4 Best & Worst Years For The Volkswagen Golf

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When it comes to the Volkswagen Golf, it is declared that this model is one of the best-selling cars in the world.

Over 35 million Volkswagen Golfs have been sold worldwide, and the main reason is its increasing popularity.

It is said that this one offers around 11 different models that people can easily choose from.

All of these models were manufactured to meet drivers’ wants and needs when it comes to driving and attractive appearance that makes it stand out more.

But did you know that not all model years are designed equally?

Some years for this car are quite problematic and make it difficult to drive. And it hasn’t been an easy road for this two-door creation.

If you do not want to go through these problems, you must know about the best and worst years for Volkswagen Golf.

Best Years For Volkswagen Golf:

  1. 2009
  2. 2010
  3. 2013
  4. 2014

Worst Years For Volkswagen Golf:

  1. 2006
  2. 2007
  3. 2008
  4. 2012

In this article, you will learn about all the incredible features that make certain models the best year and some issues with models that make them the worst years.

Be sure to read until the end for the explanation of the common problems as well as some important frequently asked questions about the Volkswagen Golf.

List Of The Best Years For The Volkswagen Golf: What Years To Buy

Learn what year is the best VW Golf ever made so you can avoid buying bad ones

Here I will explain why these Volkswagen Golf model years are the best and that you will certainly not regret purchasing any of them.

If you want a long-lasting vehicle that is efficient in performance and so much more, then you should consider buying these models.

#1 Best Year: 2009 Volkswagen Golf

You’re probably wondering what makes the 2009 Volkswagen Golf the best model year. The main reason this model is the best is because of its performance.

This vehicle is said to have sharp acceleration, excellent handling and, of course, strong performance that makes it seem like a sports car.

This one comes with two engine options: the 2.0 liters of TDI engines.

They will be able to produce 110 horsepower with the 4.5 liters of fuel and 140 horsepower with the 4.9 liters of fuel.

These engines will be well equipped with either the six-speed or the seven-speed DSG transmission system.

It is said that this model is sportier than any previous year, more athletic and efficient in so many ways.

This model is fun to drive in the city and handles well on the highway, plus makes sure the cabin is quiet and relaxing so the ride can be comfortable.

#2 Best Year: 2010 Volkswagen Golf

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf has all-new bodywork that makes it stand out even more but has many similarities with the previous year 2009 model.

This model also comes with two powerful engine options. When it comes to purchasing, it is highly recommended to check all the features, so you make the right choice.

This one has a well-equipped 2.0 liters direct-injection turbocharged diesel engine option, which is said to deliver the best fuel economy and excellent low-end torque power, so the vehicle’s performance and speed are efficient.

Besides this option, the standard 2.5 liters engine is said to be functional either with the five-speed manual transmission system or the six-speed automatic transmission system.

It is worth mentioning that Volkswagen worked hard to improve the efficiency and the advancement of the 2010 model so people who drive it can have the best time, and they surely did not fail in providing that.

You will be able to notice the great tech features that work effectively and are easy to use when you purchase this model and go for a drive.

#3 Best Year: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

The 2013 Volkswagen Golf is said to be ranked at number six, this is based on the scores this car received in the 2013 Compact Cars category.

According to the cars.usnews.com website, this vehicle has a score of 8.3 out of 10. Do keep in mind that this scoring is based on 46 pieces of research and data they provided.

According to various reports, the owners have mentioned how this one has the best fuel economy, excellent handling, especially on the highway, is easy to drive in harsh road conditions, upscale cabin materials that work all the time without causing troubles and are easy to use and also has an efficient plus lively diesel option.

The great thing about the 2013 model is that various safety features are standard, such as traction and stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, front side airbags system, side curtain airbags system, and so much more to make the ride as safe and comfortable as possible.

#4 Best Year: 2014 Volkswagen Golf

Now coming to the 2014 Volkswagen Golf, this model has many great features that add to the driving dynamics and make it a fun car to drive in.

According to various car reviews websites, they all have similar things to say about this model year.

The 2014 model provides the best ride because it has excellent and efficient handling capabilities.

It also has a high-quality interior design that makes it more luxurious, including easy-to-use materials without malfunctions or breakdowns.

You will also be happy to learn that this model comes with engine options.

All three of them are sturdy because the highly efficient fuel economy TDI diesel makes sure to deliver optimum performance at high or low speeds and work smoothly.

Other than that, many people also say that this model has great gas mileage, mainly through the GTI hot hatch.

It is also worth mentioning that people enjoy the responsive electric power steering since it is easy to handle and accelerate and provides the driver full control on the road.

List Of The Worst Years For The Volkswagen Golf: What Years To Avoid

You’re probably wondering why you can’t purchase these models.

Well, the main reason these are the worst model years is because they have severe problems that damage many parts of the vehicle and, as a result, the performance while driving.

Other than that, these models are dangerous and have been declared unsafe to drive.

With that being said, here are the model years of Volkswagen Golf that you must avoid for your safety.

#1 Worst Year: 2006 Volkswagen Golf

Although Volkswagen Golf is well known for its great performance and handling, unfortunately, this was not the case for the 2006 Volkswagen Golf.

There are numerous issues with the diesel engine installed in this one. According to various reports, this vehicle has poor fuel economy and mileage reach.

But instead, this 2006 model has increased emission issues due to its diesel engine, which can be quite harmful to the environment.

This issue alone can cause the vehicle to fail its safety test and might also be why you would not be able to drive it on the road.

There have been around four recalls made on this one by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The main issue is with the engine and engine cooling system. This model has a timing chain that can wear out prematurely and cost a lot of money for repairs and replacements.

Since the timing chain fails in this car, it can eventually cause the engine to shut down completely while driving.

The reason why the NHTSA issues a recall on this model is that this problem is so serious because it can increase the chances of crashes and serious injuries.

#2 Worst Year: 2007 Volkswagen Golf

The 2007 Volkswagen Golf has only been recalled two times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

However, it does not mean that this model isn’t problematic. There are serious issues with the electrical system in this car.

Most of these parts tend to malfunction at the early stages of driving and can cost a lot of money because most parts need to be replaced.

Many drivers have said that their driver’s side window would get stuck randomly and not go up or down. Some even said that their door locks fail a lot.

The car door would open spontaneously even though the driver locked it. This can be a serious safety concern and must be taken immediately.

Other than that, the light bulbs would also fail out of the blue, the vehicle would fail to idle, especially when the air conditioning is turned on, which can be due to issues with the throttle body, and somehow water would leak inside the car and cause the carpets to get wet.

Even though these seem like small issues and can be resolved cheaply, it is still important to get them fixed early as they can grow bigger and damage many car parts.

#3 Worst Year: 2008 Volkswagen Golf

Coming over to the problematic 2008 Volkswagen Golf, this would have troubles starting or will not start at all.

According to the data gathered on this one, the main area of concern can be the battery being dead.

This is because the lights would not turn on the dashboard or there is no contact between the battery and the electrical components.

The starter motor can also be problematic if the key is in the ignition and nothing happens. This means that the motor couldn’t start the engine.

Again the battery could be dead, or the connection between the battery and the starter motor is lost.

Moreover, the fuel economy is also poor for this vehicle because it would not reach the engine. This can cause the engine to stall randomly or cause it to stop working while driving.

In some cases, people also heard weird noises coming out of the engine system, or the engine might crank a lot but not start.

It is highly recommended to check the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel injectors, and fuel lines, so there aren’t any leaks. But be sure to clean them regularly, so there isn’t any debris or dirt.

#4 Worst Year: 2012 Volkswagen Golf

The 2.5 liters engine system lacks refinement, and the fuel economy is said to be middling in the 2012 Volkswagen Golf.

It is said that this model’s fuel economy does not pass the emissions regulations.

It is worth mentioning that due to its diesel engine problems and the fact that this model does not meet the emission standards, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had to issue recalls on this model several times.

Besides that, various other problems with this car can make the driver have a disturbing experience.

Like the previous models, the 2012 model also often goes through the power window failure as they would not open or close accurately.

There are concerning problems with the brake system because the rear brakes tend to wear out prematurely. This is why it is highly recommended to get brakes serviced regularly.

Besides all that, according to the repair pal website, this model also includes checking engine light issues because of the malfunctioning throttle body, subframe clunk on the acceleration making it hard to drive, and moldy or musty smell coming from the HVAC vents.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Volkswagen Golf?

Even though the Volkswagen Golf is known to be a reliable vehicle due to its highly efficient performance and above-average scores in various categories such as reliability, safety, features etc.

This car still has a lot of issues that can affect its performance. Here are the most common problems that you must know about.

1. Engine Misfire

This problem mainly happened with the 2016 Volkswagen Golf. This model year, many owners said that the vehicle would randomly shudder while driving.

It also shows some obvious signs of poor engine performance even though there would only be 3000 miles on the odometer or less.

The main reason why the engine might misfire is due to worn-out spark plugs, electrical wires, crankshaft position sensors as well as coil packs.

In some cases, owners also found issues with the powertrain control module and the exhaust gas recirculation.

These engines are used by Volkswagen Golf below:

2. Interior Accessories Malfunctioning

This issue is commonly visible in the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. The main area of concern is the illuminating door ajar indicator.

This only happens when there are some problems with the door latch system, malfunctioning media screen, and an old navigation map.

People have to replace some of these components to fix the issue.

3. Fuel Pump Failure

The fuel pump tends to fail mainly in many Volkswagen Golf models but mainly in the 2010 model.

Due to this issue, the drivers have noticed how there is a loss of power in the engine and can cause poor acceleration, which is caused by the high pressure of the fuel pump.

This must be taken care of immediately because it can contaminate the fuel system with metal fillings. It can cost around $100 to $600 to replace the fuel pump.

4. Transmission Problems

A lot of the Volkswagen Golf models went through this problem. But there are still some that have severe transmission issues.

This is mainly found in 1990 through 2006 and 2010 until 2011 model years. This happens when the driver tries to go at high speed.

This is because it would be difficult for them to shift gears at high mileage, and as a result, they would be stuck at neutral.

This can happen due to low transmission fluid or contaminated fluid, worn-out clutch or synchronizer, etc.

5. Electrical System Problems

Now this problem is highly found in the year 1990 through 2000 as well as the 2004 Volkswagen Golf model.

This can cause the car to run out of power or prevent it from starting at all.

It mainly happens because of the ground wiring problems, trouble operating the radio system, windshield wipers, power windows as well as turn signal switches.

The only way to fix this issue is by replacing certain components and getting the rest of the components checked, so there isn’t any more damage.

Related: Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are Volkswagen Golfs Fast?

Yes, Volkswagen Golf is said to be a sporty car. This means that it can go at a faster speed efficiently.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR (Mk7) is said to be the fastest car as it has a top speed of 161 mph.

Q2. Is VW Golf Expensive To Maintain?

Well, the Volkswagen Golf has a maintenance and repairs cost of $630 per year. It is said that this cost is higher than the average annual cost by $526 for the compact car segment.

Q3. Is VW Golf Being Discontinued?

Yes, Volkswagen has officially declared openly that the compact Volkswagen Golf hatchback will be discontinued in the United States after the 2021 Volkswagen Golf model year.

Q4. Is The Golf Fun To Drive?

Yes, the Volkswagen Golf is fun to drive. This is mainly because of its fluid shifting manual transmission system or with the eight-speed automatic transmission system.

It can produce 184 pounds-feet of torque which is said to be quite strong and make it a fast car even at low speeds.

Q5. Where Is The VW Golf Built?

The Volkswagen Golf is made in the hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany.

But it is also important for you to know that now the VW Golf is built all over the world. The latest 2021 model was built in Puebla, Mexico.


Overall, the Volkswagen Golf is a great selection for a compact car as it is a fast sports car, delivers efficient performance and has great handling capabilities.

Plus, with the help of the best and worst years for Volkswagen Golf, you got to learn a lot more about it which will also allow you to decide on the right model year.

If you are going to purchase the used model, then make sure to inspect it carefully as they are more likely to have severe problems.