2002 Volkswagen Golf 4Motion V6 2.8 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Great performance for the price, with comfort to boot

Faults:

Clutch cable broke - plastic bracket connecting the cable to the pedal gave up the will to live.

Corrosion issue on spark plugs (misfiring and lacking power) - I suspect the "engine clean" at the previous service was the cause of this. New plugs resolved the issue.

External temperature is currently erratic, and clearly wrong. Showing between 4 and -18 degrees when it is 10-20 degrees outside. Annoying but no issue; occurred after a flat battery (left the lights on).

Electrics are sometimes a little annoying. The doors lock when they shouldn't, and the alarm can go off for no reason sometimes.

General Comments:

Very good performance for the size and being 4 wheel drive. It is a little thirsty for the size. Handling is OK, does roll a little in corners, but you would have to be an idiot to lose control - it has plenty of grip.

Comfortable and good cruising car. Excellent lower end torque, perhaps slightly lacking at the top end. 3rd gear starts are not that difficult. Seating position and the steering wheel are very comfortable.

I have found servicing costs quite reasonable, and apart from one service where they stuffed up, the dealer servicing has been very good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th April, 2013

2002 Volkswagen Golf GT TDI 1.9L PD turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Doesn't live up to the hype, but it is cheap on fuel

Faults:

Rear passenger door deadlocked itself and refused to unlock (still an ongoing issue).

Traction control light comes on if you go above 70mph. Have been advised it's an air flow sensor fault on the engine, as all the systems are interlinked (still an ongoing issue).

Various rattles and squeaks from the dashboard when driving around town.

Heater direction controls work on their own terms; when you want it on the windscreen to clear it, it will direct it at your feet.

General Comments:

Good driving position, although could do with some lumbar support.

Starts first time, every time.

More than enough space for 5 people for short trips, and 4 on longer trips. Plenty of boot space.

Comfortable ride, but a bit wallowy if you decide to press on a bit. The heavy engine up front doesn't help matters.

Good economy; 48-52 on motorways, 37 in town. It's only costing £280 in fuel a month, and that's doing 300 miles a week.

Not been exactly impressed with the performance of it. Although it is the 130bhp diesel, it has no power below 2000 rpm, which is very frustrating around town. At higher speeds it whistles along nicely, but it doesn't feel as torquey as it should for a diesel.

The 6 speed gear box is a gimmick only; the car would be so much more tractable with the standard 5 speed of lesser models.

Although it's a good car and it's saved me a fair bit in money, the few little electrical faults have put me off the car. Don't believe the hype about VWs being completely reliable; they have faults like every other car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2012

12th May 2012, 10:13

Typical VAG product; it's sort of like political candidates, they never live up to the hype.

2002 Volkswagen Golf GT TDI 130 1.9 PD TDI 130PS turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Fantastic car that's still a pleasure to drive

Faults:

Front driveshaft gaiter and rear exhaust bracket at 7 years / 110,000 miles.

MAF sensor at 8 years / 120,000 miles.

Clutch and dual mass flywheel last week (132,000 miles).

General Comments:

Gutsy, reliable, frugal old car that still looks good, and still drives well.

Almost impossible to get less than 45 mpg out of it. Perfectly possible to squeeze 60 mpg on a gentle run. Averages 50 mpg with no problem at all.

Faster and more economical than our E90 BMW 318d, although dynamically it's not even in the same league. The PD130 engine is a great match for the Golf though. Effortless grunt, regardless of gear. Runs out of steam early compared to modern diesels, but the lower-midrange muscle is still impressive to this day.

Plenty of kit - all round electric windows, electric heated mirrors, electric sunroof, Climatronic, CD player, etc etc. Driving position is a little "high", but good seats and overall comfort levels.

Good looking interior, which although a little dated, still has good quality materials, and a very clean design.

Serviced and maintained for buttons by a family friend who is a VW tech. Even the clutch and flywheel set me back less than £400 fitted (Sachs parts used). That's the biggest bill the car has given me by a significant margin.

Still worth a couple of grand, and would be easy to sell on. Can't say that about many near ten year old mass market hatchbacks. Very cheap car to own in TCO terms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2011