1988 Volkswagen Golf GTi 16 valve 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Clutch plate broke after 97,000 miles.

Engine cut out several times after 100,000 miles.

Water cooling pipe broke during the final few months of ownership. Spotted the fault and fixed it just in time.

Tyres wore very quickly.

Stereo packed up after 116,000 miles.

General Comments:

Showed a few signs of its age, but for a decade or so old car it was very reliable and gave excellent service. A joy to drive and well worth the £2,500 I paid for it. After three years I sold it to my brother for £1,250. It was still going strong in its 15th year when it was written off in a crash.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2005

1988 Volkswagen Golf 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Nice economic run-a-round


Oil leak from engine - I believe it's been there since I bought the car.

Temperature light flashes randomly.

Right indicator falling off.

Fuel level needle goes up and down for no reason.

Speedometer needle wobbles at times.

Crack on drivers-side headlight.

General Comments:

I've not had the car very long - doing only 2000 miles on it, but so far it's coping very well.

It's quite fuel efficient and provides a smooth ride on most road surfaces. This is a very nippy car when you want it to be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2005

1988 Volkswagen Golf GTD 1.6 diesel from Belgium


Great German quality built car for all purpose


Due to participation in Volkswagen races, and thus heavy duty, the engine was replaced by a 1.6 non-turbocharged Diesel at 160.000km.

At 283000km the car lost some oil... we had that fixed for €5 with a special product.

The syncronisation of the gearbox isn't tuned that fine anymore, so I have to shift slowly into second gear, or the gearbox makes a scraping noise.

I have a 3-door model, and the lever to put the driver's seat into a 'forward position' is missing... God knows where the lever is :)

All other things still work fine.

General Comments:

This car is really reliable, even now, when it's becoming really cold outside. I'm still surprised that the car starts without any problem every time I get into it.

When comparing to my precious car (Renault 9) I must say that it handles so much better. The grip is never seen in cars this age and mileage.

Also the legroom is great, I'm 1m85 and fit behind the drivers seat when my brother is driving, and he's almost as tall as I am.

Also the built quality is really good, but you probably figured that out looking at the mileage :)

A last thing I was surprised about is that we used the car to go on vacation, that means 4 passengers and luggage, and it all fitted into that relatively small car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th November, 2004

1988 Volkswagen Golf from North America


A fun, reliable car at great cost



Air controller only has 2 settings: off, high.

Windshield washer fluid reservoir leaks.

Back part of muffler fell off at 158,000 (rattled loudly for 2k miles first)

Minor rattling.

General Comments:

This car is a tank.

Very fun to drive.

Very Reliable.

If you use 91-octane gas the improved mileage outweighs the extra cost by far.

The car will probably never die.

I bought it at 156000 miles (for only $550) and put another 15000 flawless miles on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2004

1988 Volkswagen Golf C 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Nothing of this age comes close


Badly corroded exhaust system replaced.

Brakes were fairly poor - rear cylinder leaked brake fluid meaning the cylinder and the brake shoes needed replacing.

Weight of the car meant front discs and pads needed replacing frequently

Head gasket blew after at 90,000 miles.

Glass in both front headlamps fell out!

Fuel leaks from cracked hoses.

Link in accelerator cable was worn, which caused a particularly embarrassing moment on a blind bend, however easily sorted using a few cable ties!

Wheel bearing needed to be replaced.

Engine began to periodically run very badly; would be running perfectly, then begin to splutter and choke, very often meaning the car would not go above 40mph, quite scary if this happened whilst overtaking!

General Comments:

The Golf was a bargain at £495, and, despite the problems, I really can't complain considering I did 20,000 miles in a year, mostly motorway driving.

For a fairly heavy car, the 1300 engine was surprisingly nippy, revved very well and could manage 105mph despite the 4 speed transmission.

Insurance a bit on the steep side for a 1.3 at group 7.

Built like a tank, the Golf could take absolutely anything thrown at it. A collision with a Renault which pulled out in front of me at 40mph resulted in a slight dent on my wing, and one ruined Renault!

Bodywork cannot be faulted, few cars of this age would still look so tidy and be absolutely free from corrosion.

I found the interior to be very pleasant and comfortable.

Handling is reasonable, but be careful in the wet!

I was extremely upset when the time came to get rid of the Golf; I booked the car in to several garages, none of which could find the cause of the occasional poor running, as it would run perfectly as soon as they attempted to test it! Sometimes revving the engine very hard would clear the problem temporarily.

Although the Golf had it's problems, I've never trusted a car as much before or since, am seriously considering selling my 306 for a mark 2 GTI later this year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2004