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Volkswagen Golf (2013 - )

Last updated 21 April 2017


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.

VAG'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: Aircon 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. They do, however, require fresh fluid after 40,000 miles.

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. (Contradicts 27-8-2014.)

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 run 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 2000 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.

24-7-2016: Report of clutch of 2013 Golf Comfortline failing completely at 40,000 kilometres.

22-8-2016: VW Golf production temporarily suspended due to dispute with two parts suppliers: 'CarTrim' that supplies seat components and 'ES Automobilguss' that supplies differential housings have refused to fulfil orders due to a legal wrangle over a cancelled contract. Dispute settled and cars back in production by 28-8-2016.

20-9-2016: Seat stitching of April 2016 Volkswagen Golf R-Line Edition started to fray after 400 miles. Owner took it back to the supplying dealer who blamed the owner for wear and tear. Matter went to VW Customer Carw who also blamed wear and tear (after 400 miles). Owner advised to tell dealer he will have it repaired by a local trimmer and will then charge the dealer the invoiced price, taking the matter to Small Claims if necessary.

5-10-2016: Report that electromechanical parking brake of 2016 Golf 1.6 TDI estate intermittently releases when clutch is depressed to start the engine allowing the car to roll forward or backward if parked on a hill. Dealer initially found no fault, but later fitted a new brake switch and a new CPU, but problem persists.

22-10-2016: Report of battery of 2014 Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI failing after 30 months and 11,000 miles. Probably due to the nature of use of the car not charging the battery sufficiently. Recommended switching off the stop start except when on long runs.

11-11-2016: Report of 40k mile 2013 Golf 1.6 TDI DSG failing to go into reverse. VW dealer initially wanted £4,000 to replace DSG transmission, reduced to £3,000 after £1,000 contribution from VW. Fixed privately with replaced Mechatronics and dryc clutch pack for £1,400.

21-11-2016: Problems with independently purchased 2014 Golf 1.6 105 BlueMotion diesel still under manufacturer warranty: 1) knocking noise from rear suspension 2) fault/intermittent lock on the fuel flap 3) recent struggle to start in cold conditions.

5-12-2016: Report of steering rack failure on 2013 (three and a half year old) Golf. Discount given on replacement part, but a technical exppanation of why it failed was refused by the dealer.

30-12-2016: Another report of a 2013 Golf, this time a 1.4 TSI SE 7-speed dry clutch DSG, autonomously braking to a standstill for no apparent reason. The dealer applied a software update. However again, in October 2016, the car autonomoiusly braked and the car behind nearly hit it. Dealer now said it had a faulty electromechanical parking brake and replaced that. It's possible that this fault is confined to early production Golf models fitted with ACC.

15-1-2017: Report of electromechanical parking brakes of 2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI manual initially refusing to release when parked facing upwards on a hill with a wall one foot behind its rear bumper. On 2nd and 3rd attempts car refused to budge. Owner checked doors were securely locked and safety device not employed. Tried a 4th time to drive forward but without success. On taking his foot off the accelerator the car rolled back and hit the wall behind it. On the next attempt the car was pulling against the brake and wouldn't move forward. On the last try the car pulled away completely normally but left with a damaged bumper and boot. Volkswagen dealer denied all knowledge of any fault.

19-1-2017: Complaint of poor standard headlights on Golf 2.0 TDI BMT (not xenons or LED) and of relatively poor 45mpg fuel economy even using Shell V-Power Bitro Plus diesel.

23-1-2017: Another report of ACC jamming on the brakes violently and independently for no reason, this time in a 2015 Golf 1.6TDI Bluematch. Owner booked it in to VW dealer who promptly lied by telling him they have no experience of this problem. He was driving on a single carriageway but with 2 lanes of traffic coming towards him the other way and the road bent to his left so that my ACC sensor will have been pointing towards the oncoming traffic. He surmised that my sensors detected traffic in the other carrieageways with a combined closing speed of around 100mph. The ACC performed an emergency stop.

23-1-2017: Report of 2016 Golf 1.6 Bluemotion with 7-speed dry clutch DSG gearbox suffering loss of power when picking up from low revs such as on entering/leaving roundabouts. The car almost dies and the revs drop right away and then it picks up. This can be quite alarming as of course the car slows when other drivers expect it to pick up. The car has been into the supplying dealer on a half dozen occasions but they are unable to trace/find a fault. The reason is usually a sticking brake pedal switch failing to send a message to the ECU that the brakes are off, so the ECU assumes the brakes are on and cuts power until the switch unsticks.

21-2-2017: Report that 2014 VW Golf VII 1.4TSI needed a new clutch at 36,000 miles, costing £776.60. Dealer blamed driving technique. (VW factory warranty only covers clutches for 6 months.)

17-3-2017: Report of leaking rear damper in September 2013 VW Golf VII.

17-3-2017: Report of engine of new VW Golf Match 1.6TDI bought in January 2017 cutting out at 5-15mph. Rejected for this reason.

29-3-2017: Complaint that 'brake hold' is unreliable on a new VW Golf Mk VII manual, bought September 2016. Owner finds no way of telling when the brake will stick on, but has been sitting at traffic lights and not able to set off, as the hill hold has stuck on. So he switched it off completerly. (It could be that he is not pressing the brake pedal hard enough to engage the brake hold when he comes to a complete stop.) There have been a number of previous complaints about the electromechanical parking brake on the Golf VII.

14-4-2017: Another report of problems with the ACC on a VW Golf Mk VII. In August 2016 just after setting off the car applied the brakes for no reason (very lucky then not to have a rear end collision). A trip to the dealer a few weeks later and owner was told the car's memory was full of errors and the brake application was due to a software fault. A newer version of software that controls front assist and ACC was installed. Owner was shown a VW technical update detailing this. Owner then had further problems with the front assist system and another unexpected brake application. The dealer has now replaced the front radar sensor and owner is monitoring the situation.

21-4-2017: Report that while a 2014 VW Golf 2.0TDI 150 GT was in for warranty work on a door seal, one front damper was found to have failed and the other to be'misting'. Failed damper replaced under warranty.

51 dated faults reported since January 2011 (effective 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.

24-6-2015: R/2015/097: Front wheel bearings of Golfs may fail leading to loss of control: Front wheel bearing housings with insufficient hardness may have been fitted. This can lead to a fracture of a wheel bearing housing which can affected the directional control of the vehicle. Fix is to recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected to check the casting dates of both front wheel bearing housings. Where the affected wheel bearing housings are found they will be replaced. VINs: WVWZZZAUZFW312181 to WVWZZZAUZFW318823 and WVWZZZ3CZFE485301 to WVWZZZ3CZFE493159; Build dates: 1-4-2015 to 11-4-2015.

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.

23-6-2016: R/2016/145: Rear door child locks of Golfs may disengage without the driver noticing. Though the door remains close it is possible for the door to then be opened from the inside. Fix is to inspect the lock mechanism and replace if necessary. VINs: WVWZZZAAZGD055324 to WVWZZZAAZGD070888;
WVWZZZ3CZGE512443 to WVWZZZ3CZGE513460; WVWZZZAUZGP067567 to WVWZZZAUZGW908645. Build dates: 25-11-2015 to 14-4-2016.

25-7-2016: R/2016/174: Very limited recall of one month's buiold of VW Golfs because a tooling problem during manufacture could result in the cylinder head not being to specification. It is possible that the fuel rail could loosen and fuel leaks cannot be ruled out. The customer may notice a smell of fuel because of the leak. In the most unfavourable case it is thought possible the fuel could ignite in the engine compartment. Fix is to recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected and replace the cylinder head. VINs: WVWZZZAUZGW255991 to WVWZZZAUZGW262089; Build dates: 1-3-2016 to 1-4-2016.

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Owners' Reviews


Pretty much faultless...

On 23 February 2017

Probably one of the best cars I have ever owned

On 23 February 2017
1.4TSI GT DSG 5 door
By Anonymous

A good car let down by disappointing faults and poor dealer service

On 9 September 2016

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