Volkswagen Golf (2004 - 2008)• Wide range of petrol and diesel engines
• Bluemotion models return more than 60 miles per gallon, and are currently free to tax
• Three- or five-door hatchback models available
• Estate model which offers improved boot space
• Well built, with a solid-feeling interior
• Feels like a far larger car to drive
• GTI model is one of the most involving fast hatchbacks to drive

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Price range: £5,000 – £15,000
The 2004-2008 Volkswagen Golf was a top-selling three or five-door family hatchback, which offers plenty of space, is exciting to drive and well built.

Buyer’s checks | Pros | Cons | Running costs | Rivals

Buyer’s checks

These are common problems with the 2004-2008 Volkswagen Golf Mk5 you should be aware of before you inspect the car.

• Check the driver’s seat as they are prone to wear on high-mileage cars
• Make sure the engine settles smoothly after starting – some 1.9 TDI models needed a Volkswagen engine software upgrade
• Look out for condensation or misting inside the rear lights as replacements can be expensive
• Check the bonnet opens and closes easily and ensure the bonnet hinges and catch have been lubricated to prevent them from seizing

For more general information, visit Inspecting a Used Car

Full gallery: Volkswagen Golf hatchback (2004-2008)

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• Well built with impressive levels of reliability
• Variable service system determines the frequency of services by monitoring use
• Services can be up to 20,000 miles apart
• Desirability means Golfs values stay high
• Refined and economical 2-litre diesel engines
• Excellent to drive, comfortable
• Five star EuroNCAP crash test rating
• DSG automatic gearboxes are among best automatics available


• Continued demand means they are more expensive than many alternatives
• New models were moderately equipped, but many were supplied with additional kit
• Early 1.9-litre diesels are noisy

Running costs

Model: 1.6 FSI petrol S
• Fuel economy: 42mpg
• CO2 emissions: 161g/km
• Insurance group ratings: 6

Model: 2-litre 140bhp diesel Sport
• Fuel economy: 51mpg
• CO2 emissions: 145g/km
• Insurance group ratings: 13


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