1991 Volkswagen Golf GL 1.6 diesel from North America
A great little car
After I brought the car home, about 5000 km later, the front left wheel bearing went. It cost $200 CDN to fix.
I replaced the alternator. The cost was $180 CDN. In the process of replacing the alternator, I broke the bolt off the starter solenoid because it was so horribly rusted. The rebuilt starter cost me $180. I replaced the starter myself and it was surprisingly easy to do--The motor mount mounts on the starter, so the engine will drop if not properly supported.
Okay. So I bought the car for $3500 CDN. New alternator/starter $360 and new wheel bearing $200. So some money is sunk into it-but, I still love this car! Here is why:
1. Extremely well built. This car is very solid.
2. Easy to work on. There is no air conditioning. It's a non-turbo diesel. No power steering. Manual transmission. Simple. Luxurious? No. But simple.
3. Cheap cheap cheap. Parts are not as pricey as everyone says import cars are.
4. Excellent mileage. I get anywhere from 850 to 950 km's per tank-depending how I drive (hard&leadfooted or conservative)
5. Diesel is cheaper than regular in Canada. Currently, diesel is 10 cents cheaper per litre and the last time I filled up I paid 54 cents/ltr.
6. Biodiesel. Hey I'm not a tree-hugger extremist, but humankind really needs to get way more aggressive with alternative fuels and environmental impact.
7. Very little maintenance. Oil changes, air/fuel filters, empty water in the fuel tank. No tuneups.
8. When my alternator died, I could still drive home and start the car! Hey no spark, no engine computer. Without an alternator, a gas engine stops dead!
9. Starts in winter. Even the coldest days without the block heater plugged in. May take a few cranks, but it always starts.
10. 52 Horsepower. Okay, so 52 is embarrassingly little, but 71lbs of torque at only 2000 rpm. I climbed a steep hill in 2nd gear and never touched the gas pedal. The car didn't stall or even struggle. Try that with a gas engine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th July, 2003