2007 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 turbo FSI from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Beautifully made, excellent car - unbeatable if servicing was cheaper!

Faults:

Air-con failure, common on MkV Golfs, fixed under warranty.

Electronic sensor issue, engine in limp home mode, fixed under warranty.

General Comments:

Excellent car to drive. DSG is a great thing, intuitive, super-fast shifts, excellent paddle shift function.

Sharp steering, slightly void of feel, but very nice to use.

Beautifully made interior, great sound system, just all-round excellence.

Running costs, however, for something meant to be the "people's car," were ridiculous. Dealer servicing was immensely expensive, non-dealer servicing was slightly less immensely expensive, but still expensive. The only downside to the ownership experience was service time, watching the wallet empty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2012

24th Jan 2012, 00:56

You did over 50,000km in a year in your GTI? Wow, no wonder you were stung for servicing costs!

2007 Volkswagen Golf City 2.0 from North America

Summary:

Wanted a car that would always be on my driveway and not at the dealership... I have that car

Faults:

Middle-lower console light bulbs.

Likes oil, common for the 2.0 engine for some reason.

Front seats not as comfortable as they should be.

Replaced all brakes/rotors once (maintenance).

Synthetic oil only (maintenance).

General Comments:

Best VW I've owned yet. Bought the "City" Golf (Canada only) in 2007 mainly because of price/value. Reliability has been very good. The 40 mpg rating will only be achieved on smaller/slower highways, not in the city nor the regular speeds of "super" highways.

My only wish is that the manual transmission had six gears. Handling/reliability is very good for this value edition car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th November, 2010

2007 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 litre turbo from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Awesome!

Faults:

There was a ticking noise/belt noise coming from the engine 2 days after I bought the car (car is 2 years old). The noise turned out to be timing belt (cam belt) related and was replaced under warranty, costing me no money.

The electronic lumbar support does not work and will be fixed at the next service.

General Comments:

I have the manual version of the 2007 Golf GTI.

The car is really fun to drive, has a nice, smooth acceleration curve, and is really good on fuel for a turbo car.

The car handles like it's on rails, which surprised me for a front wheel drive car, and surprises a lot of other cars on the road at how quick it accelerates.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th November, 2009

2007 Volkswagen Golf GT Sport 2.0 TDI 170 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Excellent all-rounder with amazing performance

Faults:

Needed full set of tyres almost as soon as I bought it, at a cost of £500 for 22545R17. Probably due to the way the previous owner drove it.

Diesel particulate filter warning light came on once at about 19000 miles... by the time I had a chance to drive it on a dual-carriageway or motorway as specified by the manual to allow the filter to self-clean, the engine had gone into limp-home mode so had to go into the dealer to be cleaned.

General Comments:

Very quick car with immense amount of mid-range grunt. Very long gearing, but then it has the torque to cope with it, doesn't ever really feel like it is going to stop accelerating, even in 6th gear. Also sounds amazingly good for a diesel, especially under heavy throttle, with a real growl from the exhaust.

Nice slick 6-speed transmission with a good, positive, gear change.

Firm, well weighted steering with good feedback, although the variable rate nature of the power assistance can make it feel a little weird to begin with, but does make parking easier whilst still giving a sporty feel at speed.

Subjectively I would say the car does feel very heavy. Not in the way that it handles, but I find it can be reluctant to cruise along on the motorway at say 80mph without a definite pressure on the throttle, and this reflects in the fuel economy. If drive extremely sedately, on a motorway, at say, 60mph, it is fantastic. I can achieve 58mpg (measured when refilling tank, not based on trip computer), making 700 miles to a tank a possibility. However, driving even slightly more enthusiastically and the MPG really suffers, on a typical motorway trip I can barely make 40 to 42 mpg.

The ride is typical VW, excellent at speed but hard at slower speeds. My car, being the GT and a diesel, has much firmer springs, so imperfections in the road, potholes, and speed bumps really make themselves felt throughout the cabin.

General fit and feel of the cabin is really good... I drove one of the first Golf 5 models when released and was disappointed in the general quality, but my car seems much better. I especially like the way the center grab handles feel like they are made from girders, the whole car has a very solid feeling to it.

Equipment isn't really that generous for a £20K car... manual air-con, trip computer, single-slot CD, no leather apart from the steering wheel and gear lever gaiter. On the other hand, the seats are very comfortable and supportive, and the extra tweaks made to the GT Sport model make it look very mean, especially in black.

The car has an impressive amount of space, rear seats are very usable for adults even when I have the drivers seat set back. Nice large boot, and excellent headroom all round. With rear seats dropped, it has a cavernous loading area and I have been truly amazed how much I can fit in, compared to other hatchbacks I have owned.

Have some concerns about dealer service. Previous VW I owned about five years ago spent so much time with the dealer that I got rid of it after 9 months. The Golf seems much, much better though, and I use a local specialist to carry out servicing at a fraction of the VW network price.

I would definitely buy another of these cars, although you do need to be aware of the issues with the diesel particulate filter. Whilst this means you get no black smoke (really, I get absolutely none at all), if the car is only used for short journeys around town and in traffic, the DPF filter will not get hot enough to clean itself, and this can lead to the engine management system putting the car into limp home mode with hardly any power until you take it to a VW dealer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2009

16th Aug 2009, 13:18

How happy have you been so far with the turbo-diesel?

17th Aug 2009, 17:43

Very happy so far. The performance really is awesome, especially from, say, 30mph onwards, where it will keep up with almost anything. In terms of midrange acceleration and motorway driving, I would say it is as quick as, or maybe quicker than, the Golf GTI and certainly a lot quicker than, for example, a Civic Type R.

You do notice the turbo lag a little more than in the standard 140BHP model, and compared to other manufacturers diesels, it has a smaller powerband (but then more of a kick in the back when putting your foot down!!).

Downsides...the VAG TDIs are just about the nosiest diesel engines you can buy, and are nowhere near as refined as the current BMW or Mercedes diesels. I drive a current BMW 320d as well, which isn't anywhere near as quick (although only 10BHP less than the Golf...) but is far more refined and gives much better fuel economy.

I would also add that in icey, wet, or even slightly damp, road conditions, wheel spin in 1st and 2nd gears is very likely, I've even had the TC kick in 3rd and 4th!! So I have some doubts as to longevity of the clutch!!

Also, as mentioned in my review, the particulate filter is a real pain if you only drive short distances. VW now mention this in their advertising and suggest you don't buy any of the DPF models unless you drive longer distances fairly regularly. On the positive side, you really don't get any black smoke or soot at all. Previous VAG TDIs I owned used to coat the boot lid and handle with soot which would be transferred to your hand when opening the boot, this no longer happens.