I have had this car for 6 years now and so far my complaints are as follows:
1) replaced electric window motor three times; 2) transmission is not very smooth (usual on VWs); 3) inadequate rear legroom.
Its good points include:
1) solid build; 2) amazing fuel consumption especially on motorways (while motoring in Italy I clocked 1,100 kms [680 miles] on one tank of fuel!!!!) 3) performance to rival most petrol engines; 4) reliability.
VWs have a reputation for being boring cars. There is an element of truth in this but the vast majority of customers rank quality and reliability above performance. A previous contributor prefers a Ford Focus to the VW Golf. There is no doubt that Ford make excellent cars; but I still have to drive a Ford that inspires as much confidence as a VW.
I have always opted for a VW for one simple reason. I cannot afford a Merc or a BMW and as far as Audis are concerned - well they are just disguised VWs, aren't they, and rather pricey. Quite simply, VWs are the best buy taking everything into consideration. I'm tempted to think that the new Volvo S40 might address my needs equally well particularly as they are very competitively priced.
I have owned the 1.8T estate for three and a half years, and so far, so very good. With the exception of a couple of boot locks corroding due to a leaky washer jet on the rear window, all has been running pretty well.
I have covered 102,000 miles, most of them on the motorway. It handles well whether fully laden (and it usually is) or not. Its speed is impressive from standing and on overtaking.
The Golf is the 'safe bet'; it's not a gambling man's car and if it was classified as a colour it would be classed as 'beige' - but it's like a can of Ronseal varnish.... 'It does exactly what it does on the tin'.
I'm about to change my Golf for no other reason than I'm a tad bored of it. I am sticking with the 'beige' fleet, I'm changing for the more econimcal 140bhp Passat TDI SE, this time a saloon - my fourth VW in 12 years. Oh, how I need to get out more...
This vehicle is simple enough to drive. However, the starter motor has failed twice, I am now on my second one. I have owned the car for about six months, although it is a 97/P-reg, so maybe it's the age of the car.
It has a lot of body roll in fairly tight corners and really objects to going into first gear when cold. Other than that it is quite comfortable and is quite often in great demand by other family members who don't have the boot space in their own cars.
The best bit of this car is the engine - it really is superb. In my opinion it was the first diesel engine that rivaled petrols for power. The acceleration in second gear can be best described as manic: it really goes. It even accelerates up hills in 6th gear on the motorway.
However the handling is soft, which does mean the ride quality is good, and I guess it encourages slower driving, because the engine doesn't. The engine may be quite noisy but when cruising it settles down completely, and in some ways the noise is kind of nice, it's an engine and you know its there.
The cabin, as with any Mk 4 Golf is superb and brilliantly crafted. Our car is mainly used in town and still achieves 45mpg, and on motorway runs it gets 60mpg. The equipment and practicality are good, and running costs pretty good. Our local dealer breaks the normal VW service trend and provides good customer care and free courtesy cars.
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