I bought this car as a certified pre-owned with 20k miles. It now has 64k miles. The car runs and handles extremely well. It's fun to drive. The interior is moderately comfortable, but that's where it ends. The interior quality is very poor. The door panels creak as does the over head console and there's a rattle where the dash meets the windshield, and the headliner is beginning to sag. There is also a design flaw, if it's raining and the window is even cracked open, the water puddles together on the roof and it'll overflow into the car, dumping a significant amount of water into the car, Similar to an overflowing gutter. The keyless entry is also very weak, even with new batteries.
Fun to Drive
Fix this ongoing headliner problem that VW has been notorious for, for years. Improve customer service. The bluetooth system needs to be refined, the controls and voice command are terrible. Refine the interior, fix the squeaks and rattles. This car is 4 years old and is seems like it is 14 years old. This car was also built in the Germany Factory, not in Mexico. No excuse for these issues, and no answers from Volkswagen. I should have bought the Focus Hatchback.
Sold the lexus, kept the golf.
Smoother, better on bumps, much better on highway, handling is vastly superior, reliability is equal or better (that's been our experience).
Es 350 is slightly quieter, but the handling and ride are demonstrably inferior.
This car was underwhelming.
Coming from a 200 HP Saab,
I did not mind the weak engine except the manual transmission would fight any attempt to downshift quickly.
The heater/AC moved so little air that you were either cold/hot or had to listen to the fan drone away on high.
The steering feel was nonexistent. You could not feel the front end break loose on snow.
The final straw was a fuel cut off that caused it to die in traffic if short shifted.
It was fun to make fun of the driver who stalled in traffic until we were hit from behind because the car would just stop without brake lights.
There was no warning.
You would be driving in slowing traffic and it would stop.
Just the right size.
1. No steering feel.
Not uncommon in cars with electric power steering but this sets a new low bar.
2. Manual transmission refuses to shift quickly, especially the 6-3 down shift
3. The engine would stall hard if brought even slightly below idle speed.
Granted, this is a driver error but I have never driven a car that would just stall if you selected 4th gear instead of 3rd.
The car just stops like the driver slammed on the brakes except there are no brake lights.
This problem was so bad that we did not let our kids drive the car after my wife was involved in an accident.
She has logged over 250,000 miles with a manual transmission.
I've driven 8 beaters in my life (trucks and cars) then a 2008 BMW 335i and then this Golf 2.5 gas, manual, 3DR hatch and this car is a solid 4.5/5.
I dont write reviews but this car is so good I had to. I've owned for 2 years and it has 40k miles on it.
The engine, interior, and styling make this car.
Gas mileage is incredible even above sticker, I consistently get 31 mpg mixed use and I drive it hard.
This car is a great value cause the comparable honda or subaru is $3-5k more.
You may have costly repairs or quirky electronic issues at the 8 year/100k mark but you saved that money in the front end.
Incredible gas mileage (I drive it hard and get 31 mixed use).
The I5 2.5L is a beast.
I can be lazy and make turns in 3rd and lug right out from 800 rpm
or burn onto highways at 65mph still in second.
Interior is great with great sound system.
Bluetooth works well.
Roomy in back for adults.
the 60/40 rear seats enables me to pack it with outdoor gear and x3 adults into the mountains of CO with no issues.
Great field of vision with minimal blind spots.
-The clutch travel is extremely long and I've driven box trucks to F150s with less clutch travel.
the extreme travel can create knee and ankle fatigue.
I havent asked dealer if there are adjustments yet.
-steering is loose.
it isnt horrible, but the new electric steering motors in all new cars gives diminishes road feel.
-Car is pretty bad in the snow without snow tires.
I've lived in the NE and CO with plenty of experience.
Light weight and loose steering makes it difficult to drive in snow without snow tires.
-Paint chips easily, I think there is a recall for it.
These minor flaws cannot compare to the positives.
It's a sick car.
Fun with utility thanks to its hatchback nature, but it does fall short in a few ways that may be a deal breaker for some.
Road noise - It may be the result of being a small hatch' or the fact that there seems to be no sound insulation, but the interior of this car is loud.
When I say loud, I mean very loud.
Driving over concrete or rough pavement will make you plead for mercy.
The soft materials are nice but the construction is lacking.
Interior rattles abundant, loud engine noises, suspension squeaks and creaks, thin paint (chips constantly).
Comfort: Nice sport seats but uncomfortable on long drives.
25mpg (hwy+city) in a small car (VW can do better).
-Fix the (door, dash, headliner) squeaks and rattles.
-Insulate the engine better.
-Fix the paint thickness/hardness.
-Please, please, please add sound insulation.
-Time to update the engine for better mpg (I think VW is doing so in the next version golf/gti MK7).