1999 Volkswagen Golf 'A' 1.6


A knife in my heart


German engineering indeed! What a myth! This car has been nothing but trouble from the word go.

I bought this car in December of 1999. Within 2 weeks of driving it, the air conditioner emitted the foulest smell ever. Upon taking it in to the dealer (warranty period), I was told a part was moldy and needed to be cleaned thoroughly. Apparently, it could have picked up dust and moisture in transit from Germany to Singapore, or when it was sitting in the showroom.

The smell returns every 6 months or so.

In 2002, the air conditioner broke down completely. The compressor casing cracked into bits. Apparently it was not 'tropicalised'. I had to pay labour charges at the dealer's. (228USD)

The driver side window has been faulty right from the first year on. In 2002, it simply fell into the door. Apparently, the motor had given way. I had to pay the dealer for a new motor.

Two months later, the passenger side window fell into the door. Again, I had to pay for new parts.

The car squeaks badly from the rear interiors.

The front seat slider springs were removed by the dealer without permission or warning.

The engine overheated several times in 2001 and 2002. Apparently, the coolant levels were falling. The dealer couldn't or wouldn't say why.

The battery which is supposed to last 5 years, lasted just 2.5 (exactly half its life).

The CD changer stopped working.

The car shudders and vibrates without warning or reason at traffic lights, while idling. It feels like it is moving forward, although it is not. VW cannot or will not say why.

The tires show 'scallops', which is a sign of bad suspension according to 'Reader's Digest' magazine.

Which brings me to my current and most heart wrenching problem with this car.

A few months ago, my husband noticed that my car felt bumpy, noisy and uncomfortable.

When he said that, I paid more attention and found that the car picked up the smallest pebbles and imperfections on the road surface.

I took into the dealer, who was hell bent upon blaming my driving skills. I explained to him that I had been to a 'professional driving skills' course and that I knew a little bit more about cars than the average man on the street. No go. He would not budge. He would not even consider that my problems could be VW's fault.

He says changing my tires (31000 km) will improve ride comfort, but that my shock absorbers are beginning to go and that by the year end I will have to replace those as well.

I got him to let me try the car with a new set of tires from his workshop. Would you believe, he gave me a set of sport rims and tires (smaller sidewalls, lesser comfort), to try?

Needless, to say, the ride comfort did not increase at all.

He will not address my worn shock absorbers, nor will he explain why they have given way in such a short period of time.

I feel so saddened and disappointed by VW's attitude toward full price paying customers with genuine problems.

Not only is the car a lemon, the dealer is so high handed in his attitude.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd January, 2003

20th May 2004, 07:59

Well hello. I thought I was the only one with a lemon.

I bought brand new Golf GL 1.6L 1999.

Gearbox went 2yrs ago, rear window tint peeled, I.m upto third window relay on both driver and front passenger doors.

The final thing is now my roof is peeling. And they say at VW only 3 yr warranty on paint.

But even better a body repairer looked at it and believes it was resprayed. Before I received it.

1982 Volkswagen Golf Mk1 GTi 1.8 8V


Reliable, cheap high performance car


Since owning it, I had to change the steering rack and CV joints (at 200,000). Normal 5000 - 7500 km servicing. Probably need to change brake discs and pads at 240,000km.

General Comments:

The car is an absolute delight to drive. Handles like a go kart and with the high power to weight ratio, the car can take on a BMW 320 & a Honda Vtec with ease. Next acquisition; a Mk3 VR6 or a Mk4 1.8T (but a little too expensive).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th May, 2000