1998 Volkswagen Golf GT TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


I would never buy another!


Glove-box lock failed.

Rear hatch lock failed.

Air con failed.

Central locking failed.

Alarm module replace.

Window wind mechanism replaced x2.

Rear wiper leak causing short.

Turbo failure £2000!!!

Rear drivers side brake line leak.

Water pump failure.

Cam belt needed replacing 20000 miles after a VW garage claimed to replaced it. The second VW garage only agreed not to charge because I had it in writing that it had been replaced.

3 off remote alarm units.

ABS sensor failure.

General Comments:

VW garages not interested once the sale was made, service hopeless, this was my 4th golf on the row, but I would never buy another VW, the dealers cannot cope and the cars have become so complicated the reliability is compromised.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2002

29th Oct 2002, 07:14

Your experience is almost exactly the same as mine! I too have had multiple problems - never the same thing twice. Dealers fix them under warranty, but Volkswagen UK will not accept any liability for the poor reliability.

I have had several engine management systems failures (3 in 3 months) including one which caused the car to surge from idling speed to 2000rpm without warning. A real hoot in heavy traffic! My wife refused to drive the car (especially with our 2 chlidren in the back) until it was sorted out.

Dealers are hopeless and don't seem to give a hang. Also offered absolute rock bottom trade in for a 35000 mile car with full history serviced by them.

Golf reliability is a myth! Look at the reliability surveys (JD Power & Top Gear). My Golf Mk2 was great (sold it with 140,000 miles on the clock because we wanted a bigger car) but the Mk4 is a dog.

3rd Mar 2006, 11:54

Just wanted to add that my 1999 GTI 1.8 has had an almost identical list of problems and cost. I love the car, but it's VERY expensive to keep going and the dealers are just as described!!!

1998 Volkswagen Golf GTi 8V 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Fast Enough - A Sensible Buy


New Down Pipe for Exhaust due to rattling heat shield - fitted under warranty.

General Comments:

Good, solid and fast enough. Last of the MK3s -- has Aircon as standard.

In my opinion Golf GTIs look very stylish and have a bit of class with one important provision -- they must be 100% standard.

Handling a bit softer than expected, but still very safe and some fun to be had.

Excellent trip computer.

Excellent economy - around 38mpg overall.

Beginning to look a bit dated inside especially when compared to new Mk4 Golf.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2002

1998 Volkswagen Golf V5 2.3 V5 from Netherlands


Remember the dropping Golf TV commercial, don't try that now!


Rear indicators were blown at different times.

Secondary air pump in the engine broke.

Radio volume control is unreliable.

Three times I have lost my oil sump.

General Comments:

The car itself is a fairly quick and the motor, the V5, is a gem.

The cabin is wonderfully made, very comfortable, quiet and keeps the driver fresh on long trips.

The overall build quality I find high, but the same goes for my last 1997 Polo which actually felt more solid.

The negative points are enough to stop me recommending the car.

First the suspesion is soft as hell for the engine and the potential performance level, giving poor cornering abilities and engine crunching damage over speed bumps and hump back bridges - this when slowing down by the way.

Secondly, if only the dealer here in Holland, Kamsteg, would tell me the truth, show some interest, show some knowledge, show any customer care, then maybe I would replace the suspension units with stiffer (2001) springs myself and live with the car. But they don't, and I won't.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th December, 2001

28th Mar 2003, 15:55

Me again actually, just an update.

I have followed other posts and have since experienced further common faults.

The front window could not shut straight and it took 3 visits for a old dealer to fix - new plastic clips in the door mechanism the eventual diagnosis.

Following my previous dead air pump (common problem says VW) now I have a faulty air pump valve - cost 400 euros - which the dealer told me was another common fault. But not covered by warranty as the car is over 4 years old. The service engineer said "not to blame him as he didn't build the car". VW have one less future customer to build for.