The MK6 Golf was released between 2008-2013.
We have been putting this review on the back burner for years. If you follow our automotive blog you will know that we are not fans of the VW Golf by any stretch of the imagination. The fear is that if we were to do a write up on them that we would be far too harsh. It doesn’t feel right ragging on something that is so uniquely at a disadvantage that it is entitled to sympathy, not ridicule. Giving the VW Golf a hard time is the automotive equivalent of teasing a kid with Downs Syndrome. You just don’t do it.
So why is it that we dislike these cars so much? If they are so bad why are they one of the worlds most popular vehicles?
We should start with the second question first (just to make things super confusing). Why does the worlds single greatest jalopy sell so well?
Firstly, our opinion is just that, an opinion. It has experience and expertise to back it but it’s still just one blokes opinion.
Secondly, these cars are for the best part very good if you are the first owner. If the car is under five years old and has under 100,000kms on it you would be rather unlucky to experience the massive faults we have come across in our workshop. This is because Zie Germans have designed the car with the end user in mind, however its only the one end user they care about, the first one. If you’re the second owner, you’re in for a bad time.
These cars seem to have some inbuilt detection system that promptly causes the car to soil itself the day the back of the rego papers are signed over to a second owner.
Thirdly, and in all honesty VW is an industry leader when it comes to engineering and automotive developments, the Golf is a beautiful car to drive with great suspension and handling, state of the art technology and all round good styling and sexy looks. If we knew nothing about cars and reliability we would all own Golfs as they are a totally unique driving experience.
However with state of the art technology comes the risks of consumers taking on the role of guinea pigs. The small, smelly, lettuce eating rodents you are, means you are now testing the new DSG gearbox. Brilliant, except they seem to be about as reliable as Schapelle Corby’s defence lawyer. DSG gearboxes have a plethora of faults and make about as much sense as buying bottled water (you do know that stuff comes out of the tap for free).
Ok so why do the Golfs suck more than a Dilophosaurus sized Lamprey? We have already covered the average DSG automatic transmission which was introduced with the MK6 Golf. The next greatest flaw for this vehicle is the TSI 1.4 engine. An unnamed source of ours within the local VW dealership has been quoted as saying “They took all the great ideas they could think of and jammed them into one car”. His own thoughts were they went too far with that little engine. The result? The 1.4 engine is known to be an oil burner, stretch timing chains and smash pistons.
Earlier models were marginally more reliable, but in most cases once the car had been around the block a few times you had a better chance of finding a mechanically sound taxi than a VW golf that wasn’t moments away from wetting its pants in the middle of the super market.
The key issue that plagues all VW Golfs is the unreliability of its cooling systems. All European manufacturers have gone for the plastic cooling system components in an attempt to reduce costs. The Japanese counterparts use alloy. The result in most European cars is the cooling system rots away. With the vehicle components all exposed to the same conditions and time frames cars will often come in with a coolant leak. One component be replaced and customer sent on their merry way. A few weeks later that same car will spring a leak from a new plastic component that has rotten, we fix it and away you go. This process repeats itself twenty times, over two years until the client either ditches the car or blows a head gasket. This never happens with Japanese or Korean made vehicles.
The moral of the story, don’t buy a Golf.