2013 VW Golf Review

From Ksh 1,200,000
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  • Golf, Volkswagen
  • Petrol
  • 1,400 cm³

The VW Golf has a long history in Kenya that stretches back to the 70s and initially it was regarded as a reliable car before it took a hit with the arrival of the often misunderstood DSG gearbox. The problem itself is not with the gearbox but rather a user issue that starts from ignorant owners who don’t bother to read the Owner’s Manual to unqualified road-side mechanics who don’t have the right skills to service the car. In summary, the VW Golf is a reliable car and with proper maintenance, it can run for many years without a problem. It competes with the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class, Mazda Axela, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Auris and the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis Sportback

  • Body Type: Hatchback
  • Extras: Adaptive High Beam, Navigation System, Sunroof
  • Safety Features: ABS, Driver Alert System, EBD, ESC, High Beam Assist, Lane Assist, SRS Airbags, Traction Control
  • Exterior Features: Alloy Rims, Fog Lights, Spoiler
  • Interior Features: Bluetooth, Infotainment, USB Charging Ports

Detailed Review

The Volkswagen Golf is a 5 seater compact car that has been in production for eight generations starting from 1974 to present. It’s not as popular in the Kenyan market as some of its Japanese rivals thanks to peculiar local habits that eschew the German brands, but still it has a sizable fan base. Elsewhere, the VW Golf is a bestselling icon that is regarded for its leadership in design, safety, performance and comfort. It’s offered in various body styles such as the economy focused normal hatchback, the family-oriented station wagon known as the Golf Variant and the performance focused sports variants.

Engines
The 2013 VW Golf is offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. These are;
Petrol
1. The 1.2 Litre TSI Engines (85 PS and 105 PS)
2. The 1.4 Litre TSI Engines (122 PS and 140 PS)
3. The 2.0 Litre TSI Engines (220 PS, 230 PS and 300 PS)
Diesel
1. The 1.6 Litre TDI Engines (90 PS, 105 PS and 110 PS)
2. The 2.0 Litre TDI Engines (105 PS, 150 PS and 184 PS)

Transmission
These are linked to either an automatic DSG transmission or a manual transmission and available in both 2WD and 4WD(Grade R only).

2013 VW Golf Grades

  1. VW Golf S – This is the base grade that comes with a choice of either the 1.2L TSI, the 1.4L TSI or the 1.6 TDI engines plus start/stop function, battery regeneration, 15-Inch alloy rims, manual AC, Bluetooth, plain steering wheel and halogen clear headlights.
  2. VW Golf BlueMotion – This is similar to the S grade and comes with the 1.4L 110 PS TDI engine, start/stop function, battery regeneration, 15-Inch alloy rims, manual AC, Bluetooth, plain steering wheel and halogen clear headlights.
  3. VW Golf SE – This is a mid-luxury grade that comes with either the 1.4L TSI, the 1.6L TDI or the 2.0L TDI engine plus start/stop function, battery regeneration, 16-Inch alloy rims, automatic AC, Bluetooth, a multifunction steering wheel, xenon headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System and Front Assist.
  4. VW Golf GT – This is a sports grade that comes with either the 1.4L 140 PS TSI or the 2.0L 150 PS TDI engine, a sports suspension lowered by approx. 10mm, Alcantara seats, 17-Inch alloy rims, automatic AC, Bluetooth, a multifunction steering wheel, xenon headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System, Front Assist, Ambient lighting, parking sensors and adaptive fog lights.
  5. VW Golf GTD – This is a sports grade and the most powerful diesel variant that comes with the 2.0L 184 PS TDI engine, sports suspension, Alcantara seats, 18-Inch alloy rims, 2 Zone automatic AC, Bluetooth, a multifunction steering wheel, xenon headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System, Front Assist, Ambient lighting, parking sensors, adaptive fog lights, chrome twin exhaust and stainless steel pedals.
  6. VW Golf GTI – This is a sports grade that comes with the 2.0L 220 PS TSI engine, sports suspension, Alcantara seats, 18-Inch alloy rims, 2 Zone automatic AC, Bluetooth, a multifunction steering wheel, bi-xenon headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System, Front Assist, Ambient lighting, parking sensors, adaptive fog lights, chrome twin exhaust, stainless steel pedals, LED daytime running lights and GTI badging.
  7. VW Golf R – This is a performance sports grade that comes with the 2.0L 300 PS TSI engine, R sports suspension, 18-Inch alloy rims, 2 Zone automatic AC, Bluetooth, a multifunction steering wheel, bi-xenon headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System, Front Assist, Ambient lighting, parking sensors, adaptive fog lights, chrome twin exhaust, stainless steel pedals, U shaped LED daytime running lights, ‘Black’ brake calipers, rear diffuser and R badging.

Interior
Legroom & Space
For a compact car, the VW Golf is fairly spacious and comfortable. At the first row, there’s is sufficient legroom for both driver and passenger with enough space to recline as desired. At the second row, the legroom is similarly good with padded seats that are well elevated and comfortable.

Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. At the first row there are 4 cup-holders, door panel storage, a cubby box and glovebox. At the second row, there are 2 cup-holders in the armrest compartment and storage pockets on the front seats.

2013 VW Golf Boot Space
The boot is sizable enough to carry luggage for a family of five. The rear seats can also fold down to create extra space when needed.

Other Extras: Adaptive Headlights, Navigation, Sunroof

Safety Features: SRS airbags, knee airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags, ABS, EBD, Traction Control and Counter Support(ASR), 3 Point seat belts with ELR, Electronic stability control(ESC), Lane Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Alert System,

Exterior
The VW Golf has a stylish and sporty exterior. The headlights are sharp and modern with daylight running lights on the higher grades. All grades come with alloy rims ranging from 15-Inch to 18-Inch.

2013 VW Golf Fuel Consumption
2013 VW Golf 1.2L TSI fuel consumption: 24.48 Km/L
2013 VW Golf 1.4L TSI fuel consumption: 24.00 Km/L
2013 VW Golf 2.0L TSI fuel consumption: 18.74 Km/L
2013 VW Golf 1.6L TDI fuel consumption: 31.5 Km/L
2013 VW Golf 2.0L TDI fuel consumption: 26.6 Km/L

2013 VW Golf Acceleration
2013 VW Golf 1.2L TSI S accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.9 sec.
2013 VW Golf 1.4L TSI GT accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.4 sec.
2013 VW Golf 2.0L TSI GTI accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.4 sec.
2013 VW Golf 2.0L TSI R accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 4.9 sec.
2013 VW Golf 1.6L TDI accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 10.7 sec.
2013 VW Golf 2.0L GTD accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 sec.

2013 VW Golf Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 Litres

2013 VW Golf Ground Clearance
The VW Golf has a ground clearance of 5.4 inches(137mm) which is below the minimum recommended ground clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads and it may not clear some speed bumps. It might be necessary to modify the ground clearance to adjust the car to Kenyan roads. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.

2013 VW Golf Stability and Handling
When it comes to stability and handling, this is an area where the VW Golf excels. Unlike most its Japanese rivals that feel light at high speed, the Golf can hit speeds above 200 km/h and still feel solid on the road. The acceleration is brisk and effortless even for the mild powered 1.2L engine. On the other hand, the spots grades starting from GT and above are quick and the lowered suspension gives them a firmer grip on the road. For those that need an endless well of power, the GTI and Golf R are beasts that play in the sports car territory and their power is plenty.

Service Intervals
Minor Service: At 5,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 10,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
Service parts are fairly priced and shared with other VWs so availability is good. Body parts on the other hand are expensive and mostly available from specialist shops in Nairobi.

2013 VW Golf Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

The VW Golf is not as forgiving on poor maintenance as some of its Japanese rivals. The DSG gearbox has elaborate maintenance procedures that should be religiously adhered to otherwise it will develop problems.It should also be serviced by a qualified technician who understands the DSG gearbox and the requirement for an expensive transmission fluid with dedicated additives. Anything short of this will be catastrophic. Also, ensure you thoroughly read the Owner’s Manual as it contains vital information on the maintenance and operation procedures for the car. Send an email to info@topcar.co.ke if you need a copy of the Owner’s Manual (2013 VW Golf Owner’s Manual).

Resale Value: Average

VW Golf Competitors: Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class, Mazda Axela, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Auris and the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis Sportback

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: Starting from Ksh.1,200,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 48,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 28,000/- for 4 Tyres
NB: figures as at October 2019

What we like about the 2013 VW Golf
1. Comfortable
2. Excellent safety ratings
3. Powerful

What we don’t
Low ground clearance

Conclusion
The VW Golf is superb car that is engineered with a precision and quality that translates to a performance capability that is unrivaled by its Japanese competitors. There are many concerns in Kenya especially with the DSG gearbox and a lot of misguided opinions which can be confusing and disconcerting to potential buyers. Of course, the VW Golf is not your average Japanese automobile that can withstand brutal abuse and poor maintenance. It requires a high degree of care and maintenance that is not very common in Kenya. With proper maintenance however, the VW Golf is a reliable car that can run for many years without problems. It’s an excellent car that boasts of top notch safety ratings and premium quality build.

Where to Buy the 2013 VW Golf in Kenya
If you are looking to either import or buy the VW Golf locally, we can help you with this process. Over the years, we have developed a network of trusted dealers both in Kenya and UK who supply us with exceptional cars. Simply call us or send us a message through our contacts below and we’ll get you the right car at the right price.

 
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