2002 Volkswagen Golf GTi 1.8 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


I have enjoyed owning the Golf; it is still a pleasure to drive after so many years


Faulty mass air flow meter/pressure wastegate/and the normal wear and tear.

Never had any real bad problems.

General Comments:

The car is smooth and quick enough to keep you out of trouble.

Reliability is good.

The car's depreciation ain't too bad either.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2008

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


Excellent compromise, better than its competitors


Both front electric windows stopped working, a common fault with cheap plastic clips breaking. VW will repair free of charge on cars up to 7 years old (not officially). Or D.I.Y., buy new clips and regulator for £40 each side; the new replacement clips are all metal and so will not fail.

The clutch started sticking, resulting in a clutch master and slave cylinder and clutch replacement. This is another pretty common fault on MK4's. This was a more expensive fix.

The brake pedal switch failed (an £11 part, the replacement part has improvements) which gives 'Check Engine' message on MFD, which first time round is concerning, but a very cheap fix if it goes wrong. This is another common fault.

The engine coolant temperature sensor stopped working, causing the gauge on the dash to start moving up and down all the time. It is also detrimental to mpg, which dropped by up to 10mpg. The replacement is £70 fitted at the dealer and is an improved part.

General Comments:

An excellent car as a compromise, this car is pretty rapid and offers excellent fuel economy (47-52 mpg with Shell V Power Diesel, slightly less on others). The Shell V Power is recommended if you like the car to be virtually smoke free even under hard acceleration, and gives better combustion efficiency and continuous engine cleaning (so say Shell, but after £500 worth of the stuff used I would agree), which is good for the PD injectors, which run very high pressure.

The handling is another compromise; the car is very good on the motorway and dual carriageways, but can feel very soft and reliant on ASR when pressing on down B roads. So if you only drive down B roads and want one, then get a quote for Eibach/KW or other high quality German suspension for more sport orientated driving.

The paintwork and interior are both in excellent condition for a 6 year old car, and will probably continue to be for a long time. The seats are very good if you compare to a Focus or Astra of a similar age and mileage. Especially if you value being ache free after any journey (I am 6ft7", so very accommodating).

This is overall a very high quality car, with some very minor faults, and is very cheap to run considering depreciation, as the car holds its value better than any of its competitors. I expect it to run to a fairly high mileage, as I have a long daily commute.

The dealer I use has been excellent, and I guess some negative reviews may have been due to a poor dealer experience (another VW main dealer I used locally was 1/10).

When buying a used one, make sure it has full VW service history and you should have a good problem free car. It also makes the dealer more willing to help you out if anything does go wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2008

22nd Jan 2008, 13:55

Parts cost alone was £28 ex VAT at dealer. Plus VAT and Labour. Non genuine ones are cheaper I am sure. I like the reliability and warranty of genuine parts. 3+ program gave 25% off that price so £52 total. If you can get the part cheaper and if you are happy to do the work yourself then good luck.

2002 Volkswagen Golf GTi Anniversary 1.8T (180BHP) from UK and Ireland


Stylish limited edition of this iconic marque


Three coil packs have blown all due to the previous owner putting cheap spark plugs in. These cars need the platinum plugs.

Lambda sensor replaced due to the above problem.

No other problems during my year's ownership.

General Comments:

What a great car! Beautiful model of the mk4 Golf GTI. The unique spoilers and side skirts make it stand out, and the 18" BBS alloys are beautiful.

With lowered suspension the ride is a little harsh, but the interior is so well built that it still feels luxurious.

Driven sensibly, this turbo model still returns an average of 32mpg. Put the loud pedal to the floor and the acceleration is respectful. With a remap this car is hurried and exciting.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2007

29th Nov 2007, 11:56

Coil packs are a known weakness on this engine, and their failure has nothing to do with the type of spark plugs fitted, cheap or otherwise.

This is what irritated me about my Golf. Everything that ever went wrong with it, and there was a fair bit, was always the fault of someone or something else. Not cheap componentry or penny pinching, but some nonsense with the most tenuous link to the problem. I was told an ECU fault was down to running low on fuel for example - I mean for heaven's sake. When I asked for it in writing and vowed to take it to trading standards, they backed down.

Volkswagen dealers simply cannot admit that their cars are as fault prone as any other manufacturer, and have been surviving on reputation for a decade now. There's more to a quality car than soft plastics and blue instrument lighting.