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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Golf review - Reliability & safety

New technology could cause hiccups but safety won’t be one of them

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Unlike the entirely new Volkswagen ID.3, the Mk8 Golf is an evolution of the MQB-based Mk7, so reliability shouldn't change and safety promises to be even better.

Volkswagen Golf reliability

Sharing the same underpinnings as the Mk7, the latest Golf should in theory be similarly reliable. The only potential new problems would come from the new digital technology fitted inside and the eTSI mild-hybrid systems, both of which could throw up minor faults. If they do, hopefully, Volkswagen will be able to remedy them with software updates.

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The Mk8 Golf came 75th out of the top 75 cars in our 2022 Driver Power survey, and dropped out of the results in 2023. It's not a great sign, as newer cars typically perform better and then slip down the rankings. While running costs received some praise in 2022’s results, reliability, build quality and infotainment were less well received.

Safety

The Golf was retested by Euro NCAP in October 2022, due to an update to its safety equipment. It isn’t surprising that it holds onto its five-star Euro NCAP score with the new kit, however, the test is stricter than ever, making its most recent score all the more impressive.

The Golf scored especially well in the child and adult occupant safety categories, and while it didn’t perform as well for pedestrian safety, its score of 74% in the vulnerable road user category is still competitive in its class.

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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 265 GTI 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £38,900

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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