Used Volkswagen Golf (Mk7, 2013-2019) assessment: Mk5-7 (2013-date) |
There is no doubt that the Volkswagen Golf has earned its place on the entrance of the household hatchback pack. Over 45 years and eight generations it has been a mainstay within the sector, and the seventh-generation mannequin was arguably the most effective of the bunch.
The Mk7 Golf was launched in 2013 and obtained a facelift in 2017, however all variations pack the mannequin’s trademark high quality, practicality and user-friendly tech. Different sturdy factors embrace its elegant and understated appears, peerless refinement and all kinds of bodystyles and engines with various ranges of efficiency and financial system. It supplied secure but partaking dealing with and wonderful trip consolation, whereas quite a lot of driving aids made it extraordinarily secure but moderately pleasurable to drive.
The Golf has at all times been barely dearer to purchase than its closest rivals, however used examples maintain on to their worth like few different mainstream household hatchbacks, so it’s a automotive that is sensible to the top and the center. Its enchantment is additional broadened by the provision of fashionable three-door fashions and much more sensible five-door property variations.
Which one ought to I purchase?
- Greatest VW Golf for households: 1.0 TSI Match
- Greatest VW Golf for low prices: 1.0 TSI Bluemotion
- Greatest VW Golf for towing: 2.0 TDI 150 Alltrack
Automotive group exams
The Golf Mk7 reached UK showrooms in January 2013. At launch there have been three or five-door hatchbacks, in addition to a alternative of 1.2 TSI or 1.4-litre TSI petrol engines and 1.6 TDI and a pair of.0-litre TDI diesels. Transmissions included a 5 or six-speed handbook and 6 or seven-speed twin clutch DSG gearbox.
An 85g/km 1.6 TDI BlueMotion was launched in Could 2013, alongside the 181bhp GTD. On the similar time, the GTI sizzling hatch appeared in common 217bhp or Efficiency (227bhp) types. The 295bhp four-wheel-drive Golf R was launched in March 2014, simply earlier than the Golf Property, after which a 12 months later the electrical e-Golf arrived, with an official vary of as much as 118 miles.
The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE of March 2015 mixed a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with a 100bhp electrical motor and was able to round 30 miles in pure EV mode. A 1.0-litre TSI BlueMotion appeared in September 2015 with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
As all Golf Mk7 engines are turbocharged, even the smallest-capacity models serve up affordable energy, though we’d go for the 1.4 TSI over the 1.2 and the two.0 TDI over the 1.6 as a result of they’re usefully extra muscular but nonetheless economical. The Golf GTE may be very spectacular, however costly to purchase and uncommon.
A facelift in 2017 resulted in what is called the MK7.5 and included some new engines and enhanced expertise. The physique kinds remained the identical, however the 1.2-litre TSI was changed by a 113bhp three-cylinder petrol, whereas the 1.4-litre was outdated by the 1.5-litre TSI EVO, which options cylinder deactivation expertise for enhanced gasoline financial system.
On prime of those modifications, the GTI’s energy output was raised to 227bhp for the usual model and 242bhp for the Efficiency Pack improve, whereas the Golf R’s output was briefly elevated to 306bhp earlier than returning to 296bhp to fulfill WLTP effectivity necessities. These go-faster Golfs had been additionally out there with a seven-speed DSG computerized for the primary time.
Know-how was improved on these vehicles, with extra refined and easier-to-use touchscreen infotainment that included higher smartphone connectivity, whereas high-specification fashions additionally obtained TFT digital dials. A brand new R-Line mannequin mixed the sporty appears of the R with the SE’s less expensive engines.
Additionally out there was the rugged Alltrack mannequin that mixed 4Motion all-wheel drive with a raised trip peak and difficult physique cladding. Initially out there with the two.0-litre diesel in both 138bhp handbook or 178bhp DSG computerized guises, these had been changed by 148bhp and 181bhp variations in 2017, whereas a 158bhp 1.8-litre petrol was added a 12 months later.
What are the options?
The Audi A3 makes use of the identical platform and mechanicals because the Golf, however has a plusher cabin. BMW’s 1 Sequence is available in quite a lot of bodystyles and is extraordinarily effectively constructed, plus it gives some actually environment friendly engines.
Matching the Golf on picture however not area is the MINI; whereas rear seat entry is awkward and the boot is small, it’s good to drive and really effectively constructed. If practicality is extra necessary, don’t overlook the Ford Focus; it’s a cracking automotive that’s nice to drive, effectively geared up and dependable. It’s additionally in plentiful provide and is way cheaper than the Golf. The Vauxhall Astra and Peugeot 308 main on worth, however aren’t as effectively constructed and aren’t nearly as good to drive.
VW Golf vs Ford Focus vs Vauxhall Astra
When the Golf locked horns with these arch rivals in September 2018 the end result was nearer than you’d suppose, but it was the VW that emerged forward by a nostril. It wasn’t fairly as enjoyable to drive because the Focus, however it wasn’t far off and hit again with decrease working prices and larger practicality than each of its rivals. It additionally felt probably the most upmarket and had the most effective infotainment. Learn the complete check…
VW Golf vs Kia Ceed vs Hyundai i30
A few months later, in November 2018, it was the flip of the Korean Hyundai and Kia twins to problem the Golf’s supremacy. Each rivals supplied extra commonplace package and decrease costs, plus had been backed by longer warranties, however neither might match Golf’s profitable mix of driver enchantment, consolation and high quality. Learn the complete check…
VW Golf vs Toyota Corolla vs Peugeot 308
The Golf confronted its sternest check so far in March 2019 when it crossed swords with the Toyota Corolla. With effective driving dynamics, environment friendly hybrid engine and classy appears the Japanese automotive got here closest to toppling the fashionable and comfy Golf, however ultimately the VW’s all-round skills proved an excessive amount of because it took one other victory. The growing older Peugeot trailed dwelling a distant third. Learn the complete check…
How a lot will a used Volkswagen Golf value?
The Golf was by no means the most cost effective possibility when new, and that’s a theme that continues when shopping for used. Nonetheless, the VW’s high quality means it feels price the additional outlay, plus you’ll get extra again than rivals when it’s time to promote. Working prices are low, particularly for the small petrol and diesels, whereas most trim ranges gives you all of the package you’ll want.
Stronger resale values than comparable period rivals means you’ll must dig a bit of deeper into your pockets when shopping for used. In fact the flipside of that is that you simply’ll arguably profit at resale time, so general you received’t be out of pocket any greater than in the event you’d gone for a much less expensive rival.
Diesel-engined variations provide the most effective worth as a result of they’ve suffered within the aftermath of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal. But whereas it was VW that had been the principle perpetrators of this emissions-cheating scandal, not one of the Mk7 Golfs had been affected.
Both approach, as one in every of Britain’s best-selling vehicles of the final decade there must be an enormous number of examples to select from. Examine our sister website Buyacar for the newest costs or to make use of the make and mannequin valuation software..
Gas financial system and emissions
Volkswagen has ensured that the Golf may be very simple on the pockets – a lot in order that even the racy 2.0-litre GTI returns spectacular financial system.
If you happen to’re after correctly frugal motoring, select between both the 1.0-litre petrol with 109bhp or the 114bhp 1.6 diesel. Each have CO2 emissions that vary from 104-111g/km – and that’s no matter whether or not your gearbox is a handbook or a DSG computerized.
Within the meantime, the gutsy 1.5-litre unit with 128bhp or 148bhp isn’t unhealthy at avoiding the pumps; its cylinder deactivation expertise means it returns claimed figures starting from 52.3-57.6mpg, relying on gearbox, wheel and physique model choices, and CO2 emissions are 111-119g/km.
The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE’s claimed financial system figures are spectacular, with the promise of as much as 166mpg mixed. Like all plug-ins, that determine must be taken with a pinch of salt, as a result of to face any hope of getting near that determine you want to have the ability to run on electrical energy for a big chunk of your commute. When the batteries are drained, it’s best to handle about 55mpg.
The e-Golf is, like most EVs, expensive to purchase from the outset, however that preliminary expense could be offset by it costing only some kilos to totally cost (relying on when and the place you cost). Anticipate round 130-140 miles of vary from a cost in the actual world, though that varies vastly relying in your driving model and utilization.
If you happen to’re actually seeking to maintain payments to a minimal, then the pre-WLTP Bluemotion vehicles are price looking for. Each the early 1.6-litre diesel and later 1.0-litre TSI petrol emit lower than 100g/km of CO2, which makes them eligible at no cost highway tax.
Golf house owners can select from fixed-interval or variable servicing. The previous requires checks each 12 months or 10,000 miles; the latter permits as much as 20,000 miles and two years between companies, relying on how the automotive is used.
As soon as a Golf is three years outdated, it’s eligible for cut-price upkeep; minor companies then value £159 and main ones £329. Many more recent vehicles have a transferable service plan to chop payments. Most engines function a cambelt which must be changed each 5 years or as much as 140,000 miles, at £429 (£479 with a brand new water pump). Brake fluid must be renewed after three years, then each two years, at £59.
All Golfs had been lined by a three-year and 60,000-mile guarantee when new, the exception being the electrical e-Golf which additionally will get a separate eight-year and 100,000-mile cowl for its battery pack.
Insurance coverage ranges from group 11 for the entry-spec Golf 1.0 TSI S (the older 1.2-litre automotive is in an excellent decrease group) to a sky-high 39 for the fast Golf R. Insurance coverage quotes are aggressive with comparable period class rivals, so the perceived status of the VW badge would not include any monetary penalty.
What do house owners suppose?
Homeowners love their Golfs, ranking their high quality and luxury above all else. But additionally they reserve reward for his or her assured dealing with, easy-to-use expertise, practicality and low working prices. Reliability isn’t maybe as sturdy as for similar-era rivals, however most faults are usually solved rapidly and simply.
The Mk7 Golf made its debut in 18th place in our Driver Energy satisfaction survey in 2014, however by 2021 it had slumped to a disappointing 73rd place. But the VW nonetheless proved to be a dependable alternative with only a few issues, whereas the model itself scored a extra creditable seventeenth within the producer survey
How sensible is it?
Whereas the Golf doesn’t have class-leading inside area, it’s hardly a major flaw. In each three-door and five-door codecs plus a spacious property, it has loads of area for 5 passengers and the boot is effectively formed. Visibility is healthier than most similar-era rivals, too.
Dimensions, cabin and boot area
The Golf appears to develop with every successive technology, and the Mk7 is 150mm longer, 13mm wider and 4mm decrease than the Mk6 it changed in 2013, however it was nonetheless removed from being an enormous automotive by class requirements of the day.
There’s a great deal of area up entrance, whereas rear passengers get loads of head and legroom. The extensive, flat rear seat can take three folks with out an excessive amount of of a squeeze, though the centre passenger could discover issues a bit uncomfortable on longer journeys.
Getting out and in is an easy matter (particularly with the five-door), and youngster seats are simple to slot in the again utilizing both the automotive’s seat belts or Isofix.
Volkswagen gave the Golf numerous helpful storage areas, together with a deep cubby underneath the entrance armrest between the motive force and entrance passenger, a big air-conditioned glovebox and quite a few cup-holders. Patrons additionally profit from huge door bins which can be flock-lined to cease their contents from rattling round noisily on the transfer.
As ever, the massive VW boot badge doubles because the tailgate launch; open it and there’s a well-shaped, 380-litre boot. Higher nonetheless, there’s a large opening and low load lip, whilst you have a helpful hidden storage space under the height-adjustable false boot flooring.
If you happen to want extra room, you possibly can liberate a beneficiant 1,270 litres of capability by folding the 60:40 rear seats; the load platform is usefully flat, too. Helpful additions to the load area embrace a 12V energy provide and a pair of bag hooks, plus there’s a ski-flap for longer gadgets.
These on the lookout for much more practicality can go for the Property mannequin, with an enormous 605-litre boot that expands to 1,620 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The Alltrack model retains this practicality, however provides a raised trip peak and four-wheel drive for added versatility.
It is price noting that the e-Golf and GTE are barely much less sensible, as a result of their batteries are mounted underneath the boot flooring. Because of this, the e-Golf will get a 343-litre load bay, whereas the hybrid GTE’s shrinks to 272 litres. That’s nonetheless a really usable quantity of area, however you sacrifice any type of under-floor storage.
Tools and expertise
Entry-level S and SE trim ranges had been initially fitted with a small 5.8-inch infotainment display with Bluetooth connectivity, whereas a well-liked 8-inch improve added DAB radio and the potential of sat-nav on some fashions.
The 2017 facelift added an eight-inch Composition set-up to all fashions, with a DAB radio, Bluetooth and a USB connection, plus the model’s Assume Blue journey pc that offers recommendations on environment friendly driving. SE fashions and above added the fascinating Automotive Internet ‘App Join’, which brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone apps, though the net companies value further to subscribe to.
All variations get sharp graphics and an easy menu system, whereas a neat movement sensor brings up hotkeys when your hand approaches the display and the contact menu buttons reply effectively. It was one of many best and most intuitive programs out there on the time.
Some fashions are fitted with an optionally available 9.2-inch display, gesture management and a 64GB reminiscence. However in actuality, the usual system delivers all of the options you’ll want and is simpler to make use of than this all-touchscreen affair.
The entry-level S trim degree is spartan, though it has a DAB radio and color touchscreen show, air-con plus electrical mirrors and entrance home windows. SE spec provides powered rear home windows, 16-inch alloy wheels and emergency metropolis braking, whereas the GT has 17-inch alloys, sports activities suspension plus entrance and rear parking sensors.
The mid-range, high-value Match, launched in July 2014, got here with parking sensors all-round and electrically folding door mirrors. The GTI was recognized by its crimson grille stripe and twin exit exhausts, whereas inside it will get the trademark tartan checked trim. In contrast the quicker R was extra delicate, however obtained 4 exhausts and silver-finished door mirrors.
The trim ranges remained largely unchanged for the 2017 facelift, except for the brand new R-line, which was based mostly on the GT and added ornamental inserts within the sprint and door panels, together with a unique design of 17in wheel and trapezoidal exhaust pipes.
The Golf has at all times had a robust security report and the MK7 isn’t any exception. All vehicles get seven airbags (together with driver’s knee airbag), whereas the five-star Euro NCAP ranking earned in 2012 is spectacular, particularly the 94% ranking for grownup occupant safety.
Customary security gear throughout the vary consists of an electrical parking brake with auto maintain operate, digital tyre strain monitoring, stability management, entrance passenger airbag deactivation and hydraulic brake help.
All however entry-level S editions get Entrance Help, which now incorporates metropolis emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
Security choices embrace lane help with facet scan, blind spot monitoring and dynamic gentle help, park help and rear facet airbags.
What’s it wish to drive?
Whereas not as thrilling to drive as similar-era rivals such because the Ford Focus, the Golf consists and comfy. It’s backed by a terrific vary of turbocharged engines and packs the form of refinement usually reserved for dearer fashions.
Engines and efficiency
The Golf options a variety of engines and is likely one of the solely mainstream vehicles of the time to supply the selection of petrols, diesels, a plug-in hybrid and a full-EV.
The petrol engines are badged TSI and so they begin with a 1.2-litre four-cylinder with both 84bhp or 104bhp. It was changed in 2017 by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder that was out there with comparable outputs (84bhp and 109bhp)
The 84bhp unit was out there in S trim solely, however to finest mix energy, effectivity, package and worth, you’ll have to step as much as the extra highly effective variations that retain the refinement of the bottom automotive, however add helpful further punch for overtaking or carrying heavier masses.
Regardless of its diminutive capability, the 109bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged engine places on a robust present. We recorded a 0-60mph time of 9.6 seconds in a single, which was half a second quicker than a extra highly effective 1.0-litre turbo Honda Civic, whereas it had a larger-capacity Renault Mégane 1.2 TCe crushed throughout our in-gear assessments. For example, it lined the fourth gear 30-50mph increment in 5.6 seconds, which was 1.1 seconds forward of the Mégane.
The extra highly effective 120bhp 1.4-litre TSI shall be a greater wager for a lot of, but when your funds stretches then the 1.5-litre TSI present in post-2017 facelift fashions is a good all-round alternative.
Once we examined this engine towards a 1.4 turbo Vauxhall Astra, the VW was faster than the Astra from 50 to 70mph in prime gear, finishing this acceleration check in 8.7 seconds in contrast with 9.2 seconds for the Vauxhall.
Within the decrease gears, the place the Vauxhall’s revs had been increased, the Astra was quicker than the Golf. The VW accelerated between 30 and 50mph in third and fourth gears in 4.2 and 5.5 seconds respectively, whereas the Astra wanted solely 3.9 and 5.4 seconds for a similar check.
The two.0-litre petrol engine is reserved for the GTI and R fashions, with outputs from 217bhp to 306bhp. It’s a clean and really versatile engine that gives unimaginable acceleration, making these vehicles among the quickest on the highway. For instance, the DSG-equipped R is able to the 0-62mph dash in simply 4.7 seconds.
On the diesel facet, there’s a 1.6 that was initially out there with 104bhp earlier than being elevated to 114bhp for 2017. It’s succesful sufficient for many makes use of, however in order for you one thing with a bit of extra guts (and rather less noise), VW gives a 2.0 diesel producing 148bhp and barely any extra CO2. There’s additionally a potent 181bhp 2.0, however it’s reserved for the GTD.
The GTE plug-in hybrid mixes a 1.4-litre petrol and an electrical motor for a mixed output of 201bhp, whereas the e-Golf has a 124-mile vary which was elevated to 186 miles as a part of the 2017 replace. It additionally benefited from an influence improve from 113bhp to 134bhp, though each are clean, brisk and straightforward to drive.
Except for the five-speed handbook within the entry-level 1.6 TDI, the usual gearbox throughout the Golf vary is a six-speed handbook. However one key swap of the 2017 facelift was the phasing out of the outdated six-speed dual-clutch DSG computerized in favour of a smoother-shifting seven-speed unit throughout all fashions.
Don’t low cost the Alltrack model, which whereas uncommon is a superb all-rounder. Its jacked-up suspension and four-wheel drive make it a surprisingly succesful off-roader in addition to a wonderful tow automotive. It’s additionally clean and poised on the highway, the place the turbocharged petrol model gives an honest mix of efficiency and refinement.
On the highway
The Volkswagen Golf has at all times delivered excessive ranges of consolation, refinement and dealing with poise, and the Mk7 isn’t any exception. Enter a collection of corners and the Golf responds swiftly to the direct and well-weighted steering. There’s additionally luggage of grip and rock-solid physique management, which make the VW a confidence-inspiring machine.
Higher nonetheless, this agility is matched to spectacular refinement and luxury. The trip isn’t as smooth as a Renault Megane’s, however it’s higher managed over huge bumps, whereas engine, wind and highway noise are remoted from the cabin. Progress is much more fluid in fashions fitted with the optionally available adaptive damping system, and are price looking for out.
The direct and well-weighted steering means the Volkswagen responds effectively on turn-in, plus there’s loads of grip and good physique management. It’s not fairly as partaking to drive rapidly as a Honda Civic, however there’s not a lot in it. The Golf’s actual power is the best way it blends that means with refinement and luxury; it rides extra easily than a Peugeot 308 particularly, absorbing bumps within the highway floor admirably.
Volkswagen fitted all Golf fashions with greater than 118bhp with a extra refined multilink rear axle to assist enhance dealing with – though in most conditions the usual torsion beam set-up feels practically as composed.
If enjoyable is prime of your precedence listing, then search for a GTD, GTE, GTI or R model, with the GTD providing loads of torque for easy overtaking. Do not be fooled by the plug-in hybrid GTE although: regardless of the identify, it is no sizzling hatch. It is quicker in a straight line than the GTD, however the added weight means it isn’t a lot enjoyable within the corners.
True efficiency followers shall be drawn to the flagship R mannequin. Out there as a hatchback or an property, the Golf R will get as much as 306bhp and four-wheel drive, so it’s very sharp to drive and packs an incredible quantity of grip.
What must you look out for?
The Golf is a totally engineered hatchback that’s been perfected over the many years, so glitches are few and much between. Nonetheless, there are one or two points to maintain an eye fixed out for.
Frequent used Volkswagen Golf Mk7 issues
The motive force’s facet wiper can smear the windscreen when it rains. Switching the unique Valeo blades for Bosch options appears to do the trick.
Whereas the digital parking brake has up to now confirmed dependable, it appears to be one thing that actually polarises opinion; house owners both like it or hate it.
The touchscreen multimedia system typically works effectively, however some drivers have struggled to pair their telephones and it doesn’t learn all MP3 gamers.
A number of house owners aren’t impressed by the Golf’s commonplace halogen headlights, so bulb swaps are frequent, normally for Osram Nightbreakers.
The Golf Mk7 has been recalled jon a couple of events however they’ve usualy affected solely a small variety of vehicles. A complete of 303 vehicles inbuilt April 2015 had been referred to as again due to a threat of the suspension collapsing attributable to a producing fault with the entrance wheel bearing housing. Any affected vehicles obtained new castings made to a better commonplace.
In 2017 there have been recollects referring to wheel bearing housings, the ABS and ESC stability management programs, the headlights and the airbags on some fashions.
Volkswagen issued a recall in March 2016 for two.0 TDI Golfs, as a part of its high-profile emissions debacle. However this was aimed on the Mk6 with the EA189 unit; the Mk7 makes use of the EA288 diesel, so it isn’t affected by this recall.