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Review of used Volkswagen Golf (Mk8, 2020-date)


For a lot of car buyers, it’s surprising that the answer to the question is ” Volkswagen Golf Course“. There are plenty of reasons why this is one of our favorite family cars you can buy, at any price, and when it’s used, the Golf means just as much. . The availability, wide model range, excellent engine and transmission, plus ease of ownership, all make the Golf an attractive used product. However, it’s clear that a lot of owners don’t enjoy their Golf, with one disappointing result in our Driver Power new car survey.

The range of final positions is worrisome, but what’s really disappointing is the fact that some of the cheaper alternatives score better; small family hatchbacks such as Kia Ceed, SEAT Leon and Hyundai Ioniqas Toyota Corolla and Skoda Octavia. Many issues centered around unreliable software plagued early Golf Mk8s, but if you buy one with the latest updates, you should be fine. However, some owners are unimpressed with other aspects of Golf ownership, so before you buy, be sure to check out some of the alternatives that might serve you better.

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If you had to come up with a list of the most conservative automakers in the world, chances are Volkswagen will be there. But while the company’s cars are more revolutionary than revolutionary, the fact that most of them are so easy to present – and buyers call for them – shows that the German company knows them. doing.

When the original Volkswagen Golf Course until 1974, this little girl family hatchback was seen as a high-quality alternative to cheaper competitors, but few could have foreseen what an organization – and a holistic one – would turn out to be. The Golf Mk8 epitomizes Volkswagen’s approach, because in many ways it is merely an evolution of the previous Mk7, but has enough new technological and design advancements to mark it as one something new.


The Golf Mk8 went on sale in the UK in February 2020, then was announced the previous October. At launch, there was only a 1.5 TSI petrol engine (with 128bhp or 148bhp) alongside a 2.0 TDI diesel with 114bhp or 148bhp. While the petrol engine is only available with a six-speed manual transmission, the diesel is only offered in the form of a seven-speed DSG automatic.

Throughout 2020, Volkswagen has released one new Golf variant after another. First was the arrival of the 148bhp 1.5 eTSI mild hybrid in March. Then, in May, a new entry-level model was added: the 109bhp 1.0 TSI, along with the 109bhp 1.0 109bhp mild hybrid eTSI. For those wanting more performance, the GTi and GTE plug-in hybrid arrived in showrooms in September, both hitting 242bhp.

The 197hp diesel GTD arrived a month later, then in November, the new Golf Estate arrived in Alltrack form, with a 2.0 TDI engine and 4Motion all-wheel drive as standard. Volkswagen ended the year with two hotter Golfs: the 296bhp GTi Clubsport and the Golf R.

In April 2021, the 201bhp Golf eHybrid went on sale, powered by a 1.4 TSI petrol engine and an electric motor powered by a 13kWh battery pack; this is really a disparaging Golf GTE.

Which one should I buy?

You can’t really go wrong with a Golf, because all engines and transmissions are user-friendly and even entry-level cars are well equipped. If your priority is low running costs, any gasoline engine will do just fine if you don’t cover a large mileage; if you do, diesel might be the way to go.

We’re not going to steer you away from plug-in hybrids, but the high upfront cost of buying one won’t be rewarded with low running costs if you take the wrong type of journey. A lot of high-speed long-distance journeys will result in disappointing fuel-economy numbers, but if you’re mainly going for shorter or low-speed trips, you’ll find that you can drive the majority of the time. electricity, which will help cut your fuel bill.

As for the trim levels, even the entry-level Golf Life comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, illuminated exterior door handles, 10-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, power charging wireless phone, Apple CarPlay and Android Autosatellite navigation, single-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, plus adaptive cruise control.

Switching to the Golf Active (introduced April 2021) offers glazed privacy, heated front seats with upgraded trim, plus a leather-wrapped three-spoke multifunction steering wheel.

Golf Style adds 17-inch wheels, cornering function for headlights, front legroom lighting, ambient cabin lighting in 30 color options, tri-zone climate control, power-folding door mirrors and other features. additional safety. The top-of-the-range Golf R-Line features lowered suspension, black headrests, front sport seats and a drive mode selection.

Alternatives to Volkswagen Golf Mk8

Three of the hottest golf competitors are Germans: Audi A3the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class.

The A3 shares a lot with the Golf, and it goes even higher, with impressive ergonomics, build quality, and cutting-edge technology throughout. The BMW car share all AudiThe characterization of both cars also comes with some really efficient engines and transmissions. The A-Class, meanwhile, is much more popular than before and although the rear seats are cramped, the build quality is excellent and so is the infotainment.

The SEAT Leon Also closely related to Golf. It’s cheaper and its cabin isn’t as luxurious, but the Leon looks like the part, well made, and it also has some great engines and transmissions.

A less obvious opponent is Mazda 3 comes in the form of a saloon and a hatchback, but no real estate. Great to drive and cheap to run, Mazda also looks smart and has a premium interior.

Do not remove Ford Focus abundant and offers strong value; same thing happens with Kia Ceed, Hyundai i30 and Vauxhall Astraplus Peugeot 308. None of these will impress you if you’re a badge snob, but they all offer fair value for money, and there’s plenty of them to choose from on the market. old thing.

What are you looking for

Software error

The most common complaint among owners, by far, is software bugs. Some owners have experienced operating problems, engine stalls, while others received safety system warnings for no reason, phone pairing problems, and keyless malfunctions. . Minor updates can be made over the air; Major updates require a visit to the dealer.

Spare wheel

All Golfs come with a tire travel kit instead of a spare wheel. Volkswagen offers a space-saving spare wheel in steel, for just £100; This includes jacks and toolkits. However, the wheel is not compatible with hybrid, GTi or Golf R models.


Golf comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty when new. The first two years of this are warranted by Volkswagen and have no mileage limit; third year is covered by dealer warranty and subject to a 60,000-mile limit.


Volkswagen claims that the Golf eHybrid is good for up to 250mpg or so, but unless most of your mileage is in electric mode, you can realistically expect to get around 50mpg. However, if you’re mainly doing short, low-speed trips, you’re very likely to get well over 100mpg, although you’ll also need to factor in the cost of charging.


The Golf Mk8 may look similar to its predecessor on the outside, but on the inside it looks a lot more modern thanks to the use of a digital instrument panel and a 10.25-inch touchscreen. However, while it looks modern, the UI for the infotainment isn’t as smooth as the best, so making adjustments on the go isn’t as easy as it should be. Another disappointment is the quality of the materials, which in places isn’t quite what you’d expect, although the overall quality is still good.

Since the Golf Mk8 is based on the same platform as its predecessor, there is no extra space for the rear seats. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, as there’s plenty of leg and headroom for adults, and the front seats are also adjustable, so you can easily feel comfortable even if you’re short or tall. abnormal. Boot space is also pretty average, 381 liters with the rear seats, but if you fold them down, this figure increases to 1,237 liters.

Operating costs

As with all Volkswagens, Golf owners can choose between Fixed and Flexible maintenance modes. While the former means a garage visit is every 12 months or 9,300 miles, the latter increases this number to every two years or 18,600 miles. With the Fixed option, services alternate between Oil Change and Inspection, costing £150 and £205 respectively; The Flexible plan means both are due annually, so you don’t save any money but it means fewer workshop visits.

Once a Golf has reached its third birthday, it is eligible for a service discount, with Minor and Major services at £184 and £354, respectively. Three years is also the time when brake fluid changes occur. first due (£69); then it needs to be replaced every two years. All motors have lanyards. Unusually, there is no set period for replacement but Volkswagen UK recommends replacing the belt with a new one every five years, at a cost of £494.


The upgraded Golf Mk7, called the Mk7.5, has been recalled by Volkswagen five times so far, but the Golf Mk8 has yet to be recalled for anything, which is encouraging. Problems that have occurred with the Golf Mk7.5 include poorly built rear axles, incorrectly fitted brake discs on the production line, unsafe front end guards and rear end racks. least. The most recent recall came in June 2020 because of a glitch with the electronic call system, but so far the Golf Mk8 has a clean bill of health. To make sure that any Volkswagen you’re considering buying isn’t subject to any recall, you can put the vehicle’s VIN in VW . online test tool.

Driver Power Owners Satisfaction

Golf Mk8 made it Driver Power debuted in our 2021 new car survey, in a hugely disappointing 73rd place. We had hoped for a much better result from a vehicle so popular with new and used buyers, and with a reputation as an all-round talent. Out of 75 items in the survey, the Golf came last in terms of value, infotainment system, ride feel, safety system and user-friendliness in terms of dashboard layout. Some of that is surprising, but what’s disappointing is the fact that the Golf’s top score is 45th (in terms of running costs), while hardly any area is rated above 65. For a semi-premium family car, that’s quite unsettling.

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