1999 Volkswagen Golf GLS from North America


A HUGE waste of money... it is fun to drive, though


I have had the heated oxygen sensor replaced three times. This part was recalled by VW, but they assure me that my car was not part of that recall. They offer no reason as to why this part has failed so often in my car.

Several of the buttons on my stereo stopped working. The entire stereo had to be replaced.

I have had the rear window washer pump replaced twice.

I have had the visor replaced once because the plastic hinges simply snapped one day.

A loose spring magically appeared under the drivers seat one day. The repair required that the seat base be replaced.

The alarm failed once and several parts needed to be replaced. It is currently acting up again.

The cup holder is broken and will cost me $130 to fix. The cup holder broke through normal use, not harsh treatment.

The glove compartment is broken and will cost $250 to fix. I opened it one day and one of the arms just snapped.

The passenger-side air vent is broken and will cost $90 to fix.

Currently, the air bag light is on.

General Comments:

This is a very fun car to drive. It is zippy, even at high speeds.

It is has a very spacious interior and it is comfortable.

It is, however, not worth the repairs.

I WAS a very dedicated VW owner, all of that changed with the purchase of this car. I will NEVER buy another VW for the rest of my life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th August, 2002

7th Dec 2002, 00:23

This was my review... I just have an update:

I was so fed up with my car I decided to file a lemon law suit against VW. They settled out of court and sent me $2500. So, now I have at least one good thing to say about VW, they resolve their legal disputes in a timely manner!

1999 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Not as reliable as it should be


Steering column (before I owned it) - don't know exactly what went wrong, but replaced under warranty.

Fan relay - engine fan and air-conditioning fans permanently running. Relay replaced under warranty.

Now have an intermittent starting problem that seems to be related to the immobiliser. Engine starts and dies straight away and it may take anything upto 10 - 15 attempts to get the car going. Sometimes goes for days without happening, but then comes back again. Anyone else experienced this? It seems to be getting worse so looks like another trip to the dealer! Warranty expired. Wife reluctant to drive car.

Oh...and drinks holder sticks!

General Comments:

This car is a bit of a 'mobile sofa' - comfortable and rides well. But wallows and feels heavy on twisty roads.

It's quite good looking and feels solidly built although in this case it's all a bit of an illusion!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th June, 2002

14th Jun 2002, 14:53

I drive a 1995 Golf CL model and have experienced exactly the same intermittent starting problems that were described above. The problem seems to be worse in the rain, but is very unpredictable. Despite having been to two garages already (who have "repaired" both the immobiliser and the distributor) the problem remains. Can anyone shed any light on this puzzling problem?

22nd Oct 2002, 11:40

I own a 3dr 1.4s 1999 model and it has been nothing but trouble. A knocking noise on the passenger door took no less than 2 years and goodness knows how many trips to the garage to fix. Finally blamed on the door hinges not been strong enough for the 'larger' 3dr front doors.

On top of that I have had the boot lock replaced, both driver and passenger locks replaced. Both windows have fallen into the door and have their motor/regulator replaced (twice).

The car did not always start and at other times would just cut out - normally at the most inconvenient moments.

There have been more problems, I am going to request a 'history' from my garage so I can get a proper letter of complaint together.

Would love to hear from others with these problems.



12th Aug 2003, 07:39

We own a 1998 1.6 SE and are suffering from the same intermittent immobilizer fault described by the other contributors - the engine failing to start for no apparent reason. Our dealers have replaced both the key fobs and ignition barrel, but the problem remains. I believe there is a technical fault with the immobilizer's programming, does anyone else?

Rotating between the main and spare key weekly seems to help.