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Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI vs. BMW 5-Series Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI or BMW 5-Series reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and the BMW 5-Series truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and BMW 5-Series reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and the BMW 5-Series were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and the BMW 5-Series have been recently.

Take the TrueDelta survey on your car and get free access to all of the data on this page. Click here to get started!
See reliability results for all Sedans, Hatchbacks, Wagons, and Convertibles.

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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2013 BMW 5-Series 26 5-Series, 9.0 months of data per 5-Series, average 10500 miles26
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Volkswagen GTI 47 GTIs, 8.6 months of data per GTI, average 9400 miles15
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Volkswagen Golf diesel 93 Golf diesels, 8.5 months of data per Golf diesel, average 10100 miles17
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 BMW 5-Series   24 5-Series, 9.8 months of data per 5-Series, average 19900 miles

* Small sample size.
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2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   20 Golf 2.5s, 9.3 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 17500 miles

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2012 Volkswagen Golf diesel 169 Golf diesels, 10.0 months of data per Golf diesel, average 19700 miles31
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Volkswagen GTI 86 GTIs, 9.8 months of data per GTI, average 18500 miles38
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW 5-Series 44 5-Series, 8.3 months of data per 5-Series, average 31400 miles

First year for F10 5-Series.
43
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   13 Golf 2.5s, 10.0 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 28800 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2011 Volkswagen Golf diesel 147 Golf diesels, 9.6 months of data per Golf diesel, average 37900 miles38
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Volkswagen GTI 56 GTIs, 9.3 months of data per GTI, average 33700 miles48
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 BMW 5-Series 32 5-Series, 9.0 months of data per 5-Series, average 49700 miles63
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   24 Golf 2.5s, 9.8 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 36800 miles

* Small sample size.
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2010 Volkswagen Golf diesel 74 Golf diesels, 10.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 56800 miles

Redesigned.
38
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Volkswagen GTI 72 GTIs, 8.0 months of data per GTI, average 40600 miles

Redesigned.
62
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 BMW 5-Series   18 5-Series, 9.6 months of data per 5-Series, average 56700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 30 Rabbits, 8.5 months of data per Rabbit, average 56200 miles14
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen GTI 26 GTIs, 10.3 months of data per GTI, average 54900 miles58
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 528 / 550 / M5 48 528 / 550 / M5s, 7.7 months of data per 528 / 550 / M5, average 67300 miles

Refreshed.
85
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 535 25 535s, 10.0 months of data per 535, average 71400 miles

Refreshed.
115
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen R32   13 R32s, 9.2 months of data per R32, average 55200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 38 Rabbit 2.5s, 8.7 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 67500 miles25
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen GTI 40 GTIs, 8.8 months of data per GTI, average 62800 miles69
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 5-Series 29 5-Series, 7.3 months of data per 5-Series, average 79700 miles57
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 35 Rabbit 2.5s, 9.2 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 89000 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
82
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Volkswagen GTI 29 GTIs, 10.5 months of data per GTI, average 84900 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
95
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 BMW 5-Series 38 5-Series, 9.4 months of data per 5-Series, average 84900 miles100
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 Volkswagen Golf diesel   12 Golf diesels, 11.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 138100 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   11 Golf / GTIs, 8.9 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 101300 miles

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2004 BMW 5-Series   21 5-Series, 9.3 months of data per 5-Series, average 92900 miles

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2004 Volkswagen Golf diesel   11 Golf diesels, 6.7 months of data per Golf diesel, average 165300 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2004 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   13 Golf / GTIs, 11.0 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 94000 miles

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2003 BMW 5-Series   24 5-Series, 9.6 months of data per 5-Series, average 101000 miles

* Small sample size.
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2003 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 31 Golf / GTIs, 8.6 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 124300 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
76
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 Volkswagen Golf diesel 26 Golf diesels, 9.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 229400 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
126
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 BMW 5-Series 38 5-Series, 8.7 months of data per 5-Series, average 113400 miles87
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   16 Golf / GTIs, 8.6 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 109300 miles

* Small sample size.
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2002 Volkswagen Golf diesel   14 Golf diesels, 8.4 months of data per Golf diesel, average 191500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 BMW 5-Series   18 5-Series, 9.6 months of data per 5-Series, average 127200 miles

* Small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 28 Golf / GTIs, 7.9 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 144100 miles108
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2000 BMW 5-Series   12 5-Series, 10.5 months of data per 5-Series, average 135500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2000 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   19 Golf / GTIs, 7.1 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 123500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2000 Volkswagen Golf diesel   12 Golf diesels, 8.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 215400 miles

* Very small sample size.
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1999 BMW 5-Series   10 5-Series, 8.4 months of data per 5-Series, average 152600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

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What Our Members Are Saying about Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI Reliability and Durability

Reliability and Durability of the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
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.
2010 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
I may be risking jinxing myself, given the brand's reputation, but it's been very reliable for three years now! No major problems, no big out-of-pocket expenses.
2009 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
No problems so far, the car feels durable and does not creak or make funny noises
2009 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
No complaints once we sorted out a few initial problems. Car is reliable and I would drive it anywhere.
2008 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
very safe car, rated well in crash ratings, better warrenty than most,
2008 2dr Hatch 250-horsepower 3.2L V6
6-speed automated manual AWD
Rated by Edmunds as a "least cost" vehicle, coming in at a rate below the comparable vehicle costs of operation and ownership
2006 4dr Hatch turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
The diesel engine is built to last.
2006 4dr Hatch 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed automatic FWD
We had a very high recommendation from a close friend regarding Golf and we are finding it to be exactly as stated. Solid and reliable, plus easy to drive. We are aware of expensive parts and service but we have not had any repairs to date other than tire
2005 4dr Wagon turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
Engine has 150K+ miles, and I should be able to get another 150K
2003 2dr Hatch turbocharged 180hp 1.8L I4
5-speed manual FWD
VW'S "enjoy" a certain reputation. Rest assured they are not all like that. Ours has been regularly maintained, and has really only had a small number of unexpected problems: front bearings and clutch went earlier than usual. 150k km, no oth
Reliability and Durability of the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
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?
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.
2010 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Do not trust VW to be well built or have dealers that will honor the warranty.
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
I have had to return to the dealership three times for "Airbag Fault" warnings.
2007 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Averaging 2 to 3 shop visits per year. Concerns about how much it will cost to own this vehicle over the long haul.
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
OK, everything comes with a price, right? Rattles, bad tranny, warpped timing belt cover, cracked tail light lens. Did I mention the rattles? Know what? I STILL like it. Thank God for warranties.
2007 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
In a year of ownership I have had far more dealership experiences than I care to remember. Lots of check engine lights, parts acting funny, and several parts that have questionable long-term durability.
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
VW needs to address reliability concerns with bulletprood reliability and a good service network.
2006 4dr Hatch turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Lots of repairs so far, minor and major ones.
2005 2dr Hatch turbocharged 180hp 1.8L I4
5-speed manual FWD
total miles driven in my car: 45,000. but i have yet to have any major repairs. it is the brand (VW) reliability that the press talk about that i fear.

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What Our Members Are Saying about BMW 5-Series Reliability and Durability

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