2001 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A bad, bad car, I would advise you to look elsewhere - my experience with Toyota has been excellent


It is not possible to open the doors when it is cold. The door seals appear to be porous resulting in retained water freezing the door shut. This is just straightforward bad design, poor product development or lack of testing prior to launch.

Having got into the car it refuses to start. It went back to the supplying dealer and an alternate dealer in a 2 week period in December 2002 and neither could find a fault. The car then refused point blank to fire on 27th December and the RAC were unable to start it as well. It went back to the supplying dealer who announced that the diagnostics were clear so there was nothing wrong with the car! There has still been no intervention for this problem and it is therefore certain to return.

The engine runs badly as it has from day one. This has been reported at every service without the dealer being able to address it. I am fairly certain that this is related to the above problem. I have queried if this is related to the 800,000 vehicles that VW are recalling for coil faults, but I have been told this is not the case. I wish I believed them.

Just prior to the first service the ABS warning light came on, but the VW diagnostics again failed to diagnose a fault. The system then failed catastrophically a few weeks later with the ABS cutting in way too early and lights flashing all over the dash. Thanks VW, I really appreciated that experience.

General Comments:

I decided on the Golf based on its' reputation and its' undeniable showroom appeal. However the reputation is based on a model that has been out of production for years.

This particular model is a dreadful car with poor reliability, hopeless diagnostics, terrible dealers, demonstrabe underdevelopment, and dangerous manufacturing faults. Where is the quality VW?

At least I have not been afflicted by the build quality recalls affecting the front suspension welding on this car. Having the wheels drop off would be the final straw.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th April, 2003

29th Apr 2003, 04:09

VW electrics are notoriously unreliable at present according to our local VW Audi specialist (non-franchised). 1.6 Autos have many problems, some of which are gearbox rather than engine related so engine diagnostics show clear, but car won't run properly. Coil problem only affects 1.8T engines so the dealer is right in that respect. Try a non-franchised specialist outlet.

We got rid of our Golf 2.0 a week before the warranty expired - it cost VW over £1500 in warranty work over 3 years and 40,000 miles and was in the dealers 9 times in 2½ years (other than routine servicing). The attitude of both the dealers and VW UK is appalling to customers. I recommend voting with your wallet. We have just bought a Saab instead.

2001 Volkswagen Golf GLS 2.0 petrol from North America


It's better than both North American and Japanese cars in its class


The keys lost their programming shortly after purchasing the car. This of course is a little annoying, as it doesn't allow you to start the car.

The bulb that lights the climate control burnt out prematurely. Driver side mirror started to rust - this was replaced under warranty. Door hinges started to knock - Dealer tightened the hinges. During the winter, shifting gears is a nightmare - very stiff. 1st gear intermittently locks when trying to engage from a stop up-hill.

General Comments:

Oil consumption was the absolute worst I had ever seen, until I realized that the dealer was putting in the WRONG oil. VW recommends 5w-40 (pure synthetic) oil as mentioned in the service manual. The dealer was putting in 10w-30 petroleum based. Once switching to 5w-40 (painfully expensive), oil consumption was normal. Apparently, 5w-40 is made exclusively for the new VW's!

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

Review Date: 22nd April, 2003