AUTO NEWS – Used Volkswagen Golf (Mk7, 2013-2019) evaluation: Mk5-7 (2013-date) |

Used Volkswagen Golf (Mk7, 2013-2019) evaluation: Mk5-7 (2013-date) |


There is not any doubt that the Volkswagen Golf has earned its place on the entrance of the household hatchback pack. Over 45 years and eight generations it has been a mainstay within the sector, and the seventh-generation mannequin was arguably the very best of the bunch.

The Mk7 Golf was launched in 2013 and acquired a facelift in 2017, however all variations pack the mannequin’s trademark high quality, practicality and user-friendly tech. Different robust factors embody its stylish and understated seems, peerless refinement and all kinds of bodystyles and engines with various ranges of efficiency and financial system. It provided secure but participating dealing with and glorious experience consolation, whereas a wide range of driving aids made it extraordinarily secure but fairly pleasurable to drive.

The Golf has all the time been barely costlier to purchase than its closest rivals, however used examples maintain on to their worth like few different mainstream household hatchbacks, so it’s a automobile that is sensible to the pinnacle and the center. Its attraction is additional broadened by the provision of fashionable three-door fashions and much more sensible five-door property variations.

Which one ought to I purchase?

  • Finest VW Golf for households: 1.0 TSI Match
  • Finest VW Golf for low prices: 1.0 TSI Bluemotion
  • Finest VW Golf for towing: 2.0 TDI 150 Alltrack

Extra evaluations

Automobile group assessments
In-depth evaluations
Highway assessments

The Golf Mk7 reached UK showrooms in January 2013. At launch there have been three or five-door hatchbacks, in addition to a selection of 1.2 TSI or 1.4-litre TSI petrol engines and 1.6 TDI and a couple of.0-litre TDI diesels. Transmissions included a 5 or six-speed guide and 6 or seven-speed twin clutch DSG gearbox.

An 85g/km 1.6 TDI BlueMotion was launched in Could 2013, alongside the 181bhp GTD. On the similar time, the GTI scorching hatch appeared in common 217bhp or Efficiency (227bhp) varieties. The 295bhp four-wheel-drive Golf R was launched in March 2014, simply earlier than the Golf Property, after which a yr later the electrical e-Golf arrived, with an official vary of as much as 118 miles.

The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE of March 2015 mixed a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with a 100bhp electrical motor and was able to round 30 miles in pure EV mode. A 1.0-litre TSI BlueMotion appeared in September 2015 with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

As all Golf Mk7 engines are turbocharged, even the smallest-capacity models serve up cheap energy, though we’d go for the 1.4 TSI over the 1.2 and the two.0 TDI over the 1.6 as a result of they’re usefully extra muscular but nonetheless economical. The Golf GTE may be very spectacular, however costly to purchase and uncommon.

A facelift in 2017 resulted in what is called the MK7.5 and included some new engines and enhanced expertise. The physique kinds remained the identical, however the 1.2-litre TSI was changed by a 113bhp three-cylinder petrol, whereas the 1.4-litre was outdated by the 1.5-litre TSI EVO, which options cylinder deactivation expertise for enhanced gasoline financial system.

On high of those modifications, the GTI’s energy output was raised to 227bhp for the usual model and 242bhp for the Efficiency Pack improve, whereas the Golf R’s output was briefly elevated to 306bhp earlier than returning to 296bhp to fulfill WLTP effectivity necessities. These go-faster Golfs had been additionally obtainable with a seven-speed DSG computerized for the primary time.

Expertise was improved on these automobiles, with extra refined and easier-to-use touchscreen infotainment that included higher smartphone connectivity, whereas high-specification fashions additionally received TFT digital dials. A brand new R-Line mannequin mixed the sporty seems of the R with the SE’s more economical engines.

Additionally obtainable was the rugged Alltrack mannequin that mixed 4Motion all-wheel drive with a raised experience top and hard physique cladding. Initially obtainable with the two.0-litre diesel in both 138bhp guide or 178bhp DSG computerized guises, these had been changed by 148bhp and 181bhp variations in 2017, whereas a 158bhp 1.8-litre petrol was added a yr later.

What are the options?

The Audi A3 makes use of the identical platform and mechanicals because the Golf, however has a plusher cabin. BMW’s 1 Collection is available in a wide range of bodystyles and is extraordinarily effectively constructed, plus it gives some actually environment friendly engines.

Matching the Golf on picture however not house is the MINI; whereas rear seat entry is awkward and the boot is small, it’s good to drive and really effectively constructed. If practicality is extra vital, don’t overlook the Ford Focus; it’s a cracking automobile that’s nice to drive, effectively outfitted and dependable. It’s additionally in plentiful provide and is much cheaper than the Golf. The Vauxhall Astra and Peugeot 308 main on worth, however aren’t as effectively constructed and aren’t nearly as good to drive.

VW Golf vs Ford Focus vs Vauxhall Astra

When the Golf locked horns with these arch rivals in September 2018 the outcome was nearer than you’d assume, but it was the VW that emerged forward by a nostril. It wasn’t fairly as enjoyable to drive because the Focus, but it surely wasn’t far off and hit again with decrease operating prices and better practicality than each of its rivals. It additionally felt essentially the most upmarket and had the very best infotainment. Learn the complete take a look at…

VW Golf vs Kia Ceed vs Hyundai i30

A few months later, in November 2018, it was the flip of the Korean Hyundai and Kia twins to problem the Golf’s supremacy. Each rivals provided extra commonplace equipment and decrease costs, plus had been backed by longer warranties, however neither might match Golf’s successful mix of driver attraction, consolation and high quality. Learn the complete take a look at…

VW Golf vs Toyota Corolla vs Peugeot 308

The Golf confronted its sternest take a look at up to now in March 2019 when it crossed swords with the Toyota Corolla. With high quality driving dynamics, environment friendly hybrid engine and classy seems the Japanese automobile got here closest to toppling the stylish and comfy Golf, however ultimately the VW’s all-round talents proved an excessive amount of because it took one other victory. The ageing Peugeot trailed house a distant third. Learn the complete take a look at…

How a lot will a used Volkswagen Golf price?

The Golf was by no means the most cost effective possibility when new, and that’s a theme that continues when shopping for used. Nevertheless, the VW’s high quality means it feels value the additional outlay, plus you’ll get extra again than rivals when it’s time to promote. Operating prices are low, particularly for the small petrol and diesels, whereas most trim ranges provides you with all of the equipment you’ll want.


Stronger resale values than related period rivals means you’ll must dig a bit of deeper into your pockets when shopping for used. After all the flipside of that is that you simply’ll arguably profit at resale time, so general you gained’t be out of pocket any greater than in the event you’d gone for a much less dear rival.

Diesel-engined variations supply the very best worth as a result of they’ve suffered within the aftermath of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal. But whereas it was VW that had been the primary perpetrators of this emissions-cheating scandal, not one of the Mk7 Golfs had been affected.

Both approach, as one in every of Britain’s best-selling automobiles of the final decade there needs to be an enormous number of examples to select from. Examine our sister website Buyacar for the most recent costs or to make use of the make and mannequin valuation software..

Gas financial system and emissions 

Volkswagen has ensured that the Golf may be very straightforward on the pockets – a lot in order that even the racy 2.0-litre GTI returns spectacular financial system.

In case you’re after correctly frugal motoring, select between both the 1.0-litre petrol with 109bhp or the 114bhp 1.6 diesel. Each have CO2 emissions that vary from 104-111g/km – and that’s no matter whether or not your gearbox is a guide or a DSG computerized.

Within the meantime, the gutsy 1.5-litre unit with 128bhp or 148bhp isn’t unhealthy at avoiding the pumps; its cylinder deactivation expertise means it returns claimed figures starting from 52.3-57.6mpg, relying on gearbox, wheel and physique type choices, and CO2 emissions are 111-119g/km.

The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE’s claimed financial system figures are spectacular, with the promise of as much as 166mpg mixed. Like all plug-ins, that determine must be taken with a pinch of salt, as a result of to face any hope of getting near that determine you want to have the ability to run on electrical energy for a big chunk of your commute. When the batteries are drained, it’s best to handle about 55mpg. 

The e-Golf is, like most EVs, pricey to purchase from the outset, however that preliminary expense might be offset by it costing just a few kilos to completely cost (relying on when and the place you cost). Anticipate round 130-140 miles of vary from a cost in the actual world, though that varies massively relying in your driving type and utilization.

In case you’re actually seeking to hold payments to a minimal, then the pre-WLTP Bluemotion automobiles are value looking for. Each the early 1.6-litre diesel and later 1.0-litre TSI petrol emit lower than 100g/km of CO2, which makes them eligible without spending a dime highway tax.

Operating prices

Golf house owners can select from fixed-interval or variable servicing. The previous requires checks each 12 months or 10,000 miles; the latter permits as much as 20,000 miles and two years between providers, relying on how the automobile is used.

As soon as a Golf is three years outdated, it’s eligible for cut-price upkeep; minor providers then price £159 and main ones £329. Many more moderen automobiles have a transferable service plan to chop payments. Most engines function a cambelt which must be changed each 5 years or as much as 140,000 miles, at £429 (£479 with a brand new water pump). Brake fluid needs to be renewed after three years, then each two years, at £59.

All Golfs had been lined by a three-year and 60,000-mile guarantee when new, the exception being the electrical e-Golf which additionally will get a separate eight-year and 100,000-mile cowl for its battery pack.

Insurance coverage ranges from group 11 for the entry-spec Golf 1.0 TSI S (the older 1.2-litre automobile is in an excellent decrease group) to a sky-high 39 for the fast Golf R. Insurance coverage quotes are aggressive with related period class rivals, so the perceived status of the VW badge does not include any monetary penalty.

What do house owners assume?

Homeowners love their Golfs, score their high quality and luxury above all else. But additionally they reserve reward for his or her assured dealing with, easy-to-use expertise, practicality and low operating prices. Reliability isn’t maybe as robust as for similar-era rivals, however most faults are typically solved shortly and simply.


The Mk7 Golf made its debut in 18th place in our Driver Energy satisfaction survey in 2014, however by 2021 it had slumped to a disappointing 73rd place. But the VW nonetheless proved to be a dependable selection with only a few issues, whereas the model itself scored a extra creditable seventeenth within the producer survey

How sensible is it?

Whereas the Golf doesn’t have class-leading inside house, it’s hardly a big flaw. In each three-door and five-door codecs plus a spacious property, it has loads of house for 5 passengers and the boot is effectively formed. Visibility is healthier than most similar-era rivals, too.

Dimensions, cabin and boot house

The Golf appears to develop with every successive era, and the Mk7 is 150mm longer, 13mm wider and 4mm decrease than the Mk6 it changed in 2013, but it surely was nonetheless removed from being an enormous automobile by class requirements of the day.

There’s a great deal of house up entrance, whereas rear passengers get loads of head and legroom. The vast, flat rear seat can take three individuals with out an excessive amount of of a squeeze, though the centre passenger could discover issues a bit uncomfortable on longer journeys.

Getting out and in is a straightforward matter (particularly with the five-door), and youngster seats are straightforward to slot in the again utilizing both the automobile’s seat belts or Isofix. 

Volkswagen gave the Golf a number of useful storage areas, together with a deep cubby underneath the entrance armrest between the motive force and entrance passenger, a big air-conditioned glovebox and quite a few cup-holders. Patrons additionally profit from huge door bins which are flock-lined to cease their contents from rattling round noisily on the transfer.

As ever, the big VW boot badge doubles because the tailgate launch; open it and there’s a well-shaped, 380-litre boot. Higher nonetheless, there’s a large opening and low load lip, whilst you have a useful hidden storage space beneath the height-adjustable false boot ground. 

In case you want extra room, you may liberate a beneficiant 1,270 litres of capability by folding the 60:40 rear seats; the load platform is usefully flat, too. Helpful additions to the load house embody a 12V energy provide and a pair of bag hooks, plus there’s a ski-flap for longer gadgets.

These on the lookout for much more practicality can go for the Property mannequin, with a giant 605-litre boot that expands to 1,620 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The Alltrack model retains this practicality, however provides a raised experience top and four-wheel drive for added versatility.

It is value noting that the e-Golf and GTE are barely much less sensible, as a result of their batteries are mounted underneath the boot ground. In consequence, the e-Golf will get a 343-litre load bay, whereas the hybrid GTE’s shrinks to 272 litres. That’s nonetheless a really usable quantity of house, however you sacrifice any type of under-floor storage.

Tools and expertise 

Entry-level S and SE trim ranges had been initially fitted with a small 5.8-inch infotainment display screen with Bluetooth connectivity, whereas a well-liked 8-inch improve added DAB radio and the potential for sat-nav on some fashions.

The 2017 facelift added an eight-inch Composition set-up to all fashions, with a DAB radio, Bluetooth and a USB connection, plus the model’s Suppose Blue journey laptop that offers tips about environment friendly driving. SE fashions and above added the fascinating Automobile Internet ‘App Join’, which brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone apps, though the web providers price additional to subscribe to.

All variations get sharp graphics and an easy menu system, whereas a neat movement sensor brings up hotkeys when your hand approaches the display screen and the contact menu buttons reply effectively. It was one of many best and most intuitive methods obtainable on the time.

Some fashions are fitted with an non-obligatory 9.2-inch display screen, gesture management and a 64GB reminiscence. However in actuality, the usual system delivers all of the options you’ll want and is simpler to make use of than this all-touchscreen affair.

The entry-level S trim stage is spartan, though it has a DAB radio and color touchscreen show, air-con plus electrical mirrors and entrance home windows. SE spec provides powered rear home windows, 16-inch alloy wheels and emergency metropolis braking, whereas the GT has 17-inch alloys, sports activities suspension plus entrance and rear parking sensors. 

The mid-range, high-value Match, launched in July 2014, got here with parking sensors all-round and electrically folding door mirrors. The GTI was recognized by its pink grille stripe and twin exit exhausts, whereas inside it will get the trademark tartan checked trim. Against this the sooner R was extra delicate, however received 4 exhausts and silver-finished door mirrors.

The trim ranges remained largely unchanged for the 2017 facelift, apart from the brand new R-line, which was primarily based on the GT and added ornamental inserts within the sprint and door panels, together with a distinct design of 17in wheel and trapezoidal exhaust pipes.


The Golf has all the time had a powerful security document and the MK7 isn’t any exception. All automobiles get seven airbags (together with driver’s knee airbag), whereas the five-star Euro NCAP score earned in 2012 is spectacular, particularly the 94% score for grownup occupant safety.

Customary security gear throughout the vary contains an electrical parking brake with auto maintain operate, digital tyre strain monitoring, stability management, entrance passenger airbag deactivation and hydraulic brake help.

All however entry-level S editions get Entrance Help, which now incorporates metropolis emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

Security choices embody lane help with facet scan, blind spot monitoring and dynamic gentle help, park help and rear facet airbags.

What’s it wish to drive?

Whereas not as thrilling to drive as similar-era rivals such because the Ford Focus, the Golf consists and comfy. It’s backed by a terrific vary of turbocharged engines and packs the form of refinement usually reserved for costlier fashions.

Engines and efficiency 

The Golf options a variety of engines and is among the solely mainstream automobiles of the time to supply the selection of petrols, diesels, a plug-in hybrid and a full-EV. 

The petrol engines are badged TSI they usually begin with a 1.2-litre four-cylinder with both 84bhp or 104bhp. It was changed in 2017 by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder that was obtainable with related outputs (84bhp and 109bhp)

The 84bhp unit was obtainable in S trim solely, however to finest mix energy, effectivity, equipment and worth, you’ll must step as much as the extra highly effective variations that retain the refinement of the bottom automobile, however add helpful additional punch for overtaking or carrying heavier masses. 

Regardless of its diminutive capability, the 109bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged engine places on a powerful present. We recorded a 0-60mph time of 9.6 seconds in a single, which was half a second sooner than a extra highly effective 1.0-litre turbo Honda Civic, whereas it had a larger-capacity Renault Mégane 1.2 TCe overwhelmed throughout our in-gear assessments. As an illustration, it lined the fourth gear 30-50mph increment in 5.6 seconds, which was 1.1 seconds forward of the Mégane.

The extra highly effective 120bhp 1.4-litre TSI will likely be a greater guess for a lot of, but when your finances stretches then the 1.5-litre TSI present in post-2017 facelift fashions is a good all-round selection.

After we examined this engine in opposition to a 1.4 turbo Vauxhall Astra, the VW was faster than the Astra from 50 to 70mph in high gear, finishing this acceleration take a look at in 8.7 seconds in contrast with 9.2 seconds for the Vauxhall. 

Within the decrease gears, the place the Vauxhall’s revs had been larger, the Astra was sooner than the Golf. The VW accelerated between 30 and 50mph in third and fourth gears in 4.2 and 5.5 seconds respectively, whereas the Astra wanted solely 3.9 and 5.4 seconds for a similar take a look at.

The two.0-litre petrol engine is reserved for the GTI and R fashions, with outputs from 217bhp to 306bhp. It’s a easy and really versatile engine that provides unbelievable acceleration, making these automobiles a few of the quickest on the highway. For instance, the DSG-equipped R is able to the 0-62mph dash in simply 4.7 seconds.

On the diesel facet, there’s a 1.6 that was initially obtainable with 104bhp earlier than being elevated to 114bhp for 2017. It’s succesful sufficient for many makes use of, however if you need one thing with a bit of extra guts (and rather less noise), VW gives a 2.0 diesel producing 148bhp and barely any extra CO2. There’s additionally a potent 181bhp 2.0, but it surely’s reserved for the GTD.

The GTE plug-in hybrid mixes a 1.4-litre petrol and an electrical motor for a mixed output of 201bhp, whereas the e-Golf has a 124-mile vary which was elevated to 186 miles as a part of the 2017 replace. It additionally benefited from an influence improve from 113bhp to 134bhp, though each are easy, brisk and straightforward to drive.

Aside from the five-speed guide within the entry-level 1.6 TDI, the usual gearbox throughout the Golf vary is a six-speed guide. However one key change of the 2017 facelift was the phasing out of the outdated six-speed dual-clutch DSG computerized in favour of a smoother-shifting seven-speed unit throughout all fashions.

Don’t low cost the Alltrack model, which whereas uncommon is a superb all-rounder. Its jacked-up suspension and four-wheel drive make it a surprisingly succesful off-roader in addition to a wonderful tow automobile. It’s additionally easy and poised on the highway, the place the turbocharged petrol model gives a good mix of efficiency and refinement. 

On the highway

The Volkswagen Golf has all the time delivered excessive ranges of consolation, refinement and dealing with poise, and the Mk7 isn’t any exception. Enter a sequence of corners and the Golf responds swiftly to the direct and well-weighted steering. There’s additionally baggage of grip and rock-solid physique management, which make the VW a confidence-inspiring machine. 

Higher nonetheless, this agility is matched to spectacular refinement and luxury. The experience isn’t as gentle as a Renault Megane’s, but it surely’s higher managed over massive bumps, whereas engine, wind and highway noise are remoted from the cabin. Progress is much more fluid in fashions fitted with the non-obligatory adaptive damping system, and are value in search of out. 

The direct and well-weighted steering means the Volkswagen responds effectively on turn-in, plus there’s loads of grip and good physique management. It’s not fairly as participating to drive shortly as a Honda Civic, however there’s not a lot in it. The Golf’s actual energy is the best way it blends that means with refinement and luxury; it rides extra easily than a Peugeot 308 specifically, absorbing bumps within the highway floor admirably.

Volkswagen fitted all Golf fashions with greater than 118bhp with a extra refined multilink rear axle to assist enhance dealing with – though in most conditions the usual torsion beam set-up feels practically as composed. 

If enjoyable is high of your precedence record, then search for a GTD, GTE, GTI or R model, with the GTD providing loads of torque for easy overtaking. Do not be fooled by the plug-in hybrid GTE although: regardless of the title, it is no scorching hatch. It is sooner in a straight line than the GTD, however the added weight means it is not a lot enjoyable within the corners.

True efficiency followers will likely be drawn to the flagship R mannequin. Out there as a hatchback or an property, the Golf R will get as much as 306bhp and four-wheel drive, so it’s very sharp to drive and packs an incredible quantity of grip.

What must you look out for?

The Golf is a completely engineered hatchback that’s been perfected over the many years, so glitches are few and much between. Nevertheless, there are one or two points to maintain a watch out for.

Widespread used Volkswagen Golf Mk7 issues


The driving force’s facet wiper can smear the windscreen when it rains. Switching the unique Valeo blades for Bosch options appears to do the trick.

Parking brake

Whereas the digital parking brake has thus far confirmed dependable, it appears to be one thing that basically polarises opinion; house owners both like it or hate it.


The touchscreen multimedia system typically works effectively, however some drivers have struggled to pair their telephones and it doesn’t learn all MP3 gamers.


A lot of house owners aren’t impressed by the Golf’s commonplace halogen headlights, so bulb swaps are widespread, normally for Osram Nightbreakers. 


The Golf Mk7 has been recalled jon a couple of events however they’ve usualy affected solely a small variety of automobiles. A complete of 303 automobiles in-built April 2015 had been referred to as again due to a danger of the suspension collapsing attributable to a producing fault with the entrance wheel bearing housing. Any affected automobiles received new castings made to the next commonplace. 

In 2017 there have been recollects referring to wheel bearing housings, the ABS and ESC stability management methods, the headlights and the airbags on some fashions. 

Volkswagen issued a recall in March 2016 for two.0 TDI Golfs, as a part of its high-profile emissions debacle. However this was aimed on the Mk6 with the EA189 unit; the Mk7 makes use of the EA288 diesel, so it isn’t affected by this recall.

AUTO NEWS – Used Volkswagen Golf (Mk7, 2013-2019) evaluation: Mk5-7 (2013-date) |


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