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Volkswagen Golf (2013 - )

Last updated 5 May 2016


What's good

Good to drive and nimble in the corners.

All the engines get start/stop system.

1.6 TDI with 105PS averages a claimed 74.3mpg.

Five Star Euro NCAP rating: 94% adult protection, 89% child protection, 65% pedestrian protection and 71% safety assist.

What to watch out for

Cars with electromechanical parking brakes cannot be used for the UK driving test.

VWG's new, modular EA211 1.4 litre TSI ACT is belt cam, not chain cam.

Sat nav cannot find a 7 digit UK postcode.

11-1-2013: Warranty on DSG 7 speed dry clutch DQ200 gearbox extended to 5 years or 150,000 kilometres in Russia, China and Australia.

24-4-2013: Poor fuel of 2.0 TDI economy reported. Owner getting 53mpg from Golf 2.0 TDI when he used to get 62mpg from his Mk VI.

10-7-2013: If ACC front sensor is damaged in a bump very few UK dealers have the equipment to replace and re-set it. Obviously this situation will gradually improve.

17-7-2013: Some UK market mis-builds reported. 537 Golf GT TSI BMTs mis-built without features such as electric folding mirrors and footwell lighting. Adaptive cruise control also missing from a number of UK market Golf SE.

31-7-2013: Seems to be a problem of "rattling" rear dampers on more powerful Golf fitted with multilink rear Sports suspension, including the GTI. The fault is with the dampers themselves because it disappears if they are removed.

14-8-2013: Reader reported that rear parking cameras became no longer available due to a supply problem.

14-1-2014: Total loss of Drive reported in June 2013 VW Golf SE 1.4 TSI 122PS DSG 7 in September 2013 at 2,500 miles. Whilst driving, slipped from D into N. Engine roared to well over 5,000 revs but no power translated onto the wheels. This is the classic symptom of crystalline deposits fusing the Mechatronics which resulted in the Wolrdwide recall of 2.6 million VAG DSGs built in 2012 and 2013 filled with synthetic fluid. (The recall is to replace the synthetic fluid with mineral.) The transmission was repaired, but failed again in December 2013. Eventually VW and the supplying dealer agreed to replace the faulty Golf with a brand new car. For more information on this problem see VW Golf Mk VI What to Watch Out For The warning of imminent DSG failure is a spanner icon that alternates with the 'current gear' indicator at the top right of the multifunction display between the tach and speedo.

1-4-2014: Report of another problem with the ACC of nine month old Golf slamming on the brakes without reason. Required two one-month sessions at dealer including replacing ECU.

4-4-2014: Wet footwells in Golf may be due to drain pipe from a/c coming off.

6-4-2014: Replacement Golf 1.4 TSI DSG promised 14-1-2014 (above) had still not arrived. Reader left driving car that intermittently loses drive.

9-4-2014: Air con condenser of Golf Mk VII is vulnerable to stone damage. Zunsport can fabricate a guard grille.

26-5-2014: 2013 Golf 1.4 TSI 122 EA211 DSG used 1 litre of oil in first 8,000 miles.

29-5-2014: On a 2014 Golf the ACC over-reacted, slamming on the brakes when a plastic bag blew into the radar scanner and the scanner has also braked the car when driving between parallel queues of traffic.

2-6-2014: Report of failure of electric parking brake on 6 week old Golf GTD after five people got out of the car. It stayed parked, then later rolled away and was damaged. Could be that the driver failed to apply the brake properly, so make sure by listening for the whirring as it clamps and look for the red warning on the dash. Wise to always leave the car in gear.

18-8-2014: Complaint of Golf DSG being difficult to reverse and also rolling back momentarily when re-starting on hills. Suggested left foot braking.

26-8-2014: Apparently Golf DSG 7 DQ200s built from July 2013 are not affected by the transmission fluid recall TSB 34F6 as the problem had been identified by then and they were filled with the correct oil on the production line.

8-12-2014: Reader having trouble with the 'auto hold' feature of his 2014 Golf 1.4 TSI 150 ACT DSG not releasing on drive-off. Dealer thought it was a problem with the rear callipers but it may be the perennial problem with the brake light switch connection to the ECU sticking momentarily on release.

8-2-2015: 18,400 mile 63 reg Golf 1.6 TDI DSG recalled for transmission oil change from synthetic to mineral. Car still sometimes hesitates in 1st and 2nd gears. Revs go high but car does not move accordingly.

11-2-2015: Reader whose Golf 1.4 TSI DSG was replaced because of problems with the transmission is still suffering hesitation in traffic running in 'E' mode. Might be the fuel she is using. Might be a lot better on Superunleaded.

11-2-2015: Another complaint of comparatively poor mpg from a Golf 2.0TDI compared to the Mk VI TDI. Suggested the reader try Shell V-Power Nitro Plus diesel that the engne is optimised on for the EC tests.

27-4-2015: Another complaint or jerk on take off when auto hold of the transmission and electric parking brake are used in in traffic, this time in a Golf GT 1.4 TSI ACT. Dealer and VW Customer Care both say it is a "characteristic" of the system.

19-7-2015: Repeated ECU failure of new Golf 1.4 TSI within the first 3 months.

25-10-2015: MMI system fault reported on 2016 Golf leading to loss of use of radio, sat nav, phone integration and access to some of the car's menus. This issue is apparently common on brand new Golf models.

31-10-2015: Report of difficulty getting a new Golf 1.4 TSI Match into reverse. May be the linkage. May be the box. Back to dealer to fix.

18-12-2015: Reader bought used 2014 Golf TSI 1.2 petrol on February 2015 at 12k miles. Broke down at 20,000 miles. Needed new engine, fitted under warranty.

29-12-2015: Golf needed new rear discs at 2 years old due to corrosion. Electric parking brake pads do not clamp right across the disc and normal braking with the full size pads does not clean off overnight corrosion. £300 to replace, but a good VW supplying dealer will swallow half of the cost.

19-1-2016: Fairly high oil consumption of 4,000 miles per litre reported on new Golf GTD 184 TDI DSG.

16-2-2016: Automatic Cruise Control failed on 12 month old Golf with message "no forward view". Dealer said the radar sensor is satisfactory but requires calibration which is not covered by warranty. This can only be done by VW dealers who have unique equipment and the charge is £350.

10-3-2016: Faulty gearchange mechanism reported on 2013 Golf 2.0 TDI. After reverse has been used, car sticks in reverse despite lever being moved to 1st. Dealer ridiculously put it on diagnostics to try to find the fault and, of course, failed to do so.

28-3-2016: Report of 2013 Golf DSG "shuddering a bit as it pulls away". Probably failing clutch pack.

18-4-2016: Speed warning system of 2015 Golf failed and dealer was unable to fix it.

20-4-2016: "Light misting of oil" reported on front dampers of 30,000 mile 2013 Golf at its first MoT. Just an 'advisory'. No need to replace.

27-4-2016: Report of Golf GTD burning oil at rate of 1 litre every 2,000 miles and service indicator requiring an oil service every 8,500 miles.

5-5-2016: Report of 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTD needing both driver/passenger side front wheel bearings; replacement turbo; replacement timing belt and tensioners. Car successfully rejected.

33 dated faults reported since January 2011 (effectively January 2013)


8-3-2014: Between the end of May 2011 until early November 2012 Volkswagen was putting mineral oil (G052512A2 which is the same oil they are putting in recalled vehicles now) in their 7speed DSG. That's why 2012 owners don't seem to be part of the recall but 2013 owners are. Also before the 30th of May 2011 VW was using the synthetic oil (G052171A2) they are now switching out which is why owners with vehicles from before were under the 35C1 recall for new Mechatronic and automatically got mineral oil added. This means that while 2012 Mk VI was not subject to the recall, the early 2013 MK VII is.

29-10-2014: Report from a reader that his 2 year old VW Golf Mk VII 1.4TSI 140 ACT has been recalled by VW due to a problem with the two cylinder shut down system.

3-1-2015: Just-Auto.com tells us that Volkswagen of America has announced a voluntary safety recall to check for fuel leaks on 2015 Golf and Golf GTI models and 2014 and 2015 Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Jetta and Passat variants with 1.8T and 2.0T engines. The recall affects about 37,970 cars. "It is possible that a sealing cap on the fuel rail may fail to seal, thus allowing fuel to leak into the engine compartment. Leaking fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, may result in a fire," the automaker said in a statement. Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the fuel rail.

4-11-2015: EA288 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TFSI engines recalled in USA because the rear camshaft lobe is prone to unexpectedly shear off from the shaft. The failure causes reduced engine power and loss of vacuum pump power, cutting vacuum supply to the brake booster and eventually resulting in increased braking effort."A reduction in engine power and/or increased need for braking effort after vacuum reserve has been depleted while driving can increase the risk of a crash," a statement cautions. The campaign affects approximately 92,000 vehicles including the 2015-2016 Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf SportWagen, Jetta and Passat. In notifying the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, VAG stated that the root cause of the camshaft failures has not been fully understood. The company is still continuing an in-depth failure analysis and development of a repair solution, however a fix may not be ready until the end of the first quarter next year.

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