Volkswagen Polo Reviews from North America

1993 Volkswagen Polo CL 1.3

Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 1 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance40000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

A complete wash out

Faults:

I bought a new Polo 1.3 CL, having previously owned a Golf 1.3. I had moved house 2 years previously and didn't want to risk going into debt, otherwise I'd have bought another Golf.

For the first 2 years, the Polo was reliable, but it was no good for long journeys and the performance wasn't the slightest bit exciting.

The brake cable had to be replaced after 25,000 miles.

By the time the car was 5 years old, it developed a brake fault which had to be repaired by on holiday by a mechanic.

Then came a phase of the car failing to start.

General Comments:

I tried to hold onto it for as long as I could, but finally I got fed up and after 5 and a half years it was time for the Polo to go.

I bought a new 99T Cordoba which was hardly the perfect car, but was a great deal more comfortable than the awful Polo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2004

28th Oct 2009, 20:46

Somehow two completely different cars are included together in this section. The VW Fox sold in N. America has no connection with the VW Polo sold in Europe. The North American Fox was produced by VW Brasil with 1.8 Golf engine. Euro Polos were never certified for sale in the U.S.

U.S. model Foxes had early '90's Brazilian build quality. I think this might explain the disparity in ratings.

2000 Volkswagen Polo GLX 4Motion 2.8L V6

Year of manufacture2000
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.8L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance68100 miles
Previous carVolkswagen GTI

Summary:

Excellent car backed by a company who hides behind hip-looking commercials

Faults:

I've had this car for almost 2 years now and it's been very reliable. The only problem I have with it was having to replace the camshaft seals (warranty), and the battery went dead at 40,000 miles.

Brake jobs for most German cars are rather expensive since they recommend replacement of both rotor and pad. The tradeoff is that you get excellent performing brakes, since Germans spec a softer steel rotor to maximize pedal feel and increase performance. Basically, you can't re-use the rotor, and for good reason.

General Comments:

The only other major problem that I am currently battling VWofA with is the death of the ABS control module at 68,000 miles. For a part that rarely gets used, it's unfortunate that it decided to give up. At $1,500 a pop, it's borderline ridiculous. 2001+ Jetta's have already had their ABS units recalled, so we'll see if I have any luck. I've talked to some VW shops and a couple of VW techs and they claim that the ABS unit is malfunctioning at a high rate, but VW hasn't had the guts or marketing fortitude to to do a TSB or, gulp, recall. After their ignition coil fiasco you'd think they'd learn, but being the largest automaker in Europe has its perks, especially when get to stick your tongue out at "ugly American consumers," and not feel any wrath. I talked to a 99 Audi A4 owner who had the same problem with is ABS unit, and AudiUSA ended up repairing free-of-charge, even though it was out of warranty. The VW representative asked me why Audi did that and I replied, "I don't know, maybe they like to take care of their customer?!" She laughed and I sighed as she told me, "Sorry sir, your car is out of warranty." I guess VW has never taken a class in "Customer Service," but evidently they've aced "Accounts Receivable."

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th September, 2003

Average review marks: 4.5 / 10, based on 2 reviews