1988 Volkswagen Golf CL 16 from UK and Ireland


Solid, and sometimes reliable motoring from V.W.


Near side and off side C.V. joints - Nearside twice!

Starter Motor failed at 100,000 miles.

Wash / wipe switch (loose and dirty contacts).

Thermostat stuck open - ice in carboretta resulting in constant under-cooling.

Final drive unit failed - £800 to ream out old case and overhaul the unit, fit new seals etc.

Automatic gearbox failed - £1200 to recondition fit etc.

Clutch plates disintegrating and contaminating gearbox oil.

Water in gearbox (after initial repair due to the garage forgetting the gearbox to torque converter gasket) causing total loss of drive at 70mph on the M4 (what fun that was!)

The paint work is looking it's age. Serious fading back to primer near the petrol cap.

General Comments:

This car runs absolutly perfectly after I had the automatic gearbox and final drive cum differential problems sorted. The initial cost of £750 with a full V.W. service history seemed like a dream deal, but I would like to ask VW what they actually do during routine servicing, because the car should have been in tip top condition (mechanically at least) when I bought it!

Now that all the work has been done, it goes like a dream. Quick off the mark, even for a three speed automatic, and the fuel economy's not too heavy. I get between 25 in town and 40 on the open road if it's not pushed too hard.

The interior is a bit scruffy, but 15 years and 146k stand testament to it's durability and longevity.

It's not the quietest car I have ever owned, it really booms on the motorway leaving you with a dull headache after a long journey. However, the seats are firm, but supportive. The dash is very well laid out, everything in east reach.

Even now, I still think it's the best Golf V.W. made. It's Germanic looks and tank like build means there will be many Mk2's around for a while.

Only real quibble I have about the car is the boot space and the way the spare wheel isn't sunk far enough into the floor-pan, leaving the load area uneven. Petty thing I know, but it's annoying. Over all, it's a good little run around, but not good for long haul.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th July, 2002

30th May 2003, 18:06

I know how you feel. My Golf was a dream buy at £600 with a full VW service history and only 68k on the clock (genuine millage too). Turned out to be a money pit had to keep throwing cash at it to keep it on the road! When a piston cracked at 91k... that was it. Sold the damn thing for scrap. I understand that there are thousands of happy Mk2 owners out there, but this one wasn't going to live very long! Hope you're happier with whatever you've got now!

1988 Volkswagen Golf GTi 1.8 from UK and Ireland


An excellent, cheap performance car - how hot hatches should be built!


Clutch cable.

Heater matrix.

Head gasket.


Erratic idle.

New exhaust.

Problems with trip computer & rev counter.

General Comments:

I am impressed with the performance, having previously owned a 1.3 Golf. The acceleration up to 60mph is impressive, but it deteriorates after this.

It holds the road very well.

The looks are great, but very basic interior - no PAS or electrics.

Very heavy steering.

Can be expensive when they go wrong, but don't always go to main dealer as there are cheaper alternatives. Visit scrap yards wherever possible.

D.I.Y work is possible with a basic knowledge of cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2002

1988 Volkswagen Golf GTi 16V 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Classic Hot Hatch


Replaced front lower wishbone to rectify impact damage from a previous owner.

The Bolster on the drivers seat are worn.

General Comments:

The car is now 14 years old is still in excellent structural condition for its age.

The interior is now starting to look very dated. On the whole though the interior has worn very well.

The car is very quick, its lacks a bit in torque, but once "on cam" give's very good performance. In pure performance time the car is still very competitive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2002