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Why (Not) the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI?

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI reviews by TrueDelta members get to the point: the best reasons for buying (or not buying) the Golf / Rabbit / GTI.

Non-members can see only fifteen Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI reviews. Join us and see them all.

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI Reviews

09/30/13

0
 
A member in Washington, United States

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Powertrain performance
Excellent, responsive and reliable motor, superb six speed manual transmission. The TSi package has proven all I hoped it would be.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Ride smoothness
If I had one thing I could change, it would be that I would go with 17" wheels and tires in the future rather than the 18s. The 18s look a bit better and provide slighlty greater performance tire options, but for my use, the added durability and sidewall depth of the higher profile tire would have been a better choice for my use.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Fuel economy, Handling, Materials & workmanship, Reliability & durability



This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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08/26/13

0
  Hidden gem for the right price, CPO 2012 Golf R AWD performance hot hatch
A member in Illinois, United States

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Powertrain performance
This review is specific to the Golf R model which is a turbo 2.0 L with all-wheel-drive that we bought as a CPO with 13K miles. The Golf R is set apart from all other Golf's in VW's line by only coming (to the U.S.) with a manual 6-speed trans. It's a 'subtle' performance hot hatch that when new ismuch more expensive than a 'loaded' GTI. In our mind, it's not for everyone but it's a low volume (only 5,000 sold per year) fun car you simply don't see on every street corner. The engine pulls hard with quick acceleration and little to no torque steer as its AWD. The 6-speed has nice short throws and the clutch sweet spot lends itself to quick shifting. The engine/trans in the R is the same as what you'll get in an Audi TTS which is much more expensive but of course more sporty looking than the Golf R. VW does an excellent job with these small displacement 4 cyl engines --- quite smooth and way over built (you can easily add more HP in 'stages' and still not overstress the engine); quiet when cruising but plenty of power when shooting down a ramp or for passing.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Price or payments
We would not have bought this car new -- the MSRP starts at about $35K and goes up from there but being a CPO we avoided the 1st year depreciation plus a bit and this made it almost equivalent to others we were looking at. VW's (other than some of the U.S. made ones) have not been known to be 'inexpensive' but we think they are worth the premium just not this particular model when new.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Materials & workmanship, Driving position & visibility, Exterior styling, Warranty, maintenance cost

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Audio & nav systems, Feature availability

This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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09/30/12

0
 
A member in Connecticut, United States

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Handling
The Golf TDI was much more nimble feeling than the Honda Accord coupe. We took both on narrow winding frost-heaved Connecticut back roads and the VW was much more in its element, while the Honda crashed on its bump stops and plowed in the corners.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Fuel economy, Driving position & visibility, Materials & workmanship, Quietness



This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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11/23/13

0
  One of the best to drive, but not to ride
A member in Quebec, Canada

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Fuel economy
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.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Interior styling
This is a car made by people who will tell you how to drive and what to enjoy inside. While the Golf TDI is a true joy to drive, and relatively very safe, it's merely okay to ride in, and not for long distances. This is because the interior design is not made for you and me, but for the designers in Wolfsburg. Who love to drive baby. Drive, not ride.

To begin, the console has no decent flat / wide storage anywhere. If you are looking to store a set of CDs, a USB cable, change for tolls (change for tolls!!), your wallet, a charger kit, let alone kid equipment like bottles or extra diapers in the back...the Golf fails badly. The glove box is way too small - it will fit about a one-liter bottle of water in total, though it does have a cute vent to keep the bottle cool (not cold though - vent aperture is too small) _if_ you're running the air conditioning. I live in Canada, so...not much. In my glove box I keep a small bottle of eyeglass cleaner, a random CD on the non-flat surface, a tire gauge, eye drops...and there's no space really after that. I could leave the owners manual at home and use the little shelf instead I guess for up to five CDs...but why do I have to decide? There is door storage but it's a simple bin without organizers.

Secondly, the seats are sporty and very not-soft for long drives. My 30-year old girlfriend and 80 year-old dad both actually bring a pillow to sit on when we're going anywhere further than an hour away. That's sad frankly.

Thirdly, the cup holders are just in the wrong position, which is silly. One is in the door (cool) but low (not cool), and another is behind the shifter, meaning you have to feel for it including that your travel-mug-lid is open, unless you want to look away from the road.

I know I know Hans, we're not supposed to drink coffee while we're driving. Strange thing though: I'm the customer here and I'm not like you.

Fourth the in-console iPhone-only phone connection, only comes to your elbow. Therefore if you want to choose a podcast or have your passenger type something etc while the phone is plugged in, you will be turning sideways and looking down around behind your elbows to confer. If you want to use your phone for nav, you can't have it plugged in and look at it.

Fifth the center console storage (where the phone plug is) is not storage, in fact it's not anything: it's a slot about three cm wide. Huh? I guess I could fit a small elegant hardcover book in there if it matches the Golf look?

Finally, the interior is designed for a taller person it seems. I'm 5'8" and my elbow doesn't sit on the center armrest. My left arm doesn't comfortably rest anywhere. My right knee rubs against the center console on long drives too. All silly problems, but problems I didn't have in the Toyotas I've driven.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Powertrain performance, Quietness, Safety & braking, Handling

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Controls and instruments

This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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04/07/13

0
 
A member in Texas, United States

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Controls and instruments
All controls feel like they will last. Everything is high quality, and feels like it.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Reliability & durability
My GTI had a water pump failure inside of 20k miles. Other than that, all was good.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Handling

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Insurance & depreciation, Tires

This member used to own or lease the reviewed vehicle.

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03/27/13

0
  A classy and refined European compact
A member in Texas, United States

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Materials & workmanship
It's hardly a secret at this point that, whatever else VW has done with its U.S. models, the Golf is exceptionally refined and well-made both inside and out. Materials feel luxurious, especially on the dash; you really have to search to find a hard or flimsy piece of plastic. VW even bothered to cover the seatbelt fasteners with some kind of faux velvet. The seats are comfortable and sporty, and they look about as good as cloth can look - with a kind of textured stitching that also serves to keep you from sliding around. I've put 25K miles on the car and the seats are still as springy and firm as when I bought it. Perhaps best of all, the doors (at least on my 3-door version) are weighty and shut with an extremely satisfying thunk. This car feels far more luxurious than its price would suggest.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Fuel economy
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).

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Powertrain performance, Interior styling, Reliability & durability, Handling

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Feature availability, Price or payments

This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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02/06/13

0
 
A member in Illinois, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Handling
This car is really fun to drive. The handling is great, the manual transmission is great, and the ride is comfortable.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Discounts & incentives
None were available at the time I bought mine. These tend to sell as soon as they hit the lots, so it's tough to get a good deal on one. I think the Golf TDI is worth it though.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Fuel economy, Powertrain performance, Materials & workmanship, Cargo capacity

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Tires, Dealer practices, Quietness

This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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10/24/12

0
 
A member in Texas, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Quietness
No car this small has the right to be this quiet and feel so much larger acoustically than the Golf. I totally mean this as a compliment. Coarse road surfaces bring out expected tire roar, but it does the same in cars known to be quiet performers too. The Audio system is very good considering the overall price. Base and midrange is clear at speeds around 80 mph (as far as I have done so far) (My cell on speakerphone volume level #3 /10 sounded clear from the cupholder while cruising at 65 mph. To put it into perspective, the same phone at #10 max volume speaker phone was all but undecipherable over the same stretch of the freeway due to road noise).

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Fuel economy
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.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Handling, Powertrain performance, Materials & workmanship, Driving position & visibility

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Past personal experience, Dealer practices, Tires, Warranty, maintenance cost

This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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09/30/12

0
  Still happy with Golf TDI after first 5,000 miles
A member in Connecticut, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Fuel economy
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.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Reliability & durability
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?

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Ride smoothness, Price or payments, Insurance & depreciation, Powertrain performance

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Tires, Audio & nav systems, Brand reputation & image, Color choices

This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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09/30/12

0
 
A member in Connecticut, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Powertrain performance
Both the TDI and the R are much slower cars than the Nissan 370Z I am trading in. So the difference between them is much smaller than their difference vs. the Z. They are both slow cars, relatively. But both are fun to drive, which is what I care about.

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Color choices, Handling, Feature availability, Safety & braking

This member test drove the reviewed vehicle.

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03/13/12

0
 
A member in Oklahoma, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Exterior styling
The VW GTI's exterior is much more understated and less "boy racer" than the Mazda 3. It's a little boring to some, but I consider it classy and timeless. The panels fit much better than the Mazda 3 as well.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Interior styling, Ride smoothness, Feature availability, Warranty, maintenance cost



This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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01/23/12

0
 
A member in Ontario, Canada

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Interior styling
VW continues to practice minimalist styling, in constrast to the crazy-making distraction present in Ford and Hyundais. Don't want your iPhone to talk to your car and tweet to your friends? This is your car. Excellent materials throughout.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Color choices
Volkswagen needs a punch in the colour palette. Grey, grey, grey, white, black, and red. Thanks for the variety, guys!

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Reliability & durability, Audio & nav systems, Powertrain performance, Dealer practices

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Quietness, Discounts & incentives, Insurance & depreciation, Ride smoothness

This member used to own or lease the reviewed vehicle.

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12/28/11

0
 
A member in New York, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Best Reason to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Interior styling
Clean and logical interior layout.

Best Reason Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Powertrain performance
The manual transmission is really just there. Gear changes happen, and the shifter is smooth, but also vague and unconnected.

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Ride smoothness, Rear seat room & comfort, Materials & workmanship

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Audio & nav systems, Feature availability

This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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11/28/11

0
 
A member in Pennsylvania, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Other Reasons Not to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Color choices

This member test drove the reviewed vehicle.

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10/07/11

0
 
A member in Arizona, United States

Compared to 2010 Volkswagen Golf (Grey)

Other Reasons to Buy the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Interior styling, Handling, Safety & braking



This member owns or leases the reviewed vehicle.

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Non-members can see only fifteen Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI reviews. Join us and see them all.