2016 Volkswagen Golf Review

The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most sought small hatchbacks in the Kenyan market and is loved due to its fuel efficiency. The VW Golf competes with the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class, Mazda Axela, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Auris, and the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis Sportback.

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Detailed Review

The Volkswagen Golf is a compact car with five seats that has been produced for eight generations from 1974 to the present. It is not as popular in the Kenyan market as some of its Japanese competitors due to specific local preferences that favor Japanese brands, but it still has a substantial following.

The VW Golf comes with petrol and diesel engines.

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)

2016 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 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

2016 VW Golf Interior
Legroom & Space

The cabin of the 2016 Volkswagen Golf boasts soft-touch, well-grained plastics and a cabin design that is, comfortable, and sporty.

Front seats give adequate support and comfort, especially during long-distance driving, without sacrificing rear seat occupants. The ample leg and shoulder room in the Golf makes the small hatch feel spacious. The back seat has enough space to make the Golf a viable family vehicle, however, adults may find the low-mounted rear seat cushions uncomfortable.

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

Safety Features

Standard safety features in the 2016 VW Golf include traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags.

2016 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.

Exterior

The 2016 VW Golf has been redesigned and looks lower, longer, and wider than previous models. There is also a bit more detailing in the small air inlet with horizontal bars and the enormous round VW badge that stretches between them, as well as in the rear lights; however, the downward tuck of the profile remains mostly unchanged.

VW Golf Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 Liters

2016 VW Golf Fuel Consumption
2016 VW Golf 1.2L TSI fuel consumption: 20.0km/litre
2016 VW Golf 1.4L TSI fuel consumption: 17.6km/litre
2016 VW Golf 2.0L TSI fuel consumption: 16.1km/litre
2016 VW Golf 1.6L TDI fuel consumption: 26.3km/liter
2016 VW Golf 2.0L TDI fuel consumption: 23.1km/litre

 2016 VW Golf Acceleration

2016 VW Golf 1.2L TSI S accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 10.6 secs
2016 VW Golf 2.0L TSI GTI accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.8 secs
2016 VW Golf 2.0L TSI R accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.1 secs
2016 VW Golf 1.6L TDI accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 10.5 secs
2016 VW Golf 2.0L GTD accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.7 secs

2016 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.

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.

2016 VW Golf Reliability

The VW Golf has low-reliability levels compared to its rivals if not properly maintained. 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. For a more in-depth analysis of reliability and what to look out for when buying a VW Golf get a copy of the VW Golf Buyer’s Guide here.

Resale Value: Average

VW Golf Competitors: Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-ClassMazda AxelaSubaru Impreza, Toyota Auris and the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis Sportback

For a detailed comparison refer to the VW Golf Buyer’s Guide

What we like about the 2016 VW Golf
1. Comfortable ride
2. Fuel efficiency
3. Excellent handling.

Conclusion

The VW Golf is a superb car that is engineered with precision and quality that translates to a performance capability that is unrivaled by its Japanese competitors. The Volkswagen Golf is a comfort to drive due to its excellent ride and handling, as well as its elegant cabin. 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.

Where to Buy the 2016 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.

See also the 2015 Volkswagen Golf Review

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You can get more about this Volkswagen Golf