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 5 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
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 1-speed Direct
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • electric (134 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 2017 Volkswagen Golf owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"Sun roof leaked. Volkswagen was aware of the problem but did not advise me. They described the problem as the “60C7 Update” The roof headlinder and side window frame liners were badly water stained. After some reluctance on VW’s part, all repair/replacement costs were paid by VW. Dealership’s incompetence caused me to return a second time as job not completed properly first time."

Anonymous, KY (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Leaks coming from the rear windshield washer nozzle. Dealer states they have no way to repair it. MInor interior leaks also evident after going through the car wash. Previous leaks and rattles from the sunroof have been repaired but required the car to be out of service for weeks."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Significant leaking from the moonroof into the driver's A-pillar and other areas during rain. This required at least four trips to the dealership and several loaner vehicles. Dealership had to take the car twice to a body shop to complete the work. Squeaks and rattles also from the sunroof. Finally, it appears these issues have all been resolved."

Stephen Y., ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Previously described. Here is dealership’s repair order”Staining on the headliner consequential damage to the 60C7 update. Interaction ID SD1077022. Labor is causal. 602850. Headliner is stained from water leaking through cracks on the sunroof frame related to the 60C7 update. Removed and replaced headliner per water damage."

Anonymous, KY (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Clunking in the drivers seat, not loose on the tracks. Feels like part or the power seat assembly"

Anonymous, OR (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"Obvious and aggravating rattle caused by interior trim in the hatch. It persists despite four service visits to the dealer; they are unable to repair it. Totally unacceptable on a two-year-old vehicle. Suspension components are also squeaking in dry weather on uneven pavement. A known issue, I'm told, from the particlar manufacturing cycle of my car. Again, it remains unaddressed despite multiple complaints to the dealer."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Various intermittent squeaks and rattles coming from: - Passenger seat bottom cushion - Rear center armrest - Rear hatch/cargo area - Moonroof - Driver's B-pillar - Suspension Because these were intermittent, the dealership has been unable to resolve most of these. Highly irritating!"

Stephen Y., ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Sunroof squeaks and rattles"

Janet C., NY (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Aggravating noise in cold weather coming from the hatch. Multiple trips to the dealer could not resolve the issue. Warm weather rattles also persist from the driver's A-pillar. Also could not be resolved. More intermittent rattles from the front armrest, driver's seat and passenger seat. Infuriating!"

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"After factory recall/replacement of engine [less than 12K miles]a low speed intermittent squeaking of suspension occurred. Got the impression that the "dogbone" linkage between engine and Haldex was not secured. Dealership claimed not to hear creaking over 3 return trips. I gave up. Still squeaks."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf R)

"Rattles in the first two months of ownership. Repaired by dealership"

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Squeaks from the dash and door panel. It was easier for me to fix it myself than burn a day of my life at the dealer"

Anonymous, CT (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-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

"The Diesel Golf was very smooth to shift. It was made in Germany. This one, 2017 has a gas engine, it is made in Mexico, and the clutch is in need of adjustment which should be done after the first 1500 miles. I only have about 800 at this time. I do not know if the birth place is the cause, but in Europe, we are more used to standard shift than automatics, and in Mexico, they may not know as much as they might need although the norms should be available there too"

Jean-Pierre E., TX (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Gear selector or linkage

"Got a check transmission light. Diagnosed as a gear selector switch. Covered under warranty. No drivability issues."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Volkswagen Golf S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"My car has a manual gearbox, it is very notchy and sometimes difficult to operate. My previous golf was a diesel made in Germany, adn it was very smooth to operate."

Jean-Pierre E., TX (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rough shifting

"This is probably the result of the previous item. It also may be the result of how the previous model (Diesel) behaved and that I got accustomed to"

Jean-Pierre E., TX (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Slipping transmission

"Car is a 6-speed manual. VW installed a clutch which is not strong enough for the car, so it often starts to slip. Nothing I can do about it but pay for an aftermarket replacement. This is a common issue with this car."

Kristian S., MA (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

"Problem twice in the last year. Both times were caused by "loose cable" according to dealership. First time the car lurched and could not be driven about 5mph but no warning lights came on. Second time the car was unable to shift up in gear without lurching and the "emergency transmission" light came on. Again, loose cable blamed."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"iPhone will not connect to Apple CarPlay. Problem began intermittently approximately 2 months ago and became permanent in the last couple of weeks. I tried the following fixes without being able resolve the issue: unplugging and replugging the usb cable, changing the usb cable, rebooting my iPhone, trying to find a fix in the owners manual (nothing is listed), trying to reconnect through the vehicle's installed menu options. The only option I have left is to visit my VW dealer but because of the covid19 situation I have elected not to do so."

Anonymous, MD (2017 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"After 3 failures, and free replacements by VW of the infotainment system, they figured out there was a flaw in the on board navigation chip. Once the home office figured out a new chip, it was installed and has been fine ever since. They sent a technition up from New York to Boston to help."

Anonymous, MA (2017 Volkswagen Golf R)
Display screen goes blank

"See previous description of replacing the navigation chip fixed all problems."

Anonymous, MA (2017 Volkswagen Golf R)

"Infotainment system shuts off randomly"

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"Entertainment system suddenly started to misbehave - frequent rebooting during drive. Change of stations on recovery. Diagnosed as needing a software update - took over an hour. Seems like this should be an item that purchasers should be notified to have done, not wait until it happens. Over the air update (Tesla) much better."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)
Steering wheel controls

"Bad clock spring in steering wheel. Replaced and functioning correctly since."

William P., NC (2017 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

Engine computer

"Faulty sensor caused check engine light to come on. Dealer replaced sensor under warranty"

Richard B., NM (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T)
Oil leaks

"Small leak around the area where filter met engine"

John T., SC (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"When I brought my car in to have them look at the slipping transmission, they said that there wasn't anything they could do because it was a wear and tear item. But while I had my car in, they noticed that the valve cover gasket was leaking, as well as the water pump. They replaced both of those for me without any questions"

Kristian S., MA (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Oil leak in the main seal, dealer identified it during first service and repaired it. Dealer used a video clip to show me what the issue was - great service"

Anonymous, CO (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Oil found to be leaking from oil filter housing which caused thermostat housing to crack causing additional leakage. Problem discovered 2 weeks before warranty expiration so luckily repair was done under warranty."

Anonymous, CO (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-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

Body control module

"It is an intermittent problem connected with the keyless entry system. The sunroom and windows do not always close when attempted from the sensor on the outside door handle. And, the 1-touch power windows are not always 1-touch."

Anonymous, VA (2017 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Cruise control

"Cruise control stopped operating. Reason was 3 of 4 metrics for front and rear wheels were outside factory tolerances. Fortunately it was under warranty (< 36 mo. & <36000 mi.) [I guess] as the $800 bill was waived."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf R)
USB port

"It is very inconvenient to operate. The system seems to be a very out model model. Beware of this car. I was not told that it was the very very basic model and am disappointed in the dealer in that they even striped the battery cover from another car leaving mine without one. So far the dealer has not replaced it."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Rust and Paint failure on the driver's side door sill"

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rust

"Rust on the drives side doorsill on both the Golf-R and the Golf Sportwagon. VW refused to cover under warranty."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-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

Premature brake wear

"Very rapid wear on rear disks"

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rotors

"Premature severe wear on rear only rotors with deep grooves @ 6000 km"

Anonymous, ON (2017 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

Automatic climate control

"It always resets to 72 regardless of where you left it when you turned off the car."

Alberto A., CA (2017 Volkswagen Golf eGolf)
Refrigerant leaks

"The car leaked its refrigerant 3 times. Second time dye was installed in order to locate the leak. This was unsuccessful because the leak was so slow. After bringing the car back the dealer replaced all of the o-ring seals in the system in an attempt to stop the leak."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-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

Electrical failure

"Car was delivered with poor A/C. Diagnosis indicated 3 valves in the A/C system needed to be replaced. Done under warranty but surpridsing to have this poor delivered quality."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Volkswagen Golf eGolf Electric)

"The HVAC controls plug came apart disabling the system."

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Volkswagen Golf SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery was defective. Needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, PA (2017 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

Bushings

"Control-arm bushings replaced due to squeaking noise when driving over bumps at low speeds. Required several visits to the dealership to have them proceed with the repair, despite the fact that this is a known issue for Volkswagen on certain 2017-model year Golfs."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf 1.8-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

Locks and latches

"Fuel door didn't release properly after about 4 fill ups. Initially dealer tried to adjust it but that didn't resolve problem. Then replaced entire fuel door assembly under warranty. Working fine thus far"

Anonymous, WA (2017 Volkswagen Golf SE 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

Fuel injection system

"I had to bring it in twice for engine check light. Cylinders 1 & 4 had misfire issues. Accumulation of carbon, had to change 2 injectors."

Anonymous, AB (2017 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Cooling

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

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