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Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013) Buying Guide

Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)
Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Volkswagen Golf (2009-2013)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

With the VW Golf Mk6 caught up in the emissions debacle you could be forgiven for thinking that you should give this family hatch a wide berth, but nothing could be further from the truth. While some owners have complained that VW's emissions fix has left their diesel-engined Golf down on power, petrol editions aren't affected and many TDi models aren't either. As a result you can still enjoy a superbly built family car that's great to drive, well equipped, safe and efficient. Because values haven't been affected by the scandal you'll still pay more to buy a Golf than an equivalent Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, but we'd say the premium is still worth it.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Build quality
Efficient engines
Driving experience
Equipment levels
Safety kit
GTi and GTD models
Wide model range
Ready availability
High purchase prices
Potential emissions fix problems
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Key Dates 
1/09The sixth-generation Golf reaches UK showrooms in three or five-door hatchback forms. There are three trim levels (S, SE or GT) and four petrol (79bhp 1.4, 121bhp or 158bhp 1.4 TSI, 101bhp 1.6) or a 2.0 TDI diesel in 108 or 138bhp guises.
5/09The GTi and GTD arrive, both offering fabulous performance with surprising economy.
9/09The ultra-frugal 1.6 TDi debuts; in Bluemotion form it can achieve 62.8mpg.
11/09There's now a 99g/km Bluemotion Golf that can achieve 74.3mpg, and the 261bhp Golf R appears.
5/10Match replaces SE trim.
9/11The GTi Edition 35 debuts.
  • While S trim comes with a space saver spare wheel, posher Golfs get only a tyre mobility kit.
  • Some 2.0 TFSi engines have suffered from ignition coil pack failures, which can lead to misfiring.
  • The 1.4 TSI engine can suffer from cracked pistons, although making checks before purchase is tricky.
  • Alarm systems can be temperamental, going off for no reason. It's usually just a question of getting the ECU's software updated by a dealer.
  • On some early examples, the Bluetooth system wouldn't recognise most types of phone; it can be fixed now, but costs can be high.
  • Squeaks and creaks from the Golf's cabin aren't unknown. It's often simply down to the rear seat back not being latched properly.
  • Creaks from the front underside are down to the suspension bushes drying out. It's usually most pronounced when the weather is warm.
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