1999 Volkswagen Golf Standard 1.6


Well designed, comfortable, high quality car


Driver's door did not seal tight on delivery. Had to be adjusted by a panel beater.

General Comments:

I bought my South African built Golf 1.6 A4 Standard new in May 1999, and drove it for two and a half years before selling it with about 42500 km on the clock.

In that time the car never let me down, and nothing whatsoever went wrong.

The only thing wrong with it when I took delivery, was that the driver's door didn't seal properly, and had to be adjusted by a panel beater. Except for that, the fit and finish were excellent, and remained that way until I sold the car.

Sometimes there was a faint rattle in some of the doors, but it went away of its own accord.

Road-holding and acceleration wasn't best in its class, but was quite adequate for everyday use. The ride was very comfortable. For general use it was a lovely car, especially on long highway journeys.

I also liked touches like a foot rest for both the driver's feet and the small sun-blind behind the rear-view mirror, which showed that a lot of thought went into the design.

It also took dirt roads in its stride, except for rocky parts, where the relatively low ground clearance put parts like the oil sump in danger.

I was really sorry to see the car go when I had to sell it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2002

2000 Volkswagen Golf Chico 1.6


A waste of my hard saved money


19 July, 2000

Took delivery of the vehicle late afternoon and discovered: speedometer disconnected (although milage was sitting at 38km), aircon was faulty (not VW problem), front grille was loose, bonnet was not sitting correctly.

24 July, 2000

Turned on the ignition and the hooter kept coming on and wouldn't turn off.

Car returned to dealership and it was returned to me 3 days later.

2 August, 2000

Was driving my car and everytime I turned the steering wheel to the right - the hooter kept going off.

Once again car was returned to dealership, at this stage I wanted to return the vehicle, and was informed by the dealership that they would thoroughly go through my vehicle and replace anything that may be wrong.

They discovered the following factory faults and replaced them :-

Steering slip ring


Radiator fan

Shock saddle


And they also secured the choke and adjusted the gears.

General Comments:

I purchased a VW due to brand loyalty and was led to believe that when you purchase a VW you are purchasing quality, as well as obtaining value for your money.

My family has only ever owned VW for the above reasons, and this being my first brand new car I was very excited.

Since this ordeal, I have realised that VW is not all it makes out to be, and 3 of my friends who where considering purchasing the Polo Playa / Chico have now gone for Renault and Toyota.

I am very unhappy with my purchase, so much so that I regret ever buying this car and if I could, would return it immediately. How many young people of today do you know that are able to pay cash for a new car. I saved for this for a long time and what I have got out of it makes me feel sick to the stomach.

VW quality is obviously becoming a myth of the past!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th August, 2000

9th Apr 2001, 16:10

I bought a VW Fox 1600 in 1992. After just a little over a year I brought it over to England and did an enormous mileage. Apart from a leaking oil seal which was repaired when it was brand new under warranty and also a faulty temperature gauge, also replaced under warranty, it has been a fantastic car. So reliable. I also had wonderful reliability from a Golf GLS 1500, I had it for fourteen years.

It is upsetting hearing about your Chico. It must have been thrown together during strikes! I lived for 18 years in South Africa.

I now own a beautiful dark blue Seat Toledo TdiSE which was assembled in Belgium at the VW factory. There is not even the slightest rattle or squeak and it has done over 30.000 miles in just over a year. A superb car and it is 100% reliable. It is the new Spanish rival of the new Bora (the English name), you call the Bora the Jetta 4. Well my Seat Toledo has a beautiful front, partly a cross between BMW and Alfa. It has an Audi dashboard and the rest of the car is all VW GTI steering wheel and gear lever.

10th Apr 2001, 12:50

Sorry, I have done almost 38.000 miles in just over a year in my Seat Toledo TdiSE. Not 30.000 miles as I mentioned by mistake! It really is a superb car and a true credit to all who made it.

19th Dec 2001, 17:35

I have now done 53,000 miles totaly reliably with my Seat Toledo I mentioned in the previous letter.

I really feel terribly sorry for you with the Chico. It is a total disgrace and VW South Africa should be ashamed. Probably made in a militant strike. I feel sick to my stomach about it.

3rd Sep 2002, 15:43

The South African "Fox" I mentioned in a previous letter, is still going strong in London with almost the equivalent of 180,000 miles on the clock. The car is totally reliable, and it still has the original clutch and engine etc. etc. My relative now drives it.