Used 2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel - Consumer Reviews

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Love/Hate TDI relationship
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Marty
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel 2.0L TDI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)


Review

After owning this Golf TDI car for only one month, here is what I think so far: PROs: - Gas Mileage: I average 36 mpg. Plus, diesel is 30 cents/gallon cheaper than 87 octane gas in California. - Front Seats: The heavy bolstering holds me in place during aggressive cornering. Larger individuals may hate it. The cloth material is thick, durable, and textured for additional grip. - Interior: the soft touch dash and leather steering wheel make the interior feel a bit upscale. - Tire Pressure Sensor: I had 2 defective tires, both of which went flat. They were not noticeable without the sensor. - Steering: The steering ratio is a little aggressive with medium effort to steer. It adds to a sporty feel. - Suspension: Good compromise of firmness and compliance over bumps. It feels sporty, but is still useful as a daily driver. - Diesel power: This engine won't wow anyone with straight line acceleration. It does extremely well at low RPMs where all the torque is made. Climbing hilly roads feels effortless for the vehicle. Diesel engines also have a record of being very reliable. We will see if that holds true in this car. - Sound/infotainment system: The sound quality is above average for a non-premium system. It comes stock with a 6 disc changer, which is useful if you want to dust off your old CD collection. The infotainment system does not take long to learn. Also, the radio can turn on with no key in the ignition. That is convenient for entertaining children/passengers, if you don't trust them alone with the keys in the car. CONs: - Diesel Availability: Diesel fuel is not always easy to find when you are looking. About 1 in 3 gas stations in my area have it. - DSG: This transmission is probably the worst transmission I've ever used. Have you ever been stopped, push the throttle and not go anywhere for 1-2 seconds. The car will inch forward for another second, and then react appropriately to your input. This is dangerous when making a left hand turn in front of oncoming traffic. It only happens about 25% of the time, so it is completely unpredictable and happens in both standard drive mode and sport mode. Similar delays happen when trying to pass, but I'm used to cars getting confused about downshifting. There is no downshifting from a stop, at least I hope not. Engine braking is weird as well. It is most noticeable when coasting to a stop. The DSG engages 1st gear at about 12-13mph, decelerating the car quickly to 6-7mph, then coasting again. When coasting from high speeds to low speeds, such as coasting to 35mph from 55mph, the engine revs to 3100 RPM in preparation for a downshift. The diesel engine free reving at 3100 RPMs is loud. This has lasted up to 20 seconds until it finally downshifts to induce engine braking. It's odd to experience this from the driver's seat. - Engine Noise: The engine sounds like a gasoline engine with valve knocking. It turns heads in a parking lot and not in a good way. However, once at cruising speeds the noise is no longer intrusive in the cabin. - Doors: The door settles into positions to hold itself open for getting in/out. The first position is just wide enough to squeeze out of the car. The second position threatens neighboring cars in many parking situations, and hits the wall in my garage. There is no easy in-between because the door pushes/pulls its way to one of those positions. It's a weird nuisance I rarely needed to think about with other cars. - Bluetooth: Set to interrupt music with navigation updates from my phone, it also cuts off my music every two minutes for a voicemail recording that doesn't exist on my phone. - Blind spots: The massive B-pillar is in my way for checking blind spots. My seating position plays a part. I am 6' 2" tall. - Phone charging: I'm using the same USB adapter from my old car to charge my phone and it charges noticeably slower. - Locking system: The car honks when you lock the car with the key fob. I asked the dealership to disable that honk, and they said they can't on this particular model. Additionally, the lock button in the car door only works when all the doors are closed, so you cannot use it to lock your car as you exit the vehicle. I'm stuck annoying sleeping neighbors when I come home at night. Additional conveniences I think this car should have: - Automatic headlights - this has been in some cars for decades, why is it not a feature in all cars. - Automatic climate control - Put in a temperature and forget. Same logic as above, all cars should have this by now. Conclusion: Overall, I think the car is a compromise. I really enjoy the gas mileage, interior quality, and sporty upgrades, but I really hate the DSG and engine noise. The price premium eats most of the gas savings over a regular Golf. If you really want a TDI and are comfortable with a manual transmission, I highly recommend going that route.


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Fun to drive, mileage is a bonus
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By homelessgdog1
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel 2.0L TDI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)


Review

Golf TDI handles well. We don't get much rain and we don't get any snow here in Los Angeles. In what rain I have driven in, the Golf does well with OEM Conti's. Brakes are great, handles great. People talk about stiff, well my other car is a Dodge Cummns truck so Golf is an improvement. Great visibility from all windows, Bluetooth works pretty good, radio (non dyna) is good for stock. I use my Ipod and when I want directions, I use Bluetooth to hear phone Navi (non navigation head unit). Fun factor very high. Fuel mileage incredible.


Best Features

Great torque. I don't think people understand how much power is in this little turbo diesel. Very fun commuter car. 25K miles in 16 months. Radio, Bluetooth, touchscreen is great. Seats okay. I'm a big critter. Heated seats great. I haven't found too many negative things about car except little VW logo centercaps on rims have all fallen off. I don't get it, I've own at least a dozen cars and this has never happened to anyone of them. You won't regret this little beast. If you miss having fun while driving buy this little Golf TDI.


Worst Features

Something that keeps those centercaps on rims. What is the deal. Why on God's green earth does the AC light and compressor come on all the time when you don't press the AC button? Who's idea was that? The only time this light should come on is when you want the AC on, not when moving the vent selector knob.


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So far, so good
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By graham_line
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel 2.0L TDI 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)


Review

After 15 months and 17000 miles, car still feels like new. Plenty of room for two people and very comfortable on 600-700 mile days. Fuel economy is averaging in low 40s for a highway/city mix.


Best Features

Far better seats than Focus and Mazda 3, and completely adjustable. High quality interior and logical dash layout


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12 TDI
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ronsulli
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel 2.0L TDI 2dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)


Review

I got it my TDI new mid july . its at 29,000 miles , i love driving it , great car wouldn't trade it . 9.5 out of 10 . get one you'll love it takes you every where , on a dime of diesel . from El Paso to Houston and back 150 bucks in diesel ! around 1500 miles .


Best Features

heated sets , diesel miles !


Worst Features

more HP !


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Best Car I Have Ever Owned
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By diggler2
on

Vehicle

2012 Volkswagen Golf Diesel 2.0L TDI 4dr Hatchback w/Tech Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)


Review

I bought my 2012 Golf TDI brand new and I could not be happier with the car. From its handling, to its power, to its amazing fuel efficiency it is the whole package. It truly drives like a solid European car but at half the cost. I have owned Toyota's, Honda's, Jeeps, Chevy's and this VW golf is by far my happiest purchase. I bought the top of the line Tech package and it is in my opinion worth the extra cost. The tech package comes with an incredible sounding Dynadio stereo as well as navigation, LED running lights, and xenon headlights. Definitely will consider purchasing another in 15 years when this one finally wears out....


Best Features

The DSG auto/manual transmission is quick and fun. The diesel 2.0 is surprisingly powerful as well with 250 ft/lb of torque plus I'm averaging about 44 MPG. Now that I own a European designed car it would be very difficult to go back. I was always against buying European cars due to maintenance costs but this Golf is practically maintenance free and with the first three years paid maintenance through VW it can't be beat. I definitely suggest at least test driving one if your in the market for a fuel efficient car that is also fun to drive and stylish. Thats what I did after test driving what felt like a million different cars this Golf TDI put the others to rest. Awesome car!!


Worst Features

Only suggested improvements I would say are better cup holders as well as "Auto" on/off headlights. Small stuff but would be cool since the car has pretty much everything else.


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