Volkswagen Golf hatchback (2013-2019) - Reliability & safety

Superb safety ratings and high build quality make the Volkswagen Golf a dependable choice for long-term ownership

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

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Reliability & safety Rating

3.5 out of 5

The latest Volkswagen Golf will form the basis of a huge number of models made by the VW Group in the coming years. Its components have been developed and tested to a very high standard and are shared with some Audi, Skoda and SEAT cars. Owners rate the Golf’s reliability highly and it returned an impressive set of results when crash-tested by Euro NCAP.

Volkswagen Golf reliability

The Volkswagen Golf came 41st overall out of the 75 top new cars in our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. Of the owners who responded, 26.2% reported experiencing a problem with their car at least once within the first year of ownership, with electrical issues being the most common.

As always, the diesel engines are less likely to give trouble if driven for longer journeys (at least 30 minutes) on a regular basis. The excellent turbocharged petrols are a better bet for those who make frequent short trips but still want good fuel economy.

Safety

The latest Golf received a five-star safety rating when Euro NCAP tested it, with every area of protection being rated as good, apart from the driver's right leg area, which was considered adequate. This resulted in a very high adult occupant protection score of 94%, as well as an 89% rating for child protection. Pedestrian protection was rated at 65%, while the presence of the latest safety technology is reflected in the 71% safety assist score.

Even the basic S model gets airbags all round, a post-collision braking system (which applies the brakes to stop the car being involved in a secondary accident) and a tyre-pressure warning buzzer. Optional safety kit includes things like lane-departure warning, emergency automatic braking and a pre-collision system that pre-tenses the seatbelts and closes any open windows or sunroof if it detects a collision is imminent.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI 115 S 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £21,500

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.4 TSI GTE 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,270

Fastest

  • Name
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  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,125

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