What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Golf estate?
The biggest expense you are likely to face is if the timing belt goes on the 1.8-litre petrol engine. It needs to be changed every 70,000 miles; otherwise you risk replacing the entire engine. The ignition coil on this engine is also prone to failure.
The diesels aren't fault-free, either. Sticking turbochargers can result in a loss of power, while faulty ECUs can cause similar problems, plus a drop in fuel economy. These engines really need clean oil to function properly, so if you see clouds of black smoke, or the owner can't quite put their finger on that full service history, walk away.
Clutches and manual gearboxes can give problems, too, so check both out thoroughly on your test drive. Finally, check online at www.vosa.gov.uk for recall information - estate cars built in May and June 2000 had a child seat security issue.