Good Small Family Wagon
Pump for central locking & electric windows wailed at 40,000 miles - fixed under warranty.
Electrical fault on windows also fixed under warranty.
Everything else is consumables.
We bought the car after our daughter was born and my wife's old Polo could not cope with buggy's etc.
The load bay is not vast, but it is flat (no load lip like on some estates) which makes it easy for my 5 foot wife to slide in stuff into the back.
Being the 90 BHP turbodiesal it has good low down grunt. It will pull 5th gear at engine idle (i.e. no accelerator) and do 30 mph up a gentle gradient. Acceleration is good, except when going up very steep hills, when some times you have to drop down to 3rd or even 2nd.
It's quite happy at 80, but won't go above 85/90. Handbook listed speed is 110, but I don't believe this.
Economy never goes below 55 mpg even when fully loaded and with 2 bikes perched on top of the roof.
The seats aren't comfortable after 3 hours for me. The cabin is OK. We have a rattle from the dashboard, caused by the previous owner having an upgraded stereo, I think.
This is a Mark III, not a mark IV estate. Equipment is not good. No ABS, A/C or even a high level brakelight. I would swap the rear electric windows for any of the above.
The ride is a bit bumpy and wallowy. It goes round corners OK. Brakes are front disk with rear drums, which for a comparatively heavy car is a bit weak.
We bought the car second hand from a VW dealer. The warranty was good, but the dealer did not fix any of the minor faults as promised when we bought the car. We now get the car serviced at an independent garage specialising in VW's (their courtesy car is a Petrol Passat with 250K+ on the clock).
Reliability has been 100% so far.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th June, 2003