2009 Volkswagen Golf GT 2.0 TDi 140 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
Better than the Mk5
ESP failure warning, which caused the car to cut out whilst carrying out a turn in the road. A strange fault, and one that has not re-occurred since.
Rattle from drivers sunvisor, which is at odds with the solidity of the rest of the interior.
I was fortunate enough recently to have the opportunity to swap my 2008 Golf Mk5 Bluemotion Match 5 door company vehicle for a 4 month old Mk6 2.0 TDi GT 5 door.
Simply put, the Mk6 is better than the Mk5. VW have mainly succeeded in improving the all-round perceived quality, and have most definitely improved noise refinement. The new CR engine is so quiet compared to the old PD units, it's difficult to believe at times that there is a diesel under the bonnet. My old 1.9 PD was horrifically noisy by comparison. It definitely drives better than the Mk5, and overall feels more solid on the road.
One criticism I have of the way it drives is its inconsistent throttle response. Sometimes it feels extremely punchy, other times it can feel strained and strangely underpowered for what is a relatively powerful modern turbo diesel. I am sure this will improve with use.
Another criticism I have is that on closer inspection, the cost cutting that Volkswagen have undertaken to make the vehicle cheaper to produce is visible.
The rear C pillars are now plastic rather than soft touch items, and the boot plastic is now black, which shows against the roof lining.
Even more evident is the fact that the basic stereo retains the blue backlighting, which has been shunned from the dials. Frankly it does look pretty cheap, and I suppose it is pushing many private VW customers to go down the route of ticking the touchscreen hi-fi upgrade options (clever VW). Also I think it is a bit cheap not to provide dual zone climate on the GT.
Other than the ESP problem, that fortunately has not reared its ugly head again, it's been the ideal company vehicle.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th March, 2010
15000 mile update.
Car is performing admirably. Not a single thing has gone wrong since my last update, the only maintenance required has been to stick a litre of oil in it (after being warned of low oil level). It also needs a new set of Potenza RE050's on the front, but 15k on a set of fronts on a car like this really isn't bad at all.
Build quality is extremely good... had a Focus hire car a few weeks ago and it really brought home how well bolted together the Golf is, more so the quality of the plastics used. I think I was a little unfair on it in my earlier reviews.
The stand out point is how much better the motor is now performing. It would appear that these new CR engines get better with some miles under the belt. Once you have gotten out of the mindset of driving it like a traditional diesel (using the revs - up to approx 4-4.2k rather than short shifting into high gears), it really is rather quick. It's refinement and economy (now easily averaging late 40's/early 50's on a short run) has improved somewhat and is very impressive.
Over the last 5K it really has impressed and has genuinely been faultless in every way. In my last review I really did not think this would be the case. As I've mentioned before, my vehicle is a company car so I think it's probably having a harder life than it would have done if it were my own car (it is well looked after, but I do a lot of long distance driving in it, I'm really not that gentle with it and it's not washed that often!); that it's been this good is testament to how good a car it is. I hope it is still this good at 30K.
I really cannot commend the MK6 Golf enough. I still think they are too expensive (particularly the CR diesels) new and think that VW should address their pricing strategy. The equivalent A3 costs similar money. The way things stand, if it were my own money I'd probably still buy the Audi out of principle even though the Golf probably is dynamically the better car.