An excellent all-rounder; highly recommended
Purchased car in 2009 with 57000 miles on the clock. I am the fifth owner (I knew the previous two owners).
Car had a good previous service history, with only a front coil spring needing replacement at 32000 miles.
Under my ownership the car has needed the following:
57000 - Replaced cambelt and tensioner. Water pump also replaced as the original plastic impeller turns brittle and breaks up (mine had) causing overheating issues. Check that the replacement pump has a metal impeller.
62000 - Rear wiper motor stopped working; replaced with a new motor.
64000 miles - Clutch started to judder, so this was changed. Converted the original dual-mass flywheel set up to the single mass flywheel and new clutch kit. The single-mass set up is actually cheaper than the dual-mass, and in my opinion is a worthwhile change.
68000 - Knocking from rear suspension. Rear beam axle bushes were replaced with harder Skoda vRS bushes. Slight increase in cabin noise, but you soon get used to it. Handling is much improved.
76000 - Turbo diverter valve replaced. Cheap and easy fix. Stops car from 'gurgling' between gearshifts.
77000 - Intermittent non-start fault with warm engine over the last few months. EPC light came on, so plugged in diagnostic tester. Fault identified as crankshaft position sensor; this was replaced. A bit fiddly to get the thing out and the new one in - possible with patience.
79500 - Secondary air pump repaired. Car begins to sound like diesel engine on initial start-up, fault diagnosed as leaking pump. Repair carried out using new nuts & bolts to replace broken rivets.
80500 - Front brake discs (rotors) and pads replaced. Brake caliper piston was also cleaned and refitted.
Driver's door has sagged on the hinges.
Driver's seat side bolster has sagged.
Some of the wood effect trim on the dash and doors has cracked.
Centre console plastic feels a bit cheap.
Not had any issues with windows dropping suddenly into doors. Perhaps these have already been repaired by previous owners(s).
Paintwork is generally very good. A small area of clear lacquer has peeled on rear panel.
Alloy wheels are good except for corrosion in one very small area.
Had the car for a year, and my average fuel consumption is 37 MPG (UK gallons). Best was 49 MPG; worst was 28 MPG. Can get thirsty when traveling at high motorway speeds, expect around 32 MPG.
The car is a standard 150 BHP model with AUM engine. I bit more power would not go amiss. Engine and turbo are still performing effortlessly with no major issues encountered.
The oil is changed every 8000 miles, or so, with 5/40 fully synthetic. Engine did seem to run better with this oil, as opposed to Mobil 1. However, minor increase in oil consumption noted with 5/40 oil. Not noticed any significant change in fuel consumption with different oil brands.
The brakes are OK, but will fade when pushed (VW pads are on the front).
General servicing is easy, and genuine VW parts are not much more expensive that pattern stuff.
The car is fairly comfortable (I did 900 miles in one day), but Saab and BMW seats are a lot better.
The handling is adequate. Arguably the suspension is a little too soft.
Boot space is very good, and the split rear seat folds down to provide lots of extra room.
Still looks good after all these years!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st May, 2010