• Interior quality and presentation
    • Ride and handling
    • Manual gearbox with safety tech
    • Halogen headlights
    • Limited exterior colours
    • Longterm reliability concerns
    5 Star

    About the Volkswagen Golf

    M K purchased this Volkswagen Golf new with additional options for $27,000 (including all on-road costs). M K would buy this car again because: “Nothing really competed at that price point with the VW. Mazda 3 was close but dealer wanted more than $30,000 for entry-level Mazda 3.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    After two years and 27,000km the only two small niggles were a blown boot light and some rattles/vibration coming from the B pillar close to the driver’s head.

    The boot light might have come blown from the factory because I spent ages looking for the light or light switch and then out of desperation pull the light assembly out. It was an easy replacement with an LED light.

    The vibration is more of a fine buzzing sound coming from the trim or window when driving at about 3000 rpm. It is apparently a common problem but it is only at the specific rpm range and I have learned to live with it.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    Up to this point ownership has been a joy. I was very reluctant in buying another VW product after a previous Golf (2010 Mk 6, TDi DSG) gave the feared DSG problems starting from only about 10,000km.

    This car will most likely the last manual I will buy (or able to buy) so I hope to enjoy for what it is, the last of a willowing breed, a small cheap manual car that is fun to drive.

    How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

    The purchase experience was good. Not too much back and forth price wise and the car was delivered as promised. They provided me with a loan car while a somehow scarce manual model was sourced from other dealers.

    The exterior colour options were very limited at time of purchase, if I recall correctly it was only white, silver, grey and black. My first scheduled service was a bit hit and miss when they got the time slot wrong and I had to re-book the service.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    Happy with price and features. The purchase price includes, metallic paint and the safety pack. It was only the Mazda 3 and Golf that provided the option of adaptive cruise control with manual transmissions.

    The Golf was also about $3,000 cheaper from the local dealers and the tight rear space of the Mazda 3 hatch (boot and rear seats) swayed me to the VW.

    I would have like to see a full size spare wheel. The only real negative aspect of the car is the headlights. They are halogen, which is understandable but are really only just adequate.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    The small turbo provides an exceptional balance of economy and performance. My average is about 7.0 litres of fuel per 100km and on a leisurely cruise on the highway can dip below 5.0L/100km.

    The torquey engine makes for effortless driving at city speeds with the engine rarely needing to go above 3,500 rpm to keep up with normal traffic. The engine sounds a bit harsh above 4,000 rpm but luckily not needed to go above that too often.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    The adaptive cruise control, steering assist and brake hold functions works really well with the manual transmission. I was not really sure what to expect since I couldn’t get a test drive with a manual with the safety pack option before my purchase.

    You are able to change gears with the cruise control activated which is handy when driving on a hilly road sections.

    I prefer the analogue dials and switches/knobs that are in the Golf 7.5 as opposed to the new Golf 8 and other newer vehicles. Together with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay I have all the infotainment technology I need.

    There is no digital radio but a CD player is still featured, system sound is more than adequate. The opening and closing of windows with the remote key is handy especially when approaching the car from a distance after it was parked in the sun.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    I was glad to see the base Golf uses 16-inch wheels. It makes for a real comfortable drive and together with the independent rear suspension is more than perfect for the car’s intended use.

    The stock Continental Eco Contact tyres provide ample grip and are not too noisy. The car’s handling remains perfectly predictable and even at the limit, with the eco-focused tyres, you know exactly where you are going and what you can do. Brakes are really good as well although they do create lots of very sticky brake dust.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    Looking at what the Golf 8s are priced at, the mixed reviews about them and also the introduction of the VW electric vehicle model range, perhaps the Golf 7.5 will be the best Golf ever.

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    Overall Rating

    Ride & Handling9
    Price & Features8.5
    Purchase & Aftercare7
    Performance & Economy9
    Ownership Experience9