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Used Car Expert Rating

Volkswagen Golf (2012 to 2019)

Expert Rating

Used car score:

69
%
B

This model is no longer on sale or in production, so it doesn't have a New Car Expert Rating score.

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

81
%
A

Safety Rating:

46
%
E

Eco Rating:

65
%
B

Reliability Rating:

71
%
C

Running Costs:

78
%
A

How are our Expert Rating scores calculated?

Expert Rating

Used car score:

69
%
B

This model is no longer on sale or in production, so it doesn't have a New Car Expert Rating score.

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

81
%
A

Safety Rating:

46
%
E

Eco Rating:

65
%
B

Reliability Rating:

71
%
C

Running Costs:

78
%
A

Summary


The Volkswagen Golf is a medium-sized family hatchback, available in three- and five-door hatchback body styles, and as an estate. Over more than 40 years, the Golf has been one of the biggest-selling names in automotive history.

This model is the seventh generation, or Mk 7, and was launched in late 2012. Alogn with regular model year tweaks, it received a major update at the end of 2016. Production of the Mk 7 Golf ended in 2019. A replacement model was unveiled in October 2019 and arrived in the UK in Spring 2020.

The Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 was also available as a taller Golf SV MPV version and performance models called the Golf GTI and Golf R. These models are not included on this page.

The Golf received consistently good scores from UK media sources compared to rival cars, and has been widely praised for its refinement and wide range of model choices – in fact, the Mk 8 Golf’s Expert Rating is lower than the Mk 7. The hatchback has tended to score better than the estate, but only by a small amount.

In its 2021 owners’ survey, What Car? rated the diesel-engined Golf Mk 7 as the third worst car on its list of the most reliable family cars up to five years old, just ahead of the Peugeot 308 and SEAT Leon diesel.

Golf Mk 7 highlights

  • Spacious and comfortable interior
  • Good fuel economy
  • Fun performance
  • Wide range of different models

Golf Mk 7 lowlights

  • Hatchback version lacks boot space
  • Confusing infotainment system

Key specifications


Body style: Five-door hatch and estate
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £18,765 on-road

Launched: Winter 2012/13
Last update: Winter 2016/17
Replaced: 2020


Media reviews


Reviews, road tests and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

+

Autocar

+

Car

+

Carbuyer

+

Evo

+

Honest John

+

Parkers

+

The Sun

+

The Sunday Times

+

The Telegraph

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Which?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall score: 5 stars
Date tested: November 2012
Date expired: January 2019
Read the full Euro NCAP review

Adult protection: 94%
Child protection: 89%
Vulnerable road users: 65%
Safety assist: 71%

Note on safety rating

The Volkswagen Golf was originally crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2012 and was awarded a five-star rating. However, this rating expired in January 2019 and is no longer valid as the car no longer meets the standards required for such a rating. This is normal practice, as Euro NCAP reviews its ratings on most cars annually with most ratings expiring after about six or seven years.

However, if you are comparing a used Volkswagen Golf to vehicles of similar age, whose ratings will have probably also expired, its safety rating score is still useful.

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

Model tested: 1.6 TDI 4×2 Manual

Overall score: 0 stars
Date tested: February 2019
Read the full Green NCAP review

Clean Air Index: 3.1 / 10
Energy Efficiency Index: 6.7 / 10

Reliability rating

MotorEasy logo 600x167

Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

As of April 2024, the Volkswagen Golf has a fairly average overall reliability score of 65%, according to exclusive extended warranty data provided by our partners at MotorEasy. However, this applies to all Golf models, so will be a combination of this Mk7 model (2012-2020) as well as newer (2020 onwards) and older (pre-2012) models.

The average repair cost of £560 is better than average – although it’s still more than the cost of a used car warranty, which is certainly worth bearing in mind.

The majority of problems with the Golf relate to the engine, and they’re also fairly expensive with an average repair cost of about £860. Gearbox problems are even more expensive at more than £1,300, but the good news is that these are very rare.

If you’re looking at a used Volkswagen Golf, make sure any extended warranty cover you purchase covers all of these potential problem areas.

Running cost rating

Clear Vehicle Data logo close crop

Monthly cost of ownership data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by Clear Vehicle Data

CO₂ outputAverageScoreVariationScore
Petrol models134 g/kmA124 – 146 g/kmA – B
Diesel models137 g/kmB129 – 165 g/kmA – C
Insurance groupAverageScoreVariationScore
All models18A13 – 26A – B

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Volkswagen Golf has received

2022

  • Motor Trader Awards – Best Used Car
  • Parkers New Car Awards – Best Used Car
  • What Car? Electric Awards – Best Used Family Car

2019

  • Autocar Awards – Used Car Hero
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Top 50 – Best Medium Car

2018

  • Auto Express Awards – Compact Family Car of the Year
  • Fleet World Honours – Best Lower Medium Car
  • Fleet News Awards – Best Lower Medium Car
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Top 50 – Best Medium Car + Best Plug-In Hybrid
  • Sunday Times Motor Awards – Commuter Car of the Year

2017

  • Auto Express Awards – Compact Family Car of the Year

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Volkswagen Golf, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Giulietta | Citroën C4 Cactus | Fiat Tipo | Ford Focus | Honda Civic | Hyundai i30 | Kia Ceed | Mazda 3 | Mini Countryman | Peugeot 308 | Renault Megane | SEAT Leon | Skoda Scala | Skoda Octavia | Toyota Corolla | Vauxhall Astra

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All the key Volkswagen Golf news, reviews, safety and eco ratings from across the UK automotive media, brought to you by The Car Expert.Volkswagen Golf (2012 to 2019)