Is my Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion diesel likely to suffer DPF problems, and what could I replace it with?

11 months ago I bought a new Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion diesel, which I am delighted with. However I am so worried about your comments about the risk of expensive failure of low emission diesels that I am considering exchanging it for a petrol-engined car. You mention problems with diesel particulate filters, dual mass flywheels, exhaust gas recirculation valves and turbochargers. If repairs between three and six years could amount to £6000 then I am not happy. I bought the Golf because I wanted a well-built and economical car with low emissions that would last 10 years or so. (My previous car was a Ford Focus diesel that I drove for 10 years without any expensive repairs.) I drive about 6000 miles per year, about half of which is in France where diesel is cheaper than petrol. If you agree that I should switch to a petrol engine car similar to the Golf, which do you recommend?

Asked on 25 February 2012 by MI, London W14 8EA

Answered by Honest John
You could switch to a Golf 1.2TSI 105 or a Golf 1.4TSI 122. You may not encounter all the problems I listed with your Bluemotion. But numerous readers have had these problems with DPFs, DMFs, EGRs, turbos and timing belts on recent belt-cam diesels. It is only since January 2011 that DPFs have been compulsory on all to meet EU5, though many were fitted before to comply with EU4. The biggest mistake is to buy a diesel that has spent its first three years on a fleet clocking up 60,000 to 80,000 miles. The chances are that the fleet will have had no trouble. But the full list of problems will then land in the lap of the unfortunate person who buys the 3-year-old diesel under the misapprehension that it is going to be cheap to run. I predict that once the public catches onto this, used values and therefore residual values of diesels will plummet.
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