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.
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.
I purchased my '11 Golf 3 door Manual transmission straight out of college.
Prior to making this decision, I tested many similarly priced compact cars like the Dodge Caliber, Various Hondas, and even some subarus.
While I really liked the Subaru's and had a hard time deciding between the two, the VW Golf was simply in another league.
This is probably the best compact car on the us market for the price.
The interior and exterior build quality and craftsmanship are excellent and there are no rattling noises.
I have put 17,000 miles since I purchased the car in June of 2011.
Thats right, 17000 already.
This car handles/performs exceptionally well.
At all speeds it feels secure/ planted.
I average 26mpg in the city and 34-37 on the highway.
With my cruise set on 80mph, I can get a consistent 33mpg!!
The manual transmission is the best I've ever used.
The clutch is smooth and the shifter feels mechanical, there is never any question whether it is in gear or not, you can feel it.
My favorite "feature" is the performance.
I mix about 50/50 city and highway.
In town(New Orleans) it is a dream.
It fits anywhere I put it, drives well in stop/go traffic, parks easily, absorbs bumps surprisingly well for a compact car and, most importantly, feels solid and enjoyable to drive.
Acceleration is quick, esp. with the manual, and performance is surprising.
I wish the 4 door came with a manual transmission.
I wanted a 4 door, but I REALLY wanted the MT.
So I settled for the 2 door.
The functionality is great regardless.
The hatch opens taller than my 6'2" height.
Also, the driver and passenger doors open to 90 degrees.
While this feature may not seem like much, it helps when loading cargo and vacuuming interior.
Unfortunately the doors are longer since there are only two and they cannot be opened fully when in a parking space.
In fact you must be careful bc there are essentially three open rest positions for the door and the outer two may hit parked cars. My only complaint is that my miles rack up too quickly, it begs to be driven.
I've driven my 2011 Golf 2.5 for 1500 miles now and I can honestly say that I love this car. It is very responsive while driving, and the manual shifter is very smooth. I have been averaging 28 mpg and drive about half highway and half backroads (and I'm driving it fast). The car handles great, hugging corners is easy - the suspension feels very tight. The interior is immaculate - it feels like the interior of a much more expensive car. I'm so glad that I bought this over the comparable Honda Civic.
Drivers information computer in instrument cluster, Bluetooth handsfree calling, seats, interior in general, VW logo as the handle to open hatchback, keyless entry, sunroof with vented cover, radio (standard speakers are nice).
I wish the car came with controls ont the steeling wheel, rather than having them on the stick behind the steering wheel - using those controls is a little clumsy sometimes - especially switching between my phone info, and the car mpg and speedometer screen. It's not a huge deal though.