1990 Volkswagen Golf Driver 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A joy to own and drive


Nothing major. Just new exhaust/tyres, etc. as you'd expect. Oh one thing, the second gear is a common (minor) problem on these cars as it was on mine. It grumbles a bit when going into second, usually just until its warmed up a bit (10 - 15 mins). If you linger on the clutch a moment longer though it engages cleanly.

General Comments:

This car was a pleasure to own. I would look forward to work just for the time I'd get to spend driving it there and back. Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened a couple of weeks ago and I took a tricky corner a little too quickly in icy conditions and drove it through a wall. Incindentally, the police were amazed that I was completely unhurt, testiment to the strength and design of these great cars. I would never have believed destroying a car could be this upsetting. I'm totally devastated about it. I loved that car. Only cost £1200, looked the business and was so great to drive.

Mine was non power assisted steering and this is something I can highly recommend, the amount of feeling you get through the wheel is amazing. The car was very easy to maintain, it really did use no oil at all and used next to no water. Whatever the weather, it would start instantly and run great.

Performance wasn't amazing, but then again I was only 19 and had it insured 3rd party for £175! Around town it was great though, especially for beating people away from the lights if that's your thing.

I really can't recommend mk 2 Golfs highly enough, you can get a nice one like mine for very reasonable money and with the addition of a £100 big bumper kit and a set of second hand BBS alloys, it'll look superb. Just don't crash it or let it get stolen as it's unimaginably depressing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2001

21st Jan 2006, 13:34

I totally agree, I was much the same, same age as you, had big bumpers and it does make the car look a lot better for it. I also crashed and it was like I had killed my dog I felt that bad about it, like I had lost a friend it felt that bad. mine crashed into a canal and I came out totally unscathed much to everyones amazement.

These are very solid and very fun cars looking back on it. I've had faster, better handling cars since, but for some reason the golf was more fun to drive.

I totally agree with your review - spot on.

1990 Volkswagen Golf GTi 16v 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


A solid, reliable, economic car, and quick!!


Worn front n/s hub.

Electrics due to the amount of dodgy wiring of alarms/immobilisers over the years (7 owners!).

Cambelt snapped, no extra damage done.

Driver's seat worn.

Heater only works on 3.

Electric window's fall off the runners and stick.

Wheel bearings all round.

Rocker cover gasket split.

Idle stabilisation valve changed.

New distributor.

Plus all the usual stuff, tyres, exhausts, filters, brakes....

Alternator overhaul + new voltage regulator.

Gearbox very noisy (thrust bearing gone).

General Comments:

Have lowered by 30mm, and the handling is superb, apart from such a hard ride.

Top car to work on (I think).

Inside everything is in the right place.

Nice driving position.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2000

11th Jan 2004, 15:04

I would imagine that the speedo was faulty, as the 8v would redline at 125mph. I have seen my 16v at 141MPH at 6750RPM in top on the M5 with the wind behind it!! It was also rock solid. I've got the photo to prove it as well and it was just peaking at top performance at 120000miles. I kept the car until 200,000 without any problems.

1990 Volkswagen Golf non-turbo diesel from North America


Love the engine, despite car problems


Interior trim started popping off the week it was purchased.

Bumpers shoddy, missing bits.

Had to rebuild the transmission in 1996 due to slippage in the differential.

Seat covers have ripped.

Heater broke.

Dash light wonky.

Doors leaks water, fixed repeatedly.

General Comments:

Despite my problems with this car, I like it - primarily because it's a diesel. Just did a mileage check this weekend and got 44 miles per gallon in the city.

Burns no oil. Starts every time. Has never stalled, not once, in 10 years. Never gives that gasoline motor hesitation in wet weather. I love the noise - sounds like a British Black Cab.

There's plenty of reason to be annoyed about the shoddy trim from the Mexican plant - Volkswagen shut it down I believe, and reopened it after improving workmanship.

Fun to drive, and that's saying something for an engine with 52 horses.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2000