1999 Volkswagen Golf S 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Very disappointed with both the car and the dealers



Small irritating electrical faults.

Suspension rattles and knocks.

Rain leaks in through door seals.

Interior trim fell off in footwell.

Alarm packed in.

Interior rattles.

Door hinges.

Engine management system failed.

Drinks oil (dealer says this is not a problem!)

General Comments:

Bought this as an ex-demo from dealer. It has been back so often they think I'm one of the staff. Have lost count of the number of visits.

Lots of niggly faults. Dealer can't do anything right first time except write out large invoices. Wipers noisy on all speeds and several annoying electrical faults. To be fair they eventually manage to fix most things.

Handling pretty mediocre. Wallows and rolls badly. My Mondeo went round corners much better. Suspension knocks fixed under warranty.

Door seals replaced twice, but still leak in heavy rain when on the motorway. Dealer says it is a common problem. Doors creak and groan.

Went for a Golf because of the alleged build quality and reliability. What a mistake. Should have stuck to Ford.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2002

1999 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.9 TDi from UK and Ireland


The cream of hatchbacks - a true classic car!


Nothing at all. Had the Golf for 3 years, and not a single fault.

General Comments:

The Mark 4 Volkswagen Golf is a truly fabulous car with a superb image and great ride.

The exterior is a modernisation of the stylish Mark 3, and as with previous Golfs it retains the original Golf's identity.

The interior was fantastic with bomb-proof trim which had that fantastic soft touch feel to it, and the creamy beige worked wonderfully against the black - though it shows dirt easier. The seats were matching cream velour - very sumptous and comfortable, even on the longest of journeys.

The SE trim level is mid-range. Standard Mark 4 Golf trim includes electric windows; driver, passenger and side airbags; stereo; PAS (Power Steering) ; driver's seat adjustment and electric mirrors. The SE spec level added rear head restraints; velour trim and air conditioning, and VW even upgraded our stereo to a CD player! Entry level 'E' trim is fine, and most have electric sunroofs fitted, but you can always upgrade to air-conditioning if you want. The only thing the base models lack which you may want are the rear-head restraints - a safety feature which should really be standard these days, but alas, the Golf is one of the few that offer them so low down in the trim levels.

In terms of performance, the 1.9 Turbo Diesel was excellent - good fuel economy with excellent speed attainment. I took this car out on the motorway the day after passing my test, and couldn't believe the speedometer was nearing 90mph when I thought I was doing nearer 65!The only criticism people have of the Golf is its handling, but I found it responsive and a refined ride.

Image is the Golf's big asset - everyone wants one. It's got bags more style than the mainstream Ford Focus which has aged rapidly and the Vauxhall Astra is just dull. The Golf is replaced by the Mark 5 in 2004, but as with previous Golf ranges, this one I'm sure will be in demand for years to come.

It may cost more to buy than other cars in its class - e.g. Focus; Astra; Peugeot 307 and Renault Megane, but the Volkswagen Golf is a true classic, and will hold far more of its value than the other four when you foolishly decide to sell it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2002

20th Apr 2004, 14:48

Given the disgracefully high prices charged for Golfs and the common known problems described by so many owners on this survey, I am glad that I paid less and purchased a Renault Megane. The Megane is far more stylish, just as well built, and Renault make the best diesel engines available.

The Golf is a classic, but it relies too heavily on this status and its fashionable VW badge. I am also surprised that the reviewer has not mentioned the Honda Civic - surely the real leader for quality in this class.

26th Dec 2004, 03:53

Re Astra and Golf, Both cars I think have their individual merits, my wife has a Golf TDi Mk 4 and I have an Astra 1.4i which I love.

The Golf does have that quality feeling of being extremely well put together with very high quality materials, and the turbo diesel engine is smooth powerful and very economical. Potentially though judging by other comments posted it is perhaps a more expensive car to run than the Astra.

The problem with the Astra Megane Focus etc. (which personally does not bother me at all) is image and desirability, which is reflected in the much higher resale values of the Golf. Horses for courses at the end of the day.

23rd Aug 2005, 14:22

The mk4 Golf's reliability and quality record, as with arguably most recent VW products as a whole, is little short of disgraceful. Image takes time to change though, and until it does, people will keep paying through the nose. Let them - it doesn't affect me either way!