Used Volkswagen Golf Review: 2013 to 2019 (Mk7) - Running costs, MPG, CO2 emissions and insurance

Great fuel economy and low-emission engines help make the Golf Mk7 easier on the wallet than you might imagine

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Despite its upmarket demeanour, the Golf Mk7 isn’t hugely more expensive to run than its main rivals. Models between three and 15 years old are eligible for fixed-price maintenance at a VW dealer. Under the programme a basic minor service costs £184 and a major one £354 – you can choose between fixed interval servicing every 12 months or 10,000 miles, or variable servicing intervals (calculated by the car’s on-board computer) that allows up to 20,000 miles and two years between services, depending on how the car is being used (urban driving/country/motorways).

Included in the fixed-price maintenance scheme are items that are likely to require replacement in older, higher mileage cars. For example, most engines feature a cambelt that needs renewing every five years or 140,000 miles: this job has a fixed basic price of £549 which includes a new water pump, too. Replacing the front brake discs and pads costs £319. 

How much do used VW Golf Mk7 models cost?

You’ll pay more for a Golf Mk7 than for a similar era mainstream rival, but if you look after it well then you should also be able to sell it for more when you fancy a change. As depreciation makes the biggest single impact on a car’s running costs, if you can afford the initial outlay then a Golf MK7 makes sound financial sense.

You’ll discover that as the popular VW hatchback has been one of the UK’s best-selling cars for many years now, you’ll have a wealth of examples to choose from.

Check our sister site BuyaCar for up-to-the-minute Golf Mk7 prices... 

What’s it like for fuel economy, emissions and tax?

Best engine in the Golf Mk7 range for fuel consumption is the 113bhp 1.6-litre TDI diesel with a manual gearbox. While it has enough power for safe motorway driving, features such as an automatic stop-start system help it to deliver 57.6mpg. Emitting as little as 108g/km of CO2, the 1.6-litre diesel costs from as little as £20 a year to tax: some earlier, less powerful versions of the 1.6 TDI are almost as economical and have CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km, making them eligible for free road tax. The purely electric Volkswagen e-Golf is also fully exempt from road tax, as are some plug-in hybrid Golf GTE models, and cars powered by the turbocharged petrol 1.0 TSI BlueMotion engine. 

The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE’s claimed economy figures are impressive, with the promise of up to 166mpg measured on the Combined cycle. Like all plug-ins however, that figure needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. To achieve anything like it you need to be able to run on electric power for a large chunk of your commute. When the batteries are drained, you should manage about 55mpg. 

The e-Golf, in common with most EVs, is costly to buy, but that expense can be offset by the fact it costs only a few pounds to fully charge (depending on when and where you do so). Expect around 130-140 miles of range from a full charge in the real world, although that varies hugely depending on your driving style and usage.

If you’d prefer to stick with a conventional engine and are likely to drive fewer than 12,000 miles a year, consider a petrol Golf. The 84bhp version of the 1.0-litre TSI is claimed to give 50.4mpg, with the more powerful (113bhp) model achieving up to 49.6mpg.

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The 129bhp 1.5-litre TSI petrol is almost as efficient, with an official combined economy figure of 47.1mpg; CO2 figures range from 110 to 116g/km depending on which trim, body style and gearbox combination you choose. The more powerful 148bhp version of this engine is also claimed to deliver 47.1mpg with a manual gearbox, while its CO2 emissions are between 119 and 123g/km depending on body style and gearbox combinations.

Even the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines are impressively frugal. The turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol is available only on the high-performance Golf GTI and is capable of 47.0mpg, while the 148bhp version of the 2.0 TDI – available in Match Edition models and above – manages up to 52.3mpg.

How much will it cost to insure?

The 1.2-litre TSI Golf is cheapest to insure, sitting in groups 7-11, while the 1.0 petrol spans groups 11-13, the 1.4 TSI ranges between groups 14-19, with the 1.5 TSI Evo in groups 15-19. Diesel engines start in group 10 for the 1.6-litre TDI. The higher-performance diesel GTD and GTI petrol variants start in groups 27 and 33 respectively, with the range-topping Golf R spans groups 37-39 out of 50.

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