1996 Volkswagen Golf GL 1.6 petrol (75bhp)


Cheap to own, very reliable engine, always starts and works


Engine problems last summer (2012) = practically no idling at all.

Uses quite a lots of oil nowadays (because of the massive mileage).

In winter:

The rear shocks freeze in winter.

Trunk door also freezes easily.

Central locking breaks down easily - that's why it's disabled in my Golf.

Rusting began since 350 000; welded twice for passing the MOT.

General Comments:

My dad bought it in 2000 or 2001, first owned by a female.

It has proven itself as a very reliable and surprisingly long-lasting car! Always starts, even in our cold winter (even more than -30C and this car starts like it does in summer).

Handling is quite good, but the original chassis is quite exciting to drive at high speeds (+140km/h -->). The gearbox still works nicely. I think it needs better brakes and ABS, though.

Not a fast car, but the nice torque from this small engine makes it very easy to drive in everyday situations. Fuel economical car (5-6 litres/100km).

Nice and comfortable seats on the GL, but the CL seats are terrible. The original speakers are terrible and have no bass at all.

I've owned the car since 2012. Replaced every shock in the last summer and got the idling problem fixed + "timing belt" (not sure if this is the right word..) replaced. All fine and working, MOT inspector was quite surprised about the condition of my car - it sure has a lots of kilometres to go!

My father once told me about some guy, who drove over 650 000 kilometres on a Variant 1.8 petrol with a manual gearbox. No technical problems, the guy just wanted to upgrade to a newer VW.

I love this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2013

1989 Volkswagen Golf GTi 16V 1.8 16v petrol


A real bullet on fast curvy roads


Mostly normal wear and tear parts gone bad.

Had it blow up a plug on the highway, last owner hadn't screwed the plug on correctly.

One of the instrument lamps went dead.

Leaking gasket around the sunroof.

Rear brake callipers very badly damaged by rust.

General Comments:

The car is very fun to ride fast on the track and those fast curvy roads, and handles well in all situations.

Pretty fast off the line with a 0-100 km/h time around 8 seconds. Top speed is a little over 200 km/h.

Original parts aren't too expensive, it doesn't consume as much petrol as you'd think it would.

Pretty reliable, has never left me on the road.

Chilled and simple looks on the outside, interior is maybe a little outdated, but it works fine.

Air conditioning, leather interior, power steering and sunroof are optional. Comfort could be better as the chassis is pretty stiff (but great when driving fast).

I'm pretty happy with it, and this won't be my last Volkswagen, that's for sure!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2001

1975 Volkswagen Golf L 1.1


Worst car in the world!


Carburettor never worked, very much idling problems, no heat meter, only warning light -> previous owner broke engine because of broken water hose and non-working warning light -> measured engine compressions 7/3/2.5/1 kg/cm2 -> very difficult to start, ran with only one cylinder about 15 - 30 seconds. Carburettor rubber mounting broke -> whole carburettor dropped off. Broken fuel pump.

General Comments:

Because of overheated/broken engine, it took fuel at about 15 l/100 km and oil at 2 l/100 km. Top speed was about 105 km/h :-D

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th April, 2000

29th Apr 2001, 13:31

Agree entirely. I had a '78 1.1 - neither the fuel gauge nor the speedometer worked, and I blew up two engines. Also a very unlucky car: the bonnet lock broke and the bonnet flipped up and buckled on the roof (doing 60mph on the motorway) ; when I stopped and opened the driver's door the vacuum from a passing lorry took the door with it, buckling that too. To cap it all, on the way back from the scrapyard I was almost killed by a very surprised nun in a Peugeot 205! Took the hint of the divine message and swapped the Golf for bumper bag of jelly babies. Good riddance!

18th Oct 2008, 13:20

"Carburettor never worked, very much idling problems, no heat meter, only warning light -> previous owner broke engine because of broken water hose and non-working warning light"

Why did you buy a car that had these problems? Maybe if you bought a car in roadworthy condition in the first place you could have saved yourself all that hassle?

21st Feb 2011, 06:36

It was a good car someday when it was new. My grandmother bought the car new. The car served her well nothing of the above stated problems.

Today that car is very old and probably in poor condition, so without major investment you can't expect them to work properly. They have a rust problem in days of their glory, so you can imagine today's condition.