Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - Centurian

Hi, I’m considering purchasing a used MK 7 Golf GTD and, being a regular member of the public and in no way mechanically minded, to date have gone down the conventional thinking route and only considered ones a la ‘one previous private owner, low mileage’ etc.. If I was more knowledgeable about cars I’d consider getting a higher mileage example provided it had been looked after - can anyone advise please that if I was to get a higher mileage one, what mileage range should I consider where it was likely to have had its major work done such as cam belt change etc.. Please note I’d happily consider an automatic so what extra costs (and at what time of the car’s life) need I consider please? Obviously I’d check this with the seller , but seek this information so that I can narrow my search.

Nb, is the driving position in the Mk7 GTD the same as that in my current Mk7 Golf SE please? I presume so but just thought I’d ask. Thank you

Edited by Christopher Needham on 11/01/2020 at 16:49

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - badbusdriver

The MK7 Golf came out in 2012, how old a car are you looking at?. First point is that unless you do lots of miles, a 1.4TSI petrol would be a much better choice. Modern diesel engines are not really suited to short journeys which can result in very expensive failures with the emissions equipment. Secondly, you definitely don't want to be buying a 2nd hand car with the DSG gearbox. Fine if buying new and getting shot of before the warranty expires, but this type of gearbox is altogether far too complex for its own good. Yes, the 'wet clutch' version which will be in the GTD, is supposedly more reliable, but i still wouldn't have one.

If you really want two pedals, buy something with a torque converter.

Edited by badbusdriver on 11/01/2020 at 18:25

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - Centurian

Thanks, I had manual diesel Golfs since 2006 doing range of short journeys (say 10 x 5mile runs each week and maybe 6 journeys per week averaging 35 miles each way with no issues at all. I like the idea of the GTD for comfort to be honest.

One other thing is that at work a GTE Passat is on offer but I understand that to get decent economy from these hybrids, the driving I do would not give me anything like decent mpg - though I’d like someone to tell me different.,,...

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - badbusdriver

Thanks, I had manual diesel Golfs since 2006 doing range of short journeys (say 10 x 5mile runs each week and maybe 6 journeys per week averaging 35 miles each way with no issues at all. I like the idea of the GTD for comfort to be honest.

Well i did say modern diesel engines, and a 2006 or earlier Golf would not qualify as that!. The newer the diesel, the more emissions equipment it has to keep it within the cleanest category. Point is, your having had no issues with previous diesel Golf's is meaningless unless the Golf in question had the same level of emissions equipment as the age of car you are thinking about.

I am also a bit baffled by the comment that you want a GTD for comfort?. Why do you think a GTD would be more comfortable than any other Golf?. If anything, a lower spec Golf on smaller wheels with taller sidewall tyres would be more comfortable. Also, diesel engines in general are heavier than petrol engines, meaning that the suspension needs to be firmer to cope with the extra weight, which in turn means that a 2.0 diesel Golf is very unlikely to be more comfortable than an equivalent spec 1.4TSI.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - SLO76
“ Thanks, I had manual diesel Golfs since 2006 doing range of short journeys (say 10 x 5mile runs each week and maybe 6 journeys per week averaging 35 miles each way with no issues at all. I like the idea of the GTD for comfort to be honest.”

Buy post 2014 to avoid any that have been affected by the emissions recall, these cars are more prone to EGR and DPF issues. Avoid the DSG gearbox which is well known for premature failure and is often ruined by neglected fluid changes. It’s a very nice thing to drive and a great all rounder but I’d buy only if you can afford a good approved used 2015 on example from a VW dealer and you’re willing to fund a VW service history or you have a good local VAG specialist nearby. They’re not as robust as previous VW’s so don’t expect trouble free motoring but the GTD is quick, comfortable, well built, practical and easy to sell on again.
Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - gordonbennet

Friend has the mk6 GTD, sat on 19" wheels (ridiculously expensive tyres too), it's the hardest riding car i've ever travelled in and road roar is awful, can't see the 7 being much different.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - DavidGlos
I’ve got a 2016 GTD Estate as a company car. Really like it and it’s been entirely trouble free over 66k miles. However, one thing that grates is that it doesn’t seem able to achieve a passive DPF regeneration. Even after a 100 mile run, it often starts an active regen on a short journey a few miles later. My better half’s 2011 2.0 TDI (140) Golf almost always does a passive regen.

I’d be wary of running my Golf GTD as a personal (non company car) outside of warranty. Had a 2014 Qashqai 1.5 dCi before the GTD and I was never aware of it doing a regen. With the GTD, at tick over during a regen, it feels like it’s going to shake itself to pieces!
Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - Centurian

From what I understand, the mk7 GTD seats are more supportive that seats in lower spec Mk7s. I find my Mk7 SE seats as ok but a bit soft so the GTD seats seemed a better spec. The advice has just about put me off a used DSG however, which is perhaps not a bad thing. Do you suggest avoiding DSGs if considering other used VW cars, or just the Golf GTD?

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - badbusdriver

Do you suggest avoiding DSGs if considering other used VW cars, or just the Golf GTD?

Yes definitely!. VAG make two different types of DSG gearbox, the 'dry clutch' type, and the 'wet clutch' type. The wet clutch type is fitted to bigger diesels and (i think) more powerful petrols, and is, supposedly, stronger than the dry clutch type. But both are more likely to fail than a good torque converter auto, it's just that the dry clutch type is more likely!.

As i said earlier, i wouldn't be too concerned if you were buying new and planned to get rid of the car before the warranty is up as any problems will (in theory!) be dealt with at no cost to you. But there is no way i'd be buying a 2nd hand car with that type of gearbox (regardless of brand), especially when said car could be as much as 7 or 8 years old.

Just last night i was reading through another section of this website and came upon a case where the owner of a 2013 Golf with DSG had to shell out £3.5k for a new gearbox!.

Edited by badbusdriver on 12/01/2020 at 10:10

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - gordonbennet

You and me both BBD, wouldn't touch any of satans automated manual or twin clutch gearboxes with a bargepole out of bombproof warranty, and it's almost certain i shall never own another car inside maker's warranty.

What's puzzling though is how spectacularly reliable automated manual boxes are in lorries, even if they do make progress slower they have proved to be very very reliable and as a bonus protect the engine and drivetrain from even the worse of fools.

Edited by gordonbennet on 12/01/2020 at 10:28

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - corax

What's puzzling though is how spectacularly reliable automated manual boxes are in lorries, even if they do make progress slower they have proved to be very very reliable and as a bonus protect the engine and drivetrain from even the worse of fools.

Who makes automated boxes for lorries GB? Maybe they have a bigger budget to work with, needing utmost reliability for transporting goods on time and needing to keep a good reputation for continued business (only my theory), where car manufacturers are always looking to save the pennies any which way they can.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - gordonbennet

Who makes automated boxes for lorries GB? Maybe they have a bigger budget to work with, needing utmost reliability for transporting goods on time and needing to keep a good reputation for continued business (only my theory), where car manufacturers are always looking to save the pennies any which way they can.

Volvo and Scania make their own as far as i know (Volvo drivetrain going into most full size Renault trucks coming here for quite some time now), the rest of the typical makes, eg Daf, MAN, Iveco use mainly ZF automated manuals at least for the typical UK offerings, each with their own take on fine programming, i'm happiest with MAN's programming.

MAN and Scania are now blood brothers so some sharing is going to be the order of the day, Volvo have been offering a twin clutch version at some cost which is reputed to be superb but i have no experience of one.

What i can't get my head around is why people are still prepared to buy these dashed things in cars where not only have they proved to be anything but durable, but some of the makers involved haven't exactly covered themselves in glory via back up for their plainly sub standard products, in the world of trucks if these things started packing up with £12/15k (equivalent) bills flying around like confetti they would be barge pole jobs...but remember so many operators in the UK at least lease the vehicles with Repair and Maintenance contracts for anything from 3 to 5 or more years, my employer its 5 years full R&M lease, so if a gearbox dies its down to the dealer to fix it unless they can prove its abuse, but reliability is still key.

I've driven all the three makes of these autoboxes for some 15 years, all have been completely reliable for me with various levels of frustration in use, ZF's have been the most reliable, followed by Scania.

Edited by gordonbennet on 12/01/2020 at 12:46

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - badbusdriver

I think there are a couple of factors at play here. 1

1, (at present) Pretty much all HGV automated manuals are single clutch which are more reliable simply by being less complex. This is the same with cars, but the jerky changes (of single clutch auto's) are much more noticeable on cars. This is perhaps not such an issue on HGV's because the weight and momentum would probably mask most of this characteristic and also, HGV drivers are unlikely to be trying to win traffic light grand prix's. Even cars with the single clutch auto's are more smooth driven with restraint. The real question will be whether or not a dual clutch automated manual can be made to work reliably, long term in an HGV?

2, For someone like GB who spends all day behind the wheel, having an auto box rather than a manual could be borderline essential rather than a choice. Now if you look at the huge mileages involved and the cost of fuel being used were a torque converter auto used. How much fuel would be saved by using an automated manual?, and would it exceed any increase in maintenence costs?.

Edited by badbusdriver on 12/01/2020 at 13:05

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - gordonbennet
The real question will be whether or not a dual clutch automated manual can be made to work reliably, long term in an HGV?

2, For someone like GB who spends all day behind the wheel, having an auto box rather than a manual could be borderline essential rather than a choice.

1. That is the burning question, but cars with single plate automated manuals have a high failure rate too, even Toyota couldn't make these things reliable long term, plus for maneuvering with only 4 or 5 speed boxes first and reverse wouldn't in most cases be low enough geared to give good control.

2. Er no, i'd rather a manual box still, but, not a Swedish synchro box which were always horrible things, but one of the many excellent constant mesh or twin splitter type obes which once you left rest could be driven without touching the clutch and where, in the case of the Eaton Twin the changes could be performed in milliseconds.

Some trucks do come with TC boxes, namely Terberg (and other purpose made) shunters which are superb to use with their infinitely variable application of power, plus many refuse vehicles, and yes when tried on long haul operations the fuel consumption increase over automated manual outweighed the advantages such as the vastly superior acceleration possible through being at peak torque all the way.

Good drivers can beat automated manual fuel consumption, either with real manual or by driving the AM in manual mode, even with the latest GPS guided computer assistance.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - SLO76
“ 1, (at present) Pretty much all HGV automated manuals are single clutch which are more reliable simply by being less complex. This is the same with cars, but the jerky changes (of single clutch auto's) are much more noticeable on cars. This is perhaps not such an issue on HGV's because the weight and momentum would probably mask most of this characteristic and also, HGV drivers are unlikely to be trying to win traffic light grand prix's. Even cars with the single clutch auto's are more smooth driven with restraint.“


Most service buses use a simple 3 or 4 speed torque converter transmission for the sake of durability and rarely do we see any problems with them despite most on the fleet at my depot having half a million miles or more up. It’s mostly electrical issues and faults with the compressed air systems that let them down.

The larger LWB Volvo Elite coaches I often drive have a single clutch automated manual box that is again rarely any trouble but the changes are slow and initial take off is often horribly juddery on higher mileage examples. It’s not acceptable in a car but in a bus it’s ok, you can smooth changes a bit by holding the gears to higher revs which gives a bit more acceleration and smooths the change a bit. None I’ve driven to date use a twin clutch set up and that includes the latest 19 plates we run which both have now around 100k up again without gearbox issues. Electrics are however a nightmare.
Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - badbusdriver

2. Er no, i'd rather a manual box still, but, not a Swedish synchro box which were always horrible things, but one of the many excellent constant mesh or twin splitter type obes which once you left rest could be driven without touching the clutch and where, in the case of the Eaton Twin the changes could be performed in milliseconds.

I guess that would be personal preference GB, but is this the general consensus with other drivers you know?. I know my brother far prefers an auto truck to a manual. His last employer had a fleet of (mainly) Scania 4 axle tippers and they all had manual boxes (that isn't the reason he left though!). Currently back on artics, think it is a Volvo, but not sure. My Dad also preferred auto on a truck.

When i first started with Stagecoach out of our fleet of Volvo B10 Plaxton's, two were manual, the rest being T/C auto. The only other manual's were a handful of ancient Mercedes Beaverbuses. I didn't mind a manual coach if i was doing a run later in the evening when the roads were quiet, or (obviously) if the roads were slippy, but otherwise a manual box was a monumental pain!. Mind you, the gearchange was like stirring a massive pot of (nearly congealed) porridge!.

Good drivers can beat automated manual fuel consumption, either with real manual or by driving the AM in manual mode, even with the latest GPS guided computer assistance.

I am surprised at this, i mean i alsways take the 'official' mpg by car manufacturers figures with a large pinch of salt, but work on the assumption that just as an automated manual's actual mpg is maybe 15% less than stated, so would the manual. And a lot of cases, the automated manual has a higher stated mpg figure than the manual.

The larger LWB Volvo Elite coaches I often drive have a single clutch automated manual box that is again rarely any trouble but the changes are slow and initial take off is often horribly juddery on higher mileage examples. It’s not acceptable in a car but in a bus it’s ok, you can smooth changes a bit by holding the gears to higher revs which gives a bit more acceleration and smooths the change a bit. None I’ve driven to date use a twin clutch set up and that includes the latest 19 plates we run which both have now around 100k up again without gearbox issues. Electrics are however a nightmare.

My only experience with automated manuals on buses was limited to two Neoplan Skyliners. And while they didn't judder, there was a very pronounced delay in between pressing the throttle at a standstill and anything actually happening. Good judgement was needed knowing when to release the handbrake if pulling away uphill!. The change from first to second and second to third was pretty ponderous, but from then on, they were fine.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - Ken Edwards

The main issues with premature failure of DSG boxes was rectified in 2011 . In all honesty the gearboxes since then have been quiet solid. When you consider the vast volumes of DSG boxes fitted since then the failure rates are minimal. They are smoother and a whole lot more precise than conventional auto boxes. Seems to be a whole lot of scaremongering about them with no real facts. Indeed, if they were so fallible then they would not still be fitting them to their vehicles. My advice, drive both a DSG and a manual then make up your own personal choice based on your personal preferences.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - KB.

I look at the, almost universal, condemnation of DSG boxes here, and 97% of the time do nothing more than look - and move on.

Every now and again I chirp up and say I've had one (the bad one, you know, the dry clutch one) from new since 2011. And, miraculously, it hasn't exploded or disintegrated. In fact it's rather satisfactory.

OK, that's me done with the topic for another year or so :-)

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - badbusdriver

The main issues with premature failure of DSG boxes was rectified in 2011 . In all honesty the gearboxes since then have been quiet solid. When you consider the vast volumes of DSG boxes fitted since then the failure rates are minimal. They are smoother and a whole lot more precise than conventional auto boxes. Seems to be a whole lot of scaremongering about them with no real facts. Indeed, if they were so fallible then they would not still be fitting them to their vehicles. My advice, drive both a DSG and a manual then make up your own personal choice based on your personal preferences.

...............................................................................................................................

I look at the, almost universal, condemnation of DSG boxes here, and 97% of the time do nothing more than look - and move on.

Every now and again I chirp up and say I've had one (the bad one, you know, the dry clutch one) from new since 2011. And, miraculously, it hasn't exploded or disintegrated. In fact it's rather satisfactory.

OK, that's me done with the topic for another year or so :-)

Hmm, the experience of one person with one car does not prove anything. When someone is asking for advice on buying a used car, the likelyhood of anything going wrong is what should be taken very much into consideration. That doesn't mean anything will go wrong with a DSG, but statistically the chances are greater that something could go wrong than with a good T/C auto. And nobody needs to only take the word or advice of a forum member. Just have a little read through here and look at the amount of DSG failures and problems in general experienced by owners of the 7th gen Golf.........

www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volkswagen/golf-vii-...d

I gave up after about 15!.

And bear in mind two things, (Ken) this is the 7th gen Golf, the oldest of which is 2013. So all these DSG problems/failures took place on cars at least two years younger than when you claim DSG problems were rectified. Also, this is just one generation of Golf, how many other cars within the VAG stables are fitted with the same gearbox?.

By contrast, look at the 'good/bad' section for the 9th gen (2012-2017) Civic and there are no issues reported for the auto, not one. For the 3rd gen Mazda 3 (2014-2019) there is one reported auto box failure. For the 2nd gen Kia Ceed (2012-2018), this was interesting as it started off with a T/C auto before going DCT mid way through the car's life. No problems at all for T/C, then 3 reports of problems/failures with the twin clutch.

So while you are both entitled to your opinions, don't try and make out that there is some sort of unjustified smear campaign going on in the forum against the DSG (or DCT) gearbox when the evidence from owners support what is being said, i.e, avoid if buying used.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - KB.

Obviously I'm aware of the history of DSG. There'd be something wrong if i wasn't.

But you say :- So while you are both entitled to your opinions, don't try and make out that there is some sort of unjustified smear campaign going on in the forum against the DSG .... etc ...

However I'd much prefer you didn't accuse me of - trying to make out there is some sort of unjustified smear campaign ... etc ...

I don't recall "making out" anything of the sort, so you might want to consider retracting that.

Mk 7 VW Golf GTD - Buying Advice - badbusdriver

However I'd much prefer you didn't accuse me of - trying to make out there is some sort of unjustified smear campaign ... etc ...

I don't recall "making out" anything of the sort, so you might want to consider retracting that.

OK, i apologise, that coment should have been aimed just at Ken.

But this thread is well over 6 months old, so not really much point in commenting at all, unless you agree with ken's opinion.

 

Ask Honest John Right column

Value my car