2003 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0 Liter from North America


An expensive car that feels expensive



General Comments:

This car is fun to drive around town, but lacks highway power. However, it handles well and is generally fun to drive.

While the VW is a bit more expensive than the competition (Civic, Focus, etc.), I believe it to be a good value because it comes standard with equipment that costs extra on other cars. For example, it has anti-lock brakes, side air bags, remote keyless entry and a great sound system with a cd player.

The interior of this vehicle is great. The seats are firm and supportive, much like more expensive German sedans. The dashboard lights are a really cool bluish purple with red accents.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2003

2003 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Volkswagen have lost the plot!


Leaking washer bottle

Intermittent fault with nearside indicator quitting for several seconds at a time.

Several dash warning lights sometimes come on dimly when reverse gear is engaged with the headlights on. Needless to say never when the dealer looks at it.

One of the heater vents has gone "floppy" and won't stay in position.

Central locking doesn't work properly - rear door sometimes unlocks instead of the drivers door.

Trim around the C-pillars and the centre console squeaks like a demented mouse.

Engine consumes oil at the rate of a litre every 1,000 miles

Ignition coil burned out leaving me stranded.

General Comments:

I was so disgusted with this car and with VW that after several letters back and forth to VW, the dealer service manager, and my solicitor, a deal was agreed for the car to be taken off my hands, less 11,000 miles worth of depreciation. I still wait to hear about being compensated for my inconvenience.

This is my fourth new-purchased Golf (two mk2's and a mk3) and all have been faultless, but this mk4 was a joke. It's a lovely car to drive, but what has happened to VW's build quality? How do they dare continue to charge their traditional premium prices when their products have, on this evidence, degraded into such junk?

I now drive a Ford Focus, with which I am delighted so far. The same outlay bought a bigger 1.8 litre engine and a higher specification. Moreover after 3 months it has not had a single thing go wrong with it which immediately puts it in my good graces. Whether I choose to stick with Ford for my next car remains to be seen, but I will certainly never buy another VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th August, 2003

30th Aug 2003, 14:17

Welcome to the VW fan club! I have had similar experiences, but can't get rid of my 2.0 SE which is a complete lemon. Mine has been off the road 6 times in 8 months. List goes:

ECU Failure

Air sensor failure

Rear dampers leaked

Central locking failed

Window motor burned out

Lambda sensor

It also burns a lot of oil - so much it should never need an oil change. Unlike you the dealer is not interested in exchanging the car, nor are Volkswagen. This is my 3rd and last VW.

31st Aug 2003, 05:38

Welcome to the club, same experience with a Leon, and same end result, VW? never again!

2nd Oct 2003, 16:34

I have now done almost 87,000 miles with my Seat Toledo TDiSE. The car has always been a delight to drive and it has always been totally reliable.

Before the Toledo, I always owned Volkswagens. They have always given me excellent service.

23rd Dec 2003, 16:05

I too used to like Volkswagens! The MkII was an excellent motor and I had mine for ages. The MkIV is a different and much inferior beast (at least mine was). I lost count of the faults, but almost everything went wrong over 3 years of ownership.

I won't buy another as much because of the attitude of the dealers and VW themselves.

17th Apr 2004, 07:00

I drove a Mk4 VW Golf 1.6 SE for 2 years and was glad to get rid of it. I found the biggest problem was irreparable in that the engine / car weight ratio was wrong. It was the most gutless car I have ever driven. Going up a moderate hill with 4 people in the car, was almost impossible in anything over 2nd gear.

I now drive a 1.8 Mondeo which is the best car I have ever driven, as a recovering badge snob I would never want to own a VW again.