2003 Volkswagen Golf TDI from North America


Wonderful to drive if its not broken


Paneling inside the car creak and groan as you drive. Coolant leak from the EGR valve. Oil leak from Turbo. Cylinder gasket leak. Upper control arm bushing (both sides). Moisture entering side signal lights. Heating coils replaced because of excessively smoky starts. Door locks not working (computer had to be replaced). Front end shake at higher speeds (unable to solve).

General Comments:

I love driving this car. That is why I bought it in the first place. It drives great. Corners great. Panic stops are excellent. Its wonderful driving a small car that you don't have to rev the crap out of it to get the horsepower. Handles great in the snow and ice. It very comfortable.

But... its built like crap. I bought a diesel car because I put on a lot of kms for my job, and I needed something good on gas that would last for a long time. Well it is very good on gas, but it certain is not going to last for a long time. Up to now every things been covered under warranty, but its still a pain because with my job it very inconvenient to have it in the shop all the time. Also the things that have gone wrong with it would have been extremely expensive to fix. There is no way I can afford to keep this car outside of warranty. For the cost of repairs, driving a full size truck would be more economical than my little golf.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th October, 2006

2003 Volkswagen Golf Match 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Excellent solid all rounder with neat touches


Centre console rattled - fixed myself by discreetly wedging 2 small blocks of card between transmission tunnel and dashboard.

Clutch pedal slightly squeaky.

Clock very fiddly to set.

Mechanically and electrically (touch wood) very sound. Hope it stays that way.

General Comments:

Performance is adequate rather than outstanding, but still has plenty of poke to keep up with fast moving traffic. Handling is rather "safe" but certainly not "soggy" or "lifeless" like some other reviewers have described. The engine is generally very smooth and doesn't complain too much when pushed.

The interior is rather unassuming, but very neatly finished off with the usual German-quality plastics and there are lots of neat touches present like the damped glove-box lid, the individual reading lights for rear-seat passengers and the tactile operation of the switchgear. Plus of course there is that gorgeous red and purple dash lighting. The trip computer display is thoughtfully positioned in the instrument cluster rather than on the centre console which aids visibility. The boot has lots of useful features like bottle straps, luggage tie-down hooks and is a large useful size.

Dealer-wise the sales section has been very impressive. However I will reserve further judgement until the car requires a service or (hopefully not) fault repair.

Overall a sound package and would have no hesitation in recommending a Golf to someone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 14th August, 2006

26th Aug 2006, 04:30


This car is still continuing to drive really well. However a very annoying squeak developed from the rear seat catch. Fixed myself with a few sprays of WD40 and has been fine ever since.

Rattle from glove-box lid, but I can't call this a fault as due to the damping action, the lid requires a slightly firmer shove than normal to ensure both lugs engage into place (before only 1 lug was engaging)

Also this car lacked the in-dash cup holders (which I was aware of at the time I bought the car). When I went to my VW main dealer they quoted £100 for parts and labour! I tracked down a cup holder off eBay for £20 and fitted myself; very easy to do so.

The air-con is extremely powerful. You will freeze like hell on the coldest setting. Turning the temperature dial slightly higher makes for a more comfortable environment.

I'm still very happy with this car and always look for an excuse to drive it.

24th Apr 2007, 21:11

I to had a Golf Match same year, what a bag of nails sold it after 14 months it drove me up the wall with endless faults!!!

3rd Dec 2008, 16:19

Bought an 03 Golf 1.6. My battery is always dying, not leaving lights or radio on, radio is wired up properly. Have been to 3 garages, none know how to fix it. Love the car but it won't start at least one day a week. Think it could be starter/throttle problem myself. Anyone had any issue like this?

19th Sep 2009, 12:53

Don't see it being that causing your battery to die, I'm going to get one tomorrow.