This base 2012 Golf is my second VW, and far better than the 2007 Jetta I once had. Despite criticism for its weak fuel economy, I get upper 20's to mid-30's depending on the type of driving, and that's all on REGULAR gas. I frequently get between 400 and 500 miles per tank! Interior quality, cargo capacity, driving dynamics, and comfort are legendary. Few of these are sold in the U.S. even though it's the #1 car sold in Germany— the "F150 of Germany." The performance is so much better than an economy car that I consider Golf the sweet spot between fuel efficient and sporty. What I love about the base model is that the 2.5 Inline-5 is super-durable when cared for on the factory maintenance schedule. This will outlast almost any 4-cylinder turbo because it's a simpler engine that runs at lower revs. I've put almost 25,000 miles on this car in a year and a half with not the slightest problem, and it's as good in snow and ice (on snow tires) as it is the rest of the year. I love the Teutonic simplicity and quality, and after sitting in GTI's, I much prefer my base model cloth interior.
This is the most fun car I have ever owned. As a die hard Honda owner, found this VW Golf on a used car lot when I had to replace my 2003 honda van. IT IS AWESOME. Ridiculous mpg and road handling. I heart this car. You should get one too.
I cant believe any reviews I'm reading have bad things to say. I have NOTHING bad to say. I don't even know where to start. How about this: this car has been problem-free for almost 150,000 miles. I get a combined 44 mpg. 600 plus miles per tank full. Isn't that enough? There is a ton of storage room in the back, especially when you lay the seats down. Everything about the car feels very tight. The interior is put together nicely. The car is a pleasure to drive anywhere - up hills.. long drives etc. I've replaced the battery ONE time and the rear latch gave out 5000 miles ago (total repair cost $200). This car has been a steal at around $25k. I'm very sorry I have to give it back with the buy-back program... otherwise I would drive it 'til the wheels fall off. My german auto maintenance guy said these TDI engines can last you virtually forever if you care for them. Too bad we'll never know. So my wonderful car goes back to VW in about 60 days and I buy something I have no business owning: a corvette stingray. :)
Of course, you've heard of the dieselgate scandal. Perhaps you have not heard about the failure of the high pressure fuel pump that had been under federal investigation. Regardless, I'm caught in the middle of accepting the buyback of $15,000+ OR keeping the car, getting it fixed on VW's dollar, and pocketing the settlement of $5,000. I bought the vehicle because of its mix of performance and fuel efficiency and because I have an affinity towards hatchbacks. Why a hatchback? Because I frequently transport stuff: lawn mower, weed wacker, leaf blower, furniture, etc. If I sold it back, what would I buy that met these needs? A Prius? Someone online commented that the Prius performance is similar to pushing a grocery shopping cart; however, fuel efficiency is great. A Mazda 3? There's a slight chance but probably not. I have 128K miles on this VW with only minor issues to report: horn wouldn't work early on. That's been fixed. Lately and very rarely, I've noticed I'll be driving down the road and the sunroof will open. It's a little freaky but it's happened about 3 times total and it doesn't open all the way, just to the first level. The Bi-Xenon / adaptive headlights are powerful. Dynaudio is a pleasure to listen to. I use the navigation all of the time and it's ok. The leather wrap-around steering wheel is comfortable to hold. My biggest complaint would be that the front seat could be more comfortable since there's little lumbar support and the headrest is in an awkward position. However, the front seats sort of wrap around your sides keeping you in place. This car is awesome and I'm worried that any car I buy to replace it will be a disappointment. Besides, I can see this car going way over 250K miles. What car would I buy could do that? My fuel efficiency is less than most other TDI drivers because I admit, there are times when I "need" to pass or get through or by drivers that are "in my way". This car moves quickly when needed and it's truly what makes it a joy to drive. At excessively high speeds it handles like a charm - no shaking, no rattling, and tight steering.