Volkswagen Golf review - Reliability and safety
The new Golf is as safe as ever, but Volkswagen will want improved customer satisfaction.
The Volkswagen Golf has a strong reputation for being safe and dependable, which the Mk8 car aims to continue. All models include adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue detection, a road sign display system and a host of emergency assist functions, which provide warnings to the driver and autonomous braking interventions to help reduce the possibility of accidents.
The Golf Mk8 also features Volkswagen’s advanced Car2X driver assistance system. The new on-board tech communicates wirelessly with other similarly-equipped vehicles, and is able to warn drivers of problems such as roadside hazards, vehicle breakdowns and even if cars ahead have needed to apply emergency braking. The system also uses the information it receives to detect when the end of a traffic jam is coming up and is then able to re-engage the car’s adaptive cruise control once the traffic clears.
Euro NCAP put the latest Golf through its rigorous safety tests in 2019 and awarded the popular hatch a top five-star rating. It also added a further ‘Advanced’ grading, due to the standard fitting of the Car2X system. There were excellent scores of 95% for adult occupant protection and 89% for child passenger safety.
However, customer feedback in our recent Driver Power surveys has been on a downward turn. Over the past three years the Golf has finished in 18th, 41st and 50th place in the annual poll of best cars to buy, while Volkswagen itself has slid from 5th spot in 2018, to 19th position out of 30 manufacturers in 2020. The car maker will be hoping for big things from the new, high-tech family hatchback.
Volkswagen offers the Golf with an industry standard 3-year/60,000-mile warranty, with extended cover starting from £136 per year.
Volkswagen offers a choice on how your vehicle is maintained, with fixed and flexible servicing options available. These relate to mileage covered, driving style and whether the vehicle is regularly producing high engine loading, such as frequent hill climbs, driving with the vehicle fully loaded and towing.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen Golf reviewThe Mk8 Golf offers cleaner engines, an updated interior and the latest on-board tech, but it can’t quite reach the top of the class.
- 2Engines, performance and driveVolkswagen offers the Golf with new mild-hybrid tech, along with its usual blend of strong, refined petrol and diesel engines.
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsMild-hybrid petrol engines help boost efficiency, while improved diesel units offer buyers lower emissions and more range.
- 4Interior, design and technologyThere’s a subtle exterior design, but the cabin is crammed full of new tech and useful features.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIt’s a case of ‘as you were’ for the Mk8 Golf, with first-rate levels of comfort and just enough practicality.
- 6Reliability and safety - currently readingThe new Golf is as safe as ever, but Volkswagen will want improved customer satisfaction.