Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Spacious interior and superb build quality
- Drives well and looks fabulous
- Good range of engines available
- It is expensive compared to the rivals
- Basic engines do not have much power
The Volkswagen Golf has been able to keep its signature appearance over the years, whilst adapting subtly to keep it looking modern and stylish. This generation of Golf is no exception. Handling feels safe and assured at all times and the cabin is more spacious than in previous models, making it an even better family car. As per usual, this Golf also comes with a wide range of engines that should appeal to a wide variety of drivers
Exterior and Interior
The cabin feels more spacious than in the previous Volkswagen Golf and is able to sit two adults in the back comfortably. The seats are a little on the firm side, but not uncomfortably so and they make longer journeys bearable. The boot is also larger than in the previous generation making it easier to get all the shopping and some extra bags in. The quality of the cabin is nothing less than you would expect from a Golf. In other words it’s superb. The dashboard is clearly laid-out with all the dials and buttons feeling solid.
The SE trim adds a good equipment level and is the one to go for, however, if you have the extra cash, a model with the Match trim as it adds a few extra luxuries.
Performance and Economy
The 1.4-litre engine kicks off things for the petrol range. It lacks power and isn’t likely to fill you with confidence when you want to overtake. The 1.4-litre TSI engines are better, producing 140bhp and 170bhp both of them reaching 60mph in under 10 seconds. The 170bhp does it in 7.6 seconds, making the 1.6-litre pretty much redundant. They are also fairly economical, achieving 39 and 38mpg respectively. The 2.0-litre GTI fills the gap between the two, going from 0-60mph in 8.6 seconds. The fuel efficiency of the larger unit drops down to 36mpg. The 3.2-litre V6 is the top of the range and is blisteringly quick, going from a standing start to 60mph in 6.4 seconds. The economy does suffer as a result - it manages just 24mpg.
The diesel engines are excellent, offering good efficiency and power. The entry-level 105bhp 1.9-litre TDI isn’t as slow as you would expect from a base model. It reaches 60mph in 11.9 seconds and achieves 53mpg. The old 2.0-litre SDI is best avoided as it is unrefined and slow. The newer 2.0-litre TDI 140bhp and 170bhp units are better, going from 0-60mph in 9.0 and 7.9 seconds, whilst achieving 51mpg and 47mpg respectively. The 1.9-litre TDI Bluemotion features the same 105bhp engine as the other 1.9-litre model, but is vastly improved and offers more economy at 62mpg whilst maintaining the same 10.9 seconds from 0-60mph.
When insuring a Volkswagen Golf, you are unlikely to pay any more than you would for a Vauxhall Astra or Ford Focus.
Like to Drive
The Volkswagen Golf offers a good drive that feels safe and assured at all times. Steering is sharp and well-weighted, suspension is supple and the body control excellent around the corners. The driving position is convenient with clear views ahead, and the ride is very quiet with very little noise entering the cabin. Overall the fifth generation VW Golf was an improvement on the mk4, with improvements made throughout the whole vehicle.
Faults and Repairs
There have been very few problems with this generation of the Golf, however, if you are looking at either of the two FSI engines, make sure that they have had super unleaded petrol put into them. Some owners use regular unleaded, which can affect their performance. There was one recall for the diesel engines in 2005 over fears of a possible fuel leak, so check that this work has been done.
The Golf works out slightly more expensive to service than most of its rivals but you are less likely to have major problems with the car. Eventually, the costs even themselves out over the years.