Traditionally I have been a loyal Subaru fan (WRX and Liberty GT & 3.6R) but you outgrow the Subaru range. I read all the media hype regarding the VW Golf and took the plunge with a red VW Golf GTI Performance Pack with HP bump, R brakes, Dual Xenon’s and LED, LSD, Alcantara and Adaptive Chassis Control. At just over 2 years in, I am still in love.
Performance and efficiency are outstanding. Regarding fuel consumption, I have managed a best of 830 kilometres from 50 litres, which averages out at around 6.7L/100km with my very heavy driving style. The Golf is so much fun to drive day-to-day. The theatrics of the Engine Boost control and the DSG on gear changes is addictive. I am required to travel many kilometres around NSW and managed 42,000 kms on my first set of Pirelli P-Zero’s. The 19-inch rims and 35-Series rubber give no compromise to the ride with the adaptive dampers. My biggest bugbear with the whole car is traction from a standstill through the front axle. I never really wanted a FWD and my original concerns were correct, but the VW is so strong in dynamics 95% of the time that I find that this is a small flaw to live with. The R-Spec brakes are mighty, and the handling of the car keeps you entertained everywhere you go.
In terms of reliability, the car has been 100% perfect so far. I have made no warranty claims in the 44,000kms I have driven the car. The biggest issue I have encountered was that the vehicle was delivered with a transport block still in each of the front struts (Let’s just say it rode a little ‘ROUGH’ for the first bit).
The DSG is very average at walking speed but brilliant once in motion. It's a very clever box and I have no regrets or concerns. The daily driveability is superior to any other car I have owned, however I feel that a $50K car should have keyless entry. The cruise control cannot be inched up in 1kph increments with a single button press (one press is 10 Km and hold down for an progressive increase). The interior quality is the piece that sets this car head and shoulders beyond the competition I considered. Red LED highlights on the door trims is a subtle and cool addition. Nothing (interior or paint) seems to be wearing prematurely so I perceive that they are built to a very high quality. The ‘Dieselgate’ jokes from my peers still come thick and fast, though.
Regarding the cost of ownership, the Golf is not cheap to buy or service. Too be honest this does not worry me. I like quality and understand that comes at a cost.
For my next car, I dream of an A4 or S3, but in the meantime the Golf R is closest to delivering my needs on my budget.