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Hi everyone, new to the forum here. I am close to purchasing a 2015 Mark 7 Golf with the EA 888 Gen 3 1.8 Turbo and a 5 speed manual transmission.
I drove one of these cars and loved it. This Golf has 35K on it.
I have to say that from reading the forums here, I am bit concerned about VWs track record when it comes to designing durable products(it seems they dont), and backing up their product when issues do arise (a software flash for a manufacturing defect on a cam).
I like the VW, I like the way it drives, I like its simple styling, the turbo, the hatchback, the build quality, the two doors. But I am concerned about crazy things failing like rear main seals at 30K because of crappy PCV system that VW has not even bothered to redesign, despite knowing about this, for a very long time (what Ive gathered from reading)
Now I know the internet can get a bit crazy with these things, but I also am a believer in the maxim of where theres smoke theres fire. So, is VW a corner cutting, cost cutting manufacturer who designs failure prone products not because they want to but because they place profit above reliability, or should I feel good about purchasing this car, changing the oil and filter every 5K and expecting it to last 300K miles. I should say, I am one of those people who will keep the car long, long past the warranty period. My common sense tells me VW is not the car I should buy for reliability and longevity, but rather a Honda, but I am writing in the hopes that you all will tell me Im wrong.
I jumped into the VW world about six months ago. I was comparing the MK7 GTI to the WRX and similar cars. I found the VW had the best combo of fun to drive and also a place I wanted to and was proud to be in. Fit and finish seems to be excellent for a car of this class.
From a reliability standpoint I can't truly speak but the quality of the car gives me confidence. You are talking about a lot of miles and years of ownership. I think a golf would certainly last that long, but don't think it will be with just oil changes. As the miles pile on, things will fail and need to be replaced. This isn't a VW specific issue though. All cars will suffer from wear and tear and have more involved, more expense repairs as time goes on.
Where I think the difference is with cars like Toyota, Honda, etc. seem to be able to hold up somewhat better to abuse. Those companies seem to have been able to engineer the major systems to stand up to use by people who think the oil light means it's now time to do an oil change because it's empty. Not sure the VW would be as happy to keep on running in that scenario. I say buy the car you like to drive and plan to service it as the manufacturer intends and you'll be just fine.
I've been driving VW's for over 50 years (72 now) and I've had nothing but the best of luck. Driving a 2016 GTI now. Prior I've had Beetles, Karman Ghia, Rabbits, New Beetles, Jetta,and now the GTI. In those many years I've never had a problem that was not covered by the manufacturers warranty. My wife's 2015 Ford Escape has been nothing but problems. So, nothing that you read is always the case for everyone.
If you go read consumer reports, they rate all the main areas of the car and where it has issues. Infotainment is where VW seems to fall down on "reliability"... I've had good luck otherwise. I've had to have a couple things fixed under warranty initially but not much that stands out down the road
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One thing you need to understand is that there are two people who come to forums like these. Super enthusiasts/researchers and people with problems. You will see lots of problem threads because this is one of the best places to go when trying to find a solution to your VW issue. The DIY type of person is attracted to VW and is willing to fix something by themselves or do an oil change.
That being said these are not honda's or toyoda's. You NEED to keep up on the scheduled maintenance, these engines require it.
I say roll the dice... if you are open to wrenching and love the car, go for it. Of course Honda and Toyota build cars that are built to last... VW builds cars that you actually want to sit in and drive and are a little more performance oriented... simply owning a car with a turbo is siding with your heart rather than your head, imo. Life is too short to not love the car you own, though. With that said I'm changing my oil every 5k and crossing my fingers that I don't end up with odd electrical issues or anything particularly expensive.
I cross shopped other manual trans hatchbacks last spring and it came down to a Mazda3 and a golf 1.8.
Had the golf for about 9 months and I love it!
My wife and I have had a 92 Passat, a 95 Jetta, a 99 Jetta, an 03 Passat and a 2010 GTI, and drove each car to well over 100,000 miles with an average of 2 unscheduled maintenance visits for each car. My brother-in-law now has the 03 Passat and it has well over 200,000 miles.
I currently have a 2013 Golf R and a 2016 GTI. The GTI has 24,000 miles and the R has 43,000 miles. Both cars have been completely reliable.
I follow the maintenance schedule closely. All maintenance is done at Volkswagen dealer.
I am not sure what the price is for the 2015 you are looking at, however, you may want to consider getting a 2016 or even a new one. The main (and huge) upgrade that was done from the 2015s is the infotainment system. The new ones have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and much larger screens.
They also have adaptive cruise control, which is a really nice feature that the 2015s do not have.
Yo, I previously owned a 2012 Golf TDI w/tech, graphic blue metallic. She drove well, no issues to speak about. Turned her in on December 30th. I feverishly researched and purchased a 2017 Golf Wolfsburg Edition for $18,600 here in Portland Oregon. Gotta say, this new Golf outpaces my previous TDI in every respect, and it does it, so -- easily. I express how my TDI got up to speed like a black housecat climbing up a metal fence: jerky, noisy, powerfully and raw. You know that cat's up there atop the fence, tail wagging, eyes bugged and looking fierce! I'm a cat-man, not a dog-man.
My new Wolfsburg is like a adult female Cheetah! Step on her and she goes, quietly, very fast - expressively moving me from A to B, with far better accoutrements in the cabin, surprisingly fast for 1.8 ltr., and standard suspension holds the road as good as my 2012 sports suspension did - but without all the sweat and effort. My Wolfsburg has only 16" vs 17" wheels as well.
I'd get the Wolfsburg; cheaper, lower insurance rates the coveted GTI's, and if you choose to modify: slightly larger wheels to 17", then do the Driver Gear sports springs from VW. I don't have Bi-Xenon lights like I did in my 2012 TDI, but who cares - small variance. I'd also shy away from the aftermarket "R" lookalike headlights - although very nice, they just don't last past two years, without some sort of issue going on.
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I bought a 2015 GTI with 34k miles two weeks ago. Really digging the car so far. Just did an oil change along with changing the various filters a few hours ago actually. I wanted to get all my oil and filters in there.
The whole month prior to buying the GTI I was looking at getting a Ford Focus ST. I was super sure I was going to get the Focus ST. However, I did a few test drives on the GTI, and started to compare the practical features of the car. Then at the last minute, I switched and got the GTI. Actually, the Focus ST is a more fun drive, but the GTI wins as an overall car for me.
I've not experienced any problems so far, but I'm at the point where I really don't care if I do have issues down the road. I like this car too much. I also don't mind getting under the hood and doing some of my own work.
I guess what Im getting at is not the idea of following scheduled maintenence, which I am ok with, What I am concerned about are things like rear main seals failing at 30k, which is crazy, and to make it worse, it seems this is something, according to the forums here, is a problem with crankcase ventilation and has been a problem for years and has not been addressed by VW (money saved on research and more money from people that need to pay 1000 to get their rear main seal replaced?)....also improperly machined camshafts that break, and then are fixed, not by replacing the defective cam, but with a software flash to lessen stress on the defective part through reduced timing.
These types of things worry me.
Obviosuly if I was the type of person that sells their car before the warranty expired i wouldnt care. I am someone that follows scheduled maintenence, but again its cost-cutting manufacturing leading to premature failures of which I am more concerned. Also, the financial shape VW is in, I worry how many software flashes they will use to fix hardware problems or similair shortcuts in the future.
Ha seems like I have reasoned my way back to Toyota or Honda.
Last edited by godwinaustin; 01-16-2017 at 07:14 PM.
Buy a Toyota or Honda.
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If the absolute lack of unscheduled repairs are your top priority then you should get a Honda or Toyota.
If you're willing to trade off some of that for fun to drive and a car with character, then don't. You won't get fun to drive or character with a Honda or Toyota. You will get an appliance. It will be reliable but boring.
I echo what the others have said. I have no reason to believe my GTI is any more or less reliable able than other cars. I'm going to take great care of it and enjoy the miles. If something happens it will get fixed. Cost of entry to drive something that interests me and makes me smile when I see it parked in the lot after work.
As for stuff failing on a VW. I see all of that as wonderful excuses to buy upgraded aftermarket performance stuff.
Last edited by OldBeater; 01-17-2017 at 12:02 PM.
I bought my GSW in 3/2016 - my first new car and first VW.
I previously bought used cars with ~80k miles on them and drove them to 150k (sold after I bought my GSW) or previously a Mazda MX6 that went to 345k miles.
The discounts on a new VW was worth the gamble for me, as dieselgate took its toll on the sales prices. I could not find anywhere near the value of my GSW for $18.4k
BUT - I am weary of long term reliability.
So I bought new - 3/36k isn't much, but power-train is 5/60k AND I am going with Geico for Mechanical Breakdown Insurance. Like a cheap extended warranty, that will cover me to 100k miles for ~$9/mo.
I hope by that point, I will know whether this is a reliable car that I'll keep for 150k+ miles, or whether it is going to be costly for repairs and, if so, I'll sell it and move on.
I don't think the price on used MK7s is low enough to buy one, though. You can get a brand new MK7 for a deal, which makes it a much better value.
What is the price of that used one? Unless its like $12k, go find a new 5spd Golf for $16-17k. You get to enjoy the first 35k miles and you'll have the better MIB2 w/ backup cam. That alone is worth a good $1k upgrade from a 2015.
Last edited by surfstar; 01-17-2017 at 12:32 PM.
Second from what you stated I would advise not buying the VW.
It sounds like you are risk adverse and want to it to last with minimal issues well past 100k miles.
Every VW I have owned outside of warranty has had a major repair or two that would be abnormal by Japanese standards.
My wife's 2010 Golf 2.5 just needed a full AC System replacement at 55k miles/6 years and we just had to redo her headliner because it was starting to come apart. Those two repairs cost $1,900 and we are at year 6.5.
For us though the $19k new we spent on the car in 2010 still makes it a great deal because they Civic and other things from that era was really crap compared to the Golf at that time.
So we are paying a VW tax for the nice and quiet interior.
However these days if you can stomach a CVT there are far more reliable cars around the pricepoint you are looking for. Honestly the gap between VW and other makes as far as interior niceness, NVH and feature set has evaporated.
BTW if you are in Austin (username?), Hyundai south sells certified low mile 2016 Accent Hatches for $12k that are CPO. So they retain the 10/100 powertrain warranty.
Again to recap if you love the Golf that is great, just be prepared to stomach extra repairs.