It doesn’t matter if you want to buy your first car, a second car, or if you just need a car. For all of these tasks the 6th generation VW Golf is a good, reliable and an affordable choice BUT only if you choose the right engine!
This Golf was available as a 3 or 5 door hatchback, as a more practical estate and also as a less practical convertible (+there is the Jetta and the Golf Plus). All of these versions are technically the same and they are nowadays very affordable + they still look pretty up to date, so nobody is going to think something like: damn your car looks old mate !
The interior of this Golf is a typical Golf interior, so:
- the used materials are mostly durable
- the space is good for a small car like this
- the build quality is very good compared to the rivals / for example I would mention the premium padding inside the door pockets so it doesn’t matter what are you gonna throw there, nothing is gonna rattle there! / (the golf variant doesn’t have this)
- the ergonomics is logical / for example: the tilted and clearly visible position of the power windows switch is just flawless and all cars should have the power windows switch positioned like this. Why ? Because you can clearly see and quickly use the switch without accidentally lowering the back windows or without uncomfortably searching for this damn switch / (the golf variant doesn’t have the switch positioned like this)
- the optional equipment list for this golf was pretty big so you can also find cars which are pretty well equipped
On the other side there are also some disadvantages like:
- if you are using the car in hot climate areas then the headliner can start to sag
- cases of rattling sounds-mostly from the B pillar area
- while the optional touchscreen multimedia system graphics is still ok, the touchscreen response is slow
- and there are plenty of cars which are very poorly equipped (plastic steering wheel, basic front seats which are not comfortable and zero other equipment)
Body, paintjob, rust protection
Overall the body is protected well from the rust, however on cars used regularly on winter salty roads it’s definitely worth to check for rust on 3 places:
-the front fenders can start to rust
-the front edge of the sills can rust, mostly because over time dirt builds up in the area behind the wheel well liner (so check it, clean it + apply wax to minimize rust issues)
-the tailgate can rust mostly around the 3rd brake light, but also on the edges or around the middle edge
1. Trunk door lock
The trunk door lock can fail more often causing the trunk door not to lock properly, or it will be stuck in closed position (in this case you won’t be able to open the trunk door or you won’t be able to close it properly-because it’s not gonna latch
example of a faulty trunk door lock in open position + fix video
2. Tail light condensation
Excessive tail light condensation can occur in the outer as well as in inner tail lights. The water can collect in the outer tail lights usually because of the not properly sealed housing, so in this case you can put silicone sealant around the edges of the outer cover. The inner tail lights can have the same issue but in this case usually the rear seals on them can let the water slowly in.
3. AC system:
-the AC compressor clutch hub can wear out – no AC
additional information about the AC clutch hub
how to replace ac clutch hub video
-the AC condenser can leak more often – no AC/weak AC
-the blower motor resistor can fail (cars with manual AC) /– in this case the motor will work only at max speed/
-the air recirculation flap motor located behind the glove box can break causing a ticking/grinding noise under the dash + it can be stuck in closed position causing fogged windows and shit, or it can also make a buzzing sound. So before buying its good to push that air recirculation button a couple of times to test the motor.
how to replace air recirculation flap motor video-on golf mk5
4. Other stuff
Then of course check the functionality of the other regular stuff like the:
- power windows
- door locks
- rear and front windscreen wipers and all that other shit as usual
- + the LED tail lights can fail more often – if the car is equipped with them (common on GTI versions)
Water leaks into the interior
Rear of the car:
- the inner tail light seals can let the water in (in this case there should be a visible condensation in them)
- the 3rd brake light seal can let the water in
- the draining tube of the rear badge can be dislodged and let the water into the trunk
- the plastic washer fluid pipe can crack usually in the wiring loom rubber grommet near the tailgate hinge /or somewhere along its path/ and in this case it obviously leaks washer fluid into the interior or into the tailgate
Front of the car:
- the water drains under the windshield in the scuttle area can be clogged letting the water to leak into the interior thru the plastic air inlet + the plastic air inlet seal can let the water in
- the AC drain in the front passenger footwell can be clogged and leak
- the rear windscreen washer plastic pipe located in the passenger footwell area (in the right corner) can crack and leak washer fluid
CARS WITH SUNROOF
Additionally, if the car is equipped with a sunroof then you can easily get another leak from the sunroof drains.
regular single part sunroof
The standard small sunroof has 4 drain hoses in each corner of the sunroof frame. The rear drain hoses are usually fine, but the front drain hose endings can be often clogged.
To access these drain endings you have to remove the windscreen wipers and the plastic panel, since the front drain hoses drain the water into the scuttle area. However sometimes the drain hose can also disconnect from a rubber grommet which goes thru the firewall-and in this case you again end up with water in the front footwell (to check this: remove the drivers side A pillar cover and you will see the drain line – if it’s still connected or not)
The estate/variant models can be equipped with a big panoramic sunroof which also has 4 drains. But in this case you can get a leak from all of these drains + all of them have possibly faulty upper drain connections. The connectors glued to the hoses simply get a little loose over time creating a gap around the hose which allows the water to leak not just into, but also onto the drain hose and into the interior. + of course the front drains can get clogged the same way as on the regular sunroof.
This Golf was available with the:
- standard suspension,
- lowered factory sport suspension
- adaptive DCC suspension – electronically adjustable shock absorbers
The standard suspension of this Golf is we can say – good enough. Its not something special, but in the front you got a standard McPherson style suspension with pretty durable lower control arms and in the back you got a multi-link rear axle as standard (unlike in the Golf MK7 where the multi-link rear axle is not standard).
Obviously, the adaptive DCC suspension is the best since you can adjust it from comfort to sport mode, however the standard suspension is good and comfortable enough + the standard shocks are much cheaper to replace than the adaptive shocks.
As always check for all those knocking, clunking, creaking noises from the suspension and be prepared that the electronic shocks are obviously more expensive than the regular type.
on the next page: ENGINES, TRANSMISSIONS