Right from the first door thunk, the Volkswagen Golf exudes a quality feel not found in your average econobox. The Golf has long been a cut above other small cars, being more fun to drive and finished like a more expensive German sedan. Redesigned for 2015, the latest example continues those virtues and then some, making it the best Golf yet.
Alerts
There are 9 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A 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.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A 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.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2002. ESC available from 2003, standard from 2009.
Road Test

Right from the first door thunk, the Volkswagen Golf exudes a quality feel not found in your average econobox. The Golf has long been a cut above other small cars, being more fun to drive and finished like a more expensive German sedan.

Redesigned for 2015, the latest example continues those virtues and then some, making it the best Golf yet.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
2-door hatchback
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 1-speed Direct
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • electric (115 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 turbo (170 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (292 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Volkswagen Golf owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Apple CarPlay

"Ity has a great deal of trouble pairing with Pandora on my iPhone. If listen to the radio for a while I cannot reconnect to Pandora with restarting both products and even then there are problems."

Robert A., AZ (2016 Volkswagen Golf)

"Cannot tell wether the problem is vw's apple's, pandora's amazon's or what. Altogether a terrible system that shouyld be rebulit from the bottom up."

Robert A., AZ (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"When using one of the two keys I received for the car, it seemed the backup camera did not work while using it. However, the problem seems to have gone away."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)

"Occasionally the image becomes warped and unviewable. May also short out or turn black and white at random."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Many times when backing up, the screen would indicate that the backup pilot was not available.The Assistant Service Manager said it was because of the wet weather. It has still happened even in dry weather"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)

"Backup camera would not display on the console screen"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)
Display screen freezes up

"Part and parcel of previous problem. Same issue."

Eugene E., CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf R)

"No sound from radio until I change the station"

Richard R., HI (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Back up camera either messages that it's not available intermittently or is completely black intermittently. Proof of this (screen photos) was provided to dealer who claims VW won't fix problem if dealer can't reproduce fault in their shop."

Eugene E., CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf R)

"Numerous and constant glitches in the digital display/entertainment system. The dealership has either updated software or reset something two or three times, but never with any explanation of the problem. I have eventually just grown tired of going back to the dealership and never having the issue truly resolved. This car has so much potential, but instead it's a glitchy mess. I'm done with Volkswagen after this"

Eric S., CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Music interface with smartphone is erratic and does not work well."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Phone pairing is erratic and does not work as well as our other car, a Tesla Model 3."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)
Radio

"Known issue. No sound until station changed."

Anonymous, HI (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"This is the same problem as the speakers. The sound went out, so I couldn't listen to the radio."

Anonymous, DC (2016 Volkswagen Golf Unsure Unsure)
Software update fixes

"The navigation system, the phone interface, and the Sirius radio failed. I was told that a new "chip" and software update were necessary to correct the problem. I have an extended warranty and paid only a modest fee."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Golf R)
Speakers

"About once a year the sound goes out. There's a screeching sound as if the car were being struck by lightening, and then the sound goes dead. If I stop the car, turn off the engine, and wait about a half hour, the sound returns. The VW dealer was unable to fix the problem because it couldn't be duplicated when I took it in."

Anonymous, DC (2016 Volkswagen Golf Unsure Unsure)

"Cracked door woofer"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Clutch adjustment

"Clutch was completely replaced around 11,000 miles early in 2017. Replacement clutch began slipping after 3,000 miles (around 14,000 miles total) in mid-2017."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Gear selector or linkage

"Shift mechanism repaired under warranty'"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"There was a recall on this issue, which occurred after I had the repair completed under warranty. I received an error code on the dash and VW replaced a part in the shifting mechanism. The car operated without issue throughout."

Anonymous, MD (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"cable to gear shift broke/unlinked and gear slipped into Reverse while driving. Able to get car into neutral and had it towed in to dealership."

Anonymous, ON (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rough shifting

"Poor shifting through the gears while in Drive."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Slipping transmission

"Caused by worn clutch. After clutch replacement, slipping stopped."

Anonymous, MI (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

"poor gasoline milage due to incorrect automatic shifting points - remained in incorrect gear longer than specified."

Anonymous, CT (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Shortly after putting the car in drive or reverse from park, a warning apppeared in the display instructing me to put the car in park because of transmission error. It did not interfere with the operation of the vehicle. I took the car into VW and they replaced the shifter mechanism."

Anonymous, NC (2016 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"factory recall and replacement of sensor/solenoid - incorrect shift points corrected"

Anonymous, CT (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"There was a recall for a sensor that caused an erroneous warning message."

Anonymous, MD (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Intermittent transmission errors messages. There is a manufacturer's recall for this issue but I have not had the time to get the repair done."

Anonymous, ID (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Dealer repaired a leaky sunroof under warranty. There has apparently been a service bulletin about this issue."

Veronica M., VA (2016 Volkswagen Golf)

"A cracked sunroof frame caused extensive and repeated leaking of water into the car, staining seats and headliner. After repeated attempts to seal the cracks, VW Customer Care conceded that the frame would have to be replaced. VW handled the cost as a "Ëœcourtesy." The car was unavailable To us for 3 weeks during assessment and repair."

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"A cracked sunroof rack caused consistent water leaks into the car, staining upholstery and damaging headliner. Though out of warranty, VW customer care covered the cost of replacing the rack and headliner but only after the dealer spent 3 weeks trying other, unsuccessful attempts to repair the existing rack."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Volkswagen Golf Unsure Unsure)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Sun roof sprung a terrible leak, but was under recall so all repairs were free and timely."

Anonymous, WA (2016 Volkswagen Golf)

"Water intrusion in the roof liner near the interior light control cluster mounted overhead by the windshield; ultimately traced to a seal for a sensor incorporated into the rear view mirror assembly; windshield replacement was also necessary"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)

"new car. windnoise at drivers window. was a compressed seal requiring the door to be totally opened up. covered under warranty"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"squeaks/rattles were related to the defective suspension/struts which VW fixed free of charge"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The car suspension squeeked from day one. Dealer did not do anything about the problem."

Edwin M., CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)

"I took the car 3 months ago to have them fix the annoying rattling noise by the driver side area. They claimed no such noise. The rattling continues. I finally made several recordings. I will be taking my GOLF R back to VW Service next week"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"driver door hinge loosened. dealer tightened and use locktite. hope it works"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Driver side door was misaligned. Panel gaps between the front fender and rear door was noticeable"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Locks and latches

"loose door hinge"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sunroof

"Crack occurred in glass area next to the sunroof."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Had manufacturing leak in roof structure that required repair by body shop. Was covered by certified vehicle warranty."

Anonymous, KS (2016 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Small leak where at the front edge of the sunroof. The repair took over a week and was very expensive but was covered under the warranty."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Glass roof has leaked since day one. Six major visits to the dealership, one resulting in an entire replacement of the glass roof. Still did not solve leaking issue. Dealer says the rubber plugs to prevent water from draining into the A-pillars did not have a part number. Car has currently been waiting at the dealer for 15 days. No ETA when correct parts will be available"

Anonymous, AB (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Recall for all diesel cars"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Fuel evaporation suction pump replaced under a factory recall"

Anonymous, UT (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel pump

"Safety Recall 20Y6 - Suction Pump (NHTSA 16V647) Replace the suction pump in case it was damaged during assembly. This recall has not been performed on my vehicle yet, as I have not scheduled it. Car is running and operating normally at this time"

James M., CO (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Warranty recall for faulty fuel pumps. Replaced by dealer"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"pump that controls the AWD system failed and needed to be replaced. It was covered under warranty, however cost would have been $1000-$1100"

Matthew V., CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Electrical failure

"- electric plug in hatch lock failed preventing charging. - backup camera fails about once every 2 weeks - no image and error message."

Carl F., CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)

"I have experienced inexplicable electrical failures while driving. Car seems to temporarily shut down. I have taken it to the dealer, but they find nothing wrong despite telling me there are similar complaints by other customers"

Eric S., CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"The pedal sometimes goes soft and sinks when at a stop light. The car seems to stop OK"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Parking brake

"The parking brake handle is loose enough when disengaged that the warning light and chime trigger when you drive over bumps or rough road patches. The dealer fixed it briefly but the problem recurred soon thereafter. Otherwise the brake seems to operate normally. (We've tied some washers to the end of the handle to weight it down enough to prevent unwarranted alarms.)"

Anonymous, (2016 Volkswagen Golf SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"Steering column is difficult to turn and makes grinding sounds when turning. This only happens in hot weather and VW has been unable to identify the problem even though they have witnessed the issue."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Transmission slipped under acceleration. Clutch, pressure plate and throw out bearing replaced at 55000 miles."

Anonymous, MI (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Didn't put the clues together early enough, but had false comfort... The clutch for this car is totally inadequate. I'm only a slightly spirited driver with a relatively easy commute. I should have recognized the smell of a hot clutch before the dealership declined warranty. Around 11 thousand miles. I've been driving manual transmission since 17 years old. Done with VW"

Jon K., FL (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"My Golf R had logged approximately 2000 miles when I got stuck at an intersection. The clutch was stuck. I was unable to shift gear. I finally called AAA to have it towed at the nearest VW Service. I was stuck without a car for 6 days because VW would not admit that the car had a defective clutch. Finally the VW inspector admitted that I didn¿t abuse the car and that indeed the car was fitted with a defective clutch. VW didn¿t reimburse me for my 5 nights accommodations in LA. I again too"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"Left rear door lock doesn't work"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"In the last year both headlights have blown out at different times"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Volkswagen Golf Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wiper motor or washer

"part for headlight washer fell off. Very expensive to fix"

Douglas S., ON (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Fuel leaks

"There has been a smell of gas when we first start the car. VW has not been able to find the problem after extensive troubleshooting"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Volkswagen Golf Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Oil leaks

"Bad pressure valve that failed"

Anonymous, CT (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

"I had a very annoying noise/rattling by driver side. I've taken the car a few times to VW Service. They finally able to determine that I had defective suspension in my driver side area. They replaced them no charge. Rattling/Noise is gone."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Fixed by VW under warranty"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Thermostat

"Started on the hiway with the low coolant warning light. Went to a gas station to check level. Was just under minimum level. Called dealer and confirmed that it could be driven there. They topped up coolant. Next service was within a few weeks. Dealer replaced thermostat under warranty."

Anonymous, BC (2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Blower (fan) motor

"sometimes the blower has just stopped working took to dealer they say nothiing is wrong"

Anonymous, KY (2016 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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