15 October 2020

Used Car Review: Volkswagen Golf (2010)

Last year there were 2,814 used import Volkswagen Golfs sold in New Zealand, making it one of the most popular used European imports.

Image 1
Volkswagen Golf (2010)
Image 2
Volkswagen Golf (2010)
Image 3
Volkswagen Golf (2010)
Image 4
Volkswagen Golf (2010)
Image 5
Volkswagen Golf (2010)

This model also performs well in the Japanese market. In fact, last year Volkswagen was the second bestselling European brand in Japan.

The Volkswagen Golf sits in a similar vehicle category, size-wise, to the popular Mazda Axela and Toyota Corolla, but it has that certain desirability that only European models possess. Kiwis in the market for low cost European models are often drawn to the compact Volkswagen Golf.

Our Mk6 Golf, sourced from City Motor Group in Auckland, was the more excitable 1.4 variant with a 90kW engine.

The Volkswagen Golf is based on the existing PQ platform from the Mk5 which debuted in 2008. The key benefit of this generation of Golfs was the overhaul of its interior to attain a more agreeable and refined interior space, whilst maintaining affordability. There were an incredible 14 variants of the Golf in 2010, with power ranging from a gentle 77kW to a blistering 199kW.

Smart Looks

The exterior styling is very sharp without looking overly aggressive, a look which is quite tough to pull off in a hatchback.

Our Golf featured factory 15-inch alloy wheels and some interesting angular design lines that run the length of the car.

Dimensionally, it’s just 4199mm long and 1779mm wide, which is an easy-to-handle size for most situations.

The front sports a very pronounced VW badge nestled between the simplistic grill and wide lights, and the bumper separates a second lower grill and valance. To the side of this, there are fog lights with on-trend chrome accents surrounding them.

The rear of the vehicle is fairly subdued and minimalist. Again, there’s a large VW Badge that doubles as a cleverly concealed boot handle. There’s also the TSI badging that highlights the (I) in red presumably to hint that this model is the one with a little more ‘pep in its step’.

Interior Design

The interior is well thought out and, thankfully, you’re not blinded by a sea of reflective paneling and chrome accents. The transmission selector has a smart aluminum appearance, which is also found at the base of the steering wheel and on the door handles.

The gauges have a neatness about them too, with the tachometer and water temperature all combined. They’ve continued this theme with the speedometer and fuel gauge in an all-in-one enclosure, both of which are garnished with a simple matt chrome ring surrounding them.

The seats are a little on the firm side and are very well bolstered and there’s also a familiar European dial to adjust the backrest. They’re covered in a two-tone deep grey which is exquisitely stitched together. Between the seats there was a concertina panel that slid open to reveal two small cup holders, and if you need extra space for bigger bottles, the front door cards both have sizable pockets for these.

The rear seats are reasonably roomy, and there was a neat pull-out drinks holder mounted atop of the pronounced transmission tunnel. Like many other Euro models, the Volkswagen Golf combines an arm rest and an access port to the boot for skis.

It's plenty spacious enough for other items too, with loading capacity behind the back seat of 350 litres of luggage room, expanding to a total of 1,305 litres with the seat folded flat.


The 1.4L TSI direct injection engine gives a good balance in terms of both power and economy, producing 90kW at 5500RPM – plenty of get up and go for a city run about.

We loved the directness of the seven- speed DSG, which has quite a different feeling to a traditional automatic transmission or CVT. Of course, there’s always manual mode if you prefer more control over this advanced transmission.

The handling is well balanced and predictable through the corners, with sufficient feedback through the steering. The brakes were both sharp and response.

Economy-wise, its claimed fuel consumption is 5.9L/100km and we managed 6-7L/100km in thick Auckland traffic.

The TSI engine’s claim to fame is its low-end torque and power, something that turbocharged four-cylinder engines have historically battled with in the past. Volkswagen have utilised their extensive diesel engine knowledge to refine their traditional petrol combustion engines.


If you are looking for an economical European hatch with German feel-good finishing at an affordable price, it really is hard to look past the Volkswagen Golf. There are so many choices within the Golf range, meaning there’s a model for almost everyone. The 77kW variant, for instance, would be great for an inexperienced driver who wants that Euro look, and the sporty GTI model might appeal to those looking for a bit more excitement in their driving.

At a glance

Model and year

Volkswagen Golf (2010)



Date Tested



$13,985 (+ORC)


1.4L petrol


Seven-speed DSG

Fuel economy


Towing capacity

650kg (unbraked), 1,300kg (braked)



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

350 litres (all seats up)

Safety features include:

  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Airbags
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Keyless Entry
  • Engine immobiliser

For more information on safety ratings visit rightcar.govt.nz

Choosing you next used car?

A good start is to find a vehicle that is stocked by an AA Appraised Dealer. AA Appraised used cars have received a 43-point mechanical check by the AA, which focuses on the mechanical and safety aspects of the car and gives an overall evaluation of the vehicle.

Click here to find an AA Appraised Used Vehicle dealer

Get total peace of mind with an AA Pre Purchase Inspection

When you buy a used car, you may have a number of questions about its condition and safety. An independent AA Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection will give you complete peace of mind with a comprehensive 100+ point vehicle check by an experienced mechanic.

Click here for more information on AA Pre Purchase Inspections

Thank you to City Motor Group for supplying us with the 2010 VW Golf for review. For similar listings, click here.

CityMotorGroupFind out more on how the AA can help you when buying a car

Vehicle experts you can trust

Previous review
Next review
Jeep Gladiator 2020 Car Review
Read more
Audi Q3 Sportback 2020 Car Review
Read more