2003 Volkswagen Golf TDI turbo diesel 1.7 or 1.8 from North America


We like the car and are considering a 2010 diesel Golf, but concerned the price is so much higher


We have had very few problems with this car.

When I first picked up the car when I used the rear window wiper, it labored like it was a dry joint, then loosened up with use.

In the first 40 or 50K miles the horn quit and the relay had to be replaced.

Around 90K miles the glass of the drivers window came off the track and fell down in the door. We had purchased the 100K mile extended warranty and the dealer near my work (50 miles from home) where the window fell out refused to accept the CNA after-market warranty which apparently varies from dealer to dealer. We complained to Volkswagen headquarters by letter, submitted the receipt, and they sent us a check for the repair. I don't remember if there was an apology.

I have had to have the driver window switches replaced because the one-touch works, but bringing the window part way up doesn't, but I tend to play with the switches frequently while driving.

Around 140K the trunk latch motor stopped working and hatch back wouldn't latch.

The biggest headache was the dealer mechanic who works on diesels. When they were doing something on the fuel supply/injectors he overtightened and cracked something. I had several visits back to the dealer and lost about $100 of diesel fuel from leaking, smoking, until they figured out the rails had to be replaced. Even though they caused it around 150K miles, we had to pay for the repair. They only knocked off part of the bill; we paid 75% of it when they admitted they had probably caused it.

General Comments:

The dealer mechanics are a problem.

When it is slow, they find extra things to fix.

When they are busy, they don't do everything they are supposed to do on the checkup. We just had the 180K service and they did not do the serpentine belt, saying it is not due until 195K because we had it done late last time. We checked our bills and this was incorrect, so we plan to nudge them about that next time.

At 120K they told us we had to have our water pump replaced because it was easier then when the belt is off, although we had had no problems with the water pump.

The car got to 135,000 miles and nobody had suggested replacing the brakes. We assumed they look at this as part of deal routine service, but my wife's brakes almost failed at 135K on her 01 Golf, so she asked if mine had been done and they said gee, no. So we ended up with two brake jobs close together, and having to buy new calipers because of the excessive wear.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2009

2003 Volkswagen Golf TDI, 115 BHP, 3 door 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland


An invention of sheer power and beauty


Drivers electric window switch replaced under warranty at 22,000 miles. It took about 1 hour to replace. The switch was still working, only when I wanted to flick it to do "auto" close it didn't close itself, I just had to keep my finger on it. Nothing much really.

General Comments:

This is definitely the best car I've ever owned. I hasn't cost me a penny in 4 years of over 55,000 miles of hard driving.

It's very light on diesel considering the power that I'm getting out of it.

Only cost I've had was servicing and a set of front brake pads.

Comparing the Golf TDI to its rivals out there, ie, Corolla, Focus, Almera, it's head and shoulders above them, when it comes to power and style. I've driven these other cars and was glad to get back to my Black baby!

My last car was a Honda Prelude. 2.2 petrol, dead as a maggot, heavy on petrol, not comfortable and certainly not reliable. In 11 years I had to replace a power steering pump and much more. The last straw for the Prelude was a snapped timing belt at 43,000 miles.

My Golf is a breath of fresh air for me, I love it. Now my brother has bought the exact same car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2008

13th Apr 2008, 17:20

Sheer power. 115 bhp. OK.