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


Great performance for the price, with comfort to boot


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


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


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.

28th Nov 2014, 17:01

This review is spot on. My family have driven nothing but VWs since the 80s, and I sold them from the late 90s. Pre 92 stuff was well engineered and relatively simple mechanically and electrically. After that it all went downhill. Whilst superficially lovely (tactile interiors etc.), they were built to a cost underneath. Rubbish components and badly designed stuff like suspension and engines. The Golf and Passat from 98 to 02 in particular were terrible for reliability, and don't even think of buying a Sharan!

On the subject of dual mass flywheels, these failed as quickly as 20,000 miles and VW UK would not replace these under warranty, citing driver error. Seems strange that other manufacturers could make them reliable. They should easily last at least 100k miles under normal use. The current range isn't a lot better.

Granted the German brands do lead when it comes to innovation, and safety is generally good, but if you want something bombproof, go Japanese.