Are Volkswagens Reliable? 

The German automaker, Volkswagen, has been wrapped up in controversy over the years, but if you’re in the market for a new car, the most important thing you need to know is if they’re reliable. So, are Volkswagens reliable?

Volkswagen is known to manufacture durable, dependable, and affordable vehicles. They can give you solid mileage of well over 100,000 over the years. Maintenance costs for Volkswagens vary quite a bit, but they’re often cheaper than competitors.

This article will discuss common issues Volkswagen owners face and how long these cars last.

2003 to present volkswagen touaregs blue first generation touareg silver second generation touareg and black current generation touareg standing at the beach

Which Volkswagens Are Most Reliable? 

Volkswagen has an impressive list of car models. Here are a few of the most reliable choices:

Volkswagen Jetta

Unquestionably, one of Volkswagen’s most recognizable models and a fantastic option for people looking for a dependable and cost-effective vehicle. 

It has an anticipated yearly routine maintenance of $609 and an internal reliability score of 4.0/5.0. 

That score places it in 21st position out of 36 cars in its class.

However, even if the Jetta has above-average overall performance, some years didn’t produce the best models. The 2010 – 2013 and 2019 models were prone to repairs.

Volkswagen Beetle

The Beetle, a hallmark model in the Volkswagen fleet, is expected to cost $612 more yearly than the Jetta. 

However, this also raises the average repair cost for the Beetle above the $526 average for all other compact automobiles. In total reliability, it trails the Jetta by three spots and ranks as the 24th most reliable small car out of 36 with a 4.0/5.0 rating.

And much like the Jetta, the Beetle may need repairs that call for you to visit an authorized repair facility or an ASE Certified mechanic.

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is still a reasonably reliable car compared to other makes and models, even though it has slightly higher costs. 

The mean maintenance and repair cost is $630, above the prices for both the Beetle and the Jetta. 

While the Golf receives higher reliability ratings than comparable small cars like the Chevy Cruze, it only ranks 25th out of 36, with a 4.0/5.0 dependability rating.

Volkswagen Golf buyers should feel at ease but be vigilant for potential repairs.

Volkswagen Passat

At $639 per year, the Volkswagen Passat has the highest average repair and maintenance costs. 

Like the other VWs on this list, the Passat has an above-average durability rating of 4.0/5.0. Despite receiving a high overall rating, the Passat ranks 17th out of 24 automobiles for dependability.

The Passat is susceptible to a variety of repairs, the majority of which will not break the bank when compared to vehicles such as your typical Audi, Porsche, or the famous BMW.

If you still are uncertain about what VW to buy, have a look at Car Wizard’s video on what Volkswagens he recommends:

The CAR WIZARD shares the top VOLKSWAGEN Cars TO Buy & NOT to Buy!

5 Common Problems in Volkswagen Cars

Studying all the features of Volkswagen, here’s a brief overview of some recurrent problems Volkswagen cars have: 

1. Engine Oil

Owners have reported an oil leakage problem and sludge build-up in some past models. The oil would begin to leak at some point between the 70,000 to 90,000 miles mark. 

So, be wary of oil leakage if you buy an old Volkswagens version. Be sure to ask the dealer or seller questions about this particular problem.

2. Engine Light

It may seem like an odd complaint, but in 2013, the company faced recurrent complaints about its malfunctioning engine lights. 

Different models, including the Jetta Hybrid, experienced the glitch. The engine lights would turn on, with no problems in the engine, due to an internal system issue. 

The company fixed the malfunction in their newer models; however, VW found no solution for the older cars.

3. Poor Suspension

Unusual noises coming from your car are often a sign that there’s a problem with its suspension. 

These sounds include clunking while you’re going over bumps or potholes and clicking when you turn on the heating system. 

The culprits may be faulty ball joints that absorb shock from the movements, but you should get your car checked by a professional to figure it out.

4. Transmission Issues

The famous Volkswagen Jetta had significant transmission issues. This problem has different indicators, including difficulty switching gears, leaking fluid, or a dragging clutch (for manual users). 

Regardless of the cause, transmission failure can cause more significant issues in the long run, so you’ll need to look out for them during regular maintenance. 

5. Clogged Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

Unfortunately, Volkswagen cars are prone to premature PDF clogging. The stoppage occurs because diesel particulate filters trap ash and soot, which reduces exhaust emissions. 

They regenerate when the engine runs at 3,000-4,000 rpm. If stuck, the engine light goes on, and the car goes into a limp state while driving.

2021 aqua blue volkswagen t cross in an urban environment

Final Thoughts On Volkswagen Reliability

Volkswagen owners are pretty happy with their purchases, which means you might be as well. Although there are a few issues, they are generally repairable.

Most problems appear after a certain number of miles, as they do for other car companies.

Overall, VW is an ideal buy for a car because it is dependable, affordable, and won’t call for regular visits to the mechanic. 


What Is the Name of the Famous Small Volkswagen Car?

The Beetle is a small-sized Volkswagen car that is famous around the world. It stands out because of its unique, compact yet classy look. 

Which Volkswagen Model is the Least Reliable?

The 2019 Jetta is considered to have the most complaints (NHTSA complaints: 294). Owners had multiple kinds of issues and heavily criticized the model.

What Is the Average Maintenance Cost for Volkswagens?

It will cost you roughly 600-700$ annually to maintain your Volkswagen. The cost depends on the car model, year, and any non-routine repairs needed.

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