1997 Volkswagen Golf Joker Variant 1.8 from Denmark


No fuzz, just a car


Starter engine collapse.

Doors and locks freeze in winter.

Rust in doors and front fenders.

Radiator leaking badly.

Heating system corroded/replaced.

General Comments:

- Variant/estate is very roomy. Larger load space than most in its class (ex. Audi A4). Just throw in whatever you want, like construction materials, furniture, family, a tuba... at the same time.

- Bad on fuel these days. 10 Km = 1L.

- Uses and leaks oil.

- Starts every day without hesitation, even in the danish rain/frost/snow winter.

- Not affected by a trailer.

- Forget about being Nikki Lauda; the engine's too slow and the suspension is too comfy.

- Bucket seats are not my favourite. The '95 model had better seats.

- Simple tech - fix it with a hammer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th February, 2012

1997 Volkswagen Golf GL TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Long lasting and economical


Rear wheel bearings wanted replacing.

Lower drop links needed replacing for MoT, and are horrible to change.

Tracking was out slightly.

Needed alternator belt.

Steering wheel juddered at 80mph.

Needed rear brake overhaul.

Handbrake adjustment.

Welding in 2 areas in the top sill.

General Comments:

Most of the things wrong with the car were general maintenance items.

I needed something more economical, as my petrol Audi only managed 34 mpg. The diesel Golf managed 60mpg with a heavy foot.

Handling is terrible.

Brakes are awful.


Buy the 110 bhp engine, as the 90bhp has no power.

This engine will last a long time.

The inside and outside are very dated, and look old.

The GL comes with x4 electric windows, electric mirrors, elecric sunroof and air conditioning as standard.

I recommend!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2011

19th Jul 2012, 17:21

Good car. I got one, 15 years old, and I love it.

1997 Volkswagen Golf L estate 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland


Quality product cheap - the ultimate banger?


I've not owned this long, but being high mileage and cheap, there's enough there I think to show any potential problems.

There's the odd small rusty patch on the doors, but really speaking that's it.

The gearbox is pretty damn noisy in reverse, the kind of noise where there is obviously something wrong, but having spoken to a few people, this is common, and should last a while yet. It seems the gearbox can be a problem area on the mk3 Golf whether petrol or diesel.

Everything works, it wears its age well.

General Comments:

I'm not quite sure why, but it doesn't feel as "solid" as the mk2 Golf I had a while back; It's a basic L model non-turbo diesel, pretty much bottom of the Golf range, so it lacks everything that people seem to want these days - no aircon, sunroof or electric windows, but it does have central locking and PAS and a surprising amount of space for a compact estate. It's not very quick either - adequate I would say. None of this matters a jot to me - the 60 mpg it does means I forgive it anything.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2010

1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0 from North America


The car is not reliable


Car would not start - batteries need to be replaced frequently.

Car stalls all the time!!! I had to do a bunch of exhaust work, and the problem is still not diagnosed, so the car is just sitting there.

Little accents within the car are cheap quality! (i.e. window rollers/speakers)

General Comments:

Do not buy this car - nothing but problems.

Handles good - but be prepared for the repairs.

I wish I never bothered with this car... stress has taken its toll.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th July, 2009

1997 Volkswagen Golf CL 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Don't buy it


Engine knocks really bad.

Engine mounts replaced at 110000.

Water leaking through the trunk.

Central lock air pump went down.

Radiator pipes leaking.

Electric window went down.

Gear box problem.

Extremely expensive repair fees.

General Comments:

Seriously piece of crap, I've spent more than the car's value on repairs already.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th March, 2008

25th Jul 2011, 03:39

I disagree entirely with the comments above. We have sadly had to part with our P registration CL diesel with only 160,000 miles on the clock, but the bodywork was starting to rust badly. I have been informed that this was due to the body being made of Polish steel that had rust integral to it.

However mechanically it has been very reliable, and still does over 50 mpg on a run. Minor problems early on with electric windows, but none recently. Now replaced by a 2002 TDI GT (130), which seems even better.