I wanted one of these cars for the last year. After having a 2011 Tiguan, which I loved I decided to get the Golf. It's been a disappointment! The looks of the car, and the engine are wonderful. The interior is really nicely done. I love the sunroof. Power off the line is a little slow until the turbo spools up, but after that it has plenty of power. Fuel economy is a little less than I expected for the size of the car, but I can live with it. I purchased the car about 8 months ago, and now have almost 6000 miles on it. Around 4700 miles the transmission started to shutter when shifting gears. In sports mode it shifted much better, but had a real hard downshift. Took it in for maintenance, and they replaced both front axles. I was told that VW was aware of the problem and that this would solve the issue I was having. They told me usually most customers don't start having this problem until they have around 15,000 miles on the car. When I got the car back, for the first 600 miles it shifted better, but still did not shift like it did when I first purchased it. Now it's doing the same thing again. It's bad enough in drive, but in sports mode it's terrible. It's going back in the shop tomorrow. Maybe I'll be lucky and they'll get it fixed correctly this time. Sure hope so. If it wasn't for this issue I would be very happy with the car, and probably give it a 4 plus start rating. If you decide to purchase one, before doing so, get on some of the VW forums. There are a lot of people that are having the same issue that I'm having, and VW has not stepped up after the initial repair and solved the problem. Many are die hard VW owners that have had VW vehicles for years.
I was looking for an economy hatch (around $25K) that was extremely comfortable for long trips, quiet at hwy speeds, gave great hwy mpgs and had decent tech. The choice came down to 3 cars- Mazda3 2.5GT, Kia Forte5 and the 2015 Golf TSI SE. The Kia has the best technology and creature comforts including heated and cooled driver seat, heated steering wheel etc... But I did not enjoy how it drove and the interior felt sort of lower tier. The Mazda3 was extremely impressive in just about every area but a lack of storage around the driver and no option for a lighter blue had me look toward the Golf. When I finally test drove it I felt like I was home. Just perfect in every area. Quieter (cont..) Update 3/4/16 Now with 55k miles on it - still running flawlessly! Averaging around 31mpg over the lifetime. I've added remote start and winter tires which is a real blessing in the MN winter. Still extremely happy with my purchase!! Update 9/4/16 Completed 2 yrs last month at 71,000 miles. Purchased OBD11 from Deutsche Auto Parts for $59 which has allowed me to modify functionality like allow me to open and close windows and sunroof with car remote, turn off annoying seat belt chime, keep headlight/DRL on when turn signal is activated, change number of times the turn signal flashes when tapped, dip rear view mirrors on reverse, etc. In addition it is a great scan tool to determine whether there might be any issues. As far as driving it is concerned I get just as excited to drive it today as I did when I first got it. That 1.8 turbo has some great low end torque and allows for effortless passing at highway speeds. Fuel economy has gotten even better and I now see 34-36 mpg on each tank with mixed driving. I haven't had any issues mechanically in the 2 years/71k miles. My 2008 Rabbit is still going strong at 234,000 miles with regular oil changes and routine maintenance every 10k miles. So I expect to get good longevity from this 2015 Golf! Update 9/4/2017 Still loving this car! Original brake pads still at 7mm but I finally had to change my tires at around 86k miles. Bought an obdeleven which let's me do diagnostic checks on the engine health and other cool things like programming the key fob to lower or raise the windows, turning off the annoying seat belt chime, changing the way the blinkers light up or the number of times they flash when changing lanes and a lot more. Cost was only $60 from Deutsche Auto parts. Well worth it. But the best part of owning this car is the driving excitement.... Make no mistake this is a really fun car to drive and the mpg is still around 32 in mixed driving.
Great ride, superior handling (low profile 17 inch tires) QUIET interior, even on the highway, terrific interior, awesome (Fender 400 watt) stereo. Surprisingly spacious back seat and good headroom. VWs are not known for reliability, but it has a 5 year warranty on the engine and powertrain. Planning on using this car for a trip to FL, rather than my Mid-size, because it's actually more comfortable (not to mention easier on gas). My only complaint is that when the Tiptronic transmission is in normal "Drive " mode, it up shifts a bit too soon for my liking , resulting in borderline engine lugging. Switching to Sport mode, at least on takeoff cures this, but it affects gas mileage if you leave it in Sport. Despite this, gas mileage has improved somewhat. Overall, we're very pleased with this car. One final note: Volkswagen recommends says you can go for 10k between oil changes: but in a direct-injection engine like the TSI, I would go no longer than 5,000 to avoid engine sticktion (gunk). It's a small price to pay for peace of mind.
I had owned 2 mkV vw's (rabbit and gti) and had been switching back and forth between various hondas but i'm so happy to get back into a premium compact. Cargo space is great, the solidity of the ride on the freeway is unmatched by anything in this price range...really a discount audi. Phenomenal passing power and good gas mileage plus a wealth of creature comforts. Also, the interior will shame many midsize sedans. Way more mature than other small cars; tasteful and refined, but quirky and different all at the same time. Standard equipment is strong compared to cars in the same price range, especially compared to honda and mazda. Handling is sublime. I freaking love my golf!
I have been a VW driver for over 25 years. 86 Scirocco, Jetta's and Passats. I thought my 06 2.0 Passat was the best VW ever, but this Golf is giving it some competition. Eye candy on the outside and inside. The interior looks and feels as luxurious as an Audi, BMW or MBZ. Great design too with easy to use technology and awesome sound system. Love the simplicity VW provides. The 1.8T is peppy and provides plenty of power for this car. It's not a GTI, but it is quick. The handling feels a little stiff, but not too much and very secure. Overall it's fun to look at and drive. I had considered an Audi A3 & A4 but the Golf won and my wallet was all the more happy! Update on this review after 1 year. The car is still all the above, but I am having trouble with the transmission "shuddering". It's mostly when the engine is cold and first put into gear. The dealer says that they don't know anything about this. I am going to leave the car with the dealer so they can experience it and/or at least I get it documented as a problem. I am also worried about a camshaft recall. a portion of the cam shaft can sheer off causing loss of break pressure. VW claims they can fix this with a software update. I don't understand how a mechanical item can be fixed with software. It just does not sound right. I still love the car, but am losing faith in VW especially after the Diesel problem, etc.