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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Golf - Reliability and safety

The new Golf is as safe as ever, but Volkswagen will want improved customer satisfaction

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Reliability and safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£27,035 to £44,570
  • New mild-hybrid powertrain
  • Comfortable
  • Excellent safety levels
  • High list prices
  • Road noise and engine drone
  • Cabin doesn't feel as premium
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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.

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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 its hazard alert Car2X system. There were excellent scores of 95 per cent for adult occupant protection and 89 per cent for child passenger safety.

The Golf is VW's best selling model in the UK, but disappointingly didn’t rank out of 75 cars in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Volkswagen itself has shown some improvement in recent surveys, moving up from 19th place in 2020, to 17th spot in 2021. However, it dropped back to 18th in 2022's manufacturer ratings and down further to a dismal 27th in 2023. 

Warranty

Volkswagen offers the Golf with an industry standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, with extended cover starting from around £140 per year.

Servicing

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 due to activities such as frequent hill climbs, driving with the vehicle fully loaded or towing.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 TSI Life 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £27,035

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 TSI Life 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £27,035

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 333 R 4Motion 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £43,320
Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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