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:49 PM   #17
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My friend has a diesel Golf that she kept and had VW fix rather than take the $, she and her DH love it so much.
Long ago during the gas crisis of the 1980 era, I had a diesel Rabbit that was ridiculously underpowered but got 40 mpg so I was happy enough with it.

When I was reassigned overseas, I sold it to the older brother of my best friend. Since my friend lived just a block away from his brother, he would sneak over there at night and put a gallon or two of diesel in the tank.

His brother never caught on, and used to brag to everyone about his car that got over 100 mpg. Of course, nobody ever believed him and he found that pretty frustrating. Just a great practical joke.
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:29 PM   #18
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Nice summary:
Quote:
a crowd-pleasing, endlessly popular device that covers every base 99.9 per cent of the population could ever want – or need – it to.
https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/volkswagen/golf
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:19 PM   #19
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I have a 2012 GTI with 70,000 miles. No problems so far and it's really fun to drive. Everything seems to be a bit expensive regarding maintenance. Whatever it needs (oil filter, tires, etc) never seem to be "off the shelf". It always costs about 20% more because it requires a "special" air filter/oil filter/etc. But I do like the car. It is ultra maneuverable with the tightest turning radius of anything I've ever driven. Runs like a champ. Gets 33 mpg highway.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:27 PM   #20
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My friend has a diesel Golf that she kept and had VW fix rather than taking the $, she and her DH love it so much.

Like Ha, we had a Dasher long ago. Loved that car, never a problem with it. I'd look at another VW today.
Our family's 1977 Dasher was the only vehicle we ever had that caught fire.

We joked it never needed fuses since the main wiring harness acted as a fusible link.

Before we took away mom's license she was spending a couple of thousand $ annually to keep it going.
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