1997 Volkswagen Golf CL 1.9 TD from UK and Ireland
Superbly reliable, wonderfully cheap to run even after 97,000 miles!
Clutch failed - but at 94,000 miles!
Rear windscreen heater element broke - free under warranty.
Wobbly steering - so new steering system free under warranty.
New glow plugs.
There are lots of good and bad comments about the Mark 3 Golf. This is a good one.
Okay, so its not as pretty as the Mark 4, the main dealer engineer said it is not as well built as the Mark 2 (I had one of those too). It does not handle as well as my old car - BMW 318i, but it was never bought to do that - it was bought for its 45mpg, its diesel reliability and that was a good start.
I bought the car used (2 years old) from Newbolds Main VW dealer in Mansfield - they were excellent and gave a free years unlimited warranty, and it was a £1,000 cheaper than I could get at any other dealer!
After 97,000 miles, it still feels new, the mechanicals have been superb, the only replacements have been 1 clutch, new glow plugs and servicing, but it has developed an annoying squeak in the front wheels that no one can fix! At the last service it was reported as being in brilliant condition, the mechanics are always surprised that it feels so good, the compression is excellent, and there is apparently no wear on it.
On the whole, it's a great car, reliable, its nippy in town, the turbo is great. I get 45mpg at what ever speed I drive. The alloys added afterwards make it look more balanced - the 13" wheels looked daft - it handles better now too. It's a noisy engine though.
I had thought of changing it and getting something smarter - Saab 93 - Golf Mk4 TDI, but this car is so much better than the £2,000 I might get for it.
If your looking for a great hassle free diesel, get one of these, pay good money and get a loved one.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th October, 2003