Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Golf estate?
As an estate car, it’s just possible that a Volkswagen Golf has been used for regularly transporting very heavy loads, so it’s worth looking for excessive wear in the boot and listening out for any strange noises from the rear suspension. That aside, any problems you might encounter are the same as with any seventh-generation Golf hatchback.
That means insisting on a full-service history. Petrol cars, in particular, have been known to snap timing chains if not serviced to schedule, causing major engine damage, so look for a fully stamped service book.
Volkswagen appears to have largely sorted any major issues associated with its DSG automatic gearbox, but it’s still worth checking that any cars equipped with this shift smoothly up and down through the gears.
The same goes for the electrics, including sat-nav, if fitted. On the vast majority of cars, it works as its maker intended, but a few owners have experienced glitches, so be sure to test all of the systems as part of your test drive, including pairing your phone via Bluetooth.
There have been three recalls directed at this generation of Golf, the most notable being for checking and potentially replacing wheel bearing houses on 303 cars. However, those concerned about the VW emissions scandal need not worry because the engines fitted to the Mk7 Golf were not implicated in any way.
What are the most common problems with a used Volkswagen Golf estate?
As a relatively new car, you’d hope the Golf Estate would be largely free of problems, and that is indeed the case. The most notable fault centres on versions with automatic cruise control. This system is intended to maintain a constant gap between you and the car in front but can become confused and give out false warnings. While it is possible to recalibrate the system, it’s not a cheap job.
Is a used Volkswagen Golf estate reliable?
While there are a few reports from disgruntled owners regarding faults with the Mk7 Golf, they tend to be for individual issues rather than something that affects lots of cars. Owners in general appear to be very happy with their cars, which is backed up by an above-average rating for Volkswagen itself in our most recent reliability survey, with the Golf finishing in 17th place in the family cars class with an overall score of 75%.
Volkswagen as a brand finished in a mid-table 16th place out of 32 manufacturers.