2000 Volkswagen Golf GLS 2.0L 4 cylinder from North America


Expensive hassles


Oxygen sensor, twice.

Engine controller.

Rear ashtray (dealer has fixed this several times, it is perpetually broken)


Lights on ventilation system (at night, you can't see how to turn on the heat, etc.)

Oil leaks. Dealer has replaced oil pan and gasket. Car still consumes 1 quart of oil in less than 3000 miles.

Mileage (miles per gallon) performance is no where near VW estimate. On a 300 mile all-highway, high speed road trip, we only got 24 miles per gallon. Dealer claims the standard "well, it depends on how you drive". The way I drive my other car, I get excellent mileage, exactly what Toyota estimates.

Temperature sensor.

General Comments:

My wife loves this car because it is nicer than anything she has previously owned (all were unreliable American rust buckets), has seat warmers, and the hatchback makes for lots of capacity. I like some of the amenities, but I am extremely disappointed overall.

First, there is the mileage (see above). I am sure that the automatic transmission is not as smart as VW thinks it is. I believe it is shifting too late (revs high), and thus, wastes gas. My VW dealer is sure everything is fine, and that we just drive too aggressively.

My power-train warranty didn't cover the temperature sensor. How far will your car go in 90F weather with no cooling system? When I called VW of America, they just called the dealership. They did not seem to realize (or care) that I was complaining about their policy, not the dealership.

Also, the dealership treats you like a second-class citizen if you didn't buy the car from them. I got this treatment from several VW dealers I called. I realize this may be the way all car dealers are, but I still think it is wrong. When they are trying to sell you a car, you are told that VW, VW of America, and every VW dealer will be at your beck and call. But once you actually buy a car, nobody wants to hear from you.

For a car that was only about 16 months old with less than 6000 miles, it has been an expensive disappointment. Call me crazy, but I think a car that new should just work.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th August, 2003

2000 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0 Gas from North America


German Engineering is marketing hype.


Front windshield wipers seized at 60,000 miles.

Rear windshield wiper broke twice! Once just 400 miles after warranty expired - dealer said "too bad". Once just this past winter of '03 (at 55,000 miles).

Rear hatch lock broke just 1000 miles after warranty expired - again dealer said -"Oh, that's too bad".

Front windshield spontaneously cracked at 42,000 miles - there was no sign of impact of any sort. Was it improperly mounted? God only knows.

Engine cut off in the dead of winter at highway speed (47,000 miles). I pulled over and waited a few minutes. It started again - phew! The thought of walking miles for help in -20F cold was not comforting. Dealer said - "I never heard of that before." Nothing was fixed. CarTalk says Golfs tend to have bad ignition modules.

This car has always consumed as much oil as the 17 year old Tercel I had previously. One quart every 3000 miles. Volkswagen says this is normal. (!)

Before the warranty expired, the "Check Engine" light came on several times for no reason according to dealer. The "check airbag" light came on too, and they had to reset something for that.

New rear brake disks and pads at 45,000 miles - I hear this is normal.

I drive 25,000 miles annually.

General Comments:

This car is fun to drive, peppy, good looking, sporty, and very practical (I hauled a lot of stuff with me when I moved from Canada to the US).

However, the 1983 Tercel Hatchback I had before this was far and away more reliable, even after 17 years.

The problems I've had have not been serious, but I think they are far too numerous for a car that is now only 2.5 years old. My Tercel still had its original windshield wipers when I got rid of it. Maybe Volkswagen could take a clue from Toyota on basic windshield wiper design.

I don't think I will be a repeat customer with Volkswagen.

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

Review Date: 1st August, 2003