1984 Volkswagen Golf GL 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


An ideal family hatchback for those on a tight budget


Tailgate catch broke at 75,000 miles.

Front passenger seat jammed at 97,000 miles.

Sunroof catch broke at 100,000 miles.

General Comments:

The Golf had bullet broof reliability as well as being fairly well built, smooth to drive, comfortable and extremely practical.

It was a bargain buy at £2,200 and I kept it for four years before selling it to a neighbour for £750.

They kept it for seven years until rust finally caught up with it and the car was consigned to the scrapyard.

By the end of its life, it was 17 years old and had covered more than 150,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2006

1984 Volkswagen Golf Karmann Convertible GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A versatile, quality, fun to drive retro-machine on the cheap!


Not much.

Got the handbrake fixed- needed a new cable.

Replaced the water bottle.

The lights stay on sometimes when switched off.

Passenger seat doesn't move forward.

Missing window handles on one side (stolen?)

Fanbelt screams with joy (loudly) occasionally.

Small windscreen crack (my fault)

Steering can be challenging at best of times- I wonder why I bothered joining the gym.

Accelerator cable can be moody once in a while- the engine can rev like a madman on dope.

Radio antenna snapped (an act of cruel vandalism)

General Comments:

From the decade of excess, long hair, pastel suits, discos and heavy metal comes a robust, well-built, solid, versatile and fun to drive/ be seen in little machine: equally good for use as a grocery-getter, office-driver, or an undercover pimp-mobile.

Despite being 21 years old (a year older than me, even) it doesn't feel it. VW really made these cars to last and it shows: mine is a very original car.

The doors "clunk" reassuringly, panels well fitted and the metallic gold (yes, very retro) paint has stood the test of time (even though the bonnet looks "ghetto" to say the least.

The cream Karmann-fitted hood is snug with no leaks or tears, so it's a comfortable ride, come rain or shine. Easy to use, too- who needs a power hood when you got hands?!

The quality of the bodywork is amazing. All the original manufacturer labels etc are still present. No rust or panel gaps.

It's a nice car to drive, and the 1.6 (carburettor) engine can be great fun, with the right driver. Very reliable engine that with proper maintainence (no cheap stuff) will go on for ages to come, despite the above-mentioned idiosyncracies. Runs perfectly on unleaded fuel too.

Impressive fuel economy, too for an old carb engine... German efficiency!

Very strong heater, but no dual-zone climate control in here- enjoy the fresh (smoggy) air of South London!

Comfortable and durable interior, still feels fresh. Does have a tachometer though and bizarely enough, you can vary the brightness of the dashboard cluster! (Why the hell would you wanna do that anyway?!)

The 5-speed manual transmission is slick and pleasant to use although the clutch may feel "hard" for some. Way better than many cars of this age.

Even today, this car has a certain cachet and is certainly something different to the bland and rather plasticky vehicles of today (hint, hint- Toyota, Honda). Needs very little maintainance and genuine parts are generally cheap.

Future plans include fitting a set of flashy, drug-dealeresque 15s/16s with low-profiles, clear light-lenses and the usual small repairs.

So, if you ever feel like letting your hair loose in the wind on those beautiful summer days (or getting it soaking wet in the rain), but don't want to break the bank... go for one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2005

12th Jul 2008, 10:33

Huh, I got myself the same model. Its now 24 years old, but works superb. I like it very much...

1984 Volkswagen Golf CL 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cracker car the Mark 2 golf, just get a quicker one


Drivers side window cable snapped.

Jets clogged every time it ran low on petrol.

Radio blew up and took all interior lights with it.

Water tank emptied and timing belt snapped.

General Comments:

Bought the car in 1998 not long after getting my driving test and to be honest I drove it like it had been stolen.

I took it to what I guess was the limiter nearly every time (no rev counter) and did see 102mph one day. Although I do not recommend it, the most terrifying and unstable feeling I have every had whilst driving.

CL model. Interior was a bit black and bleak, but everything worked. There was no rev counter, which I hate, instead a big clock which sometimes lit up, sometimes didn't.

The car had 101000 miles when it was bought and a full service history. Sadly it died 18 months later with 108000 miles on the clock. The engine was losing water and not knowing any better I drove on anyway. Water pump seized, timing belt snapped, engine became scrap. I scrapped the car.

To be honest this is probably one of the best constructed cars I have ever been in. At 15 years of age, there wasn't a squeek from the thing or a drop of rust anywhere on the body.

However, it was also the slowest car I have ever been in. I now class it as dangerously slow as it was unable to accelerate up hills (of nearly any size!) or overtake.

In the 18 months I had it I paid £16 for a new window cable and that was all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2002

13th Feb 2004, 17:18

What version of the golf has a rev counter?

29th Jun 2005, 08:44

My 91 golf driver 1.8 has one.