1989 Volkswagen Golf 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Good, solid performer


Two new front tires were fitted just before I bought it.

Exhaust needed completely replaced at around 108000 miles.

Driver seat is well-worn: to be expected for a car of this age.

Gear-box packed in at 115000 miles. I'm told Volkswagen don't make 4-speed gear boxes for the Golf any longer so unless I find one from scrap, the car's off the road for good.

General Comments:

I bought a Golf because I heard it was a reliable second-hand car. I think this was borne out. I only paid a reasonably small amount of money for the car and, other than replacing the exhaust, I've had no other major outlay on the car: it's been a good buy.

It's a fairly plain car, but it has more punch than the 309 I previously owned, especially when fully loaded (even with the same-sized, relatively small engine).

Does the job as a 'runaround' car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2003

6th Apr 2004, 05:30

Reconditioned exchange 4 Speed gear boxes are still available. My sister got one fitted by a company called Mc Volks in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. They provide excellent service and incredibly cheap rates hence their long waiting list. Apparently, the 4 speed boxes were never as good as the 5 speeds, and usually pack up at around 90,000 miles.

1989 Volkswagen Golf 1.8 from North America


This car is an excellent choice that will not leave you stranded as long as it is cared for


Radiator fan switch failed.

Hatchback window seal has a slight leak in heavy rain.

Driver's seat track has a broken slide attachment.

General Comments:

Received the car from my mother this year. She was the original owner. My Step-dad took good care of it and was very good at keeping up the oil changes.

The engine is very tight and powerful, even with 216,000 miles on it. I drove it from Colorado to Georgia and burned only 1/2 quart of oil. It really performs well in the mountains.

The gas mileage is superb!

The car has excellent high-end torque. It responds well to small throttle changes at highway speeds.

The car has a few small comfort quirks that are acceptable for the age and miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2003

1989 Volkswagen Golf 4 Cylinder from North America


This is the most reliable car in the world


The air conditioning does not hold a charge and never did as long as I have owned the car.

The car needed a new motor at 181,000 miles. It leaked oil profusely, and the problem began at 180,000 miles.

The headliner fell out at 200,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car handles well in all types of weather -- with snow tires, it's an absolute dream to drive!

The car is extremely good on gas.

The car looks cool. Everyone wants it.

The car feels safe and is strong -- it was very slow to begin rusting (very little rust for its age).

The car hasn't had any major problems aside from the engine problem aforementioned.

When it's very cold, the car does not start (below 10 degrees Fahrenheit). It starts easily at any temperature above that, however.

The automatic transmission has only three speeds, which is a little bit of a bummer, but it still can get to speeds of 90 m.p.h.

What can I say, this car is amazing!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2003

13th Mar 2003, 00:42

A car that I haved used for the last 13years and 186,00 miles.. I got my moneys worth.

1989 Volkswagen Golf GTi 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Extreme power and torque at an affordable price


I've only owned this car for a short time so, I'm not really very qualified to complete this section. However in the short time I've had it, one of the rear breaks has begun to cease.

General Comments:

Once you have this car warm, even with the standard exhaust it creates a beautiful, rich, pulsing, booming tone on tick over alone. During the acceleration, as opposed to whining, the engine just beautifully roars. That's the sound.

If you have it warm enough (which you will be aware of by the MFR oil temp reading), it will perform exceptionally! The engine can feel so torque that you can almost distinguish about 10 different levels of throttle pressure. As you climb to the top end of a gear, the acceleration seems to increase rather than diminishing and going flat, like an overreved fiesta. Incidentally, you can easily find yourself accidently wheel spinning upon 2nd gear entry if you are not used to the engine.

You can tell the difference if you use Shell optimax, the engine likes at least 98 octane.

Breaking and handling are also a strong point in this car. I feel safer doing 90 miles an hour than I would doing 50 in my diesel Peugeot 205. You can simply wrap this vehicle around a corner and your passenger won't sustain fatal head injuries on the window or... you.

Then, when the time comes to stop (which is always a disappointment), the car comes to a smooth halt with the assistance of a break disc on all four wheels.

Considering I got this car for 600 pounds, with the body work in immaculate condition you can't really go wrong.. I won't be driving anything else until it completely disintegrates, or I destroy it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2003

22nd Apr 2003, 09:29

I wrote this review and having owned the car for a while longer now, I would like to append it. Everything said still stands, but I would like to point out that for this speed a sacrifice of fuel economy has been made. It's pretty horrific.

14th Jun 2004, 11:58

The rear calipers are prone to siezure due to high heat. I've had this problem with my golf. A cure is to use the calipers off of a MKIII golf as these withstand higher temps.

24th May 2005, 09:37

Regarding the comment on fuel economy, I don't find mine that bad really. It does 35 - 40 MPG typically with gentle driving, and usually no less than about 25 MPG no matter how hard I drive. This is not much worse than my old Turbo Diesel Fabia vRS.