This is the third Golf in a row I have owned over the past 10 years, and is very likely to be the last.
The mark 5 may be a vast improvement in terms of driving agility, but trails the previous generation car in almost every other aspect.
I find the panel fit and finish of this car poor. I have been back to the garage on at least three occassions with faults relating to radio reception, panel fit and a rattling steering wheel which the dealer seems unable to rectify.
The interior cabin is a uniform "airfix" grey and creaks and rattles in a way that I do not expect of a VW. Remember the old sqeeky earring advert of a few years ago?
In summary, I am very disappointed with the overall build quality of this car.
The 1998 306 LD does the job.
I have the six-speed version. Superb gear ratios, however gearbox is a little 'notchy'.
I have opted for the 17" wheels with low profile tyres - makes the vehicle look brilliant from side view, and also stands out from other Golf Mk5.
But when driving on the road, it can give a firm ride and can feel a bit 'skitish' over potholes.
Quality of the vehicle is superb. There are also neat things, like the red LED lights shining down from the ceiling.
And also the 12v power point in the boot - shame it doesn't have a built-in inverter to give 240v ac!!
But the best feature is the engine - 2.0TDI - there is so much torque in any gear. I love motorway driving in it. I even go home the long way, just to spend more time in the car!!
I have had my 2.0 TDI now for 6 months. For motorway driving it excels, for around town driving it is OK but it lacks response at times.
Don't expect to leave anyone standing at the lights, put it that way. If I keep the air-con off, then I can average around 400 miles per full tank, which to be honest I dont think is all that considering the cost of diesel nowadays.
I previously drove a 1.7 Puma and it cost around £25-28 to fill the tank and I was getting 220-250 miles out of a full tank. Be prepared to keep an eye out on the oil as I ran out of oil after 4,500 miles.
Cabin quality is very good, everything feels in the right place, especially the gear stick. Initially you do feel you are sitting quite high up but after you get used to it that's fine. The driving position is excellent for someone of 6ft plus like myself.
The only problem I had was a light came on in the dash and when I took it in to get looked at they told me a lot of the new Golfs are coming in with the same problem.
Apart from that, the handling I would rate 3.5 or 4 out of 5 (nowhere near as good as the Puma) when you push the car but on the motorway this car is a winner for its comfort and cruisability.
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