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2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Overview

Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability

Year Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 25
38.0952380952% 38.0952380952% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  33 Golf 1.8Ts, 8.9 months of data per Golf 1.8T, average 11900 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T initially had a higher repair frequency than the GTI, and the TDI still does. Unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R 16
16.6666666667% 16.6666666667% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  88 GTI and Golf Rs, 10.1 months of data per GTI and Golf R, average 16000 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T initially had a higher repair frequency than the GTI, and the TDI still does. Unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen Golf diesel 29
47.619047619% 47.619047619% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  30 Golf diesels, 9.5 months of data per Golf diesel, average 17700 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T initially had a higher repair frequency than the GTI, and the TDI still does. Unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.

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TrueDelta Reviews the Reliability And Durability of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
2015 I'm coming up short on reasons not to buy the new Golf. Sure, Volkswagens don't have the best reputations for reliability, but the horror stories generally involve those from the early 2000s, manufactured over a decade ago. In our stats more recent VWs tend to hold up reasonably well for the first four to six years, and the 2012s and 2013s have been quite reliable, at least so far. Will the all-new 2015s further improve on the 2012-2014 cars, or will there be some first-year glitches? We'll likely have our first fairly precise reliability stats for the new Golf and GTI in February 2015. For now, they're a bit of a gamble. Update: Our earliest data suggests that the new GTI has had a glitch-free launch. But it's early, so stay tuned for quarterly updates from February 2015 onwards. full 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2015 Range is the most obvious reason not to buy a Volkswagen e-Golf, or any EV with the possible exception of the Tesla. If you drive more than 100 miles in a day more than a few times a year, the e-Golf isn't a viable option. Most of the other reasons not to buy an e-Golf (including all of the non-obvious ones) are far less compelling than the reasons to buy one. Some people will figure that, since VW has had trouble with relatively simple electrical components in the past, a VW EV might not be a good idea. The latest Golf has been pretty good in our car reliability survey so far, but the cars are still very young. At this point the e-Golf's long-term reliability is unknown--as is the Soul EV's. full 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2016 You might have heard horror stories from Volkswagen owners. Most such stories involved cars from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Volkswagens have become considerably more reliable since then, with the cars from the late 2000s onward about average or even a bit better for the first four to six years of ownership (after which they do tend to take a turn for the worse). This said, Golfs with the 1.8T engine have been a little troublesome during the first year of ownership. Looking at the repairs behind the stats, most don't involve the engine, so it's not clear why they affect cars with the 2.0T engine less often. The glitches seem to pop up early in the cars' ownership, then taper off, as the 2015s have looked much better than earlier in recent updates. The 2016s, in the red zone as I write this, could similarly improve. (If you're reading this after November 2016, check the latest stats.) At the moment I don't see much cause for concern with the Golf. But Mazdas in general and the CX-5 in particular have had less variable records, so for those who are especially risk-averse they're more comfortable bets. full 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Pros
2012 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
The car is not old, but so far, so good. Oil changes are required only every 10K miles at first, and the first three are taken care of - not a high-price incentive, certainly, but a nice touch. I haven't had a single cause for alarm so far, and the car operates as it did on the day I bought it. VW has an iffy reputation in the US right now, but it's also said that quality control is best in Wolfsburg, where this car is assembled, and for what its worth, Consumer Reports ranked the MK6 Golf well above average for projected reliability. full 2012 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
2016 2dr Hatch turbocharged 210hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Suspect durability of new tech TSI full 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2013 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
There is a major potential problem with the Golf TDI in the form of the high pressure fuel pump. The concern is that the Bosch unit does not like American low sulfur diesel fuel because of its relatively lower lubricity compared to Euro diesel fuels available where the car was designed. When the pump fails, it can send metal shavings throughout the fuel system, and require major replacements to the tune of $8-10,000. This is a sword of Damocles hanging over the head of any TDI owner. Three or more design revisions have been implemented, but the problem still shows up. Are you willing to take a chance they finally got it right in your car? full 2013 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2012 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
My GTI had a water pump failure inside of 20k miles. Other than that, all was good. full 2012 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review

Volkswagen Golf / GTI repairs by problem area

Engine (21%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (9%)

Brakes and Traction Control (10%)

Suspension and Steering (4%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (38%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (14%)

Other (4%)

Chart based on 96 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the Volkswagen Golf / GTI.

Volkswagen Golf / GTI Fuel Economy ()

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TrueDelta Reviews the Gas Mileage of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Gas Mileage: Pros
2015 I've put fuel economy in the "why to buys" largely because of the TDI and e-Golf. The former delivers an unbeatable (for the price) combination of driving enjoyment and fuel efficiency. The EPA ratings, which tend to over-estimate diesels' real-world fuel economy, are up a smidge with the new engine, to 31 mpg city, 43 mpg highway. I managed mid-40s in suburban driving with the old engine. The e-Golf similarly vies with the Focus Electric (which I haven't driven) for the title of the most fun-to-drive sub-$50k electric car. A Leaf might be more energy efficient--the EPA hasn't yet released ratings for the VW (which claims a range of up to 118 miles). But the Nissan feels far less substantial and isn't nearly as satisfying to drive. Prefer to stick with gas? Ditching the old 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in favor of a new turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder (but retaining a six-speed conventional automatic) bumps the Golf's EPA ratings from 24 mpg city, 31 mpg highway to a much more competitive 26 and 36, respectively. Though not best in class, they're close enough given the boosted engine's plump powerband. A 184-horsepower Mazda3 s barely outpoints it, with 27/37. Prefer a manual, even though one is only offered in the base trim Golf? Then the Golf's highway rating gets bumped one mpg, while the Mazda's ratings sink to 26/35. Or maybe you're willing to trade fuel economy for the GTI's additional thrust. Surprise: you won't have to trade away much. The 2015 GTI scores better in the EPA's tests than the 2014 did. With the DSG, the numbers improve from 24/32 to 25/33. Not much of an improvement? Well, the old car's figures with the DSG were already pretty good. Those with the manual were much more in need of improvement, and significantly improve they have, from 21/31 to 25/34. The new stick-shifted GTI's scores nearly match those of the much less powerful Mazda and meaningfully exceed the Focus ST's 23/32. During my week with a manual transmission Performanced-Packaged GTI, the trip computer regularly reported suburban averages around 30 mpg, with a high on my standard home-to-school route of 36. On the highway, it actually averaged over 40 mpg at 65 mph, where the engine is spinning only 2,000 rpm, but "only" about 36 mpg when driven on a 70-mph highway. Very impressive for such a quick car. full 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2015 Fuel economy as a reason to buy a 292-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R, really? Well, among cars with about 300 horsepower the Golf R's EPA ratings of 23 MPG city and 30 MPG highway rank near the top. Want the manual transmission? It does one MPG worse in the city, but one MPG better on the highway. In comparison, the Subaru WRX STI is a gas guzzler, with EPA ratings of 17 MPG city and 23 MPG highway. On the other hand, the Golf R isn't quite as efficient as the GTI (25/33 with the DSG, 25/34 with the manual). full 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2015 The top reason to buy nearly any EV is fuel economy. Both the e-Golf and the Soul EV used about 20 kWh of electricity per 100 miles of suburban driving, with the Volkswagen perhaps ten percent more efficient than the Kia. Their EPA MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) ratings are 126/105 and 120/92, respectively. The BMW i3, with about 700 fewer pounds and much skinnier tires, outpoints them both (and all other current EVs), with 137/111. But these MPGe differences among EVs aren't as meaningful as they might seem at first glance, since all are far less expensive to feed than gas-powered cars. With the average cost of a kWh about 12 cents, driving the e-Golf costs about 2.5 cents per mile. Some people will pay one-third this amount by recharging at night in an area with low rates--less than a penny per mile. If the i3 reduces this by another ten percent... Assuming 30 MPG and $2.50 per gallon (low by recent historical standards), a fairly efficient gasoline-powered car burns 8.3 cents of fuel per mile. Drive a little over 10,000 miles a year, and the annual EV savings works out to $600 even assuming 12 cents per kWh. But what about range? This will vary based on driving mix and style. Go easy on the pedals--especially the brakes--in the suburbs without heat or A/C and it's easy to beat the EPA range estimates of 93 miles for the Soul and 83 for the Golf. The former was the best during 2015 for any compact EV, while the latter is simlar to the i3's 81 and the class average. (For 2016 the Nissan LEAF will have an EPA range estimate of 105 miles.) Of course, that's quite a few qualifications. Running the heat or A/C will significantly reduce range, even with the more efficient heat pumps standard in both cars (except for their base trim levels). To help avoid this, the seats in the top trim Soul EV+ can be heated or cooled. Those in the e-Golf can only be heated. Highway miles drain the battery packs even more quickly than the EPA figures suggest, because the EPA assumes a relatively low cruising speed. On a 70-MPH Interstate the e-Golf's range fell by about a third. The Soul EV and BMW i3, with taller, chunkier bodies, should suffer at least as much. Still, I drove 99 miles without recharging in the e-Golf despite spending about 40 of these miles at (or slightly above) 70 MPH. Without the highway portion the car's range would have been well over 100 miles. Most people rarely need to drive farther than this in a day unless they're traveling (in which case a non-Tesla EV isn't practical). Recharging via a standard wall outlet can take over 15 hours in either car. Anyone who often will drive more than 50 miles per day should seriously consider having a 240-volt charger installed in their home. These cost about $600 plus installation, which can easily add another $600 (depending on the specifics of your home's layout and electrical system). full 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2016 Compared to a crossover, a wagon should also go farther on a gallon of gas, especially on the highway, as it has a smaller frontal area to propel through the atmosphere. In the EPA's tests, the Mazda CX-5 (with front-wheel-drive) managed to slightly outscore the Volkswagen Golf SportsWagen, 26 to 25 mpg. But the GSW fares better in the highway test, 35 vs. 33 mpg. In my real-world suburban driving, I had a much easier time getting the trip computer average over 30 mpg in the Volkswagen, and occasionally even nudged it to 40. In a couple of 70-mph highway drives the VW averaged 37 mpg, a little better than its EPA rating. The CX-5's trip computer averages were usually in the mid-20s, and sometimes in the upper 20s, but rarely got to 30. Granted, the tested CX-5 had all-wheel-drive, which likely cost it a couple mpg (24/30 in the EPA tests). Fuel economy will also vary more with driving style in the VW, with its smaller (1.8-liter vs. 2.5-liter) but turbocharged engine. By nature turbocharged engines use less fuel when driven with a light foot, but will literally force feed themselves when asked to do so. Drive the Golf SportWagen con brio, and the trip computer average will plummet below 25. Whether you get 25 mpg or 35 mpg in the suburbs in this car really is up to you. Experimenting with various styles of driving--for science--I averaged 27.8 for the entire week. The GSW's predecessor, the Jetta SportWagen, was powered by an engine more similiar in specification to the Mazda's, a normally aspirated 2.5 (albeit with this displacement spread over five cylinders rather than four). In the EPA's tests it managed only 23/30. Overall, both the Volkswagen and the Mazda get excellent fuel economy for vehicles with their combination of cargo hauling capacity and performance, but the VW's lesser frontal area and smaller engine give it more upside potential. For those desiring even better fuel economy, the Golf SportWagen used to be available with a 31/42-rated diesel engine. You've probably heard why the TDI is no longer available. While the 1.8T engine can't match the now verboten diesel's combination of low-end torque and fuel efficiency, you'll be hard-pressed to find a gasoline engine in an affordable compact that comes closer. full 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review

What Our Members Are Saying about the Gas Mileage of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Gas Mileage: Pros
2013 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
Hard to argue with 40+ miles per gallon (and we are getting better than that on some tanks). Just took at 1500 mile road trip and averaged 50.8mpg. Diesel is currently cheaper than premium too. The Golf R is EPA rated for 24mpg but less if driven hard. Update: after 3 months 5,000mi getting 44 mpg combined. full 2013 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2013 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
The Golf TDI easily beats the Honda in fuel economy, while giving up little in performance. We just took at trip in the TDI and averaged 48.8mpg. The Honda V6 is very efficient, but can't compare. full 2013 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2012 4dr Hatch turbocharged 170hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
I'm averaging in the mid to upper 40 mpg (around 4.9 l/100 km) range combined, with about 70% of my driving on the highway. Quite satisfied. full 2012 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Gas Mileage: Cons
2013 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
In this day and age, this particular engine should have been able to have an overall fuel consumption figure of 28 to 30 mpg rather than 24 to 25 mpg combined. (its geared more towards performance rather than economy). The car is definitely no slouch, and acceleration is quite good. But in terms of fuel economy these days, having your cake and eating it too is a given isn't it? One saving grace is that this is VW's most reliable engine, so being able to drive a German engineered affordable substantial vehicle is a worthy trade off. At least, that's the excuse i used. full 2013 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2012 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
Honestly, this isn't terrible - I do a lot of highway driving and my trip computer has registered up to about 40 mpg (which may be optimistic, but its usually closer to 35). This is the (admittedly small) price you pay for a five-cylinder engine with lots of torque and great top-gear acceleration. In light of the exaggerations other small-car makers have promulgated lately, the Golf doesn't look horrible. But it does make fuel economy numbers that would've been good five years ago, and it's easy to do better now. There is no comparison to a hybrid or a diesel, for sure (but these all cost at least 5K more). full 2012 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
See TrueDelta's information for all Hatchbacks, Wagons, and Convertibles.
See TrueDelta's information for all Volkswagen models.

Questions about the Volkswagen Golf / GTI

  6 responses   Would you buy it again?
2015 - 2017 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

Would you buy a basic Golf with automatic transmission for driving in Los Angeles?
  12 responses   Golf or Mazda 3?
2015 - 2017 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

I am finally moving on from my Nissan Sentra. I want something comfortable for long drives, fun to drive and reliable. I like hatchbacks, but could go for a trunk. I plan on holding it for 8 years, four years to pay mine, then another four years to pay for...

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