Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - momo88

Hi all,

A newbie here and based on the lurking I've done here over the past couple of weeks, I hope you'll be able to clarify a couple of things.

I previously had a Ford Focus PowerShift Auto (2012-2014) that I bought just last year. However, it continously broke down due to the clutch burning out every 3000 miles. I thankfully got rid of it with the dealer buying it back off me after a lot of letters.

I'm now looking to get a new 2017 Golf SE VII 1.4 TSI 7 Speed DSG. After having a chat with the dealer, I was told that this has a Dry Clutch setup with synthetic oil (I've read that this isn't the best as it fuses with the gear box somehow and required recalls).

The Ford also had this Dry Clutch setup and I'm quite skeptical that this Golf will also succumb to the same issues as a result of this. Does anyone here have an experience with this clutch and gearbox setup?

I'd be really greatful if you guys could help me out.

Thanks!

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - SLO76
VW's DSG boxes don't have the best of reputations either. They're great in theory and in operation but tend to go expensively haywire as they age so I'd only buy one if you're intending on offloading before the manufacturer warranty expires or if you are prepared to fork out to extend this cover. Otherwise buy manual or buy Japanese.
Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - RT

Dual Clutch Transmissions (DCTs) such as Powershift and DSG are the spawn of the devil in the opinion of some - I personally wouldn't touch one with a barge pole and much prefer a conventional "slushbox" - judging by the VW Tiguan DSG I had as a courtesy car, they're slower to change gear than the older type.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Manatee

DCTs are capable of milliseconds changes unless you catch them out. In auto, most of the time when rolling, they are brilliant as well as efficient. The next gear is preengaged by the second gear set and as one clutch goes in the other goes out with virually no interruption of power. However if you manually select a downchange when it is expecting an upchange, or vice versa, it takes materially longer to sort itself out.

There is absolutely no comparison however when it comes to low speed manoeuvring. In consumer rather than racing applications they are designed to ape the functionality of traditional autos but it's a fudge, and a transmission with a fluid torque converter instead of a clutch is far more pleasant and easier to control.

Edited by Manatee on 15/07/2017 at 23:00

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - RobJP

I would not recommend a car with a VAG DSG gearbox to anyone.

I believe HJ answered his first 'problem' in the "Ask HJ" section on the latest type of DSG box this week. Could be the first in a long line, if the previous ones have been anything to go by.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Manatee

I would not recommend one either - because it's hard to be sufficiently confident that the buyer wll not have problems down the line.

I have a feeling that it is not entirely random. It's clearly possible to use one in a way that generates higher than usual wear, and heat. I am a broken record on this but the manual for our Skoda with a DQ200 7-speed actually cautions against "holding the car on the accelerator" and an understanding of how it works makes it easy to see why. And yet this is a typical behaviour of many auto drivers 'brought up' with traditional autos that are not damaged by this unless it is seriously overdone.

The DQ200 in particular has two dry single plate clutches that must have similar potential for wear and oveheating to an ordinary manual clutch, but rather than being controlled directly by the user they are controlled by programming. The programmes have presumably been continuously refined to achieve the best trade off between behaviour (the aping of a smooth torque converter) and service life (affected by the amount of wear and heat put into the clutch packs that will also soak into the 'mechatronic' control unit). They all have temperature sensors that will limit or shut down gearbox function if the 'box gets too hot; if must follow that the nearer the gearbox is operated to the temperature threshold, the greater the risk of early failure, even if it never actually reaches shut-down point.

It is unreasonable to think that users are going to drive these with appropriate mechanical sympathy because most either don't know how they work or perhaps even what type of gearbox they have. Some of the salespeople don't know either.

DCTs must be near the limit of development now without major redesign. Maybe they will adopt a torque converter for very low speeds and starting off, using the clutches as lock-ups - not unlike the Mazda Skyactive idea which AIUI is based on valve/band contolled planetary gear sets with a single lock up clutch on all gears

Meanwhile, I and presumably others feel that our choice of automatics is severely limited if we do not like DCTs.

Edited by Manatee on 15/07/2017 at 23:40

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - RobJP

If people don't like DCT / DSG boxes

Mazda's autoboxes are a TC design, and supposedly very good

BMW use a ZF 8 speed TC auto that is highly rated - now, I'm a manual box man myself, but when my BMW has been in for a service and I've had a loan car with an autobox, I've always found it very reasonable.

Not sure who else does a TC box. Any others to add ?

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - RT

If people don't like DCT / DSG boxes

Mazda's autoboxes are a TC design, and supposedly very good

BMW use a ZF 8 speed TC auto that is highly rated - now, I'm a manual box man myself, but when my BMW has been in for a service and I've had a loan car with an autobox, I've always found it very reasonable.

Not sure who else does a TC box. Any others to add ?

Most brands have a mix of DCT and TC autoboxes - VW and Audi still use TC for their larger engines as do Hyundai/Kia.

The Aisin 8-speed TC autobox in my VW Touareg suits the nature of the car - not quite as sharp as the ZF but more relaxing.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - skidpan

All cars based on the VAG MQB platform and fitted with the 1.4 TSI (preferably in 150 PS form are truly excellent, we are on our second. These include the Audi A3 and A4, the Seat Leon and Aceta, the Skoda Octavia and Superb and of course the VW Golf. There are probably several I have missed. But all auto versions use the same 7 speed DSG which should be avoided at all costs. As well as being potentially unreliable it spoils the drive of the car especially in town where an auto should excel. But to be fair its a far better drive than a CVT in a supermini or a Hybrid Toyota.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - RT

All cars based on the VAG MQB platform and fitted with the 1.4 TSI (preferably in 150 PS form are truly excellent, we are on our second. These include the Audi A3 and A4, the Seat Leon and Aceta, the Skoda Octavia and Superb and of course the VW Golf. There are probably several I have missed. But all auto versions use the same 7 speed DSG which should be avoided at all costs. As well as being potentially unreliable it spoils the drive of the car especially in town where an auto should excel. But to be fair its a far better drive than a CVT in a supermini or a Hybrid Toyota.

You missed Tiguan and Kodiaq - not sure if the same DSG is used on the 2.0TDi versions but your comments about "spoils the drive" sums up my feelings from Tiguan courtesy car use.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Manatee

As well as being potentially unreliable [DSG] spoils the drive of the car especially in town where an auto should excel.

I think that's a great point. DCTs are brilliant except where they should be of the greatest benefit, and then they are not as wieldy as something with a fluid drive. The reason for DCTs existence and continued development in consumer machinery is mechanical efficiency(economy). Porsche invented it for racing, where milliseconds changes and continuous power transfer were more important than shuffling along on the M25 or precision parking.

I am very happy bowling along, solo or towing, with a manual. An old-style auto is far better at stop and start congestion and for inch perfect control especially when manoeuvring a trailer.

I have noticed that my daughter's A6 DSG (7sp wet clutch) creeps far better than our Skoda with the dry clutch DQ200. If I was a foot off the garage door in the Skoda I wouldn't try to get any nearer. In the Outlander I could confidently do a centimetre at a time if I wanted to.

Each to his own.

I hadn't realised the Touareg still used what VW calls tiptronic. But that is a £45,000 car. VAG in general means DSG or manual.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Stanb Sevento

What a lot of doom and gloom, I have a wet plate DSG and I think its great, a smooth relaxed effortless box that works seamlessly with the hill hold and electronic handbrake. A pleasure to use, very soon these things dont even enter your concious thought while driving. A couple of basic rules, dont sit idling in D, move into N, the start stop usually negates the need to do this anyway. Use launch control sparingly.

I agree with manatee that you loose a degree of precision in low speed tight manouvers, moving the car 1cm is harder but learn to left foot brake and that problem is solved. Reliability is a hard thing to pin down, a relitivly small number of problems can give a dog a bad name while in reality the odds are very much stacked in your favour. Things dont stand still and these things a being developed all the time. Few hard statistical facts available.

The Golf is a great car the 1.4TSi is a great engine and if you want an automatic where are you going to get a better package in that class of car? If you will loose sleep over it spend the extra £550 on the five year warranty.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - badbusdriver

If you are buying the golf new and planning to get rid of it before the warranty is up, then i guess you should be OK. Problem is, as has been mentioned, the lack of options to the DSG if buying a car in this class. Yes, the mazda 3 does have a torque converter auto, but it is only available on the 120bhp 2.0 petrol (or the diesel). This is going to be some way short of the performance of the 1.4tsi. The 165bhp version of the 3, which would be a closer match in overall performance, if not mid range grunt, is only available as a manual.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - veloceman
Honest John does rave about the TCT gearbox in the Giulietta.
Personally found it about thirsty compared to my Leon 150Tsi. (Manual).
Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Engineer Andy

If you are buying the golf new and planning to get rid of it before the warranty is up, then i guess you should be OK. Problem is, as has been mentioned, the lack of options to the DSG if buying a car in this class. Yes, the mazda 3 does have a torque converter auto, but it is only available on the 120bhp 2.0 petrol (or the diesel). This is going to be some way short of the performance of the 1.4tsi. The 165bhp version of the 3, which would be a closer match in overall performance, if not mid range grunt, is only available as a manual.

Yep - that was the problem I was having when I was looking for a new car to replace my 11yo Mazda 3 1.6 petrol around the turn of the year. I was looking to change from a manual to an auto as (at the time) my journey to work involved a good proportion in slow moving traffic, but trying out the latest Mazda 2ltr (120bhp) engine in both manual (3) and auto (CX-3) was fine, but nothing more, in terms of performance (handling and ride were excellent). I also tried a VW Scirocco 1.4 TSi 122bhp (manual) and this felt far nippier/responsive both in ordinary driving and booting it. I'm sure the VAG 1.4 TSi (or now 1.5) 150 would've been even better in that regard.

Because of VAG's reliability problems generally (though not with the 1.4TSi [150] manual's excellent engine) and especially the ongoing ones with the DSG gearboxes, plus the Mazdas' lack of real-world performance (both didn't seem much better than my 3's) meant that I held off changing car - no other car came close that I could afford or was the right size. It seems at the moment that we get cars in distinct brackets regarding autos (I won't bother with American makes, the Koreans are a blend of the first and third):

  • Slow, average handling and looks but very reliable (most Japanese ones, though Mazdas far better on the last two);
  • Fast, stylish, good handling but unreliable (VAGs and German makes generally);
  • Bland styling, average to low reliability, reasonable performance (UK non-premium makes);
  • Quirkly styling, unpredictable reliability, reasonable performance and handling (French and Italian makes).

I'm wondering if the EU's changeover to 'real world' testing for their emissions will have an effect on how cars generally are designed, so they aren't geared/mapped to pretend they are good on mpg/low on emissions in the lab but not in real life, and perhaps a better compromise between the twin clutch and slush auto boxes can be found so that they can give reasonable performance when driven hard, but work fine at slower speeds without big mpg penalties or reliabilty problems.

I don't envy the choice the OP will ineviatbly have to make given the above - I effectively chickened out becuase I won't compromise on the reliability and driveability fronts, and I felt the Mazdas (the only choice left for me) weren't quick enough to justify spending £15k plus on a new car at the time.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - brum

What a lot of doom and gloom, I have a wet plate DSG and I think its great, a smooth relaxed effortless box that works seamlessly with the hill hold and electronic handbrake.

Except we are talking about the 7 speed dry clutch DSG. Totally different kettle of fish.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Engineer Andy

The Golf is a great car the 1.4TSi is a great engine and if you want an automatic where are you going to get a better package in that class of car? If you will loose sleep over it spend the extra £550 on the five year warranty.

The Golf does have many other reliability issues than just with DSG gearboxes, as is demonstrated in the Car-by-Car reviews section, far more than many Japanese equivalents (especially if you discount the diesel-of-doom from the Mazda3). I tend to keep my car for about 10 years (11.5 from new and counting for my mk1 Mazda3), so a 5 year warranty only gets me half way, and even with discounts (not many for the Golf on the broker sites compared to Mazdas [admitedly similarly very few for Hondas]) I found the 122bhp Golf was still £3-£4k more than the equivalent Mazda3 (120) of the nearest spec (often still higher as VW is stingy and only includes climate control as standard on the GTi and R).

I agree that the engine, performance (incl. mpg) is better (especially in 150 ACT guise), but I could bring myself to part with so much more cash when there so many reliability issue abounding. I haven't got the time or patience to keep going [at my expense fuel-wise] back and forth to the dealership or on the phone arguing for them to fix problems at their expense, nor have I the patience to keep having to wait at the side of the road [especially when on work duty] whilst the car is towed to my destination/nearest dealer and spend hours getting things sorted. Its the reason I've thus far always bought from the top Japanese makes for relaibility - I compromise a bit on the performance side for hassle-free motoring. If VAG starts making cars as reliable as Mazda (petrol engined ones), Hondas and Toyotas, then perhaps I'll look at them again...

The OP may well look to replace their car far sooner, so perhaps they have less of a risk, although they aren't likely to buying new so run the risk of the previous owner/dealer treating it badly or an older model getting to an age when many of the expensive VAG reliability issues really kick in.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - skidpan

Not all reliabilty surveys tell the truth. I remember some years ago beginning to respond to one and in the satisfaction section one question was "are you happy with the colour. For feks sake what has the colour got to do with reliabilty. If you disliked the colour why for feks sake did you buy it. I gave up on the survey at that point but when it was published Kia did particularly badly because some owners (in a relatively small sample) had responded unfavourably to the colour question. And talking of Kia one year in the What Car survey the Sportage won the car of the year overall, it got a 100% rating. How many owners had replied, one, that's right one. One very happy owner had managed to make a total mockery of the survey.

Rgather than buying a Golf I would suggest that the OP looks at the Seat Leon or the Skoda Octavia. They are the exact same car under the skin but far cheaper. When we bought the leon it was actually cheaper to buy an Audi A3 than a Golf with the PS engine since the Golf was only available with GT trim and then you had to hit the options to get what we considered essential bits (climate was an expensive extra). We got the Leon with the 140 PS engine for £5000 less than the Golf TSI GT.

How many unscheduled visits did we make to the dealer with the Leon over 4 years, none, zero, zilch. When we PX't it the car was still perfect and needed no rectification work before being sold on.

The Golf was the top selling car in the Uk last month, if they were as bad a people make out on this forum the roads would be littered with dead ones awaiting recovery. The fact is there arn't. But June VW sales are approx 7 times greater than Mazda sales over the same period so evn if reliability were identical you would expect to read about more VW problems than Mazda. Include Seat, Audi and Skoda in that total and total VAG sales in June were about 15 times greater than Mazda.

Virtually all the issues with Mazdas on this Forum concern diesels and rust in older cars thus the advice has been not to but a diesel or a older rusty car. Virtually all the issues with VW have been with the DSG box and the cam chain in early TSI's (mostly the twin charged version) so it would be wise not to buy a VW a twin charged TSi with a DSG box.

The above does not stop the usual members form recomending Mazdas to buyers providing they avoid certain specs thus why should people be told that all VW's are unreliable when only certain specs cause the most frequently reported issues.

One thing to remember, as all cars get older they are at risk from expensive issues especially if they have been neglected. But some buyers still insist on buying older cars with no history and they start complaining when they go expensively wrong. Did they expect new car reliabilty for a few thousand pounds, seems that some do.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - RobJP

Ahh. But you neglected to mention the diesel proeblems with VAG cars too - get the emission 'fix' carried out, and see how long EGR valves and injectors last - and the DPF, which seem to get a lot more active regens after the 'fix' too. Also the earlier 2.0 VAG diesels, which had the wonderful oil pump design which led to large numbers of engine failures. And then there are the wonderful oil consumption issues that lots of people have had with the 1.8 petrol VAG cars, where VAG attempted, once again, to weasel out of responsibility by claiming that consumption of 1 litre of oil for every 1000km / 600 miles was 'within tolerance'.

In every single one of those cases -and also with the DSG gearbox problems - VAG have attempted to weasel out of their responsibilities. They've only acted when critical mass has made it headline news, and they've been FORCED and shamed into action.

Comparing your car - much like me comparing my car - is pointless. Individually, you are a sample size of 1. As am I. Neither of us ever had problems with our BMW 1 series, and I've never had problems with my 3 series. But then again, I look after my cars, check oil and fluid levels, maintain the things rather than just driving it. I suspect you're the same.

But in general - when that sample size grows to encompass thousands of vehicles - The Golf and other VAG cars seem to come out poorly. Unlike a couple of decades ago, they don't engineer a good car, they build one as cheaply as they think they can get away with. But they still bask in that halo glow of 20 years ago.

As to the Golf being the top selling car in June ... well, if it was as true as the press release claimed, then why on earth would VW be offering huge discounts on Golfs in July, along with free servicing ? I mean, if they're 'selling' so many cars, then why would they be offering even bigger discounts ?

I strongly suspect that the figures for June do not, as is always the case, include pre-registrations by dealers (they do include pre-reg by manufacturers, but the manufacturers get round this by 'encouraging' dealers to do pre-registrations instead).

Edited by RobJP on 17/07/2017 at 11:13

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Stanb Sevento

You make a few good points there skidpan. The more cars a brand sells the worse they look. There is one survey on the web that counts the number of faults per car reported under warranty and would you believe it Skoda was top make beating all the Japanese brands.

Reliability to me is when you break down and cant drive, where a squeaky door hinge is a fault and nothing to do with reliability. By that definition every new car Ive bought and nearly every banger Ive owned have been 100% reliable.

VW charge a premium on the Golf making it expensive, probably because they can sell all they can make. Spec for spec Ive seen the Golf dearer than the Passate. You do tend to get a lot of the premium back when you sell it

I have nothing against Japanese cars but they just don't make cars I like. Two I looked at as possibilities were Toyota Avensis estate and Mazda 6 estate, both very nice cars but for me they have serious flaws. Not tried the 165hp Mazda yet.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Engineer Andy

You make a few good points there skidpan. The more cars a brand sells the worse they look. There is one survey on the web that counts the number of faults per car reported under warranty and would you believe it Skoda was top make beating all the Japanese brands.

Reliability to me is when you break down and cant drive, where a squeaky door hinge is a fault and nothing to do with reliability. By that definition every new car Ive bought and nearly every banger Ive owned have been 100% reliable.

VW charge a premium on the Golf making it expensive, probably because they can sell all they can make. Spec for spec Ive seen the Golf dearer than the Passate. You do tend to get a lot of the premium back when you sell it

I have nothing against Japanese cars but they just don't make cars I like. Two I looked at as possibilities were Toyota Avensis estate and Mazda 6 estate, both very nice cars but for me they have serious flaws. Not tried the 165hp Mazda yet.

I think I know why reliability survey 'firm' you are referring to, and if its the one offering after-market warranties, I've always stated that in my opinion it can't be relied upon, because most people who buy Japanese cars don't think theirs NEEDS a warranty because of the high reliability, so those that do are likely to have done so because either that car (previous owner) may have been neglected (e.g. poor service history or known issues) or the current owner has a record of buying such warranties, and always does so, irrespective of the make, because they by bangers.

It should be noted that for many years, the more unreliable makes offered shorter warranty periods, and thus the results in the survey would then be skewed because those makes offering longer warranties would be represented in it by cars that were 2-4 years older, or, when the more unreliable makes were forced into offering 3 year warranties, they were forced into (as with VAG) into replacing many parts in that period BEFORE the aftermarket warranty kicked in, so the poor repliability in years 1 - 3 weren't counted.

As SLO76 says, many of the VAG reliability issues have related to parts that are often specified/included on higher-end models, which tend to be VWs and Audis, rather than SEATs and Skodas (the DSG box, 1.8 petrol engine high oil use and the emergency stop sensors being examples of this).

Additionally, as RobJP says, comparing our OWN experiences with a small number of cars, rather than the far higher number in HJ's mailbag/box isn't a representative sample. Reliability and build quality (not the plushness of the interior or materials used) go hand-in-hand, as small problems (even if they don't stop the car being used) are often an annoyance, which often results in a trip to the dealership to get it rectified, which in my book counts against it. A squeaky door hinge says either that it wasn't attended to correctly at build time or at a service, which doesn't reflect well on the manufacturer's attitude to customer care and quality assurance. Comments about VAGs being built to a (lower) price are, I think, correct, as the debarcle about the dodgy chain links (for example) demonstrated.

Issues like that and Dieselgate can easy come back to haunt makes, because of the huge warranty payouts for fixing problems, fines from national governments and eventually lower sales due to a loss in confidence from prospective buyers. This, in turn, would either lead to such firms enduring years of significantly lower profits or even losses, OR being forced into either making cuts to engineering quality or raising prices, neither of which would go down well in terms of the public reaction or sales. In the end, there's no substitute for sound engineering and good customer service.

Not all far eastern makes get it right either (Mazda's use of the Ford-PSA diesel of doom and its variants and, to be frank, not such good customer care [variable] from Mazda UK/dealerships when compared to the likes of Honda and Toyota, Toyotas issues a few years ago), but in the main they at least try and apologise quickly and resolve the issues with as little fuss as possible, which can actually help their reputation, as opposed to European makes that often try and defend the indefencable and in the process pee off their client base.

VW and Audi have been lucky in my view that, thus far, they still have a strong fan base because they make stylish, visually high quality (fit and finish) and good cars to drive, and as other have said have been trading on that perception of inate quality (as Mercedes did right through their 'horror' period 15 years ago) when many people don't think it was deserved. Only time will tell if this continues when Dieselgate comes out in the wash and the big fines and legal bills start coming in.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - SLO76
Agree, satisfaction surveys do have to be taken with a pinch of salt. The best examples come from VAG, where VW have in recent memory came off rather poorly in most of them yet mechanically identical Skoda has typically done very well.

It's hard to believe VW's cars are any less reliable than Skoda but the expectation of higher standards and the greater number of gadgets (more there is the more likely it'll go wrong) means they score much lower despite general reliability in my experience being fine.

Daft auditions such as the useless electronic parking brake and the more common addition of the trouble prone DSG box in VW's than Skoda hurts their overall score more than any fundamental weaknesses.
Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - sammy1

vw sell more cars than all the so called reliable Japanese cars put together in the UK. My family have owned and run VW group DSG cars for the last 12years. We have had 6speed GTI's run to high mileages without problem. My son has done 80k miles in his Skoda Octavia VRS again without a suggestion of a problem. My wife has the 7speed A1 with DSG which is a lovely drive. Your website because of its nature is one to report problems and I would suggest that because of the number of VW cars sold your statistics are somewhat skewed against the brand. I acknwowledge that in the past Vw admitted to problems but this I believe has been adressed. I currently run a Bmw auto and find no difference in terms of responce or smoothness in driving between the respective transmissions. In todays traffic queuing is the norm and autos make this more relaxing. I personally would recommend the DSG to any buyer.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Engineer Andy

vw sell more cars than all the so called reliable Japanese cars put together in the UK. My family have owned and run VW group DSG cars for the last 12years. We have had 6speed GTI's run to high mileages without problem. My son has done 80k miles in his Skoda Octavia VRS again without a suggestion of a problem. My wife has the 7speed A1 with DSG which is a lovely drive. Your website because of its nature is one to report problems and I would suggest that because of the number of VW cars sold your statistics are somewhat skewed against the brand. I acknwowledge that in the past Vw admitted to problems but this I believe has been adressed. I currently run a Bmw auto and find no difference in terms of responce or smoothness in driving between the respective transmissions. In todays traffic queuing is the norm and autos make this more relaxing. I personally would recommend the DSG to any buyer.

Yes, I bow to your greater knowledge, because all your cars worked fine, so must all other VAG cars by default. Today's watchwords - representative sample. As long as the sample size is large enough to guage this, then it doesn't matter if VW sells 10x more cars in the UK than Toyota etc. I could understand it if we were comparing them with a marque that only sold a handful, but the Japanese makes sell tens of thousands of comparible models themselves, more than enough, and of course, many more abroad in countries such as the US, Canada, Australia and back in Japan & South Korea.

VAG's DSG problem was so bad that in China and some other countries (outside the EU) they were FORCED by those governments to extend their warranties on these parts well beyond what is available in the EU. A shame that didn't happen in the EU, but not surprising given how much of a stranglehold Germany has on it.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Stanb Sevento

Yes, I bow to your greater knowledge, because all your cars worked fine, so must all other VAG cars by default. Today's watchwords - representative sample. As long as the sample size is large enough to guage this, then it doesn't matter if VW sells 10x more cars in the UK than Toyota etc.

You cant on one hand quote HJs Car by Car and then say another survey is unrepresentative. HJ's car by car is a great resource but it's a notice board where individuals report their problems it has virtually no "satisfied customers" it is one place where you would need to divide by 10.

If you buy used and keep a long time then a survey based on aftermarket warranty I would have thought would be the most appropriate to you.

We are never going to agree on this are we Engineer Andy and thats OK. I have been disgusted by VW's treatment of its customers in the aftermath of Dieselgate and have been trying hard to find an alternative. An estate car of the Golf - Passat type with equivalent performance and economy, nice inside, good to drive and preferably petrol this time. I hate SUVs. Any non VAG suggestions?

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 18/07/2017 at 15:25

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Engineer Andy
We are never going to agree on this are we Engineer Andy and thats OK. I have been disgusted by VW's treatment of its customers in the aftermath of Dieselgate and have been trying hard to find an alternative. An estate car of the Golf - Passat type with equivalent performance and economy, nice inside, good to drive and preferably petrol this time. I hate SUVs. Any non VAG suggestions?

There's the rub: I too had a similar problem when I was looking to replace my 11yo Mazda 3 - on the face of it, the Golf 1.4 150 GT was spot on, until it wasn't. Drive-wise, it was, other issues as described, not so much. The Japanese alternatives to another Mazda weren't inspiring, or with the new Civic, not the best looker (fine inside this time, the opposite of the previous version -ahhh!), decent performance on the manual but not so nice (again) with the auto, and VERY expensive (more so than a VW and even some Audis - no discounts).

The car industry seems to be very polarised at present, particularly pitting performance/handling/styling vs long-term reliability - that's why I was a bit disappointed with the Mazdas and there comparitive lack of performance of their petrol-engined versions without having to endure the firm ride of the Sport versions. They ticked (for me) all the other boxes on their SE-L Nav versions (VW take note when speccing the GT models which DON'T come with climate controlled A/C as standard, except on continental models [I was looking to buy a pre-reg EU import from Motorpoint, similar to my 3]) except the performance and that the Sport 165 wasn't even available in the saloon, nor now is the auto on any Mazda3 saloon.

Most other oriental cars for the size I want just aren't nice enough looking or good to drive for me, and I suspect for you either, and the CVT type auto boxes used in most Japanese makes just aren't designed for anything other than tootling around.

My ideal car would have:

  • The exterior styling of the Golf GT 3dr (metallic silver or black) or Leon SC FR (metallic red or black), Mazda 3 saloon and CX-3 (same colours) a close second;
  • The interior styling of the Golf GT 3dr with the panio black facia (not the 'brushed aluminium) - Mazda3 and Civic close second (I can't afford the very nice C class coupe's);
  • Performance/mpg of the Golf 1.4/1.5 TSi 150 ACT (the 2.0 180 really nice but a bit over the top for me!);
  • Handling of the Mazda3, CX-3 (well, any Mazda car really) or Focus, Golf or Leon reasonable second place (can't afford BMWs so not on the list, especially as they don't in 2WD verisions do well in snow and ice);
  • Boot space of the Mazda3 saloon but useability of the hatch of the 3, Golf or Leon;
  • Reliability of the Mazda3 (petrol engine) or Honda Civic (presuming the latest version is as reliable as previous ones);
  • Post sales customer service of Honda, Toyota or Lexus (we can be lucky with Mazdas [my local dealership is generally very good] and most other makes to whether they are good or not - as my 3 is reliable, I've not had the 'priveledge' to deal with Mazda UK).

If only Mazda put more oomph into their engines, and for you, Stanb, did an estate version of the 3, though I can understand why they don't, as it probably (even if very nice looking) would sell in enough numbers (especially in the UK) to justify its production via a far smaller firm than the likes of VW. Honda might do a Civic estate again, and if you don't want an auto, you may find their 1.0 or 1.5 turbo petrols similar in performance and economy to the VWs, though you may have to wait, pay quite a bit (I think they are over-priced) and like the exterior looks.

One of the reasons I've always liked Mazdas is because for the most part, they are a good compromise across the baord and very reasonably priced (lots of good deals abound, especially on the broker sites [new] or pre-regged v.low mileage examples at reg changeover time [dealerships]). No use to you I'm afraid unless you were willing to 'put up with' the performance 6 petrol saloon.

I used to like the Focus mk 2 or 2.5 better than the mk3 or 3.5 on styling, and considered it when I got my 3 (similar underneath the skin), and the estate was always the best looking (and still is) in the Focus family. Just a shame now the interior is, to me, a backwards step and decidedly low rent with cheap, monotone plastics and not styled well for looks or ergonomics (at least the Mazdas are good on that score, if a little bland). Estates seem to be out of fashion at present, so you may find it difficult to get a non-VAG good'un. The Megane Sports Tourer looks nice (upper models) and has a decent range of engines (performance-wise), but I don't think they're there yet in other respects of engineering quality/reliability (though getting better).

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - SLO76
"Daft auditions"

Daft additions.
Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - skidpan

Comparing your car - much like me comparing my car - is pointless. Individually, you are a sample size of 1.

Since 1986 we have owned seven VAG cars so we are not a sample size of one. All have been highly satisfactory. How many do I need to own before my opinion is worthy of consideration?

As to the Golf being the top selling car in June ... well, if it was as true as the press release claimed, then why on earth would VW be offering huge discounts on Golfs in July, along with free servicing ? I mean, if they're 'selling' so many cars, then why would they be offering even bigger discounts ?

Its called marketing. You don't honestly think that Ford never offered discounts to keep the Fiesta at the top.

I have nothing against Japanese cars but they just don't make cars I like. Two I looked at as possibilities were Toyota Avensis estate and Mazda 6 estate, both very nice cars but for me they have serious flaws.

We have tried those as well. The Avensis Tourer was a 1.8 petrol back in 2010 and it was rubbish. The elecric handbrake (which we like in the Skoda) was in the daftest place imaginable (behind the steering wheel). the engine had no go compared to the 1.6 TDCi Focus we had. Bought a Kia Ceed SW CRDi. The petrol Mazda 6 tourer was high on the list when we bought the Superb. It had a great spec but was not a good drive, seemed quite noisy and gutless and the space saver was over £400 extra. We have had 4 Nissans in the house and all have been 100% reliable but all were made oop north not in Japan.

I think I know why reliability survey 'firm' you are referring to, and if its the one offering after-market warranties,

Nothing to do with warranty company. Anyone could respond to the questions but I gave up when they asked "do you like the colour" and "do you like the shape" Who would buy a car they thought was hideous in a bad colour?

Edited by Avant on 18/07/2017 at 00:31

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Engineer Andy

Comparing your car - much like me comparing my car - is pointless. Individually, you are a sample size of 1.

Since 1986 we have owned seven VAG cars so we are not a sample size of one. All have been highly satisfactory. How many do I need to own before my opinion is worthy of consideration?

Essentially you're saying you keep a car for about 4 years, which, amazingly is when many of the recent VAG issues start to appear in very large numbers, unlike their Japanese counterparts which (like mine) are still going strong at that point and well beyond. I know you've previously said you like a new car more often than the likes of me and other Japanese car 'fans', but given you've been often making the case for VAG reliability (even for non-DSG cars), you could still have a wonderful, reliable and cheaper to run car that over its longer ownership period (say 7-10 years) than if you traded yours in etc every 4 years, given the amount lost in depreciation after 4-5 years is often minimal. Your reluctance to do so I think makes other BRs suspicious, given how you like to say how good they are. Just a thought.

We have had 4 Nissans in the house and all have been 100% reliable but all were made oop north not in Japan.

Built to Japanese quality and engineering standards. Still, Renault's involvement in Nissan (sharing components) has unfortunately had a negative impact on their reliability, as HJ himself has said.

The problem, as others have said, is that even for the worst makes in terms of reliability, they still reach about 70-75%, which could mean a lucky individual only buying them could go their whole life behind the wheel with reliable cars from that make.

Many people's point is that larger sample sizes improve accuracy, plus its not JUST the number of faults, but the impact (time taken to repair) and cost (expensive components, significant ones [whole engine or gearbox] and/or numbers requiring replacement due to the faults [sometimes others have to be replaced in a group due to one fault elsewhere). We read here so often woes from VW and Audi car owners having their car being fixed multiple times (often taking several goes to fix them, sometime not doing so 100%) or in for weeks on end, or the manufacturer paying £000s for a new engine etc, something rarely heard of for Japanese makes (except for the diesel-of-doom and variants, bought in by Mazda from Ford-PSA and not designed/built by them).

I accept that for the most part, oriental cars are dull but worthy, and EU ones are far better looking and to drive, but often at the cost of reliability in the short and longer term. A good guide to this is how many older cars (I mean well over 10yo) of each make we see on our roads and in reasonable condition, and most are Japanese (and Korean to an increasing degree). Given you and other VAG fans have said how many more VWs and Audis are sold in the UK than Japanese makes, why don't we see oodles of older ones on our roads? For those reasons above is why people like me make the comments we do.

I don't shy away from buying a car similar to the OP's possible choice (I was seriously considering a brand new Golf 1.4 150 GT over the last year), but I found that, following a lot of research (not just here), that including a few other ownership issues (none to do with reliability) but mainly on the reliability/customer service front, I found VAG wanting (i also did not think it was worth buying a Mazda as well, though not for reliability reasons, more performance-related, as you've experienced when testing them).

I'm not biased towards or against any make (I'm not a badge snob or don't like cars from a particular country because of any political persuasion or personal hatred), I just look at cold facts with a clear head (rather than let my heart rule the decision - which anyone is entitled to do) and make a decision based on my interpretation of them. I realise you and others may disagree on some points, and fair enough. Life would be boring if everyone thought the same way!

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - skidpan

Essentially you're saying you keep a car for about 4 years, which, amazingly is when many of the recent VAG issues start to appear in very large numbers, unlike their Japanese counterparts which (like mine) are still going strong at that point and well beyond. I know you've previously said you like a new car more often than the likes of me and other Japanese car 'fans', but given you've been often making the case for VAG reliability (even for non-DSG cars), you could still have a wonderful, reliable and cheaper to run car that over its longer ownership period (say 7-10 years) than if you traded yours in etc every 4 years, given the amount lost in depreciation after 4-5 years is often minimal. Your reluctance to do so I think makes other BRs suspicious, given how you like to say how good they are. Just a thought

Here are the length of time and mileages we have coverd in the 7 VAG cars. Just remember that for 9 years we actually had 2 VAG cars on the drive.

Golf 3.5 years 48,000 miles

Golf 7.25 years 113,000 miles

Golf 5.75 years 60,000 miles

Golf 6.75 years, 63,000 miles

Polo 3.25 years, 30,000 miles

Leon 3.75 years, 27,000 miles

Superb, only bought it in march this year.

So the average ownership period is actually 5.04 years and the total miles covered approx 341,000. I personally think that is a decent enough time/distance to come to the conclusion they are OK.

I accept we have bought them all new but that is simply because of the poor used car experiences we had back in the 70's and once we could get on the new car ladder we found it little more expensive than the used car ladder. Higher depreciation, yes, but virtually zero repair costs which offset the depreciation to a great extent. The depreciation of the first 3 Golfs was also lower than other cars at the time but the 4th was pretty much on a par with other contemporary cars. We have always hammered out the best deal when buying which keeps costs low.

We have the cash to buy new and will keep doing so, no desire to save money buying used when a large number are traded due to issues. There are good ones out there but there are a lot of dogs and even franchised dealers will rob customers whenever they can.

I will always get a quote from a good, honest broker such as Carfile before I sign on any dotted line which also keeps costs down. They don't always work out cheaper but it costs nothing to find out. Examples are the first Micra, broker offering very little but local dealer gave us 30% on a brand new unregisterd car because they were overstocked. 1 Series BMW, dealer wanted £2000 more to swap than broker but as soon as I said I was off to the broker he turned the screen back, tapped the keys and by some mirracle came up with exactly the same price. But the broker saved us £2000 on the Leon and a similar amount on the Superb (we actually got the Superb via a broker from the same dealer but a different salesman).

If the site does not want comments from owners who buy new they should restrict posts to owners/buyers of older cars but how would that work when Honest John only tests new cars. Look at my experience on the Nissan Note site, said I liked the new car and was banned for potentially flamebaiting unhappy owners of older unreliable cars. Perhaps they should have studdied harder, worked harder, smoked less, drank less etc and then they would have been able to buy a better car instead of expecting a 10 years old car with umpteeen owners to be a paragon of reliabilty and satisfaction.

We did not have a VAG car from 2002 to 2013 for several reasons. We looked at them everytime we changed but they failed to match offerings from Ford, Nissan, BMW and Kia. As examples the Polo was almost 50% more expensive than the Micra and was poorly equipped and a slug since you only got the 50? PS engine at that price. The BMW 1 series cost about the same as a similar Golf yet was way better finished and equipped. The Mondeo and Focus both blew the current Golfs into the far distance as far as performance, finish, driving pleasure and equipment. When we bought the Kia Ceed SW we also tried the Passat Estate in 2.0 diesel 110 PS spec and the only thing that was better on the VW was the carpets.

2 years ago when we bought the wifes Note we looked at the Polo and Fabia. Both good cars but for our needs both fell way short of the Note in too many respects to warrant consideration. Add to that the deal we got made the Note far cheaper as well.

If we don't like VAG we will not buy them but the ones we have had have all been excellent.

For the record the only car we have sold because it was starting to show signs of unreliabilty and corrosion was the Bluebird at 7.25 years and 85,000 miles. I would have sold any of the others to a neighbour or friend without fear of upsetting them. That Bluebird ended up bodged on a back street car lot and looked imaculate (for a few months).

Edited by skidpan on 18/07/2017 at 14:45

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - nailit

"The petrol Mazda 6 tourer was high on the list when we bought the Superb. It had a great spec but was not a good drive, seemed quite noisy and gutless and the space saver was over £400 extra. "

Skidpan, not knowing what year the mazda 6 was that you test drove but the mazda 6 was updated with improved sound proofing in 2015 I believe.

Also at the risk of boring other regulars on here I have to point ou (again)t the mazda 6 you are referring to as "gutless" was the lower powered 145ps and not the 165ps was it not?

Yawn.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Big John

Bit of VW Group bashing going on here

I've bought VW group cars for a few years as I prefer the seats/driving position being 6ft 4" and big (Although my best ever car was a Saab 9000cs!!)

Had a 1984 VW Polo 1.0 from new for 19 years and 135k miles - only issue a new clutch at 120k

Had a 1990 VW Passat 1.6td from 6 years old for a further 6 years - only issue a front drive shaft

Had a 2003 Skoda Superb1.9pd owned from 18 months old for over 10 years and 160k miles - very few issues (alternator@120k and driveshaft and suspension joints). it's still on its original DMF, clutch, battery, exhaust, EGR now nearing 200k miles(I know the new owner)

Own a 2001 Skoda Octavia1.4 (owned from new ) with about 123k miles - clutch needed last year

Own a 2014 Skoda Superb 1.4tsi(owend from 14months) with about 46k - faultless thus far

NB - all of mine have been manuals

PS I love the seats in a Volvo - for an equivalent age much more expensive though ( I do highish mileage and aim for Purchase/Capital cost averaging less that £100 month)

Edited by Big John on 18/07/2017 at 23:28

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - skidpan

Skidpan, not knowing what year the mazda 6 was that you test drove but the mazda 6 was updated with improved sound proofing in 2015 I believe.

I test drove the Mazda 6 Tourer about a year ago now. No idea what year it was but it was a low mileage demonstrator so must have been a 16 plate. I remember reading later in the year (after I had decided the car was not for us) that 2017 models were to have many improvements including additional noise supression.

Also at the risk of boring other regulars on here I have to point ou (again)t the mazda 6 you are referring to as "gutless" was the lower powered 145ps and not the 165ps was it not?

It was indeed the 145 PS model, the SE-L Nav to be exact, the cheapest model you could get the 145 PS petrol engine in. To get the 165 PS engine you needed to upspec to the Sport nav which as well as being £3000 more expensive was fitted with several features that I did not want e.g. leather trim and 19" wheels with rubber band tyres (would have probably added more noise). But the extra 20 PS is totally irrelevant in normal driving since both the 145 PS and 165 PS have an identical 210 nm of torque at an identical 4000 rpm which means to access the extra 20 PS you need to drive the car, shall we say, enthusiastically all the time.

I comparrison the VAG 150 PS TSi in our Superb has 250 nm of torque between 1500 and 3500 rpm. which in the real world means to get excellent performance you never need to rev teh engine hard. At 3500 the TSi is producing 124PS, at 4000 rpm the Mazda 145 PS and 165 PS engines are producing 120 PS. Not a huge difference on paper but a huge difference oin the way they drive. At peak power the TSi is still producing 211 nm of torque whereas the 165 PS Mazda is only producing 194 nm. Again not a huge difference on paper but a massive difference on the road.

Yawn.

Hope that is boring enough for you. But rather than critisising my writings perhaps you should do what I did and drive the cars, if you did and enjoy driving a flexible and relaxed car there is no way you would buy the Mazda (even though in SE-L Nav trim it was cheaper than the Skoda 150 TSi SE at Carfile). However, if you are Jeremy Clarkson and drive on the red line you would probably love the Mazda.

Edited by skidpan on 19/07/2017 at 09:50

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Avant

I agree, and thank you for producing the torque figures to back up your experience. There are quite a few on here who question the high praise given to VAG TSI engines - but that high praise is coming from those of us who drive them.

Driving in this country, 90% of the time you have to pootle. In everyday use SWMBO's current A1 1.4 is in a different league from the succession of Mini Coopers that she had before. And when you do have the opportubity to 'open up', the TSI isn't found wanting. And as I've said before, economy - in the 50s for any kind of long run - is better than my diesel Volvo.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Stanb Sevento

Bit of VW Group bashing going on here

Not that they don't deserve a bashing they do but no more so than the others. Vag have a few unusual features that as it happens appeal to me, continuous lazed welded body seams, much better than spot welds, Zinc coated steel on all of the car body shell and high strength sheet steel used on all outer panels where others only use it on bulkhead and sills. These make for a stiff shell that is very durable. Other makes may be catching up over the last decade I don't know but I still see plenty of spot welds about.

We visited a factory that did camper van conversions a year or so ago and were shown round by the owner. Half a dozen conversions in progress, mainly Japanese imports and one VW T5 van. I as you may expect I homed in on the T5 that just had its roof cut out. The factory owner said he could not cut the roof on the T5 with his standard equipment but had to buy in special tooling because the steel was so tough.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 19/07/2017 at 14:14

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - momo88

Hi all

Apologies for the radio silence over the last week. I have been away on business and didn't have much time to check in on this thread.

I've poured through the replies on this thread and researched even further on the gearboxes. In the end, I think I will be going for a manual 1.4 TSI instead of a DSG. I'll probably be keeping the vehicle for a few years before I swap when the ol' PCP deal comes to a close so while it would all be covered within the warranty in case something went wrong with the gearbox, I'm just not up for the hassle of battling with the dealership every couple of months.

Thanks for all your input as it's helped me come clear cut decision.

Thanks!!

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Big John

You'll love the tsi - Enjoy

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - Avant

Agreed - it's a lovely engine. If you've definitely decided on the Golf, you'll be fine. If you're still looking for deals, it'll be worth investigating the mechanically identical SEAT Leon, Skoda Octavia and Audi A3 and see where the best deal is.

If you're going for a PCP, an Audi can be better value than you might think.

Volkswagen Golf VII - Buying the new Golf VII 1.4 TSI - skidpan

No idea if the VW have changed since we last looked but to get the 1.4 TSi 140/150 PS you had to buy GT spec which includes ride spoiling Carlos Fandango wheelsand lowered sports suspension. Despite it saying it had climate in the spec it has what VW call "manual climate" which is actually aircon, propper climate is extra.

You could get a Audi A3 with the 140/150 PS engine with propper sized tyres, normal suspension and full climate for less money.

Or do what i did and buy the Leon TSi with the same engine, sensible wheels and tyres and propper suspension for £5000 less than than the Golf. Just like the Golf climate was an option if you desired it but at about 1/2 the VW price.

Skoda Octavia prices/specs are good but I would suggest you get a good long test drive in one because we have found them to be very noisy. Bur we have not tried the 2017 model so all may have changed.

 

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