1985 Volkswagen Golf 1.8 SOHC injected from Australia and New Zealand


A quick financial difficulty


Fan stopped working.

Battery kept running flat.

Water leaked inside when it rained.

Lights stopped working due to a faulty switch.

Very expensive to fix.

General Comments:

This car has a great feel when you are up and running on the road.

Its quick to 100 km/h, around 8.3 seconds.

It's extremely unreliable.

I wouldn't suggest buying one if you are young or have a tight budget.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th April, 2003

1985 Volkswagen Golf C 1.6 diesel from UK and Ireland


Good, but not what they're cracked up to be


Intermittent tappet noise.

Fuel pump fast idle stopped working.

Glowplugs failed.

Seat belt stopped retracting.

Heated rear window stopped working.

Rear wash wipe stopped working.

Gear linkage broke.

General Comments:

This car was family owned from new and had been impeccably serviced every 5,000 miles regardless of cost. Despite this, it was actually less reliable than the similar age and mileage Astra (petrol) that I had before. I'm not sure where VW get their reliability and build quality reputation from, but it's no better than you'd get with a Vauxhall in my experience.

This isn't a performance car, so I'm not going to criticise its painful lack of grunt. To be fair, the engine was very torquey and responsive so it wasn't actually too bad to drive. The 60 mpg it returned was very nice too, especially during the fuel crisis. 500 miles out of a £30 tankful was known regularly.

The rest of it was standard 80's small hatchback stuff. Cheap, creaky, angular interior, tidy front drive handling, so-so cloth seats and unbelievably heavy steering.

Although this was definitely a good economical banger, I felt a bit disappointed that having heard all the stories praising VW's bombproof build and engineering, and with the car having been so well looked after, it was all very creaky and tired inside, and there were quite a lot of problems. Parts from independents tended to be poor quality too, and those from dealers were extortionate.

As I say, this was a decent old runabout, but if I'm in the market for a similar car again, I'll save a few hundred quid and buy an old Astra or Escort, which are just as well made and reliable, as well as being more plentiful and cheaper to fix when they do go wrong.

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

Review Date: 27th July, 2001

1st Oct 2001, 12:52

Yeah right! How can you compare a Volkswagen to a Ford or a Vauxhall? Fords and Vauxhalls are way, way, way behind Volkswagen! Do you honestly think that Volkswagen got an excellent reputation for reliability, build quality...etc. from out of nowhere?

2nd Dec 2001, 10:20

No. I think that any car that gets to 15 years old and hasn't been rebuilt or treated with kid gloves will break down, rattle and fall apart. VW's included. They don't have some sort of immunity because of the so-called prestige badge you know.

I am talking from experience of elderly / high mileage Ford, Vauxhall and VW ownership, and I reported the honest truth. Maybe other VW's are better, but this one wasn't the bombproof and unburstable example of solid German workmanship that I was lead to expect.

I'm dreadfully sorry if I've offended you, but they are the facts. Deal with them, I have.

A now Peugeot owner.

1985 Volkswagen Golf GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Reliable car, parts can be expensive though


Brake pads crumbled as the car had been off the road for a while before I got it.


I replaced the clutch just after I got it. I knew it needed replacing when I bought it anyway.

General Comments:

This car is incredibly reliable. Handling isn't great though. It doesn't use up any oil at all! For a 15 year old car with 164k miles on the clock that is an incredible achievement.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2001

1985 Volkswagen Golf Base 1.05 petrol (allegedly) from UK and Ireland




Exhaust failed at a rate of one section per week!

Water pump leaky.

Cambelt replaced (routine work).

Throttle linkage fell apart.

Poor handbrake.

New pads + discs (warped).

Seat runners broken.

Leaky damper.

Leaking sunroof (aftermarket crap).

Manifold gasket.

Rear brake flexi-hoses.

CV gaiter.

General Comments:

Such a boring car.

Pattern parts are dead cheap, but VW stuff is better quality. I find no great difference in the build compared to my old Sierras, this thing rattles and squeaks with the best of 'em.

Considering it's mere 45 bhp, a top speed of 111mph (bouncing off the limiter at 6,300 rpm) is not too bad at all. Fairly refined considering I threw all the sound deadening in the skip. Performance in all but first is embarrassing. Perhaps I expected too much. Might go for a 16 valve GTi next. Then again, perhaps not.

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

Review Date: 28th September, 2000