Used Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 1998 - 2004 review

Category: Family car

Section: Advice for buyers

1998 - 2004 review
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback (97 - 06)
  • Volkswagen Golf Hatchback (97 - 06)
  • Volkswagen Golf Hatchback (97 - 06)
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Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Golf hatchback?

Generally, this generation of Golf is pretty tough, and Warranty Direct reports relatively few claims from owners. But, they tell us that, as well as an ECU glitch, the electric windows and central locking can be iffy, so do a thorough check of all the electrics. It's well worth giving the axles and suspension a proper examination, too.

Other than that, faults with the ECU (the engine's electronic brain) can cause misfires, particularly on early cars. Ignition coils have proved problematic on 1.8T models - although VW should have fixed most of them by now - clutches can go as early as 40,000 miles and there have been reports of 130 and 150 TDI engines failing.

In total, there have been nine safety-related recalls, so check that any required work has been carried out.

What are the most common problems with a used Volkswagen Golf hatchback?

Is a used Volkswagen Golf hatchback reliable?