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Volkswagen Golf / GTI vs. BMW 5-Series Reliability

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Results are for year ending March 31, 2016. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2016 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R 27
42.8571428571% 42.8571428571% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  69 GTI and Golf Rs, 3.9 months of data per GTI and Golf R, average 2600 miles
2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  24 Golf 1.8Ts, 4.1 months of data per Golf 1.8T, average 4700 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2015 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R 19
25.7763975155% 25.7763975155% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  89 GTI and Golf Rs, 9.2 months of data per GTI and Golf R, average 10500 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T and TDI have a higher repair frequency than the GTI, unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 23
35.7142857143% 35.7142857143% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 Golf 1.8Ts, 10.1 months of data per Golf 1.8T, average 6800 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T and TDI have a higher repair frequency than the GTI, unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen Golf diesel 35
65.5279503106% 65.5279503106% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 Golf diesels, 8.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 11200 miles

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

 

2014 BMW 5-Series 12
6% 6% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 5-Series, 10.7 months of data per 5-Series, average 15200 miles
2014 Volkswagen Golf diesel 12
6% 6% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  41 Golf diesels, 9.8 months of data per Golf diesel, average 24900 miles
2014 Volkswagen GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 GTIs, 7.4 months of data per GTI, average 18500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2013 BMW 5-Series 50
77.0935960591% 77.0935960591% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  34 5-Series, 9.1 months of data per 5-Series, average 30700 miles
2013 Volkswagen Golf diesel 19
16.0098522167% 16.0098522167% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  49 Golf diesels, 8.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 37800 miles
2013 Volkswagen GTI 21
19.9507389163% 19.9507389163% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  61 GTIs, 9.5 months of data per GTI, average 29100 miles
2013 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 Golf 2.5s, 9.9 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 35800 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2012 BMW 5-Series 35
41.0714285714% 41.0714285714% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  25 5-Series, 9.6 months of data per 5-Series, average 42900 miles
2012 Volkswagen Golf diesel 31
33.9285714286% 33.9285714286% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  59 Golf diesels, 9.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 52200 miles
2012 Volkswagen GTI 33
37.5% 37.5% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  74 GTIs, 9.2 months of data per GTI, average 41700 miles
2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.5 40
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 Golf 2.5s, 9.8 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 39400 miles

 

2011 BMW 5-Series 44
50.4081632653% 50.4081632653% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  44 5-Series, 8.7 months of data per 5-Series, average 56100 miles

First year for F10 5-Series.
2011 Volkswagen GTI 40
43.8775510204% 43.8775510204% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  52 GTIs, 9.2 months of data per GTI, average 51000 miles
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  21 Golf 2.5s, 10.0 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 55000 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2011 Volkswagen Golf diesel 42
47.1428571429% 47.1428571429% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  64 Golf diesels, 10.4 months of data per Golf diesel, average 66700 miles

 

2010 BMW 5-Series 55
59.1575091575% 59.1575091575% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 5-Series, 8.9 months of data per 5-Series, average 72000 miles
2010 Volkswagen GTI 41
38.6446886447% 38.6446886447% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  45 GTIs, 9.8 months of data per GTI, average 58700 miles

Redesigned.
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Golf 2.5s, 9.0 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 57100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2010 Volkswagen Golf diesel 84
100% 100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  58 Golf diesels, 10.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 86600 miles

Redesigned.

 

2009 BMW 5-Series   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  14 5-Series, 8.1 months of data per 5-Series, average 77600 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 70
55.4945054945% 55.4945054945% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  45 Rabbits, 9.5 months of data per Rabbit, average 74200 miles
2009 Volkswagen GTI 77
63.1868131868% 63.1868131868% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 GTIs, 10.4 months of data per GTI, average 70500 miles

 

2008 BMW 528 / 550 / M5 129
100% 100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  42 528 / 550 / M5s, 8.2 months of data per 528 / 550 / M5, average 93000 miles

Refreshed. First year for the turbocharged six in the 535i. Common turbo failures.
2008 BMW 535   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  22 535s, 8.3 months of data per 535, average 93200 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2008 Volkswagen R32   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 R32s, 10.7 months of data per R32, average 66600 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 72
57.6923076923% 57.6923076923% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  38 Rabbit 2.5s, 7.9 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 88200 miles

Average odometer much lower for the R32.
2008 Volkswagen GTI 77
63.1868131868% 63.1868131868% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 GTIs, 9.9 months of data per GTI, average 79100 miles

Average odometer much lower for the R32.

 

2007 BMW 5-Series 84
65.8441558442% 65.8441558442% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 5-Series, 8.7 months of data per 5-Series, average 106000 miles
2007 Volkswagen GTI 83
64.8051948052% 64.8051948052% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 GTIs, 9.5 months of data per GTI, average 98200 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
2007 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 93
75.1948051948% 75.1948051948% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 Rabbit 2.5s, 9.3 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 110300 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.

 

2006 BMW 5-Series 71
49.7493734336% 49.7493734336% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  34 5-Series, 9.4 months of data per 5-Series, average 99200 miles

 

2005 BMW 5-Series   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 5-Series, 6.6 months of data per 5-Series, average 119300 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2004 BMW 5-Series   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 5-Series, 9.5 months of data per 5-Series, average 101300 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2004 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Golf / GTIs, 8.1 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 114300 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2003 BMW 5-Series 85
40.8424908425% 40.8424908425% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 5-Series, 8.2 months of data per 5-Series, average 108500 miles
2003 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  21 Golf / GTIs, 8.0 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 141700 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2003 Volkswagen Golf diesel 139
80.4029304029% 80.4029304029% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 Golf diesels, 10.2 months of data per Golf diesel, average 230200 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.

 

2002 BMW 5-Series 70
30.5194805195% 30.5194805195% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 5-Series, 8.9 months of data per 5-Series, average 120400 miles
2002 Volkswagen Golf diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Golf diesels, 9.4 months of data per Golf diesel, average 207200 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2002 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 Golf / GTIs, 9.4 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 113800 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2001 BMW 5-Series   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  22 5-Series, 8.2 months of data per 5-Series, average 129900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2001 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  19 Golf / GTIs, 9.0 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 153900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2001 Volkswagen Golf diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 Golf diesels, 8.3 months of data per Golf diesel, average 206800 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

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

You won't find Volkswagen Golf / 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 / 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 / GTI and BMW 5-Series reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Volkswagen Golf / 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 / GTI and the BMW 5-Series have been recently.

See TrueDelta's information for all Volkswagen models and BMW models.

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

2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearComment
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
 

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

2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: 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. full 2012 Volkswagen Golf / GTI review
2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
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