A nice ride, crisp handling and the solid feel make any Golf a good choice. The 2.5's engine lacks refinement and fuel economy is middling. The diesel TDI gets excellent fuel economy, but does not meet emissions regulations. Many of these TDI versions have been bought back by VW as part of a settlement with owners and the EPA.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2012 Volkswagen Golf has been recalled 6 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
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POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
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Engine Minor
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Engine Cooling
NA
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Transmission Major
NA
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NA
NA
NA
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Transmission Minor
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
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Drive System
NA
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
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Electric System
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Climate System
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Suspension
NA
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Brakes
NA
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Exhaust
NA
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Paint/Trim
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Body Integrity
NA
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Body Hardware
NA
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Power Equipment
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In-car Electronics
NA
NA
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NA
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NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS
Dec 04, 2019
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2012-2015 Passat, 2011-2014 Golf A6, and 2011-2013 Audi A3 diesel vehicles, thought to have been previously repaired under one of the Takata air bag recalls. The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's side air bag inflators, free of charge. The recall began December 20, 2019. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298 or Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen's numbers for this recall are 69R6, 69Q8, 69Q9, and 69Y5.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V862000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 226
UNKNOWN OR OTHER
May 16, 2018
If the vehicles do not meet all regulatory requirements, there could be an increased risk of a crash, fire, or injury.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2012-2016 Eos, 2012 Passat, 2012-2016 CC, 2015-2016 e-Golf, 2011-2015 Touareg, 2012-2015 and 2017 Tiguan, and 2011-2016 Golf and 2011-2013 GTI vehicles. Modifications made while the vehicles were in an internal evaluation period may cause the affected vehicles to not comply with all of the applicable regulatory requirements.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicles to make them fully compliant or Volkswagen will repurchase them if necessary, free of charge. The recall began November 29, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V329000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 252
AIR BAGS
Mar 06, 2018
In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, the inflator could explode with metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants potentially resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2009-2014 Volkswagen CC, 2010-2014 Golf, 2010-2014 Eos, 2007-2010 Passat Sedan and Wagon, and 2012-2014 Passat vehicles. Upon deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to explode.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's frontal air bag inflator with an alternative inflator, free of charge. The recall began March 16, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 69Q9. Note: This recall partially supersedes recall 16V-078.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V148000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 363713
AIR BAGS
Feb 10, 2016
In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants potentially resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2010-2014 Golf, 2007-2010 Passat sedans and wagon, 2012-2014 Passat sedan and Eos, 2009-2014 CC, 2009-2012 Audi Q5, 2010-2012 S5 Cabriolet and 2010-2012 Audi A5 Cabriolet vehicles. Upon deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's frontal air bag inflators, free of charge. Volkswagen issued an interim notification to owners on April 12, 2016, and will send a second notification when parts are available. Volkswagen will notify owners again once parts are available. Volkswagen owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Audi owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V078000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 659493
AIR BAGS
Aug 04, 2015
A loss of electrical connection to the driver's frontal air bag will prevent the air bag from deploying in the event of a vehicle crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2010-2014 Volkswagen CC, and Passat, 2010-2013 Eos, 2011-2014 Golf, GTI, Jetta, and Tiguan, and 2012-2014 Jetta Sportwagen vehicles. In the affected vehicles, debris may contaminate the air bag clock spring, a spiral wound, flat cable that keeps the air bag powered while the steering wheel is being turned. This contamination may tear the cable and result in a loss of electrical connection to the driver's frontal air bag.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will install a protective cover over the steering wheel clock spring if the air bag light is off. If the airbag light is on and the steering wheel clock spring requires replacement, dealers will install a new steering wheel clock spring. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on January 15, 2016. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V483000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 415825
FUEL SYSTEM, DIESEL
Oct 03, 2011
DUE TO THE RESONANCE CONDITION, INJECTOR LINE NUMBER 2 COULD DEVELOP SMALL CRACKS WHICH COULD LEAD TO FUEL LEAKAGE. LEAKING FUEL IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, MAY LEAD TO A FIRE.
Summary:
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL 2009-2012 JETTA AND JETTA SPORTWAGEN VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM MAY 2008 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011, MODEL YEAR 2010-2012 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM MAY 2009 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011, AND MODEL YEAR 2010-2012 AUDI A3 VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 2009 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011, THAT ARE EQUIPPED WITH A 2.0L TDI COMMON RAIL DIESEL ENGINE/CLEAN DIESEL ENGINE. THE FUEL INJECTION PULSES COULD COINCIDE WITH THE NATURAL FREQUENCY OF THE INJECTOR LINE #2, IN SPECIFIC LOAD AND RPM CONDITIONS. THIS RESONANCE CREATES ADDITIONAL STRESS IN THE FUEL LINE.
What should you do:
VOLKSWAGEN WILL INSTALL AN IMPROVED FUEL INJECTOR LINE FOR THE NUMBER 2 CYLINDER ON CERTAIN VEHICLES AND WILL INSTALL VIBRATION DAMPERS ON ALL OF THE INJECTOR LINES. VOLKSWAGEN AND AUDI WILL NOTIFY OWNERS TO HAVE THE VEHICLES REPAIRED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING NOVEMBER 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.
For more information:
VOLKSWAGEN RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 23J9/V5 & 23J8/K5.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V490000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 168275
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