does the German compact deserve its reputation as a reliable car?

We tend to think that buying a Volkswagen Golf is always a good investment. But is this really the case? Answer with the seventh generation of the German compact.

In general, when you go for a Volkswagen Golf, whether new or used, it’s because you’re looking for a versatile and straightforward car. Well finished, livable, comfortable, rather pleasant to drive, the first statement is true if we are particularly interested in the seventh generation of the German compact. The second is less so. No, it is not because it is a German car that the quality/reliability balance sheet is irreproachable, a tenacious belief nevertheless.

Presentation of the Volkswagen Golf VII (2012-2020)

Spread the word, the VW Golf VII is a very good vintage in terms of performance. Regulars of Volkswagen products will not be out of place when taking their place on board this seventh version. From the first laps, they will realize the progress it has made compared to its predecessor. More incisive and agile than its predecessor, it enchants with the driving pleasure it exudes and the comfort it provides.even if some trepidations are perceptible and she is not able to show it to the untouchable Peugeot 308. The habitability is to be cited as an example and the trunk is one of the most spacious in the category. We regret all the same that the versions of less than 120 hp do not have the multi-link rear axle. At the beginning of 2018, the engine offer was almost entirely renewed.

The VW Golf VII in a nutshell

  • Sold from Nov. 2012 to February 2020
  • Available in 3, 5-door and station wagon
  • Restyled in November 2016
  • L/l/h (m) : 4,26/1,80/1,45
  • Break : 4,56/1,80/1,48
  • Flight. trunk (dm3): 380 (Break: 605)
  • Flight. tank (l): 50
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On the equipment side

  • Trendline : ABS/ESP, 7 airbags, air conditioning, speed limiter, trip computer, cruise control, radio-CD-MP3, electric mirrors and windows, central locking, height and depth adjustable steering wheel, split bench seat
  • Confortline : adds auto air conditioning, alloy wheels, auto headlights and wiper, parking assistance
  • Carat : adds GPS, leather upholstery

A quality/reliability balance in the low average

The quality/reliability balance of the Volkswagen Golf VII is not catastrophic, but it is not brilliant either. In the last reliability survey where it appeared (number 873), the German had only arrived in 9th position among compact sedans … out of 14 models analyzed. Mechanically, whether you choose a gasoline or diesel model, there are quite a number of anomalies. On many models, for example, the oil consumption is to be monitored. Among the other elements to watch out for, the Golf 7 copies have also frequently experienced cases of premature wear of the shock absorbers. Finally, we also noted many electrical bugs that affected the GPS or driving aids. The Golf takes its revenge when it comes to quality. Certainly, at the same time, an Audi A3 is even better finished, but the Golf 7 has nothing to be ashamed of on this point. She also does better than her replacement.


  • 1.2 & 1.4 TSI : overconsumption of oil listed, sometimes due to the oil pump (breakage)
  • 1.4 TSI ACT (150) : seizures of the active cylinder management system, consumption of coolant. 1.4 TSI 125 High pressure pump that may refuse service
  • 1.6 TDI : fragile turbo
  • Diesel : electronic management problems (refusal to start, jolts, switching to degraded mode for no reason), faulty water pump
  • 2.0 TDI 150 & 1.5 TSI 150 : oil consumption
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  • Air conditioner : leaks on early models and noisy regulator. Also non-functioning.
  • DSG 7 automatic gearbox: malfunctions and erratic operation, an oil change may solve the problem
  • Shock absorbers: at the rear, they can generate noise in the passenger compartment. Premature wear on all four
  • Electronics: identified bugs, in particular at the level of the GPS or the car radio, impossibility of releasing the parking brake
  • Door seals: not airtight enough, they can cause whistling over 100 km/h
  • Train before : silent-blocks and shock absorber cups can cause creaks and squeaks

All engines of the VW Golf VII

Motorization Energy Our opinion
Motorization1.2/1.0 TSI 85 EnergyEssence Our opinionIt’s not very powerful, but this little 1.2 is not doing badly. For little riders.
Motorization1.2 TSI 105/110 EnergyEssence Our opinionPreferable to the 85 hp version, this block will satisfy the majority and does not consume more.
Motorization1.0 TSI 115 EnergyEssence Our opinionHis willingness is amazing, but his sound is not pleasant. 110 hp with DSG.
Motorization1.4 TSI 125 EnergyEssence Our opinionThe best compromise in gasoline on the Golf. It deserves your full attention.
Motorization1.4 TSI 140/150 EnergyEssence Our opinionAn engine with certain driving pleasure and controlled fuel consumption.
Motorization1.5 TSI EVO 130/150 EnergyEssence Our opinionThis 1.5 takes the place of the old 1.4, not without a certain talent.
Motorization2.0 TSI GTI 220/230 EnergyEssence Our opinionSports version of the range, the GTI does not forget the approval and offers a certain comfort.
Motorization1.6 TDI 90/110 EnergyDiesel Our opinionIf the 90 hp lacks brilliance, the 110 hp version will delight long-distance riders.
Motorization2.0 TDI 150 EnergyDiesel Our opinionWith the exception of the GTD, this Golf TDI 150 represents the ultimate in diesel.
Motorization2.0 TDI 184 EnergyDiesel Our opinionStaggering performance and remarkable sobriety. But comfort suffers.
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Which engine of the VW Golf VII to choose?

1.0 TSI 115 ch

Published on 12/06/2022 Updated 13/06/2022 Hugo Dupont and the editorial staff



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