2017 Volkswagen Golf Review

The comprehensive Volkswagen Golf review


Fact checked
Picture not described

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Volkswagen Golf
Finder.com.au is a personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

finder score: 82.00%

Avg. critics score: 82.00%
4 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Cars Guide, WhichCar, Car Advice and Drive to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
Finder.com.au is personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Drive75%"In the end, the Golf excels away from spec sheet analysis, with built-in refinement and road-holding that's hard to fault and ensures it lives up to its 'premium for the people' tagline."Read more
WhichCar90%"Petrol and diesel Golfs perform strongly, and their turbocharged engines use very little fuel. Options extend to a customisable digital instrument panel. Broadly effective auto braking is standard."Read more
Cars Guide83%"Volkswagen has hit all the right marks to bring its already excellent offering up to the pointy end of the intensely competitive small-car segment."Read more
Motoring80%"New infotainment systems and active safety features set the updated Golf 7.5 apart from the Golf 7 it replaces. But in Australia, Volkswagen’s refreshed small car appears more a case of ‘steady-as-she-goes’."Read more

Get a better deal on a Volkswagen Golf


Browse the best deals available for the car you want at dealerships near you with CARDEALS2ME. Fill out this form to sign up to the platform for free.

By submitting this form, you agree to the Finder Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use

CarDeals2Me acts as a motor broker using our buying power and dealer relationships to save private buyers up to 25% off the price of new cars. Offers made over the system are for guidance only and actual binding offers are made in writing to your nominated email address for acceptance. All prices quoted include dealer delivery, stamp duty, CTP and registration as well as any other on-road costs. As a client, you pay the dealer directly the agreed price and the dealer pays us a referral fee. We have no bias towards any make or model or any particular dealer except for the one that delivers the lowest price.

By submitting this form, you agree to the CarDeals2Me terms and conditions.

CARDEALS2ME works with a range of dealerships in all states and territories to help buyers find the best driveaway deals on new cars.

  • Free to use platform.
  • Get results in just 2 hours.
  • Finance option available.

How does the Volkswagen Golf compare with its peers?

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read Review | Find a deal
Mazda 3
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Mazda 2
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Hyundai i30
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Volkswagen Golf
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Ford Focus
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Holden Astra
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Toyota Corolla
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Volkswagen Polo
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Honda Civic
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Subaru Impreza
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Suzuki Swift
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website

Compare up to 4 providers

The complete Volkswagen Golf review

Volkswagen Golf pricing

With prices starting at $23,990 before on-road costs, the Golf is available as a hatch, a compact wagon and an all-wheel drive (Alltrack) variant. This review focuses on the hatch and the Golf wagon, which are available in the following trims:

Golf and Golf wagon pricing
110TSI Trendline (six-speed manual)110TSI Trendline

(seven-speed DSG)

110TSI Comfortline

(seven-speed DSG)

110TSI Highline

(seven-speed DSG)

Golf (hatch)$24,990$26,990$29,990$34,990
Golf wagon-$29,990$32,990$36,990

*NB: Prices correct as at 19/10/19 for driveaway pricing in 2000 postcode.

Used VW Golf pricing
Used Golf 7.5 models appear to hold their values well. Figures provided by RedBook.
  • Used 2018 VW Golf 110TSi Trendline manual models sell privately for between $17,300 and $19,300. A 2017 model should command prices between $15,200 and $17,000.
  • 2018 second hand Comfortline Golfs carry prices from $20,100 - $22,300, while 2017 Golfs sell for $18,400-$20,400.
  • Owners selling 2018 Highline Golfs privately ask $24,300 to $26,800. Similar 2017 model year Golfs have been valued around the $22,100 - $24,500 mark.

The Golf also comes in performance variants with a more powerful 2.0-litre engine, including the Golf R and GTI, which are not covered in this review.


Volkswagen's Golf is an iconic small car. With more than 30 million produced over the past four-and-a-bit decades, the Golf has long been at the pointy end of sales charts around the world.

The German manufacturer set the bar high with the seventh-generation Golf, so the model reviewed here (Golf 7.5) was always going to have big shoes to fill. Happily, the revised Golf is a worthy successor to those that have come before.

VW has kept everything that was good about the previous Golf, including excellent build quality, dynamic on-road performance and a long list of standard inclusions while adding a new infotainment system and improved safety gear. The end result is an impressive package that delivers an enjoyable drive, plenty of premium features and good bang for your buck.

There are a few gripes, for example, a manual transmission is only available on the base-model hatch and there's a space-saver rather than a full-size spare, but all in all there's a whole lot to like about the Golf's mid-life upgrade.

But is it the best small car on the market? Let's take a closer look.

Engine and performance

The Golf comes with a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, paired with either a six-speed manual in Trendline trim or a seven-speed DSG (automatic) in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline variants.

If you're a diesel devotee, you'll need to consider other options; VW discontinued diesel-powered versions of the Golf in Australia in August 2018.

The petrol engine packs a 110kW punch and is a smooth and willing performer. It's lively enough to make the journey from 0 to 100km/h in a tick over 8 seconds, while its 5.4L/100km (range best, on the DSG Trendline, Comfortline and Highline hatchbacks) fuel economy figures are wonderfully frugal.

One common complaint is the lack of a manual transmission on all but the base model. The analog cog-swapper is a smooth and precise gearbox that's easy to use, so the fact that it's not available in top-spec models is disappointing.

Another bugbear for some reviewers was using the dual-clutch DSG transmission in stop-start traffic. Without the smooth off-the-line performance you get from a traditional auto or a CVT, lurching from one red light to the next can be a bit of a clunky ride. That said, it has been tweaked to offer more-refined low-speed performance than previous versions.

110TSI Trendline (six-speed manual)110TSI Trendline, Comfortline and Highline (seven-speed DSG)
Engine1.4-litre TSI BlueMotion Technology1.4-litre TSI BlueMotion Technology
TypeFour-cylinder inline turbocharged direct injection petrolFour-cylinder inline turbocharged direct injection petrol
Max power110kW @ 5,000–6,000rpm110kW @ 5,000–6,000rpm
Max torque250Nm @ 1,500–3,500rpm250Nm @ 1,500–3,500rpm
0–100km/h8.2 seconds8.2 seconds

(Wagon: 8.6 seconds)

Combined fuel consumption5.7L/100km5.4L/100km

(Wagon: 5.6L/100km)

Fuel tank capacity50 litres50 litres

Volkswagen Golf Review: Handling

In terms of ride quality, the Golf is seen as a class leader. If you're a keen driver, this may very well be the perfect small car for you.

Regardless of whether you choose the entry-level Volkswagen Golf or the Highline variant, you can expect a quiet, smooth and rewarding handler. Steering is responsive and precise, and the Golf feels well planted in all manner of driving conditions. A lot of this is down to the independent rear suspension and refined underlying architecture, which offers a controlled ride and minimal body roll. Interestingly, Volkswagen reportedly invest US$60 billion developing a modular platform, called MQB. VW-family Cars using this layout include models from the Audi A3 to the Skoda Octavia.

Out on the open road, the dual-clutch works its way through the gears smoothly and the turbocharged engine responds quickly whenever called upon. However, steering response in the base model falls a little short when compared to the sharper performance in more-expensive variants, with the Highline offering a taut and balanced drive.

110TSI Trendline Golf and Golf Wagon110TSI Comfortline Golf and Golf Wagon110TSI Highline Golf and Golf Wagon
Brake assistSSS
Child seat top tether anchorage points (3)SSS
ISOFIX child seat anchorage points, outer rear seatsSSS
Keyless access, keyless entry and starting system -SS
Traction controlSSS
WheelsAlloy wheels (Toronto) 16x6½" with 205/55 R16 tyresAlloy wheels (Dijon) 17x7" with 225/45 R17 tyresAlloy wheels (Karlskoga) 17x7" with 225/45 R17 tyres
Low tyre pressure indicatorSSS
Air conditioningManualDual-zone automatic climate controlDual-zone automatic climate control
Adaptive cruise controlPPS
Blind spot monitorPPS
Distance warning displayPPS
Driver fatigue detection systemSSS
Front Assist with City Emergency BrakeSSS
Park AssistPPS
Rear-view cameraSSS
Rain sensing wipersSSS
Composition Media audio systemS--
Discover Media audio and satellite navigation system-SS
App-Connect USB interface for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLinkSSS
UpholsteryCloth seatsComfort cloth seatsVienna leather-appointed seat upholstery
12V socketCentre consoleCentre console and luggage compartmentCentre console and luggage compartment
Luggage area volume (litres)Rear seat upright: 380 (Wagon: 605)

Rear seat folded: 1,270

(Wagon: 1,620)

Rear seat upright: 380 (Wagon: 605)

Rear seat folded: 1,270

(Wagon: 1,620)

Rear seat upright: 380 (Wagon: 605)

Rear seat folded: 1,270

(Wagon: 1,620)

Interior and other features

Before hopping behind the wheel, we should point out that Golf 7.5 has undergone a few minor cosmetic changes. These include new headlights, LED tail lights and a redesigned bumper, but nothing overly shocking or surprising. That said, it's still quite easy on the eye and the wagon also demonstrates a crisp and seamless design.

Inside, the design of the cabin is as classy and stylish as ever. There's a new 8-inch multimedia screen that's very practical and looks great, with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across all variants. Comfortline and Highline variants can also be tricked out with a huge 9.2-inch touchscreen with Gesture Control, as part of the Sound & Vision package.

Aside from this, the layout is more or less unchanged, which is a good thing and the attention to detail is obvious throughout. Golfs have become known for their premium fit and finish quality and the same can be said about this latest iteration. You'll notice a little more road noise creeping into the cabin of the wagon than the hatch, but nothing overly disconcerting.

While the Trendline model has to make do with manual air conditioning, Comfortline and Highline get dual-zone automatic climate control. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard across all variants, but you'll need to choose the Highline model if you want to upgrade from cloth to leather-appointed seats.

The driver's seat is comfortable and can be easily adjusted to find the perfect position. However, while the "sporty" seats in the Highline variant will suit spirited drivers, they don't offer the sort of plush comfort you might want when out for a lazy Sunday cruise. You can rely on the Comfortline model for better cushioning, while the seats in the Trendline will also do the job nicely.

Moving to the rear stalls, there's not quite as much space as you'd find in some competitors, but there's still sufficient room to keep most adults happy.

Storage space is also quite reasonable. The hatch offers 380 litres of cargo space with the 60/40 split folding rear seats in position and a sizeable 1,270 litres once they're laid flat. The wagon is particularly impressive, with 605 litres of luggage space before you even think about folding the seats down.

There are plenty of useful storage spaces and solutions throughout the interior and it's clear that plenty of thought has gone into making the Golf as practical as possible. Unfortunately, that didn't extend to including a full-size spare, with a space-saver offered as standard.

Safety features

The refined chassis and suspension package helps to eliminate most nasty handling surprises, but VW also offers a wide range of safety tech for extra peace of mind.

Features like a distance warning display, driver fatigue detection system and autonomous emergency braking are included across the range. Then there's the Driver Assistance Package, which comes standard in the Highline but is an extra-cost option in Trendline and Comfortline. It offers:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blindspot monitor with rear traffic alert
  • Emergency Assist (not available on manual models)
  • Lane Assist with adaptive lane guidance (not available on manual models)
  • Lane Assist, lane departure warning system
  • Park Assist

Other standard safety kit includes anti-lock brakes, a rear-view camera, seven airbags, Daytime Running Lights and stability control. The result of all this tech is a five-star ANCAP safety rating, as tested in 2013.

Volkswagen Golf Review: The Verdict

As its Finder Score of 82% shows, the Golf 7.5 was well received by all reviewers. With its smooth engine, refined handling and an interior that combines practicality and comfort, the Golf has plenty of admirers.

Because VW was using the widely acclaimed Golf 7 as a starting point, it didn't exactly need to make any drastic changes to an already accomplished formula. But by introducing a new infotainment system, upgraded safety features and some minor cosmetic enhancements, the German manufacturer has ensured that this much-loved model is once again one of the top picks in the highly competitive small-car segment.

Although it's priced a little higher than most of its other main rivals, the Golf's list of included kit (like alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and impressive safety equipment) ensures that it represents good value for money. And while many would love to see the manual transmission offered across more variants, the base-model manual Golf is still worth a closer look alongside its higher-spec siblings.

If you're in the market for a new small car, test drive the Golf back-to-back with other leading contenders, like the Mazda3, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30, before deciding which is the best small car for you. Also, if an AWD is your foremost priority, take a look at the Subaru Impreza.

VW Golf 7.5 reliability

The VW Golf is widely regarded as a reliable car. There has been one recall placed on the current generation vehicle. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission initiated a campaign related to the welding on the rear seat bench, which could in some cases cause the headrest to be less effective in an accident. 1,504 vehicles were affected.

On a site that allows owners to rate their vehicles, the Golf 7.5 has 4.4 stars out of five, from 36 ratings. The majority of these reviews have a positive tone.

Compare some options to finance a 2017 Volkswagen Golf

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From 4.67% (fixed)
3 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
IMB New Car Loan
4.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
$275.12 ($250 Application fee + $25.12 PPS registration fee)
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
Latitude Personal Loan (Secured)
From 5.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
Loans under $5000 - $140
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From 5.19% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
$195 (Includes PPSR registration and private sale fee, if applicable)
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.19% p.a. to 17.69% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $50,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

Plenti Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
from $249 to $799
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 3.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.99% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.08% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

NRMA New Car Loan
From 4.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p. a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 4.05% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.05% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From 9.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From 6.49% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
2 to 5 years
from 0% to 5% of the total loan amount
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
Driva Car Loan
From 3.95% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.95% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From 5.75% (variable)
1 to 7 years
from 0% to 5% of the loan amount
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.

Compare up to 4 providers

Pictures: Volkswagen.com.au, Car Advice

More guides on Finder

  • 2018 Toyota HiLux Review

    Looking to purchase a 4x4 ute? It might be worth adding the 2018 Toyota HiLux to your shortlist.

  • Ford Focus ST Review: hands-on

    The Ford Focus ST is perhaps one of the best known hot hatches and with the latest model they have made a German-built vehicle accessible to more people.

  • Skoda EOFY sales

    How to save thousands of dollars on a new or ex-demo Skoda.

  • Volkswagen Polo Review

    If you want a small-ish hatchback with good equipment levels, composed handling and a reserved style – the Polo is probably the one you should go for.

  • VW launches most advanced Golf ever

    The VW Golf Mk8 communicates with other cars and traffic lights, has large digital displays and an optional natural gas engine, as well as hybrid drive options.

  • Best family cars

    Here are seven of the best family cars rated, from small hatchbacks to premium SUVs.

  • 2020 VW Golf range guide

    Volkswagen reveals its 2020 Golf range specs and pricing.

  • Hyundai i30N: Hands-on review

    In the market for a hot hatch? The Hyundai i30N may be worth adding to your shortlist.

  • Best small cars

    There are dozens of different makes and models to choose from and then about five different trim levels on average, per carmaker. This guide will help you cut through the sales banter.

  • Toyota 86 GTS with performance pack: Hands-on review

    Looking to buy a 2+2 sports car? The Toyota 86 GTS may be worth adding to your shortlist.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site